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Purchase Lawrence of Arabia (1962) Movie Online and Download - David Lean 🎥
Drama, Adventure, Biography, History, War
IMDB rating:
David Lean
Peter O'Toole as T.E. Lawrence
Alec Guinness as Prince Feisal
Anthony Quinn as Auda abu Tayi
Jack Hawkins as General Lord Edmund Allenby
Omar Sharif as Sherif Ali
José Ferrer as Turkish Bey
Anthony Quayle as Colonel Brighton
Claude Rains as Mr. Dryden
Arthur Kennedy as Jackson Bentley
Donald Wolfit as General Sir Archibald Murray
I.S. Johar as Gasim
Gamil Ratib as Majid
Michel Ray as Farraj
John Dimech as Daud
Storyline: An inordinately complex man who has been labeled everything from hero, to charlatan, to sadist, Thomas Edward Lawrence blazed his way to glory in the Arabian desert, then sought anonymity as a common soldier under an assumed name. The story opens with the death of Lawrence in a motorcycle accident in Dorset at the age of 46, then flashbacks to recount his adventures: as a young intelligence officer in Cairo in 1916, he is given leave to investigate the progress of the Arab revolt against the Turks in World War I. In the desert, he organizes a guerrilla army and--for two years--leads the Arabs in harassing the Turks with desert raids, train-wrecking and camel attacks. Eventually, he leads his army northward and helps a British General destroy the power of the Ottoman Empire.
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Beyond Superlatives
If ever a movie earned the definition 'epic', then 'Lawrence Of Arabia' is it. In an age when sumptuous set-pieces can be effortlessly conjured-up by computer programmers, this truly authentic feast of cinematic vision still possesses the power to blow your mind. This is the real thing. The wide-sweeping vistas of desert wilderness are not special-effects; they are REAL. And they look real. Long views, sweeping pans and takes sustained over minutes are realised with a clarity, colour and vividness that absolutely melt your heart. That imagery is a more believable conduit to this complex man's evolving obsession with Arabia than the narrative itself.

Every scene is a breathtaking study in light and colour, character and dialogue. Every second is worth seeing and every word worth hearing. And its theme music is as iconic as the man himself.

The inimitable Peter O'Toole with his blonde hair, steely-blue eyes, haunting expressions and mood swings, commands your attention in every take. His Lawrence is a man swallowed up by a personal sense of destiny, striding between his cynical and prosaic taskmasters and a doomed belief in what might be achieved with superhuman effort. Omar Sharif never played a better role as foil to his capricious hero. Unusually, there are no leading ladies. And they're certainly not needed. A love interest would have cheapened the entire presentation. Here is a story about the romance of time and place. As that other great Arabian traveller and admirer of the ideal - Wilfred Thessiger - once remarked; "women spoil everything".

This is a long movie. Those with short attention-spans raised upon sausage-machine editing are doomed to find it dull, tedious, boring, slow and all of the other criticisms that fall from the lips of a generation accustomed to x-box action sequencing. But if you are blessed with a longer vintage, then Lean's masterpiece will swallow you up as surely as the desert itself.
Still my personal favourite
I first saw this film on its release, aged 13, and it forms an important part of my transition towards adulthood. I am pleased to see that it consistently rates 20something in the IMDb listings, even from others (whom I envy, for I can't see it with fresh eyes) who are seeing it for the first time. Pleasing too is that some of those are also teenagers, for whom a forty-three year old film must itself seem part of the past. As for the minority who are bored by intentionally slow pacing (and for whom punctuation, paragraphing and grammar are a lost art), I suggest they learn a little about the history of film-making (from which it may become apparent that much of today's fast editing techniques were invented in the 1920s: try Eisenstein's October, for example).

From the universally admired cinematography of Freddie Young, the long shot of Omar Sharif's floating mirage entry, the pre-CGI battles and pan-up scene changes, to O'Toole's florid but career-defining performance and the (then) novel time-shift narrative, this film set standards not matched even by Lean himself, and, as many reviewers have commented, financially and practically unlikely to be attempted today. I too have rarely seen such clarity of image outside of Imax, and in my view the script by Robert Bolt (and I now have learnt, an uncredited Michael Wilson) is the finest in cinema. Maurice Jarre's music and some of the acting style now seem a little excessive, but repeated viewing (around 35 times in my case) does not diminish the impact and quality, and the restoration and now DVD release still, after all these years, approaches the effect of that first 1962 viewing.

