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Lawrence of Arabia (Blu-ray + UV Copy)  [Region Free]
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Winner of seven Academy Awards®, including Best Picture of 1962, Lawrence of Arabia stands as one of the most timeless and essential motion picture masterpieces. The greatest achievement of its legendary, Oscar-winning director David Lean (1962, Lawrence of Arabia; 1957, The Bridge on the River Kwai), the film stars Peter O’Toole – in his career-making performance – as T.E. Lawrence, the audacious World War I British army officer who heroically united rival Arab desert tribes and led them to war against the mighty Turkish Empire.
Newly restored and remastered at 4K resolution, the massive scope and epic action of the Director’s Cut of Lawrence of Arabia can now be experienced like never before in this landmark 50th Anniversary Edition.
- Feature Film, including overture, intermission, entr’acte and exit music
- Newly re-mastered 5.1 English audio
- Secrets of Arabia: A Picture-in-Graphic Track
- “The Making of Lawrence of Arabia” documentary
- “A Conversation with Steven Spielberg”
- “The Camels Are Cast”
- “In Search of Lawrence”
- “Romance of Arabia”
- Newsreel Footage of the New York Premiere
- Advertising Campaigns
Even if you subscribe to the view that the words 'classic' and 'masterpiece' are banded around with too much regularity, surely it's hard to quibble with them being applied to David Lean's exquisite Lawrence Of Arabia. A genuine epic, the multi-award winning film sees Peter O'Toole in the title role of Lawrence, whose journey we follow, inevitably enough, through Arabia. It's a complex, emotionally-demanding journey, though, something that Lean's wonderful film captures with consummate skill.
Inevitably, any viewing of the film on a smaller screen diminishes it a little, but the remastered Blu-ray release does its utmost to compensate. This has clearly been a labour of love, and the film looks as good as you can ever imagine it could on a smaller screen. The level of detail is astonishing. Also, one further beneficiary of the high definition transfer is Maurice Jarre's exquisite score.
The Blu-ray set is packed with supplements, too. There's an involving making-of documentary, that has several stories to tell. You'll also find a new interview with Peter O'Toole, alongside diverting archive promotional material, and a collection of added featurettes.
It's a rich, quality release that's given a genuinely superb film the kind of release it warrants. Whether a long-time fan or new convert, Lawrence Of Arabia remains very special indeed. --Jon Foster
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Audio options are the original English track and a Spanish dub, while the subtitles are in English, Hindi and Spanish. Unsurprisingly for a movie with a running time of nearly four hours, the majority of the bonus features are bundled on a second blu ray disc. A must for lovers of the movie, these include an hour-long 'making of' documentary, featuring archive interviews with some of the key players involved in the film, including David Lean himself, a wonderful 20-minute featurette from 2009 with Peter O'Toole reminiscing over the film's production, and a short segment with Steven Spielberg, who declares Lawrence of Arabia to be his favourite film of all time. Can't argue with that. Essential.
Compared to modern movies the lack of CGI is a real breath of fresh air; real people in real locations filmed by a director and movie making team at the top of their game.
Pacing in a 4 hour movie is always going to be a problem, however in something this visually impressive you won't want it to end.
Oh .... some folk can get political and silly about it, but thats noise for the dry academics, and the drama queens. This film is for posterity, and a record of amazing - if at times barbarous - moments in history. For all the latter, it was still a remarkable achievement by the Arab irregulars, and its this film, that ensures that does not get forgotten by the revisionists as time marches on.
The film-craft and photography are quite remarkable, even more so after the remastering to match with current 4K technologies. It is a true, if somewhat hackneyed phrase ...... " They don't make 'em like they used to" ...... If you are one of the newer generations who have not yet bought, or even heard of, this masterpiece of historical film-craft .... do so without hesitation. Just make sure you store away some copies - particularly burnt onto CDs - so you have them in your old age.
Its highly likely this masterpiece will still be top of the ratings even then. A remarkable film.
I needn't have worried on either account. While I'll recommend that you save it for a Sunday or a Bank Holiday simply due to the size of the film, which comes with it's own Intermission break, this is no dry, fusty hero-worship piece.
The Blu-Ray transfer is spectacular, and although you can tell it's an older film, it's very clear and amazingly good looking. The scenery photography on its own led to several jaw-drop moments of genuine, rare awe. But between that scenery there's a story.
Lawrence isn't held up as a flawless hero but a playful, flawed egotist - one with great military guts and a mountain of determination and self belief - which bordered on the self-eulogising and nearly a messiah complex.
The British are surprisingly portrayed the way that the CIA tend to be portrayed in modern movies; shifty types with a moral superiority complex who think the end justifies the means and aren't afraid of throwing their men to the wolves, but with the occasional touching moment of comradeship.
The Arab characters also come off better than in many later films, being shown some degree of respect by the story as victims of cultural expectations and tradition as much as victims of exploitation by the Turks and the British. Alec Guinness gives a layered performance of Faisal, Omar Sharif fills his supporting role with fiery personality and pride, and O'Toole is mesmerising as the soldier who feels a fish out of water with his own people, but comes into his own in the desert.
It's decently full of action and spectacle as well, from the striking attack upon Aqaba to saboteur attacks and the massacre of a convoy of Turkish foot-soldiers that the film is brave enough to paint as nothing but the results of blood-lust and Lawrence's temporarily unbalanced psyche - an unbalance that may be down to wartime sexual abuse that's heavily hinted at in a key scene.
Overall, it's an astonishingly brave film - brave for its pacing which insists upon bouts of patience to soak up the astounding vistas and cultural moments in between the politics and violence, brave for casting two little known performers in lead roles, and brave for its controversial and fascinating plot details.
This is certainly not the fuzzy, watered down museum piece you may have been taught to expect. A breathtaking piece of British cinema.
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