Lawrence of Arabia

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1988 Director's Cut 4K Restoration

“There are no intelligent epics like this today and, because of computer-generated effects, it's unlikely that there ever will be again.”  — Philip French, The Observer 

Director: David Lean
Year: 1962
Country: UK, USA
Running time: 227 mins
Censor Rating: PG

Producer: Sam Spiegel
Screenplay: Robert Bolt, Michael Wilson. Based on the writings of T.E. Lawrence
Photography: F.A. Young
Editor: Anne V. Coates
Music: Maurice Jarre


With: Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Omar Sharif, Jose Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Wolfit, I.S. Johar, Gamil Ratib

Festivals: Cannes (Classics), London 2012

David Lean’s 1962 biopic remains the benchmark in epic action cinema: literate, dynamic and visually stupendous. Dashing performances by Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif defined the two young actors for life. Premiered at a Special 50th Anniversary screening at Cannes, the 4K digital restoration presents Lean’s 1988 Director’s Cut as never seen before. The new state-of-the-art 4K projection system at the Regent Dunedin and MTG Hawke’s Bay has found its perfect showpiece.

“Peter O'Toole made an unforgettable debut in this magnificent epic by David Lean, now rereleased in its whoppingly complete 227-minute version. O'Toole is T.E. Lawrence, the brilliant and mercurial Arabist and aesthete who as a serving officer in WW1 found himself leading an Arab revolt against the Turks in the British interest, but failed to create the national self-determination he promised his followers… The blackface casting of Alec Guinness looks ill-judged now, especially compared with Omar Sharif's spirited, ingenuous performance, but what red-blooded passion this film has and what formal brilliance… This is a movie with the excitement of a cavalry charge.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“Sony Pictures’ new 50th-anniversary restoration seems fresh and modern, in its political themes and its stunning visual clarity… But the film holds up not only for its historical parallels but also because it’s thrilling and, in its present incarnation, it looks breathtaking.” — Fred Kaplan, NY Times