It is rare that repeated watching of a film (as opposed to a live performance) does this, and the reasons go beyond the photography, performances and editing. In my opinion, it is because the characterisation and storytelling encourage an appreciation of the ambiguity and inconsistency behind our motives and behaviour, and, in a wartime scenario, in the contrast between political expedience and personal morality. For a 13-year old, this opened a window into the adult world, and it explains why the story has resonance far beyond its setting. The film doesn't require an understanding of middle-east politics (though it does have some very current relevance), but it does require an ability to look, listen and understand. The fact that so many people rate it so highly says everything about its wider impact. When The Matrix and even Lord of the Rings have slipped out of the ratings (and the adolescents who inhabit these pages have grown up), I believe this film will still be in the 20s or 30s, perhaps enabling young people to once again see the world through adult eyes.

Like Ali, I fear Lawrence. I fear the power of art to change us, to challenge our preconceptions. Every time I see this film I learn a little more, discover something new. When I was 13 I didn't understand much, but this film helped me to see that I wanted more, knew more, than my peers. I can't rate it more highly than that.
Peter O'Toole's Iconic Role.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962): Dir: David Lean / Cast: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins: Extraordinary epic about reputation as British Army Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence treks across a massive desert in the midst of a war between the Arabs and the Turks. He meets with Prince Faisal who leads this revolt against the Turks. The film depicts how these events at first come as a humorous challenge, to gaining respect for saving a life of someone who falls behind, to performing an execution, to being flogged. Director David Lean previously scored success with The Bridge on the River Kwai and now he creates another broad scale film of desert landscapes and riveting war violence where Lawrence leads in the blowing up railroads. Peter O'Toole delivers a masterful performance as Lawrence who experiences the exhilaration of violence to the extremes of human decay. Alec Guinness plays Faisal who looks on at Lawrence with curiosity. Omar Sharif steals scenes as Sheriff Ali who first shoots Lawrence's companion for unauthorized drinking from an Arab well, then they become close companions. Anthony Quinn is also featured as a tribal leader persuaded to join in the revolt. Jack Hawkins is cast as General Allenby. This is a powerful film about the exploits of violence and its wages upon the human soul. Score: 10 / 10
Why this classic is THE classic.
On the IMDb discussion boards a few years ago, someone asked what made "Lawrence of Arabia" (LofA) such an important movie. The poster had watched the film but was left scratching his head as to why this was such a significant and revered movie. If you have seen the movie and are asking yourself the same questions, hopefully this will help.

You might have wondered why this movie lasts almost four hours with an intermission. When LofA was made, going to the cinema to watch a movie was a bigger deal than it is now. It was commonplace for movies to last this long, and lengthy epics with a cast-of-a-thousand were the flavor. This is the only significant quality this movie shares with other contemporary movies of the time.

Obviously, this movie takes place in the Middle East. As far as western audiences were concerned, LofA might as well have taken place on the moon for all that was understood of Arabian culture and history in 1962. LofA transports us to an alien land with strange characters and values. To help tell this story, the movie is anchored by established actors like Sir Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, and Claude Rains. While Hawkins and Rains perform familiar characters, Guinness and Quinn paint credible portraits as Arabic royalty and tribal leader. That their characterizations still ring true today is a testament to their portrayals. Only in the last 10 years or so has western cinema begun to maturely portray Middle Eastern culture. Omar Sharif, one of the few actual Middle Easterners with a prominent role, demonstrates the complex beauty and brutality of this culture.

Of course the real star was newcomer Peter O'Toole. His was a risky casting and proved to be one of the best of all time. The real genius of LofA is its simplicity. Here is the man Lawrence, here is what happened, here's how he felt about it all. This is made possible by O'Toole. At the time, campy presentational acting was still the prominent style of movie acting. O'Toole was part of the new blood of method acting, made en vogue famously by Brando and "On the Waterfront", that was showing the audience, not telling, the emotional fabric of a character. Watch O'Toole's eyes on his close-ups. He communicates more depth and presence than any dialog could provide. He draws the audience in, includes them in his triumphs and despairs, all the while impressing the hope and ambition of Lawrence.

Steering the ship is David Lean. He makes nearly every minute of the movie matter. An important part of the story is the environment of LofA, the desert. It's such an integral part that Lean treats the desert as a character. Lean takes the audience to another world to show how the desert is a huge factor to the method of madness Lawrence finds there; why a man is killed simply for drinking from a water well, why Lawrence is the Giver of Life, why crossing the desert for gold is honorable, why it is important that Arabia be ruled by Arabians, not the British or Turks. There's a scene where Lawrence is crossing the Devil's Anvil. In that sequence Lean includes a shot of a dust devil (the tornado-looking thing) spinning fiercely on the baked ground. If this movie were made today, a CGI-artist would make this. Of course CGI didn't exist in '62, but nonetheless Lean patiently set up in the desert to capture this phenomenon and include it. It's a small color, but important the vast and vibrant world he communicates.

