Lawrence of Arabia 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review

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“Lawrence, only two kinds of creature get fun in the desert: Bedouins and gods, and you're neither. Take it from me. For ordinary men, it's a burning fiery furnace.”

“No, Dryden … it’s going to be fun.”

David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia is the sort of film that absolutely devours every superlative in the book and then challenges you to think up new ones for it to chew on spit back out. As a historical biography of one of war-time’s most ephemeral, inspirational and controversial figures, it is both highly stylised in character and scope, and clinically psychological, at once sumptuously epic, visually splendid and recreated against one of the most immense and chaotic of backdrops, but also strongly intimate and intelligently structured …and yet also curiously meandering in its painstaking longeurs. And it is in these perplexing...


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DrGekko

Well-known Member
Hi Chris,

Good, in depth review... apart from the following comment regarding Alec Guiness portraying an "Arab" - not really sure whether you've met any Arabs or not but the one's I know are highly educated, very refined and can write and are very "English"....

Did you mean Bedouin Arabs of the desert perhaps? And to what heights of refinement had been reached by most Englishmen in England during that period I wonder based on historical accounts?

I don't mean to be perdantic but I believe you need to be a little more specific in case folks get a distorted impression. :thumbsup:
 

Chris McEneany

Well-known Member
Hi Chris,

Good, in depth review... apart from the following comment regarding Alec Guiness portraying an "Arab" - not really sure whether you've met any Arabs or not but the one's I know are highly educated, very refined and can write and are very "English"....

Did you mean Bedouin Arabs of the desert perhaps? And to what heights of refinement had been reached by most Englishmen in England during that period I wonder based on historical accounts?

I don't mean to be perdantic but I believe you need to be a little more specific in case folks get a distorted impression. :thumbsup:
I never said anything about Arabs not being refined or educated or able to write, Dr. I'm talking about the performance of one of England's most stately actors trying to embody the character of an Arab prince. I've re-read what I wrote and, quite honestly, it seems as though you are stirring something up that clearly isn't there. I was pretty objective in the written opinion about it.

Great actor as he is, he doesn't convince as an Arab, is all. And this is purely because Alec Guinness is quintessentially very, very English. There's no slurs intended, and no sweeping generalisations meant to be suggested.

He has portrayed a rich variety of characters from Fagin to women to Jedi Knights ... but, to me, he has ALWAYS been Alec Guinness. No racial insult, just a comment upon his style ... which, forgive me ... is English.

I mean he plays him like he's just Alec Guinness in dark makeup is all. I, for one, do not believe for one second that Prince Feisal is being portrayed by anyone other than the star of many classic and resolutely English films of English etiquette and English mannerisms. Just bedecking Guinness in robes and calling him Prince Feisal does not disguise that fact, in my opinion. Anthony Quinn is not an Arab, but I can never doubt that Auda, with Quinn's terrific performance in the role, is an Arab.

Guinness, as I have stated in the review, is still fantastic in embodying such a fascinating personality ... but I still have the opinion that he is merely Alec Guinness dressed up as a Arab.

Doesn't harm a masterpiece of filmmaking, though, and as I said in the review, his performance even adds to the story.

Anyway, sorry you found my comments troubling. Certainly not intended.

Cheers,

Chris Mceneany :devil:
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You liked it then Chris.

I went to the cinema in 1962 to watch the film and have been a huge fan ever since, it is, quite simply the best film I have ever seen. I've only watched a snippet of the blu-ray and as you've said the detail and overall PQ is outstanding. Even my wife went ''wow'' which really is a compliment.

I'll be watching the whole thing tomorrow night along with a few bottles of Speckled Hen. :thumbsup:
 

Chris McEneany

Well-known Member
You liked it then Chris.

I went to the cinema in 1962 to watch the film and have been a huge fan ever since, it is, quite simply the best film I have ever seen. I've only watched a snippet of the blu-ray and as you've said the detail and overall PQ is outstanding. Even my wife went ''wow'' which really is a compliment.

I'll be watching the whole thing tomorrow night along with a few bottles of Speckled Hen. :thumbsup:
Specky Hen! Nice one, gibbsy. :smashin:

You should have two glasses of ice cold lemonade in honour of El Aurens, though!

I've had a very busy week - with real life as well as movies- but Lawrence of Arabia has occupied a large portion of it. And time well spent. It is truly magnificent.

My Bond Blu boxset turned up today ... and I've just been watching The Spy Who Loved Me ... and, you know what, there's that bloody Jarre main theme playing in it! :thumbsup:

See? There's no escaping the desert.

Cheers,

Chris McEneany :devil:
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
Nice review.

Will defo pick this up but going to see it at the cinema first. Expect it'll look amazing.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Great review Chris I must say they have done a superb job on this restoration but I can't quite give it a 10/10. I would be happy to call it 9.8/10 myself.:)

There are a few (thankfully short) scenes that were damaged by the dessert heat originally that left the image below par and also a few brief scenes where the image was noticeably less high resolution than the other 98% of the movie.

