IMDb > Lawrence of Arabia (1962) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
Lawrence of Arabia
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guide
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
Lawrence of Arabia More at IMDbPro »

Write review
Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 7 of 58: [Prev][2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [Next]
Index 574 reviews in total 

Agony and Ecstasy

Author: Titus-5 from Sweden
18 January 1999

As others have commented, the visual aspect of Lawrence is indeed almost overwhelming, but another aspect stands out too. The love theme. As was pointed out, Lawrence is a film with no women. Despite that it is the love tension which feeds the whole plot from beginning to end. That Lawrence himself was homosexual, is alluded to throughout the film, but the deeper love for the land and the people, is the one that carries him mercilessly onwards. The tragedy is that Lawrence is continually rejected, both physically and ultimately spiritually. The film is one of a few which manages to show the reality of love in both its pain and it's glory.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

British officer is used to incite Arabs against the Turks

10/10
Author: dfwesley from United States
25 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ten it is and well deserved. I have seen this several times and always find something to dwell on. Of course, Peter O'Toole was superb, but so was his supporting cast.

Anthony Quinn looks more Arabic than Arabs. And Anthony Quayle always has been a favorite of mine and Claude Rains, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guiness, and Jose Ferrar were splendid. The latter was appropriately dissolute as the Turkish officer who captured Lawrence

The photography was spectacular, the skyline, deserts, and battle scenes. There were just enough of the fighting. The opening air bombing, the attack on the train, the massacre of the Turkish column, and the final raid.

What also was impressive was the relationship between Lawrence and the two Arab boys. All in all, a marvelous production that no one should miss.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Somewhat as boring as watching sand dunes but nice acting by all.

10/10
Author: Takethispunch from Greenland
4 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lawrence is a misfit British Army lieutenant, notable for his insolence and knowledge. Over the objections of General Murray, Mr. Dryden of the Arab Bureau sends him to assess the prospects of Prince Faisal in his revolt against the Turks. On the journey, his Bedouin guide is killed by Sheriff Ali for drinking from his well without permission. Lawrence later meets Colonel Brighton, who orders him to keep quiet, make his assessment, and leave. Lawrence ignores Brighton's orders when he meets Faisal. His outspokenness piques the prince's interest.

Brighton advises Faisal to retreat after a major defeat, but Lawrence proposes a daring surprise attack on Aqaba; its capture would provide a port from which the British could offload much-needed supplies. The town is strongly fortified against a naval assault but only lightly defended on the landward side. He convinces Faisal to provide fifty men, led by a sceptical Sheriff Ali. Teenage orphans Daud and Farraj attach themselves to Lawrence. They cross the Nefud Desert, considered impassable even by the Bedouins, travelling day and night on the last stage to reach water. Gasim succumbs to fatigue and falls off his camel unnoticed during the night. When Lawrence discovers him missing, he turns back and rescues Gasim—and Sheriff Ali is won over. He gives Lawrence Arab robes to wear.

Lawrence persuades Auda abu Tayi, the leader of the powerful local Howeitat tribe, to turn against the Turks. Lawrence's scheme is almost derailed when one of Ali's men kills one of Auda's because of a blood feud. Howeitat retaliation would shatter the fragile alliance, so Lawrence declares that he will execute the murderer himself. He is then stunned to discover that the culprit is Gasim, the very man whom he risked his own life to save in the desert, but he shoots him anyway.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant touches

