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Lawrence of Arabia (1989)

Peter O'Toole , Alec Guinness , David Lean  |  PG |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (917 customer reviews)

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Lawrence of Arabia + Casablanca + Gone with the Wind (Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Omar Sharif
  • Directors: David Lean
  • Writers: Michael Wilson, Robert Bolt, T.E. Lawrence
  • Producers: David Lean, Sam Spiegel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Limited Edition, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2001
  • Run Time: 216 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (917 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXB2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,124 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lawrence of Arabia" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Two disc set
  • Four original featurettes: "Wind, Sand and Star: The Making of a Classic," "Maan, Jordan: The Camels Are Cast," "In Search of Lawrence" and "Romance of Arabia"
  • Exclusive Documentary: "The Making of Lawrence of Arabia"
  • A Conversation with Steven Spielberg
  • Original Newsreel Footage of the New York Premiere
  • Advertising Campaigns
  • Talent Files
  • DVD ROM ELEMENTS INCLUDE: Journey with Lawrence: Map of Arabia & Military Strategy and Archives of Arabia: Historic Photographs
  • Reproduction of the 1962 Souvenir Booklet

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

This vast movie is spread leisurely across two discs, with Maurice Jarre's overture standing in as intermission music for the first track of the second disc. But the clarity of the anamorphic widescreen picture and Dolby 5.1 soundtrack justify the decision not to cram the whole thing onto one side of a disc. The movie has never looked nor sounded better: the desert landscapes are incredibly detailed, with the tiny nomadic figures in the far distance clearly visible on the small screen; the remastered soundtrack, too, is a joy. Thanks are due to Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, who supervised (and financed) the restoration of the picture in 1989; on the second disc Spielberg chats about why David Lean is his favorite director and why Lawrence had such a profound influence on him both as a child and as a filmmaker (he says he rewatches the movie before starting any new project). Other features include an excellent and exhaustive "making of" documentary with contributions from surviving cast and crew (an avuncular Omar Sharif is particularly entertaining as he reminisces about meeting the hawk-like Lean for the first time), some contemporary featurettes designed to promote the movie, and a DVD-ROM facility. The extra features, especially the documentary, are good, but the breathtaking quality of both anamorphic picture and digital sound is what makes this DVD package a triumph. --Mark Walker

Product Description

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION Winner of 7 Academy Awards® including Best Picture of 1962, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA stands as one of the most timeless and essential motion picture masterpieces. The greatest achievement of its legendary, Oscar®-winning director, David Lean (1962, Lawrence of Arabia: 1957 the Bridge on the River Kwai), the film stars Peter O’Toole — in his career-making performance — as T.E. Lawrence, the audacious World War I British army officer who heroically united rival Arab desert tribes and led them to war against the mighty Turkish Empire. Newly restored and re-mastered at 4K resolution, the massive scope and epic action of the Director’s Cut of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA can now be experienced like never before in this landmark 50th Anniversary Edition.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
479 of 504 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
** UPDATED NOV-15-2012 **

An extraordinary film has now become an extraordinary Blu-ray. David Lean's 1962 desert epic film about the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence and his successes and struggles in the Arab countries during the early 20th Century remains (sadly) as relevant as ever regarding the Western world's unending struggles in the Middle East regions. The Oscar-winning classic is also a landmark event in film history, as it set a very high standard in epic film-making, acting, and, for the making of this Blu-ray, in film restoration as well. Director Lean and then-unknown actor Peter O'Toole's contribution in this film remain influential in the five decades since the film's initial release. And if it had not been for the efforts of restorers Robert A. Harris and Jim Painten, who discovered the film's original negative inside crushed and rusting film cans in Columbia's vaults in the 1980s, and proceeded to restore it to its original glory, we would not have had the pleasure of holding this Blu-ray in our hands. This 2-disc Blu-ray exclusive (no corresponding DVD is available) and a 4-disc (3 Blu-rays plus CD soundtrack) box set are the result of multi-year efforts on the part of the best professionals in the film business.

The aforementioned restoration by Harris & Painten, completed in 1989 and yielding a 227-minute director's cut, was the basis of this Blu-ray release. The running time is sometimes indicated as 217 minutes, which is the running time without all the music interludes: overture, intermission, and exit music.
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280 of 294 people found the following review helpful
By 2HB
Format:DVD
Dear Amazon,

Please stop posting reviews for films that are, essentially, written for another version of the DVD's (and cd's) and not the one posted.

There are several DVD versions of Lawrence of Arabia. They all differ wildly from each other in picture and sound quality.

How do you expect us to chose which is best for us if you post the same review from the 2001 version over and over and over again?
"Best dvd version yet."

Yeah, right - in 2001 that may have been true. But Amazon, you've posted this review for every version of this DVD even though the review was for a DVD originally released in 2001!
Lawrence of Arabia has been remastered twice since then, and the subsquent versions are very, very different.

