Film Review: "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962)
This 215-Minute-Epic divided into two parts with classic overture by Academy-Award-winning score composer Maurice Jarre (1924-2009) and an Intermission after 135 Minutes establishing the dramatized biopic-story of real-life character T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935), who raises from a simple foot-soldier corporal in dusty little basements to Colonel of "The British Army", portrayed by an high-tense internal-conflicts of identity performing as shaping actor Peter O'Toole (1932-2013), introduced by director David Lean (1908-1991) and producer Sam Spiegel (1901-1985), both at this point in their careers already honored with an Academy-Award for Spiegel producing "On The Waterfront" (1954) starring Marlon Brando and Lean directing the also magnificent "The Bridge On The River Kwai" (1957) starring Alec Guinness (1914-2000), who portrays here another memorable part for David Lean in "Lawrence of Arabia" as modernism-indulging Arabian Prince Feisal with heavy but believable make-up effects and vocal diversions, when supporting character Feisal sets inner motions into action by speaking directly onto bird-free character of 28-year-old Lawrence in times of "The Great War" aka World War I (1914-1918) as the fate of a uncompromising raw man takes its turns by leading sections of Prince Feisal only horse-and-sword trained army into battles of guerilla warfare in the desert regions of now all-splintered Syria, where merciless killings are not as seldom in width as depths of extraordinary on-location cinematography by F.A. Young (1902-1998), also known for shooting "007: You Only Live Twice" (1967) for director Lewis Gilbert, when further the relentless in-sucking CinemaScope framing, especially in horizon to mirage in-camera effects to favor the throughout intense as playful performances by Omar Sharif as Ali and Anthony Quinn as scene-towering character of Auda Abu Tayi.
"Lawrence of Arabia" takes its hypnosis on any spectre, who brings patience and will to comprehend the story-driven metamorphosis of Peter O'Toole becoming T.E. Lawrence; a character manifested into strong personal believes of pushing efforts to the extreme in crossing never-been undertaking endeavors of conquering coast city Aqaba in minimized editorial shot-rates by editor Anne V. Coates, who gives the picture utmost of elegance in plenty of desert action scenes of bombing Turkish-army-conducted trains from their railing, massive crowd of extras in rifle, pistol, knife combats and up, close and personal character confrontations, in another superior-suspense-scene in a besieged city of Medina, where Lawrence must endure references in physical torture and for the period of time daring winks of unresolved homosexuality in an show-stopping portrayal of actor José Ferrer (1912-1992) as Turkish Bey, remarking of being surrounded by orders-taking cattle, while leaned-back as professional puppet masters actor Jack Hawkins as campaign-leading General Allenby and reptile-lingering politics-representing business man Mr. Dryden, performed with charms and inverted hostility alike actor Claude Rains (1889-1967); when director David Lean concludes every scene with perfection by interweaving them into the next, as legendary PRE-"2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) straight jump cut from an extinguishing match to a desert sunrise, when I can only wish you the best possible exhibition format for a day-taking blast of motion picture extravaganza from every film-making department involved in this Native English major scale production of slowly high-stakes building main character favoring story-line, exclusively in continuous world-wide distributing Hollywood studio Columbia Pictures, now affiliate of The Sony Company, too even more critical acclaim nowadays, justifying the 10 Academy-Award nominations and 7 wins at the Oscars ceremony in its 36th edition of year 1963, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Music Score.
© 2018 Felix Alexander Dausend
(Cinemajesty Entertainments LLC)