Bigger than the screen it plays on, deeper than the story it delves into and more ambitious, grandiose and complex than any film that dares sit beside it – David Lean’s monumental masterpiece redefined the epic.
A delicate character study played out on the largest, most spectacular canvas imaginable, Lawrence Of Arabia puts Peter O’Toole’s self-destructive British officer in the middle of the Arabian peninsula during WWI.
With balance, scope and perfection in each and every frame (Lean even taking the time to dust unsightly footprints from the sand between each take), it’s also the most beautiful adventure story every told.
The Best Brit Bit:
Lawrence was Egyptian actor Omar Sharif’s first English language role and David Lean gifted him cinema’s greatest introduction. Emerging from the shimmering heat of the desert, Sharif starts as a dot on the horizon before drawing slowly nearer and clearer – a rifle shot breaking the silence – before arriving in full frame.
Why It Couldn’t Be Made Anywhere Else:
One of the most influential films ever made, pretty much every director since has cited it as an inspiration – with Steven Spielberg calling it "a miracle".
Although many have tried to match its scope and scale, a film like Lawrence Of Arabia couldn’t possibly be made twice.