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Buy Lawrence of Arabia 1962 Movie Online 1080p, 720p, BRrip and MOV
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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Majesty in the Desert
The moment David Lean makes you aware you are in the hands of a master comes early on in "Lawrence of Arabia." Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) holds a lit match close to his lips and with one quick puff of air blows it out. Before the action is even completed, however, Lean has cut to a shot of a desert vista, with the sun slowly rising over the lip of the horizon. It's one of the most famous elliptical edits in cinema history, second maybe only to the bone/spaceship cut in "2001: A Space Odyssey." And it's only the first of countless memorable moments in "Lawrence of Arabia." The appeal of David Lean epics has always been his ability as a director to maintain an equilibrium between the scope of his films and the characters in them. Character development is never sacrificed to massive set pieces or knock-your-socks-off action sequences. "Lawrence of Arabia" has these elements too, but at heart it's a character study of one remarkable man. Lean seemed to understand that impressive landscapes alone are not inherently interesting; but if you place a fascinating character among those impressive landscapes, you can have movie magic.

"Lawrence" feels unlike other historical epics of its time. In most "big" films--I'm thinking of movies like "Ben-Hur," "Spartacus," "Cleopatra," all movies that premiered roughly around the same time as "Lawrence"--one gets the sense that directors framed compositions based on how much they were able to fit into their widescreen lenses. One rarely sees characters filmed from anything closer than a medium shot, and usually the background is stuffed to overflowing with garish art direction. Everything feels static and wooden. But in "Lawrence," Lean keeps his frames constantly alive by juxtaposing huge landscape shots with extreme close-ups of actor faces. In one especially brutal scene, after a battle that results in the slaughter of many people, the action cuts to a close-up of O'Toole, looking panicked and crazed, gripping a bloody knife in his hand as if he's reluctant to drop it, obviously both disturbed and titillated by the carnage he just witnessed. It's moments like that---not just an impressive battle scene but a character's reactions to the results of that scene---that set "Lawrence" apart from other standard epics.

And of course, I have to reserve space in my review for the performance of Mr. O'Toole. He is perhaps my favorite actor, not one of the most prolific, but certainly one of the most unpredictable. He has a flair for choosing eccentric characters that give him almost unlimited room in which to perform. He carries "Lawrence of Arabia" almost singlehandedly on his slim shoulders. That's not to say the supporting cast isn't great, but O'Toole towers above them all. O'Toole understands that the most influential figures in history could also be the most difficult and ruthless when they needed to be, and he gives Lawrence an incredibly complex characterization, leaving his audience in doubt as to whether he should be worshiped or feared, or perhaps both.

Lean would never direct an equal to "Lawrence of Arabia" again. His later films are certainly more than watchable, and "A Passage to India" is even quite remarkable in its own way, but we would never get another "Lawrence." Even more reason to appreciate it now.

My Grade: A+
Memorable Visuals, Sound & Acting, Yet It Peters Out
I'm doing this review despite not having seen the movie in a number of years but what I remember best is some fantastic desert cinematography from the point when "Lawrence" (Peter O'Toole) arrives in the desert until about the last third of this 3-and-half-hour film. There are just numerous spectacular desert scenes and, of course, this was a must to be seen in widescreen. Fortunately, that has been available for many years, even on VHS. Between the direction of David Lean and the photography of Freddie Young, this is a fabulous visual treat, one to be treasured.

Unfortunately, the story as well as the great visuals, seem to dissipate in the last hour-plus of the movie. It just kind of peters out, like Lawrence's desert campaign.

The acting is superb with the possible exception of Anthony Quinn, who overacts. Two of the all-time greats - Alec Guiness and Omar Sharif - also added life to this monumental epic story. This was O'Toole's first role, too, and probably his most famous and some think his best. After this film and for a short period afterwords, O'Toole was looked upon as the premier actor in the business.

For a film this long and with such little action, it's amazing it entertains as well as it does. For those who need some pretty women to aid in the story, forget it: in fact, there are NO women that I can remember. It gets by with the cinematography, O'Toole intense acting portraying a real-life vain, courageous, stubborn and obsessed Englishman trying to unite the Arabs to fight the Turks.