If this movie were made today, it would be filled with snappy dialog and probably focus on big action sequences. Lean makes every minute of the movie matter because everything that happens serves the characters. The movie lasts nearly four hours, not because that was the style of movies in that era, but because it takes that long to diligently explore the characters of Lawrence, Feisal, Sheriff Ali, and abu Tayi. Lean's direction and crafting was revolutionary. The movie stills holds currency in our modern culture because the movie's direction, acting, and characterizations ARE timeless and of no particular era.

There are a thousand variables that make a great movie, but if you're looking for the important qualities to latch on to, it's how this movie is timeless. This movie was a radical departure from the hammy "epics" of the time and set a nearly unreachable standard for every movie that follows. It was great in 1962, great today, and will be great in 50 years.
Still a film of substantial impact
The film's cumulative impact is substantial. Sometimes it still feels extremely modern - like the famous cut from the match to the red sky, or in the detailed study of Lawrence's psychological disintegration, or just in the vivid depiction of the moments of darkness and brooding at the heart of his grand achievement. Then at other times it tends to descend into men talking in rooms or to the over-mannered portrayals of the likes of Guinness, although the theme of the young impetuous leader contrasted with the weighty cynical calculations of the true ruling class is powerful. O'Toole provides a subtle, bravura picture of Lawrence as a man tormented by his own desire for achievement and grandstanding, yet barely able to bear his weaknesses and fears and also increasingly haunted by very real and dark demons. The movie is of course a visual splendor and a great feat of coordination and assembly - every scene is constructed like a paining or a great tableau, sometimes other-worldly ghostly or strange, sometimes sheerly magnificent, always attuned to the grand contrast between the messy culture of the Arabs and the clipped, calculating British - a line that Lean himself walked quite eloquently and fluidly in this film. It sometimes strikes me as lying too much on the side of hero-worship, but no matter.
Follow That Camel!!!

With it's lavish golden landscapes and oozing charismal separations from the character leads, Lawrence of Arabia proves itself as one of the most egotistical, shallow, drawn out endurance tests of modern time. Even a fine ensemble cast featuring the cloaked Peter O' Toole as the Arabian Lawrence, Alec Guinness as the General Eiftgh and the white haired black tashed Sharrif flexing out David Lean's celluloid arms with wanken old English charisma that couldn't sweet talk a lemming into an incredible sinking sand dune. But on average it's not awful, it's just rubbish. Lean assumes we can handle the natural beauty of the desert in place of a good story with well plotted twists that could at the same time keep us mesmerised and not hypnotised by sweet bangla music and what not. But there is always a fine array of camels on show, that prove to us that life is not simply about understanding colour and shape, it is also about nurturing the stupid and the ugly. Rent Rocky instead.
They don't make them like they used to
Best movie ever? Maybe. There can't ever be a movie that is considered the best. Options change and movies change, but this is a close one. Why don't they make movies like this anymore? This movie is life changing. It's an experience needed to be watched by everyone. I mean, now this is an epic. No CGI. Everything is real and brilliant. A beautiful movie to watch. One of the rare gems of the world,
Excellent Movie
The movie does not make clear that before Lawrence was in Cairo with the British Army, he had spent at least some months in the Middle East traveling for a college thesis on castles.

So, he didn't just head into the desert bringing only what he had from England or the Army.

The movie is: A 19th Century romantic hits the real world, tries to make a mark, and, with lots of struggles, does. He achieves less than he intends but still achieves a lot.

Also, he is an everyman at the bottom of a big powerful rigid bureaucracy and very poorly regarded. So, he needs to make a radical end run of some kind and does.

And, he provides some good examples of leadership techniques.

The dialog has some marvelous examples of persuasion.
Amazing film to see on the theater screen.
I had been meaning to watch this film for quite sometime but the length kept me from moving it to the top of my Netflix queue. However, I kept hearing wonderful things about it so I really was looking forward to getting a chance to see it. When the AFI Silver Theatre near me decided to show a 70mm print of it, I decided I could not put it off anymore. From all the things I had heard about this film I knew I would regret it if I passed up the chance to see it in the theater. So, even though the only time they were showing it was 7pm on Sunday nights and the theater was over an hour away, I decided that I would see it. It was well worth the lack of sleep I got that Sunday night and the grogginess I was feeling all day at work Monday.