10/10
Author: whiteknight_copley from Wales UK
10 April 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As well as the epic sweep of this movie, there are the enduring moments, images and transitions that remain in the memory and raise this film to the level of greatness. I mention just four that sear this film onto my consciousness: the extinguishing of the smouldering match followed by the rising desert sun (a brilliant metaphor for Lawrence, a smouldering wick caught up in his own hell fire will he be snuffed out?), the ringing of the alarm bell at Aquaba, a superimposed sound transition to the attack scene, as the camera closes in on Lawrence's agonised features following the execution that he had to carry out before the attack and to make sure it happened (again an amazing metaphor as the bell rings out like it is announcing coming doom for Lawrence as he has much more blood to spill in the coming days) And then the ship that suddenly appears on the Suez canal but as if it is sailing across the desert (a nod to the idea of camels perhaps, I don't understand if it is meant to be a metaphor but it is simply a magnificent image). Then, at the very end there is the juxtaposition of the Arab camel riders and the truck-borne Tommies singing their contrasting songs: different songs, different technologies, contrasting, conflicting cultures with Lawrence exiting history still not knowing to which culture his allegiance lies - as the driver comforts him with the thought that he is going "home" But is he really going home?

The pivotal moment of the film follows shortly after the Ship image, when a motorcyclist appears on the far bank of the canal and cries out "Who are you?" and the camera closes up on Lawrence's exhausted, wondering face. This is the question that encapsulates the whole film, who exactly is Lawrence? and it is reprised at various points: The scene outside St Paul's, Faisal's question "is he a desert loving Englishman?", the MOs failure to see Lawrence is not a "filthy" Arab, The journalists treatment of him, Lawrence dressing like an Arab prince, Preston calling him a brilliant soldier etc etc etc, All the way through, it is a brilliant, intelligent screenplay. The motorcyclist was actually David Lean, putting his own signature on a magnificent canvas....

There is one segment that encapsulates the touch of David Lean's direction of actors, the scene with Jose Ferrer as the Turkish Bey. Ferrer described his small part as the best acting he'd ever done while O'Toole said he learned more from Ferrer in that scene than all his years at drama school. But watch the acting of the uncredited extras, soldiers and flotsam from Deraa. With no dialogue they capture the degradation, hopelessness, (in the case of the townsmen) and the callousness and resignation (in the case of the soldiers) of the "cattle" who surround the Bey magnificently. Who are these unsung heroes? Two are jobbing Spanish actors but the rest are also excellent, especially the man third in line with the fez and the young soldier. They are brilliant and add so much to the intensity of this scene...

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Epic in every way

8/10
Author: grantss from Sydney, Australia
2 April 2016

Epic in every way.

The story of TE Lawrence, the English officer who united and lead the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War 1 in order to fight the Turks. This unity and fight for freedom ultimately lead to the independent Arab states that we now know.

Grand in its ambition, grand in its scale, grand in its scenery and cinematography, grand in its running time. Director David Lean captures well the adventures and achievements of Lawrence, as well as his personality, contradictions and inner conflicts.

Superb cinematography - the desert vistas are a key positive of the movie.

The running time - 3 1/2 hours - does make the movie a bit of an endurance test though. Not that it is ever dull, it is just the sheer amount of time you need to set aside to watch it. Usually I would say, for something like that, that a bit of editing is in order, but there is very little that can be edited out. Almost every scene is integral to the plot. Towards the end, however, there were one or two scenes that could possibly have been cut though.

Great work from Peter O'Toole in the lead role, for which he received an Oscar nomination. Good support from a cast that includes Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Jose Ferrer, Anthony Quayle and Claude Rains. Omar Sharif received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Peter O'Toole's Iconic Role.

10/10
Author: Python Hyena from Canada
10 March 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lawrence of Arabia (1962): Dir: David Lean / Cast: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins: Extraordinary epic about reputation as British Army Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence treks across a massive desert in the midst of a war between the Arabs and the Turks. He meets with Prince Faisal who leads this revolt against the Turks. The film depicts how these events at first come as a humorous challenge, to gaining respect for saving a life of someone who falls behind, to performing an execution, to being flogged. Director David Lean previously scored success with The Bridge on the River Kwai and now he creates another broad scale film of desert landscapes and riveting war violence where Lawrence leads in the blowing up railroads. Peter O'Toole delivers a masterful performance as Lawrence who experiences the exhilaration of violence to the extremes of human decay. Alec Guinness plays Faisal who looks on at Lawrence with curiosity. Omar Sharif steals scenes as Sheriff Ali who first shoots Lawrence's companion for unauthorized drinking from an Arab well, then they become close companions. Anthony Quinn is also featured as a tribal leader persuaded to join in the revolt. Jack Hawkins is cast as General Allenby. This is a powerful film about the exploits of violence and its wages upon the human soul. Score: 10 / 10

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"Every shot, every scene is so beautifully formulated."

