on 22 July 2015
yes i know what your thinking , i already own this film on DVD etc but should i buy it again on Blu-ray ?, yes you should. Its a film i love and know a bit too well ,but even i was blown away by how good this looks , its hard not to use the word sumptuous ,ok i just did, but the sound the colour the sharpness is stunning !
Things ive noticed from one viewing ,1. there are two flys on the light in the 'map room' scene .
2. Peter oToole has a large plaster on his finger in the 'train derailment' scene
3. the scene after Lawrence has been shot in the arm and sat on the Rolls Royce , you can see a tiny spot
blood on the wheel arch were he was sat, nice detail.
4. i know this sounds weird but you can see the dust and snow , its that clear , and of course the desert
looks amazing ,
5,. even the interiors look great , the moziac tiles on the walls of the HQ etc and did you know theres a
huge B/W painting/photograph in the officers mess opposite the bar i know i didn't.
theres lots more but ill let you find them , This film was made to be watched on a big screen and Blu-ray ,if you cant see it projected at a cinema, this is as good as good gets ,buy it and thank me later.
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. Quayle's sterling performance complements and completes this phenomenal ensemble cast.
Having seen the film several times since 1963, and realizing that my young adult self did not understand the full implications of the story, which I have since come to appreciate, I can well imagine that it was David Lean's sweeping panoramas, Maurice Jarre's haunting musical score which evokes the emptiness of the desert, and the spectacle of the snorting camels, the prancing Arabian horses, and the snappy British military bands that imprinted "Lawrence of Arabia" indelibly into the childhood memories of my son, who was seven years old at the time. Certainly, a tribute to the magic of David Lean's filmmaking.
on 12 December 2015
The film is spectacular and doesn't need another glowing review from me.
What I do want to point out is that when you "buy" the film on a Fire TV you don't actually download a copy and own it as one would expect, you just have the right to stream it as often as you like. This would be fine if the movie actually streamed in UHD, but despite having a 38Mbps broadband service (which actually runs at nearly the stated speed) and a suitable TV, the film only streams in HD quality (720p) not even 1080p. I thought that the point of having an SD card in the back of the Fire TV was to be able to keep movies and games, but it seems I'm wrong. Buy the Blu-Ray for less than a third of the price, actually own what you've bought and get better picture quality! £18.99 wasted!Lawrence of Arabia (Blu-ray + UV Copy)  [Region Free]
on 24 December 2002
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. No computer graphics here, so when you see the hundreds of arabs charging into Aqaba with sabres raised, those ARE real actors all charging hell for leather into a town (constructed entirely by Lean's team, another fantastic acheivment). This size of staging has to be admired and works beautifully in the film.
Perhaps the fascinating thing about Lean's film is that it does paint a balanced picture of Lawrence. Despite the conflicting testimony of his life and actions by many biographers and Lawrence himself, Lean rightly decided to air those darker sides of Lawrence's war time life along side his projected golden media image. This is summed up beautifully at the start of the film when a British hack asks an American journalist (who had met Lawrence during the Arabian campaign) for a few words after the remberence service for Lawrence at St Pauls. The American journalist gives only complimentary rhetoric (on the record) and then when the hack moves off delivers a cutting slur against Lawrence's character. Perhaps this is why the film works so well, it does not paint Lawrence as a "superman" who is above all vices and cleaner than clean, something American cinema did so well and continues too. Lean presents Lawrence as a great man, nevertheless a man with demons who had a darker side, it shows how he was used to achieve those ends decided by his superiors as much as he used others to get what he wanted.
Peter O'Toole is a genius in the role, the cast as a whole all perform so well that you forget that they are actors and they become the characters they potray, this is surely what every actor and director hope to achieve but rarely do they. Lean and Co have created more than a film, its a ripping yarn, a master class in acting, directing, production, editing and casting. This reviewer recommends Lawrence Of Arabia with no reserevations.
Beautiful direction(David Lean)and panoramic veiws in "super panavision 70" coupled with a gripping real story which is truelly an amazing piece of history. A compliment of superb actors such as Alec Guiness, Peter O'tool (Lawrence), Anthony Quayle and Omar Sherif thrown in and you have yourself a garenteed classic.
If you havent seen this film or perhaps only saw glimses of it on a Boxing Day afternoon as a kid whilst playing with your presents and expect it to be a bit boring you will be in for a treat and a suprise. Never has a desert looked so inviting im sure.One for the collection as DVD quality picture and stereo sounds on modern equiptment bring this film to life. It must have been a great film for the huge theatre screens.
Extras like the 'making of..' and theatrical trailers are all in there although I dint find them interesting enough to be honest and only took a few glances but its better to have stuff you wont watch than nothing at all right? :D
Im glad I took the chance and ordered this film, I think you would be too, buy it for the rack!
on 21 December 2006
In some films the landscape is one of the stars. This is the landscape film par excellence. You see, feel, taste and smell the desert as a result of David Lean's stunning desert photography. And that isn't all. This film is an 'embarrassment of riches'. It has an amazingly complex but confident and charismatic central performance from Peter O'Toole as Lawrence and superb supporting performances from Omar Sharif, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guinness, Claude Rains, Anthony Quayle - to name only some of them. That great Shakespearian actor of the 1940s, Sir Donald Wolfit, has a rare big film cameo appearance as irascible General Murray. Its one of his few performances preserved on film. No account of the riches of this film would be complete without saluting the marvellous symphonic score by Maurice Jarre and the wonderfully literate, thought provoking script by Robert Bolt. 'Lawrence of Arabia' is truly one of the handful of enduringly great films and this DVD allows you to enjoy time and again not only the diamond sharp desert photography of the movie itself but also the nostalgia of a well made 'Making of' documentary.
on 30 May 2006
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.
on 20 March 2013
I recently watched |the latest David Attenborough series 'Africa'. At the end there are, what will obviously become the DVD 'extras' - the behind the scenes 'how we made it' stuff. So we see,how, in the 21st century, with lightweight HD digital cameras, the film crews struggle for days on end in jungles or deserts, to capture fleeting moments of nature at its best.
Lawrence of Arabia was made over 50 years ago. 'Digital' back then related to your fingers. Never mind High-Def, television was in black and white!
The point I'm making is I watched in awe of the quality and pristine cinematography captured during the location shooting of this movie. Given the technology and resources of the time, this is an astounding achievement when compared to the bitching and moaning of 21st century camera crews who film in desert locations today.
From the first throb through the surround sound of Lawrence's motorbike engine, you know this film has been lovingly and carefully restored. To be honest I haven't finished it yet. It's a long film and 45 - minute 'episodes' are keeping it manageable!
For eight pounds, purely as a masterclass in how to rejuvenate a 50 year old classic, this is a must- have Blu ray bargain.
on 13 June 2001
I can never understand why people buyy certain titles on DVD when video is adequate. Exercise videos spring to mind! But the masterpiece that is Lawrence of Arabia is one of those films that really benefits from digital technology. Painstakingly restored, the stunning scenery, sensitive soundtrack and sheer self-indulgence of the director overwhelm the viewer into thinking that 4 hours is not long enough! It takes over 2 minutes for Omar Sharif to ride up on his camel, during which time only two or three words are spoken and the camera hardly moves. If this kind of film were made today it would be slashed into a 90 minute action movie. Buy it. It will never be matched.
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.