Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie: Lawrence Of Arabia

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Cincinnati Babyhead had seen two previous films by David Lean and he was excited to see this one.  He knew he was going on an adventure with this movie.

Lawrence is sent by the British military during WWII to find Prince Faisal and to see what his intentions are regarding the Turks.  Lieutenant Lawrence is an oddball and the perfect man for the job.  “Going to be fun”.

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We cut right to the desert and it’s beautiful and intimidating.  Lawrence and his guide enter this environment on their camels and the trek and the adventure begins.  The two travelers run into Sharif Ali at a well and the guide is killed.  So goes one of Lawrence’s problems.  Uniting the Waring Arab tribes.  Ali offers to take Lawrence to Faisal but Lawrence refuses based on the brutal murder of his guide.  Lawrence finds Faisal on his own and sees the futile battle Faisal is fighting against the Turks.  Out gunned and fighting against modern weaponry.

Lawrence convinces Faisal to give him 50 men to cross the desert to take the Turks at Aqaba.  Even the Arabs think he’s mad to try to cross the ‘Suns Anvil” to get at the Turks.  “Can’t be approached by land over the desert”.   Sharif Ali joins him on his crossing.  ‘It is written”.  “Nothing is written”.  On the journey to Aqaba, Lawrence unites the Arab tribes and becomes a legend in the process.  The story plays out from here with all the political consequences and the problem of dealing with the legend that is Lawrence.

Now that was a motion picture!  Cinematically beautiful.  Great story.  Great cast and performances and David Lean brings it all together.  Great film making.  Freddie Young’s cinematography gives you the sense of place, making the desert an important character in the film.  Never once do you feel like you’re anywhere else but the desert.  Maurice Jarre’s musical score adds to the feel.

The performances are superb.  Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness, Claude Rains, Anthony Quinn,  Arthur Kennedy, Anthony Quayle, Jack Hawkins ( is there a better actor ).  There are also numerous other supporting cast that bring the characters to life.  And then there is Peter O’Toole who simply is Lawrence.  100%.  A lesser actor could have easily got lost in this film.  O’Toole has the weight and the chops to to rise to the occasion.  He is just really good!!  He goes native and a lot of other things.  Great work Pete.

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So many great scenes.  The first glimpse of the desert.  The well scene with Ali.  Meeting Faisal under attack.  The march and charge to Aqaba will take your breath away.  The attacks on the railroad.  Ali dressing Lawrence in Arab garb and countless others.

Lean captures it all.  This is a film maker at the top of his game.  What he pulled off is mind boggling.  As a film lover this is as good as it gets.  A must watch every once in a while for the experience.  Like good food and good music you come back for more.

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Jump on a camel and go for a cinematic ride by one of the best.  Sir David Lean.

“They can only kill me with a silver bullet”.

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