Anthony's Film Review
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
The epic story of one man's extraordinary leadership in the sands of Arabia...
Lawrence of Arabia is a classic and a masterpiece. There are many reasons to love this movie, including a good cast, a great musical score, beautiful cinematography, and a memorable story. It's no wonder that the film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Whenever I hear about a movie that could do so much and get widespread acclaim and recognition, I put it in my list of movies to see. One day, I remembered that a dear friend of mine really loves the movie Lawrence of Arabia. That's when I knew I had to see it.
So the film is about T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole), a British army officer. The first scene of the film actually shows his death from a motorcycle accident, which then leads into the main story being told as a flashback. We see Lawrence at a British army station in Cairo, Egypt, during World War I. He is sent on a mission in the Arabian desert to help the Arabs in their fight against the Turks. The initial part of Lawrence's journey involves incidents such as a meeting with Sherif Ali (Omar Sharif) and an attack on an Arab encampment.
Lawrence then finds himself with the major task of rounding up allies. As a start, he does have members of Sherif Ali's tribe behind him. Lawrence also meets Auda abu Tayi (Anthony Quinn), the leader of a mercenary tribe who reluctantly joins Lawrence in the fight. From there, they embark on a dangerous journey across a vast desert to the city of Aqaba. There, they strike the enemy in a stunning visual spectacle. The rest of the story is even more fantastic, but I shall stop here to let you discover it yourself.
The plot is not the only element that holds interest. The character of Lawrence is equally important. He is a multidimensional individual who shifts from one phase to another. In the beginning, he appears to be a clumsy soldier, yet he proves to be an extraordinary leader whom his allies look up to. Lawrence also shows a great deal of humanity, best exemplified by a moment when Lawrence turns back into a harsh desert just to find one lost man. However, Lawrence faces the grim reality of death and reaches a final turning point that turns him into a shattered soul.
The movie tells its epic story in a running time of three and a half hours. It may be long, but it is definitely worth taking in. In addition, the cinematography is just outstanding. There are many gorgeous shots of sand dunes, sunrises, sunsets, and rocky cliffs producing clear echoes. Best of all is the music, especially the sweeping overture heard many times throughout the film. Overall, Lawrence of Arabia is a memorable film that rolls several stories into one: a war story, a historical drama, a human drama, and, most importantly, the life of a true hero.
For more information about Lawrence of Arabia, visit the Internet Movie Database.