9/10
Author: Sir Azid Ahmad (Clockwork_Orange55@hotmail.sg) from Singapore
8 February 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Once I read a book on cinema and it says that if late Peter O'Toole had been anymore charming in that dessert, then the movie would be worthy of "Florence of Arabia". It was his original striking blue eyes, predominant screen-charisma and surely, his knowledge and experience on acting, which made him a legendary artist of acting Hollywood. This is "Lawrence of Arabia"; a 'totalitarian' cinema, where acting and assured filmmaking are absolute. The fact that modern filmmakers rely so much on CGI and such to produce kitschy films, cinema magic which enraptures audiences, is rarely being conjured up. Till today, "Lawrence of Arabia" is highly regarded as one of Hollywood's greatest epics.

This is a story of a young, educated British military officer named T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole). Not vast to be a biographical motion picture, but greatly an account of Lawrence's exploits in the Arab Peninsula during World War One. At first he was being sent for duty to gather information of Prince Faisal's (Alec Guinness) activities on his revolt against the Turks. But not to the expectations of his superiors, he showed defiance and led the Arabs to fight their enemies. "Lawrence of Arabia" is a 'desert' film, with no major stars attached to it. If I were to live during that period of time, I would not expect success from it.

Although the film is widely recognised as a Hollywood epic, it is rightfully also an excellent character-study. Lawrence, of the movie, is a multi-layered character. It is the coherent development of the mentioned character, that the film's writing actually plays a great role. Lawrence was a playful, carefree man at first. The man is slightly like a clown perhaps, but a very educated clown indeed. His personality preceding the invasion of Aqaba probably justified the idea that his fellow soldiers are actually stumped by his efforts in assisting the Arabs. The moment he was tasked to execute a man he once saved to avoid surge of conflicts between Arabian tribes, the old persona of his starts to fade away, and the new, darker one begins to evolve in him. His soul must be so well attached with love and mercy, that the abrupt killing of his friend affects him to the extent that it transforms him significantly, in spite of the action being utterly necessary. His troubled mind, and madness, are dragged till the end of his expeditions, only to develop leisurely, to its final form. But in the face of the character, his intelligence as a man of winner is not easily overlooked. Knowing that he needs more men to capture Aqaba, he successfully tricked Auda (Anthony Quinn), and his men, into joining his side. And also with regard to his other successful missions against the Turks, it clearly shows about his intellect as a military leader. Lawrence is a fearless and ambitious warrior, but it is his complex personality that intrigues me.

The filmmaking of the picture is ingenious. Every shot, every scene is so beautifully formulated. Director David Lean and cinematographer Freddie Young had orchestrated cinematography to be the best out of it. The performances are superb, with Peter O'Toole leading the way, and was well supported by Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness and Anthony Quinn. And yes, one shall not ignore the magical score by Maurice Jarre.

It is of profound understanding that "Lawrence of Arabia" would melt cinema lovers with its awe-inspiring filmmaking, but again, I reiterate, the hero who is interconnected with enigmatic notions that mobilizes my love for it. The final scene of the show is interesting; Lawrence ignores the British soldiers in heavy military vehicle passing by, but shows attention when conservative Arabs catch the sight of him. This encapsulates the viewpoint that he favours the Arabs over his own people.

