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Lawrence of Arabia (Restored Version) [Blu-ray] [1989] [Region Free]

Jose Ferrer , Anthony Quinn , David Lean    Suitable for 12 years and over   Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (334 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Jose Ferrer, Anthony Quinn, Omar Sharif, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guinness
  • Directors: David Lean
  • Producers: David Lean, Sam Spiegel
  • Format: Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Hindi, Spanish, English
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.20:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Sep 2012
  • Run Time: 227 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (334 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008AT7LG4

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

In 1962 Lawrence of Arabia scooped another seven Oscars for David Lean and crew after his previous epic, The Bridge on the River Kwai, had performed exactly the same feat a few years earlier. Supported in this Great War desert adventure by a superb cast including Alex Guinness, Jack Hawkins and Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole gives a complex, star-making performance as the enigmatic TE Lawrence. The magnificent action and vast desert panoramas were captured in luminous 70mm by Cinematographer Freddie Young, here beginning a partnership with Lean that continued through Dr Zhivago (1965) and Ryan's Daughter (1970). Yet what made the film truly outstanding was Robert (A Man For All Seasons) Bolt's literate screenplay, marking the beginning of yet another ongoing collaboration with Lean. The final partnership established was between director and French composer Maurice Jarre, who won one of the Oscars and scored all Lean's remaining films, up to and including A Passage to India in 1984. Fully restored in 1989, this complete version of Lean's masterpiece remains one of cinema's all-time classic visions. --Gary S Dalkin

On the DVD: This vast movie is spread leisurely across two discs, with Maurice Jarre's overture standing in as intermission music for the first track of disc two. But the clarity of the anamorphic widescreen picture and Dolby 5.1 soundtrack justify the decision not to cram the whole thing onto one side of a disc. The movie has never looked nor sounded better than here: the desert landscapes are incredibly detailed, with the tiny nomadic figures in the far distance clearly visible on the small screen; the remastered soundtrack, too, is a joy. Thanks are due to Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg who supervised (and financed) the restoration of the picture in 1989; on disc two Spielberg chats about why David Lean is his favourite director, and why Lawrence had such a profound influence on him both as a child and as a filmmaker (he regularly re-watches the movie before starting any new project). Other features include an excellent and exhaustive "making-of" documentary with contributions from surviving cast and crew (an avuncular Omar Sharif is particularly entertaining as he reminisces about meeting the hawk-like Lean for the first time), some contemporary featurettes designed to promote the movie and a DVD-ROM facility. The extra features are good--especially the documentary--but the breathtaking quality of both anamorphic picture and digital sound are what make this DVD package a triumph. --Mark Walker

Synopsis

Winner of seven Academy Awards(r), including Best Picture (1962), this is the restored director's cut of the breathtaking masterpiece.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Child's Memories of "Lawrence" 14 April 2009
By F. S. L'hoir TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
I went to my son's house for Easter and instead of sitting down to watch the latest action flick (His great joke is treating me to films that I would never watch on my own.), I discovered to my great pleasure that the evening's entertainment was "Lawrence of Arabia." As my son set up the DVD, he said, "Don't you remember? You took us to see it when we were kids." I had forgotten.

When I got home, I pulled out my own two-disc set of the Limited Edition, noting the incredibly clear transfer that looks like HD when I played it on my computer. I then watched the extras. Whereas so many "the making of" documentaries nowadays are self-serving and otherwise forgettable, the Interview with David Lean, Omar Sherif, and the behind-the-scenes crew is truly enlightening, as are the comments of Steven Spielberg.

Enough cannot be said about the subtleties of Peter O'Toole's nuanced performance of the troubled protagonist (and I am still cross about Hollywood's failure to recognize him in any other way than a "Lifetime Achievement Award"--Hollywood's booby prize). In perusing the other reviews on this website, I have noted proper accolades for the performances of Omar Sharif, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, and Claude Raines (always brilliant), but I noticed a failure to appreciate the performance of Anthony Quayle, whose portrayal of the adjutant moves from stiff-upper-lipped-Empire-right-or-wrong--at first resenting Lawrence whom he clearly considers an eccentric loose cannon--to anguished disgust at the political manipulations of Allenby (Hawkins), Dryden (Raines), and Faisal (Guinness), who shamelessly discard Lawrence as an embarrassment after they not only have used him but also have used him up to achieve their political ends.
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105 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why don't they make them like this anymore! 24 Dec 2002
Format:VHS Tape
From the success of Bridge over the river Kwai, David Lean settled on the story of Colonel T.E Lawrence or Ned to his family and friends, with which to once again captivate and entrance his cinematic public. Perhaps Mr Lean did not anticipate the size of the task that awaited him as if had it might have put him off.
It was a risk for Mr Lean and his backers, after all this was a story that was surrounded in mystery, controversy and conflicting testimony, with the enigmatic Lawrence at its centre. The times had moved on and audiences were demanding big names and new cinema, David Lean had the big names(Alec Guiness, Jack Hawkins & Anthony Quinn) but the two central characters (Lawrence and Ali) were played by two relatively unkown actors, Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif, a big gamble for any director with such a fantastic story to tell.

For the British in the first half of the century, the story of T.E Lawrence was a romanticised narrative, far departed from the hellish western front. He became much more than an intelligence officer in the British Army, he himself knew the power of propoganda and so did his political and military masters, not to mention the editors of papers back in England and the USA, for which Lawrence was a much needed "breath of fresh air" for the depreseive trench warfare reading of the first world war.
David Lean's film while not strictly historicaly accurate (depending upon which version of Lawrence's life you believe) is a master piece of cinema. The cinematography is ground breaking and the scale of production magnificent. This means that it feels "real" for the audience.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant epic on Superbit 30 May 2006
Format:DVD
I realise the complaint the other reviewer has about the changeover being 10 minutes before the intermission. But once you get used to it, the sheer quality more than makes up for it.

Superbit DVDs are like a bridge between normal DVD and the next generation HD technology, in that the disk space is put over to superior picture and sound quality. Lawrence of Arabia was remastered and a high definition scan was taken from the original print. It's then the case of how much info the DVD can store which dictates how good the picture is going to be. So as there's no extras to be concerned with, that space is taken up with better resolution and DTS sound.

If, like me, you can watch the film on a large screen, it really is amazing. And with the DTS making the surround sound speakers work much better than Dolby, you really feel like you're in the desert with Lawrence. It's probably the greatest epic ever made, in that it's vision and it's ambition feels unattainable, yet here it is, Lawrence of Arabia, in all it's glory.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent! 4 Jun 2004
By Doktor Futtocks VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
This is presented in the way that the original cinema-goers would have seen it. The music starts with a blank screen, like an overture before the curtain goes up (must fit some red velvet and gold braid to my TV!) and the original intermission marks the end of disc 1.
O'Toole and Sharif are devastatingly handsome, but even they struggle against the scene-stealing desert. If only IMAX existed when David Lean was making this masterpiece.
My only disappointment was the sound quality; the music especially sounded compressed and congested between the loudspeakers.
So that's 5 stars for the vision and 3 stars for the sound, averaging out at 4 overall.
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