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This year marks the 50th anniversary of Sir David Lean’s masterful epic Lawrence of Arabia.
Peter O’Toole became an instant star with his portrayal of the title character, the real-life T. E. Lawrence, who assists the people of Arabia during World War I by launching attacks on their enemies. Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness and Anthony Quinn portray Arab fighters Lawrence develops relationships with. As his involvement with Arabia deepens, Lawrence finds himself becoming more distant from his native Britain.
Like Gandhi (1982), the film begins with the title character’s death and then goes into why and how he is viewed as an important figure.
Lean’s previous film was the successful The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), which won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. Lawrence would repeat that feat.
The photography is beautiful (to say the least), and Maurice Jarre’s theme music became deservedly famous and also won an Oscar. Lawrence also won Oscars for Best Sound, Film Editing, Cinematography and Art Direction.