Another very memorable and impressive aspect of this movie was the soundtrack. Is it my imagination or were soundtracks (like this one) more important and remembered better than movies in the last quarter of a decade? The main theme song is played throughout the film and I still remember it 44 years later.
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.
An Overrated Borefest
I've heard about Lawrence of Arabia for years, but not really knowing what it was about. One day, while I was on the internet, I came across information about the film. I've learned that it won best picture in 1962; I've learned about how it influenced filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg; and I learned about how it adapted the memoirs of T.E. Lawrence and made them into a feature length film. This interested me so much that I decided to head down to blockbuster and rent it. Now that I've watched it, what do I think of it? Well, to be honest, I thought it was just plain out boring. The problem I had with this movie is that not once I cared about Lawrence or his conflict. I did not see any depth in his character and I did not for once care for what he was fighting for. To me, this felt more like a boring history lecture than an actual film. There is a plot in this movie, but it doesn't really surface in an interesting way and the viewing of this film just becomes tedious.

I do admit that this film was very well made, but it's only icing covering a bland, tasteless cake. There are some good scenes in this film, but why couldn't the filmmakers make Lawrence or his conflict more interesting. At least in Seven Samurai, the conflict was simple enough and the characters were well developed to keep me interested, but Lawrence doesn't have that.

I can't recommend the film, but I know other film buffs will want to see it. If you want to see, by all means go ahead. I hope you enjoy it. I sure know I didn't.
Simultaneously personal and panoramic
Sweeping, epic and literate version of British adventurer and soldier T E Lawrence's experiences in Arabia during the First World War. Lawrence, miraculously well played by Peter O'Toole, "went native" when sent into the desert to find Alec Guinness's Prince Feisal. Before long he was striking out himself against the Turkish Ottoman Empire, which still held sway in the region at the beginning of the last century. Lawrence's efforts to unify the various Arab factions are particularly prescient.

Lawrence became an inspirational warlord whose neutral presence amongst the Arab tribes, lead by Omar Sharif and Anthony Quinn, amongst others, served to glue together shifting and uneasy alliances. As well as wrestling with himself, with his own demons, and with the cruel desert environment, the Englishman was also faced with culture clashes which pitted not only the imperialists against the indigenous populations, but also the mercenary practices of the Arab guerillas against the discipline of the British army. In the end, Lawrence himself does not know which side he is on, nor which party he belongs to. Set against a backdrop of the Arabian desert, the nomadic allies under Lawrence's direction, attack and disrupt the Turks' efforts to maintain control of the territory, whilst the elephant - the British army and its heavy guns under General Jack Hawkins - pushes ever deeper into the area: not until his job is done does Lawrence learn that the French and British governments have carved up the middle-east between them and that the battle-lines for the 21st century are already being drawn.

Scripted by the inimitable Robert Bolt and directed by David Lean, Lawrence of Arabia is one of those films without a weakness, despite drawing complaints for its near four hour length. The dialogue, cinematography, soundtrack and especially direction are superlative; likewise the supporting actors. But it is O'Toole at his charismatic best who steals the show in his starring debut; he never looked back. It may take an effort to watch this movie, but is well worth the ride and will, by the bye, provide some insight into the fractious and volatile world of Arab politics.

One of the best films ever made.
This crazy Limey nobody digs but you've got to admire his sand
"What's your favourite film, then ?" A dread unsettling question. But if harried by the Turks, say, I'd probably have to admit to this one - while agonisingly conscious of all the other favourite films being elbowed aside. And I write as one not overly enthused about Lean's other epic ventures. RIVER KWAI I find offensive for its wilful neglect of real p.o.w. horror in favour of smugly cooked-up ironies and hack-platitudes. ZHIVAGO is undermined by hollow leads chosen only for their beauty, RYAN'S DAUGHTER is insanely overblown soap-opera while A PASSAGE TO India collapses halfway through when the thread snaps and we're just watching the actors tread water. But LAWRENCE, for me, is the real deal, a bewitching tapestry so successful at what it sets out to achieve it's almost incredible. Gobsmacking to watch and a delight to listen to it makes you feel thrilled that movies were invented.

