Screened as part of Autumn Events 2013
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 last year, the brand-new 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 Civic 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 TE 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