Lawrence of Arabia

Sat., Jan. 12th, 7:30 p.m.
Spring Street Classic--Screened at 110 Spring St.

Spring Street Classics are screened at the Spring Street Gallery, 110 Spring Street, Saratoga Springs.

Directed by David Lean • Screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson, based on the writings of T.E. Lawrence • 216 min. • UK | USA • 1963 • Rated PG

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the classic epic Lawrence of Arabia. David Lean’s historical drama about a deeply complicated British common soldier, Thomas Edward (T.E.) Lawrence, who blazed his way to glory in the desert as the swashbuckling leader of an Arab revolt against the Ottoman empire, is justly celebrated as one of the most dramatic, thrilling, watchable epic movies of the 20th century—and opportunities to see it as it should be seen, on a big screen, don’t crop up every day. Framed as a flashback from his youthful death in England, this story follows T.E. Lawrence (an unforgettably charismatic Peter O’Toole) as an eager, rather offbeat intelligence officer in Cairo in 1916 who is given leave to investigate a scattershot Arab rebellion against the occupying Turks in World War I. Lawrence does a good deal more than that. He organizes a guerrilla army and for two years (a true story, too!) unites the fractious Arab tribes in their forays against their common enemy, with desert raids, train-ambushes and camel attacks. As rival Arab leaders, the dashing Omar Sharif, a silky, knowing Alec Guinness, and the rambunctious Anthony Quinn are mesmerizing. Lawrence of Arabia won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Lawrence of Arabia at the Internet Movie Database

“It’s an astonishing, unrepeatable epic.” —Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune (full review)

“It is O’Toole who continually dominates the screen, and he dominates it with professional skill, Irish charm and smashing good looks.” —Time Magazine (full review)

View the trailer for Lawrence of Arabia: