Archive of films Lawrence of Arabia / Lawrence of Arabia

United Kingdom
1962, 222 min

Section: Out of the Past
Year: 2012

After its recent premiere at Cannes, the digitally restored copy of this spectacular film epic headed straight for Vary. The film traces the life of the enigmatic British lieutenant colonel who brought Arab tribes together in the revolt against the Turks during the First World War. David Lean’s seven-time Oscar winner earned numerous superlatives, two of them for composer Maurice Jarre and the actor in the leading role, newcomer Peter O’Toole.


The head of the restoration team at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Grover Crisp, who brought Scorsese’s Taxi Driver to Karlovy Vary last year, was invited to Cannes recently to present the brand new, digitally restored copy of what is unquestionably David Lean’s most celebrated film; this year sees the 50th anniversary of Lawrence of Arabia. The spectacular epic, which took a year to film and whose budget crept up to an incredible fifteen million dollars, portrays the adventures of the enigmatic British Lieutenant Colonel T. E. Lawrence, who brought Arab tribes together in the revolt against the Turks during the First World War. Unlike many other films which today enjoy cult status, Lawrence of Arabia was already earning recognition and won many awards at the time of its release. The American Academy gave the film seven Oscars, among others for best film, direction, editing and the music of Maurice Jarre. Nominations were awarded for the performances of the then little-known actors Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif.

About the director

David Lean

David Lean (b. 1908, Croydon Surrey-1991, London), one of the most respected British directors of the 20th century, worked with filmmakers Anthony Asquith and Michael Powell in the early days of his career. He shot his feature film debut In Which We Serve (1942) in collaboration with Noel Coward; another three films were made via their joint production company, including the legendary Brief Encounter (1945). Lean is also famous for his adaptations of novels by Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948); he cast one of his favourite actors, Alec Guinness, in both films. Today David Lean is celebrated particularly for his spectacular epics such as The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965). The films Ryan’s Daughter (1970) and A Passage to India (1984) were made later on in his career.


Park Circus Group
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United Kingdom
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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Out of the Past
Director: David Lean
Screenplay: Robert Bolt
Dir. of Photography: Fred A. Young
Music: Maurice Jarre
Editor: Anne V. Coates
Producer: Sam Spiegel
Production: Columbia Pictures
Cast: Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Omar Sharif
Contact: Park Circus Group

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