"Lawrence of Arabia" is David Lean's masterpiece, but shockingly it never turned out to be one of my personal favourites. But in the eyes of the world? It is one of the greatest absolutely. Released in the early 1960s, and deservedly became one of the most successful works of cinematic art of that era. The 'desert masterpiece' shines and bears upon light that coruscates from genuine movie enchantment towards audiences. I love to see the shot of a rising sun that comes in before Lawrence puts an end to fire of matchstick as the mention for that. The wonderment of "Lawrence of Arabia" is rarely performed again, in my time.

(Cinematicmadness.blogspot.com) (http://letterboxd.com/Azid_AlexDeSmal/) (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alex.desmall) (Twitter: @Alex_DeSmall)

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"Truly, for some men nothing is written unless they write it"

Author: Manuel Josh Rivera
8 September 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

An inordinately complex man who has been labeled everything from hero, to charlatan, to sadist, Thomas Edward Lawrence blazed his way to glory in the Arabian desert, then sought anonymity as a common soldier under an assumed name. The story opens with the death of Lawrence in a motorcycle accident in London at the age of 47, then flashbacks to recount his adventures: as a young intelligence officer in Cairo in 1916, he is given leave to investigate the progress of the Arab revolt against the Turks in World War I.

In the desert, he organizes a guerrilla army and--for two years--leads the Arabs in harassing the Turks with desert raids, train-wrecking and camel attacks. Eventually, he leads his army northward and helps a British General destroy the power of the Ottoman Empire David Lean's stunning film is often referred to as "One of the greatest films ever made" and one of the "greatest British films to cross the pond "and rightly so. So breathtakingly beautiful I even had the stunning colors in my dream last night and that score playing over and over again. As Spielberg said on the DVD" A film which is an inspirational to all" and I totally concur with that as I, like Spielberg won't to try direction in the future. This is the film that inspired Spielberg to make movies and the likes of Scorsese. So this is one film that no-one should miss.

A film of epic proportion and stunning visuals is overwhelming when you watch it. In modern film making it's unlikely that you will see a film so authentic as this. With the introduction of CGI, a film like this would not be made today! I doubt I'll give such a detailed review, as I am still spellbound by the film...still thinking about it's greatness. I will most likely repeat myself, so bear with me. It took 2 years to film this, but you can see the attention to detail in every frame. So well directed and so well put together with stunning visuals, which makes most films you've seen recently look average. If only films were like this now, I would be so much more happy! The screenplay has to be one of the greatest ever written. Every bit of dialogue, you want to hear and when there's no dialogue you are still engaged by the landscape and the spacial awareness of the characters-who so wonderful portray their characters, you can't help but feel part of the film.

Each actor's dialogue so brilliantly play off one another...again it's so wonderful to watch. Some outstanding performances from Peter O'Toole, and Omar Schariff, who rightly gained an Academy Award nomination, and Alec Guiness and Anthony Quale. By the end of the film, I didn't realize it was almost 4 hours long, which again shows how much I enjoyed this film. Perhaps it shows the shot attention span of people today as to some negative reviews I've read on here. That annoys me a lot. All I can say to people is this, it shouldn't matter the length of a film! That score has to be one of the greatest I've seen on film. I am still running over in my mind now, so well orchestrated it's unbelievable. Arabia contains some of the most iconic scenes in cinema history from Omar Scharrif's entrance to Lawrence standing on top of the Turkish train with a background of sunlight....it leaves me Wowed. Again that scene with the entrance of Omar Schariff, wow! One of the greatest entrances I've seen. So well photographed and directed, you'll never see such a scene like that again. Superb! Overall, a masterpiece of a film, which every single person on this site such watch. Such an amazing film...outstanding!

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

All Around Perfect!

10/10
Author: powermandan from Canada
13 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lawrence of Arabia is said to be the best epic ever made and I understand why. In order for an epic to succeed, it has to hold the viewers' attentions throughout the film. Of course there can be moments of down time, but every movie has that. Lawrence of Arabia not only holds attention, it feature everything to make a great movie at all-time heights.