Sure, it plays games with history. "It's not the real Lawrence, of course," Lean admitted on the box. Quite so. The real Lawrence would require a mini-series or, at the end, a chamber-drama like Anglia's excellent TV film of the Nineties with Ralph Fiennes. The massive river of events, intrigues and personnel as recorded by Lawrence himself (though questioned in some quarters) has been simplified here, channelled into a tributary of pertinent moments and symbols, a loner's odyssey, with key support figures marginalised strategically along its banks. The true extent of Lawrence's role as an Imperialist agent did not begin to be disclosed, officially, until the end of the Sixties. To suit the film's left-wing leanings and better engage with the mass blockbuster audience he's depicted initially as politically naive, an amusingly bumptious misfit with a classical education packed off into the desert, via a wily politico, partly to get him out of the hair of his C.O. who has little faith in him or his mission to foster Arab unity against their Turkish overlords ("A sideshow of a sideshow !"). That celebrated cut from the blowing-out of a match to sunrise on the desert sweeps us literally into a new world (and still does). Lean's staging, Young's photography and Jarre's surging music combine to breathtaking effect. The winsome weirdo who enjoys preening himself and teasing his own flesh is tested against lethal tribal-rivalry but fires them with a bold vision - the taking of Akaba, a sea-port undefended on its landward side. During the long trek to this objective one of his men is lost in the desert. Lawrence goes out of his way to reclaim him, earning the respect of all and they clothe him in the robes of an Arab chieftain. (In real life this was a more pragmatic suggestion from the Brits). A further rite of leadership arises when he takes it upon himself to execute a man for murder, preventing an inter-tribal war. The man he kills is the man he saved (a deft juxtaposition of two separate incidents in real life involving different people). Lawrence is later to confess to his new C.O. that he enjoyed the experience.

Akaba is successfully taken (in a stunning panning-shot) and Lawrence begins to make a name for himself. He gets promoted and becomes a guerrilla-leader in assaults on the Turkish railway. But a turning-point comes when he's captured by the Turks on a reconnaissance, is flogged and (possibly) raped before being released. His bodily integrity shattered he's further disillusioned to discover (in the film) that the promise of independence he's been peddling to the Arabs is a stitch-up to conceal the colonial interests of Britain and France. The self-hurting he once indulged in now penetrates too deeply and the self-image become abhorrent. His request to stand down is refused, he's too important now, and in bitterness and despair takes part in a revenge-massacre of retreating Turkish troops. When Allied victory is secured he's sent home, leaving the politicians to sort things out. While this makes for a fine symbolical end to the drama it also constitutes the film's biggest distortion of history. Prince Feisal effects to dismiss him in the movie while in real life Feisal needed him more than ever in the battle for nation-rights at the Versailles Peace Conference. Feisal, the real fall-guy, was treated very badly by the Europeans and only Lawrence's active intervention as his spokesman won him concessions. It's good that we now have the Ralph Fiennes film which rectifies the record.

Robert Bolt's quirky brilliant dialogue, for Lean, tends to short-change some of the characters, reducing the stature of Allenby and Sheik Auda in a generally cynical view of motives which spurred their descendants to seek redress from the film-makers. At the same time it's all wonderfully entertaining and impeccably played by a sterling cast. Omar Sharif showed potential he never has since. And though Lawrence was never really an 'innocent' Peter O'Toole riding the whirlwind with his piercing charisma (and newly-sculpted nose) has an iconic power that will live in movie-history forever - like Sir David's film the likes of which cannot be replicated now that computers have taken over much of the adventure and the excitement. One last thought - the real T.E. archaeologist and map-maker was involved in re-drawing the map of the Middle East with all its volatile consequences through the 20th century and beyond. The final irony indeed.
The grand-daddy of all biopics
If we're in the mood to do film genealogies, and I am, then Lawrence of Arabia is probably the inventor of the modern biopic, the perennial awards-bait genre. (You could maybe posit Citizen Kane as the originator, but that's really a different kettle of fish.) It examines a fairly recent historical figure at the prime of their life, dedicating numerous scenes and most of the dialogue to hammering home that the central character is a Very Special Person Unlike His Short-Sighted Bosses, and in this way the film spends a good amount of time justifying itself. This genre obviously has strengths and flaws, and they're apparent in Lawrence: the striking personal power as well as the kind of historical oversimplification and tourism that goes along with it.

