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Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A benchmark in a Super Panavision Blu-ray transfer, 7 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Lawrence of Arabia (Blu-ray + UV Copy) [1962] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
In the past Sony Pictures have been fairly remiss in the quality of their std DVD transfers, but have totally redeemed themselves with this release. The 4k scan of the Super Panavision 70 negs is simply stupendous - obviously greatly enhanced by the quality of the light in the desert shots.

I don’t much care for the film itself - the choice of Peter O’Toole as the main character has got to be a milestone in miscasting - almost incomprehensible for anyone familiar with the life of the real T E Lawrence and/or his books Seven Pillars of Wisdom and Revolt in the Desert. The Bolt/ Wilson script does nothing to correct this mis-dramatization.

But the superb technical quality of this film - stunning photography by Freddie Young - more than makes up for trivialization of the subject.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Dec 2014 06:43:32 GMT
Diotima says:
Peter O'Toole was about a foot taller than the real T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935). But then, someone of the statue of "little Lawrence" wouldn't have made much of a film hero.

For dramatic convenience, some of the film's characters are composites. Alec Guinness's character is drawn from both Hussein bin Ali, the Sherif of Mecca, and his son Prince Feisal (1885-1933) for whose portrayal he was far too old (at 48) since Feisal was just a couple of years older than Lawrence (only 30 at the end of the war). The Arab Bureau's Mr Dryden - played by Claude Rains - is a conflation of many real persons.

The fictional journalist Jackson Bentley - played by George Kennedy - is based loosely on Lowell Thomas (who met Lawrence for the first time in a Jerusalem hotel and was never present during any of his military escapades).

There was a real Auda Abu Tayi (Anthony Quinn) but not a Sherif Ali (Omar Sharif).

General Allenby's Cairo headquarters were actually located in a belle époque hotel quite unlike the 1930s Moorish fantasy depicted in the film.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Dec 2014 20:52:16 GMT
Frank D says:
Thank you for the interesting expansion on details. Yes, I accept that film-making will always be compromised by resources and force of circumstance, but the purpose of film is to create a 'healthy' and believable variance of reality.....

With no disrespect to Peter O'Toole, in this important aspect of a leading-role, it seems to me that David Lean and the producers have by their choice of actor, created an unconvincing 'non-hero'.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Dec 2014 22:37:50 GMT
Diotima says:
"The Complete 1922 Seven Pillars of Wisdom The `Oxford' Text" is now available from Castle Hill Press in a two-volume paperback edition with the ISBNumber 978-09546411818. Volume I - 458 pages. Volume II - 466 pages.

This book is available direct from Castle Hill Press for £28.50 plus shipping (£4.00 UK | £10.50 beyond the UK).

Castle Hill Press advises:

"Buyer beware!

On Amazon, Abebooks and elsewhere you will find other editions claiming to contain the 1922 text of Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Before ordering one of these you should read the comments by disappointed Amazon.com customers.

We too have received numerous complaints - but the people who issued these editions did not consult us. We are not responsible for what their editions do - or do not - contain."

For confirmation see:

www DOT castlehillpress DOT com/publications/2014_seven_pillars_1922_paperback DOT shtml
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