So far I have watched just up to when they were about to take Acabar I shall be watching the rest tonight.It is amazing what they have done with this movie considering the quality of the film they were working with.

On the sound front I have noted it sounded slightly thin but t hat must be in part due to what we have become accustomed to with more recent excellent (even if possibly unrealistic) movie soundtracks like you yourself alluded to.

However none of this detracts from this movies place in filmaking history and perhaps never again shall we see anything made on this scale again (with real people).
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Well the 'Hen' was out last night and we settled down to watch LOE. The restoration and presentation of the film can only be described as amazing. Yes there are slight problems with the PQ at certain moments in the film, some vertical banding in long distant shots and at one point I did notice a green caste on a camel's head (or was that the 'Hen' goggles as it was late in the film).

But, given that the film is 50 years old I'm extremely pleased with it, over three and half hours long it just flew fast.

I was a little disappointed in the DTS MA. On my system Denon DBP 2012 and AVR 2010 and listening in pure direct, the score was very bass heavy. Dialogue on the other hand, was presented very crisply and the sound stage moved well through the front speakers, there was very little to notice through the rears though. To be honest it didn't take too long to again get engrossed in this wonderful movie.
 

DrGekko

Well-known Member
I never said anything about Arabs not being refined or educated or able to write, Dr. I'm talking about the performance of one of England's most stately actors trying to embody the character of an Arab prince. I've re-read what I wrote and, quite honestly, it seems as though you are stirring something up that clearly isn't there. I was pretty objective in the written opinion about it.

Great actor as he is, he doesn't convince as an Arab, is all. And this is purely because Alec Guinness is quintessentially very, very English. There's no slurs intended, and no sweeping generalisations meant to be suggested.

He has portrayed a rich variety of characters from Fagin to women to Jedi Knights ... but, to me, he has ALWAYS been Alec Guinness. No racial insult, just a comment upon his style ... which, forgive me ... is English.
I know what you were trying to say, I was just pulling your leg dude. ;)

Anthony Quinn is marvellous in his role as Hamza in The Message and despite being American, he plays that role very convincingly. I know what you mean about Alec Guiness... I would say he is perhaps too anglicised or too much of the quintissential English gentleman than the Arabian of the desert.

Great review... never seen the movie but I should deffo give it a whirl if it's hit the 10 out of 10 bell! :smashin:
 

Chris McEneany

Well-known Member
I know what you were trying to say, I was just pulling your leg dude. ;)

Anthony Quinn is marvellous in his role as Hamza in The Message and despite being American, he plays that role very convincingly. I know what you mean about Alec Guiness... I would say he is perhaps too anglicised or too much of the quintissential English gentleman than the Arabian of the desert.

Great review... never seen the movie but I should deffo give it a whirl if it's hit the 10 out of 10 bell! :smashin:
Ha Ha, you got me there, Dr! ;)

You've never seen it? Man, you are in for a treat. There are many films that critics tell you are vitally important and sort of imply that you can't be a true lover of Cinema if you don't fully appreciate them ... but when you do eventually get to see them you can't help but wonder what all the fuss was about. Lawrence of Arabia is a work of genius that works on so many levels, shows you so much of this strange land and complex period, and yet leaves you with a delicious feeling of only having barely scratched the surface. In other words, you can't wait to watch it again, if only to sift a little deeper into the exotic sands.

It is epic, unusual and brilliant.

As I say, it sort of dominated the past week for me.

But now Bond is here! :clap: And the mood in Mad Mac Mansion is decidedly different. I feel as deeply about OHMSS as I do about Lean's work of art, and you can expect to a lengthy examination of it, and some of 007's other adventures over the next week or so.

It's becoming a very busy time for reviewing indeed. :eek:

Cheers dude, and let us know what you think when you've seen it.

Chris McEneany :devil:
 

emthree

Active Member
I never said anything about Arabs not being refined or educated or able to write, Dr. I'm talking about the performance of one of England's most stately actors trying to embody the character of an Arab prince.

Great actor as he is, he doesn't convince as an Arab, is all. And this is purely because Alec Guinness is quintessentially very, very English.
Chris Mceneany :devil:
He didn't convince me as an Indian either in Passage to India, great actor as he surely is. But I am from India, and may be biased.

Great review. It is a must have for me:smashin::smashin:
 

DrGekko

Well-known Member
But now Bond is here! :clap: And the mood in Mad Mac Mansion is decidedly different. I feel as deeply about OHMSS as I do about Lean's work of art, and you can expect to a lengthy examination of it, and some of 007's other adventures over the next week or so.

It's becoming a very busy time for reviewing indeed. :eek:

Cheers dude, and let us know what you think when you've seen it.

Chris McEneany :devil:
Lucky man!!! I can't wait to read your verdicts! I'm only after a few specific titles to complete my favoured collection (I already have the Craig movies as well as Goldfinger, Moonraker and Licence To Kill)

Diamonds Are Forever
Tomorrow Never Dies
The Spy Who Loved Me


no idea whether to wait for their individual releases or grab the boxset.

Mods - sorry to post this here, irrelevant to the thread title... please feel free to move to a dedicated 007 thread.
 

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