Lawrence of Arabia's main claims to being a great film are David Lean's gorgeous cinematography, stopping the action at several points simply to capture the desert in all its cold grandeur, and the film's final hour, in which Peter O'Toole turns his larger-than-life hero into a desperate, wild-eyed man who can no longer control the violence he's created. The biggest points against it are its indulgent four-hour running time and its unavoidable racism (having two of its major Arab characters played by white actors in brownface is really one of the lesser offences.) With this in mind, it's hard to say whether a contemporary viewer will really enjoy this film. I found it fitfully interesting but ultimately had trouble engaging with it, and felt kind of exhausted by the film. On the other hand, I've been told that it needs to be seen on a big screen for true appreciation, and not my modest laptop monitor, so I don't want to say anything definitive. Whether or not it "holds up", Lawrence of Arabia is a pioneering movie that manages, despite everything, to capture a kind of beauty, and that makes it worth slogging through for anyone genuinely interested in film.
Visual Grandeur
Everything about this film is bold, clean, striking, vivid -- most apparent in the magnificent visuals. The landscape might as well have been Mars. Desert scenes convey a wonderful sense of sterile beauty, pristine and natural: blowing sands, the sun, the sky, and not much else, uncluttered by modern techno-jumble that renders cities ugly by comparison. The presence of a few humans on camels magnifies the grandeur of this spiritual place.

So spectacular are the desert scenes, they almost swallow up the story, about an eccentric, quirky Englishman named T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole), on a mission to help Arab tribes come together against the Turks in the early part of the twentieth century. Although not entirely factual, the film at least offers viewers a sense of real-life historical figures including not only Lawrence but also Prince Feisal (Alec Guinness), among others. All of the major characters are interesting in their own ways. All convey a sense of intelligence and enlightened vision, even as their cultural or socioeconomic backgrounds clash.

The script's dialogue is rendered potent due to its sparseness. Visuals carry the story effectively; minimal dialogue needed. And when it is present, it's sharp, crisp, striking. At one point a character asks Lawrence: "What is it ... that attracts you personally to the desert?" To which Lawrence responds in two words: "It's clean." Yes indeed. And so is the film's plot: simple, straightforward, bold, uncluttered.

Costumes and prod design are detailed. The score is pleasantly haunting, though it does get repeated a bit too often. Casting and acting are acceptable. I especially liked the camels; they are fun to observe. Color cinematography is brilliant, especially outdoors. The use of day-for-night camera filters is obvious in some scenes, giving the production an antiquated look, at times.

My major complaint is the runtime. I could have wished for a shorter film by about one hour. Some scenes are not really necessary; other scenes could have been shortened, all without losing character development or status as epic. It's a serious problem for this film, in that the resulting impression is one of pretension. I have no doubt that Lawrence and his Arab adventures are film worthy. But his story is hardly so earth-shaking as to merit nearly four hours, complete with "Intermission."

"Lawrence Of Arabia" was much better than I had expected, owing mostly to the visual grandeur. It's a very well put-together film, runtime notwithstanding. The film gives us historical and cultural perspective, and does so in a way that makes the desert landscape as much a character as the film's protagonist.
I first saw this movie on a scratchy VHS almost twenty years ago (I was 10). Liked it (sort of-enjoyed the battle scenes and the train blowing up), but didn't understand why my dad was so crazy about it.

The next time was on laserdisc (remember those?) almost 10 years ago and I was hooked. I finally got it - the conflict, the performances, the music, the dialogue - all mesmerising.

But it was only in 2002, when I saw the 40th-anniversary reissue on 70mm that I was completely blown away seeing the scale, the enormity of Lean's accomplishment. There were scenes that gave me goosepimples (the opening credits, the cut from the matchstick to the desert sunrise, "nothing is written" - others too numerous to mention).

The point of this rather rambling review is this - a movie that can evoke such passion in its admirers stands by itself, beyond reviews or criticism. If you haven't seen it yet I envy you, because you get to experience it for the first time.
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