Lawrence of Arabia is easily the best movie made about the First World War. Being the best epic is arguable, but there's only a margin of movies about WW1 and none are simply better than this. Newcomer Peter O'Toole is dead-on as Thomas Edward Lawrence--a role many people say he should have won for instead of Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird. If O'Toole did win, the backlash would be the same. I personally liked O'Toole and Lawrence of Arabia more. Lawrence is a hip and cool soldier who wants adventure and is assigned to help Arabian tribes face the Turks. He unites the different tribes and leads them to victory. Throughout the movie are beautiful images of the sun clearing the sky in the deserts of the middle-east with glamorous music. Watching this movie is like looking at an ocean sunset. No matter how many times you see this or how bored you get, you will not be able to take your eyes off this.

Anybody that does not like this obviously misses the underlying themes and characterizations. As I mentioned, O'Toole is captivating. But everybody else is amazing too. Alec Guinness plays Bedouin Prince Feisel who was actually mistaken by residents for the real prince. Lawrence is a complex, multi-layered character who is one of cinema's all-time greats. He is a rebellious misfit who brings his theories with him to Arabia. Seeing it is his biggest challenge, he tries to become one with the army while still keeping his own self. Lawrence is an idealist. When he turns out to be a success, he lets it all get to his head and his ego grows. He unites the tribes and leads the men in courage than only he could give. We understand why Lawrence becomes vain, but still want him to keep his general humility. When a tragic situation changes his whole perspective, he wants out but his influence brought them far. That is where the themes of inspiration and leadership/influence really soar. Despite a terrible trauma to him, he still stepped up with the aide of people he once inspired to fight. He gained everybody's loyalty and friendship--two crucial things the movie is about. Just one man whom everybody doubted created such a bang and legacy that forever changed history. When the war finishes, unity breaks with disagreements but there is still some peace among the groups. I found that to be realistic instead of a picture- perfect happy-ending where everybody becomes best friends.

I wouldn't say Lawrence of Arabia is sad entirely, there's just one depressing scene. But it is not happy either. It is all fully realistic and we have characters and situations where we can be proud of. The movie succeeds in everything it tries to get across, which is more than enough. Literally everything this movie has is perfection.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

stunning film - must see

Author: swatchman07 from United States
7 April 2015

If ever a movie earned the definition 'epic', then 'Lawrence Of Arabia' is it. In an age when sumptuous set-pieces can be effortlessly conjured-up by computer programmers, this truly authentic feast of cinematic vision still possesses the power to blow your mind. This is the real thing. The wide-sweeping vistas of desert wilderness are not special-effects; they are REAL. And they look real. Long views, sweeping pans and takes sustained over minutes are realised with a clarity, colour and vividness that absolutely melt your heart. That imagery is a more believable conduit to this complex man's evolving obsession with Arabia than the narrative itself.

Every scene is a breathtaking study in light and colour, character and dialogue. Every second is worth seeing and every word worth hearing. And its theme music is as iconic as the man himself.

The inimitable Peter O'Toole with his blonde hair, steely-blue eyes, haunting expressions and mood swings, commands your attention in every take. His Lawrence is a man swallowed up by a personal sense of destiny, striding between his cynical and prosaic taskmasters and a doomed belief in what might be achieved with superhuman effort. Omar Sharif never played a better role as foil to his capricious hero. Unusually, there are no leading ladies. And they're certainly not needed. A love interest would have cheapened the entire presentation. Here is a story about the romance of time and place. As that other great Arabian traveller and admirer of the ideal - Wilfred Thessiger - once remarked; "women spoil everything".

This is a long movie. Those with short attention-spans raised upon sausage-machine editing are doomed to find it dull, tedious, boring, slow and all of the other criticisms that fall from the lips of a generation accustomed to x-box action sequencing. But if you are blessed with a longer vintage, then Lean's masterpiece will swallow you up as surely as the desert itself.

Was the above review useful to you?


Page 7 of 58: [Prev][2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [Next]

Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Ratings
Awards External reviews Parents Guide
Official site Plot keywords Main details
Your user reviews Your vote history