Clocking in at just under 4 hours the movie is still paced extremely well and never seems to slow down or drag. The story is always intriguing and the characters always interesting. Peter O'Toole does a marvelous job as T.E. Lawrence, he makes this over-the-top character seems 100 percent real like few other actors could do. The supporting cast is just as wonderful; Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness, and Anthony Quinn all do a wonderful job portraying their characters. And even though this movie is about T.E. Lawrence, the supporting characters are just as important to the story and had the supporting cast not been just as wonderful as Peter O'Toole the movie would not have held me for 4 hours. However with wonderful acting all around the movie is a pleasure to watch, even once your backside starts to go numb.

The direction and cinematography of the film are some of the best I have ever seen. The desert landscapes look amazing. The battles scenes are brilliantly shot and editing together. However, the smaller, more intimate scenes are just as memorable as the larger than life battle scenes. Perhaps that is due in part to the larger than life character of T.E. Lawrence though. In fact the most memorable scene for me was the scene where Lawrence admits that what most disturbed him about killing wasn't the act itself but that he enjoyed it. Intimate scenes like this along with the huge battles scenes such as when the Arabs take Aqaba give the film its wonderful pacing that keeps the moving going.

Probably one of the most memorable shots in the film is when the character of Sheriff Ali is introduce, riding his horse through a mirage in the desert. Capturing this mirage on film could not have been an easy task and it makes for such a wonderful and beautiful effect that would probably be achieved digitally these days. This one scene those is just an example of how wonderful this film looks from beginning to end. This is one of those movies that you could take almost any frame and it would be a wonderful photograph that you could hang on your wall.

The musical score of this film is also simply amazing. Now, I don't really know a lot about music and I don't always take notice of the musical score for a film but you can't help but take notice of the score for this film. It always fits perfectly with the film and the overture at the beginning really puts you in the perfect frame of mind for the film.

Overall this is just a very enjoyable film and definitely was a pleasure to see at a movie theater as it was meant to be seen. This movie also, most definitely gets my "Seven Samurai Award for Excellence in Pacing in a Film Exceeding Two and a Half Hours." Usually I am of the belief that if a film clocks in at over two and a half hours it probably could have benefited from a better editor. This is one of the few films I have seen that breaks that rule, and it is always a joy when a film is able to do that.
How can I fight a bloody war without artillery?
Reading "The seven pillars of wisdom" does enhance the film experience indeed. Several times you have to hear "No, I didn't know him well, you know." at his - T.E.Lawrence' - funeral and it will ring some more bells inside you, if you've read his biography. One might accuse the film here, that it missed the opportunity to show what his extraordinarity consisted of other than his control of pain and fear. But at the time, 1962, it wouldn't have made too much sense to include those things. Today though... the man is so severely against the modern grain that it would have been a delightful thing to have him privately portrayed. He is an anti-future, so to speak, a glimpse on a branch that history just didn't pursue any further.

So much for Lawrence, now to the film itself. "Lawrence of Arabia" seems to be a monumental film, but all the wide shots do nothing to disturb its personal tone, probably because there is nothing that they capture, just the emptiness of space. Anyway, as such, as the exhibition of emptiness, they don't really work, that's better left to the imagination of the reader or the eyes of the tourist. The important thing though is that they do not disturb the personal tone, which is the quality of the whole film.

That statement might surprise after my prelude, but personal isn't the same as private. In this film we see only ordinary stuff, people getting shot at, arguing, riding horses or camels and laying bombs. Yet artificial as it - as any film - is, it radiates warmth. The characters are convincing. Their dialogue is essential and sometimes, where you'd least expect it, namely in Auda, it is even philosophical, touching Lawrence' religious considerations "It is my pleasure that you dine with me in Wadi Rum!" This exposure of hedonistic thought illuminates a wider principle. What it means to be truly free. So free that you can even choose what you want to believe in, what you want to make the religion of your tribe. And what it means to be truly tolerant.

Now, having stated all that, I still haven't even remotely begun to tell anything about the film's plot, about "big things" in Arabia. How "big" these things were in Lawrence' head, you won't be able to tell by watching the film, the term "New Asia" doesn't occur once, a shame, considering the influence of more recent ideas on the same subject. Still, a "big thing" remains essentially a "big thing", no matter how far you drive your fantasy. And standing against "big things" there'll always be the common things. Verily, both sides do their best to drive each other mad.

And then, there's something more, something elusive that is never clearly mentioned in the film... o.k., enough of that parody. I missed the quote "Preaching is victory. Fighting is illusionary." I did miss that, because it captures the soul of this whole thing and gives the answer.
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