Watched David Lean's 1962 Classic "Lawrence of Arabia"

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“Nothing is written.”
  --
T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia

“Lawrence of Arabia” was playing at the Castro Theatre this weekend in 70mm.  It was the last film in the top ten of the AFI 100 list that I had yet to see.  The reason I put it off so long was because at 216 minutes, it’s a very long movie, so I had to be sure I could carve out a significant chunk of time to watch it.
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The film is based on the life of a British military officer named T.E. Lawrence and his involvement in the Arab Revolt during World War I.  It depicts how he united and led a group in Arabia to take on the Turkish Empire.

Peter O’Toole plays the title character, and he is outstanding in this film.  The emotional struggles Lawrence deals with are depicted so well.  O’Toole was nominated for an Academy Award forhis performance.
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Omar Sharif plays one of the Arab leaders named Sharif Ali, who becomes quite close to Lawrence throughout the film.
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Anthony Quinn plays Auda abu Tayi, another Bedouin leader.  He also joins the Arab Revolt with Lawrence and has a prominent role in defeating the Turkish in one of the cities they attack.
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Alec Guinness plays Prince Faisal who works with Lawrence and the British military to coordinate their efforts against the Turks.
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Watching this movie at the Castro in 70MM was really great.  The film is so beautifully shot, and the soundtrack is so good.  It’s easy to see why this movie is such a classic.  It really does deserve the big screen treatment it gets here.
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“Lawrence of Arabia” is a great film.  Yes, it does require a significant time commitment, but it’s worth it.  I thought the story was compelling and the acting performances were fantastic.  The one thing that threw me off about the movie was that it was actually quite funny.  There were several moments where the audience was laughing at the witty British humor in the dialogue.  I was not expecting that at all.

One aspect of the film I really enjoyed was that Lawrence kept pushing himself and the people around him beyond what they thought they were capable of, claiming the future isn’t written in stone.  We have the power to change what happens to us and others down the road.  This concept is toyed with a lot in the story, and I think it’s what gives the film its soul and makes it engaging.  Are we set in our ways unable to change what lies before us?  Or can we press on and get to another threshold?  Do we have the tenacity it takes to change our lives and the lives of others around us?  If T.E. Lawrence’s story tells us anything, it’s that we do have it within ourselves (despite the negativity we have as well) to change the lives of many.


Related Item:
Lawrence of Arabia DVD
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