Lawrence of Arabia (1962)





Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Omar Sharif, José Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Wolfit, Michel Ray, I. S. Johar, Zia Mohyeddin, Gamil Ratib, Ian MacNaughton, Hugh Miller, Fernando Sancho, Stuart Saunders, Jack Gwillim, Kenneth Fortescue, Harry Fowler, Howard Marion-Crawford, John Ruddock, Norman Rossington, Jack Hedley, Henry Oscar, Peter Burton


The film follows brilliant, flamboyant and controversial British military figure Thomas Edward Lawrence (Peter O'Toole), who blazed his way to glory in the Arabian desert, then sought anonymity as a common soldier under an assumed name.


I've heard nothing but great things about this film and Peter O'Toole's legendary performance, so yesterday, when I've finally seen it, I was not surprised at all at the beauty - quite reductive word - of this masterpiece.

Breathtaking and exciting, Lawrence of Arabia truly is one of the greatest cinematic achievements of all time, as well as the definition of epic.

In almost four hours of pure cinema, David Lean has managed, through images, rousing music, and exceptional performances, to tell the story of a man and of a people in such an engaging way that it is impossible to look away from the screen.

The film can claim wonderful scenes in the desert, the only clean place, with its dunes, oases and meager villages of transition, that add magic, and also shows the great diversity in Arab culture that answers to the various factions.

The attention to the detail of the characters is impressive: they all are beautifully written and interesting. But of course there is one that stands out: Lawrence. Every single thing is shown of this man, from his shameless exhibitionism, to his intelligence, from his eccentricity to his possible sexual orientation, how he managed to become an Arab, and to be accepted as one of them. 

And now Peter O'Toole. I know it may sound cheesy, but I can't not mention his eyes, probably the most beautiful ever seen. And now his intense, and heartbreaking performance. Peter O'Toole did a marvellous job as T.E. Lawrence, that, with his hundreds of shades of expression and his angelic appearance, will always be remembered as Lawrence, the man who loved the desert. The rest of the performances are also terrific, especially those of Alec Guinness in the role of cynical Prince Feisal, Anthony Quinn as Auda Abu Tayi, and the unforgettable Omar Sharif as Sherif Ali.

A must seen for all moviegoers. 


William Potter: Ooh! It damn well 'urts!
T.E. Lawrence: Certainly it hurts.
Officer: What's the trick then?
T.E. Lawrence: The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.


  1. Most people point to the acting or the cinematography with this film as the key reasons for its success. Personally, I think the film works because of that absolutely brilliant score. That swell of Lawrence's iconic theme the first time we see the desert just sends chills up the spine, every. single. time. Great review!

    1. Thank you. I can't believe I forgot to mention the score. Absolutely spectacular!

  2. I'm definitely on an island alone about this one. I have nothing but hatred for this film. I just find the whole thing dreadfully bloated and pompous. That's also a perfect description of its protagonist, at least as he is portrayed here.