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February 13, 2008

Lawrence of Arabia

What an epic movie. Epic landscapes, epic armies, epic scenes, epic main character. It apparently cost 12 million to make in 1960. It looked like it would cost 150 million to make today.

Oh yeah, and epic running time. It was 227 minutes long. Yes, that's 3 hours and 47 minutes.

I really enjoyed this film. Many of the older films are very black and white in their portrayal of heroes and villains, but this one really showed the mix of character and study in contradictions that made up T.E. Lawrence. His journey and quest and thirst for adventure basically destroyed him in the end. Hollowed him out. And the tragedy in my opinion was that the freedom he was fighting for on behalf of the Arabs never really materialized. He basically gave his life to prop up a monarchy and colonialism.

One piece of advice for anyone who wanted to tackle this beast of a film. Read a synopsis of the first hour before you see it. I don't know if I'm just stupider than the average filmgoer in 1960, but I had a tough time following who was what and what people were doing for a while. I stopped the film to catch myself up, then I was good for the rest. Just a thought.

I'd say watch this film just to see what good old-fashioned epic filmmaking is all about, along with the beautiful portrayal of a hero's descent. And a number of the lines are outstanding, too.

Oh, one last note. I think the music, shots, and acting for Star Wars New Hope were all very heavily influenced by this film. Some of the score sounded like variations off of the Star Wars music and I felt like half of it was shot in Tattoine. And Alec Guiness, ie Ben Kenobi, plays a Arab Prince.

3 out of 4 - You should love this film.

Posted by jason on February 13, 2008 03:00 AM


One other interesting thing to add. In this whole almost 4 hour movie, there isn't one woman in the whole film. (At least with a speaking part, maybe there is some extra in the background that I didn't notice).

Posted by: jason on February 13, 2008 03:31 AM

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