Cast and Crew: T.E. Lawrence (Writings); Michael Wilson and Robert Bolt (Screenplay); Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Omar Sharif, Jose Ferrer, Claude Rains
What It’s About: During the Great War, T.E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) is sent by British Intelligence to investigate the Arab revolt against the Turks and ends up organizing and leading guerrilla forces to great success.
Why Watch it Today?: Lawrence’s forces captured Akaba today in 1917. David Lean’s greatest historical epic, Lawrence of Arabia is a magnificent, enthralling and sprawling epic with beautiful scenery, a huge scale, and great performances.
Where to Get It: Libraries, Netflix (rental only), iTunes, or Amazon
Not only magnificent cinema, but a good primer on why the Middle East is the way it is today.
The second best movie of 1962, after King Kong vs Godzilla. You can guess which one this snob prefers.
Your love of King Kong Vs. Godzilla fascinates me. To me it has always been one of the biggest (if at times hilarious) disappointments in the Showa era Godzilla films. This is a damn fine film though; I’d nominate it for the best of 1962, in my Top Ten for the year along with The Manchurian Candidate, Lolita, Dr. No, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Sanjuro, Carnival of Souls, The Tale of Zatoichi, Premature Burial, The Music Man, and Burn, Witch, Burn. Note that I have only seen 35 movies released in that year so my “Top Ten” list is a bit eccentric, and if I remember The Seven Deadly Sins better or was going to count short films (and thus An Occurrence at Owl’s Creek Bridge) I’d have to move things about a bit. Plus there’s the question of if I should bump the mundane but fun Premature Burial for Corman’s more interesting but problematic The Intruder.
I’m not sure who it was (might’ve been John Carpenter) but I recently watched some knowledgeable gentlemen say something along the lines of “We only really love the films we grew up with. All else can be appreciated, even liked, but it takes a special, historical connection to push that love button.” I’m paraphrasing, but the sentiment stands.
I’m not sure I feel that way-there are definitely films I LOVE that I didn’t see until I was an adult. That being said, I think it takes growing up with a film to LOVE a film that really isn’t all that great…hence my love of the first two Mechagodzilla films and Godzilla vs. Gigan. For some reason, though, even as a kid King Kong v.s Godzilla disappointed me. 🙂
the real lawrence looked a lot more like stan laurel.
marlon brando and albert finney both turned down this movie; finney cause the producer wanted to lock him into a contract for more movies, and brando so he could be around exotic women for MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY.
too bad david lean lost out on making that other desert epic—-DUNE; the producer of PLANET OF THE APES had it all planned out, and then he suddenly died.