Please stop this and take some responsibility and post reviews ONLY for their specific versions - or at least specify that the review was written for another version.
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426 of 453 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The desert is a sea in which no oar is dipped. June 11, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It is unsurprising to me that some people find Lawrence of Arabia boring. If you have the attention span of a hummingbird, this is not a film you will enjoy. It has no car chases, no bikini-clad supermodels, and nary a kung-fu move to be seen. Instead, all it offers is tortured respect for everything it touches. Lawrence of Arabia is a film that elevated the art of cinematic storytelling to new heights, and it shows. It is the journey, not the destination, that the viewer should focus on. In order to enjoy this film, you must make a commitment to watch it. Get comfortable, have something to drink on hand (you'll know why about halfway through), turn off the phone, and put the remote under a pillow. I've seen a lot of films, and some I've liked to varying degrees, and others I've simply been satisfied that Hollywood didn't butcher the underlying work or premise too badly in pursuit of the lowest common denominator. Lawrence of Arabia is different. It is one of those truly rare films that makes you feel grateful for having seen it, for the efforts of all those involved to craft, create, and perserve over the years just so you might have the chance to see it. It is such a fine film that its merits are obvious, and negative statements about it tend to simply reflect back on the critic.
Why? Many reasons. The actors are likewise gifted with rare talent, and superbly cast. The settings and scenes are invariably breathtaking. The plot is engrossing and entertaining without ever becoming heavy-handed. Film students will while away hours discussing everything from the Christ imagery to the undercurrents of homoeroticism, but they do that with every film. I suggest you simply kick back and enjoy an excellent, time-honored epic about a stranger in a strange land. It is a harrowing, draining journey, but one you will not regret.
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96 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! A Superbit "Lawrence" with color corrected video September 10, 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I won't review the movie. That's all been said before. And reading the other reviews will make you aware of the extraordinary restoration effort that was put into this masterpiece for its re-release in 70 mm 15 years ago. But no matter how good that release was, it didn't translate well to home video. I've had a VHS version and also own the DVD release from two years ago. That deluxe disc set had the entire three-hour plus film on one disc and was not properly color corrected. (The second disc IS chock full of newsreel footage and other extras if you enjoy that sort of thing)
Now comes the Superbit release, which spreads the movie across two discs, dramatically increasing the bit rate. For once, Superbit really comes through and great improves the DVD experience. There are no extras. But the quality of the video is amazing. Key to this was the involvement in this edition of Robert Harris, who worked with David Lean and the film's cinematographer on the 1988 restoration. Mr. Harris details on thedigitalbits.com the time spent on this new DVD release to get everything right.
The results are excellent. It's like a veil was lifted from the film to fully reveal the magnificent details of the desert landscapes. The 5.1 and DTS mixes are also top notch.
Whatever you have heard about Superbit, this is the version of the title to own and one of the major DVD releases of this or any other year. If you enjoy this film, you owe it to yourself to rent or buy this version.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie that I saw with my dad in a ...
great movie that I saw with my dad in a theater when I was in high school now it a little long but still fun to watch
Published 13 hours ago by william riesman
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film, a remarkable set of actors put on a truly fantastic...
A gripping film, with truly well executed points of humor, tragedy, and drama. The movie wears its ~3. Read more
Published 23 hours ago by Hourglass
5.0 out of 5 stars Lawrence Of Arabia
Timeless!
Published 1 day ago by C. Hutchins
5.0 out of 5 stars Purchased as gift. Dad Loves it! Might have ...
Purchased as gift.
Dad Loves it! Might have to fins a second for my home media list.
Published 2 days ago by Alexis A McCarthy
5.0 out of 5 stars Photography is amazing. Acting is superb
Beyond classic. Photography is amazing. Acting is superb. I feel it is one of his best movies. Lion in Winter would be the other.
Published 4 days ago by Jessica Morton
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie that well deserves the title of classic
A great movie.

This movie depicts the WWI exploits of a low level British officer in the middle east. Read more
Published 5 days ago by ilbob
5.0 out of 5 stars blu ray
Excellent.
Published 5 days ago by Uduwerella
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great movie of man's challenges over self.

Wesley Grady
Published 6 days ago by Wesley Grady
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful rendition of the movie
beautiful rendition of the movie. Great audio. You need a large screen to compensate for the unusually wide aspect ratio.
Published 6 days ago by Bruce Moor
4.0 out of 5 stars All about Lawrence of Arabia on blu-ray
Too many Irish-men playing Arabs. There are no good parts if you are Ethnic.
Published 10 days ago by Zhao Way
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Topic From this Discussion
Lawrence of Arabia on Blu-Ray?
I too, am waiting for this.

It's films like this - with their stunning cinematography - that HD is made for.
Jun 22, 2009 by Mark |  See all 26 posts
Why is it so expensive?
The 2-Disc set will include: Secrets of Arabia: Picture-in-Graphic Track; "Peter O'Toole Revisits Lawrence of Arabia" All-New Interview; "The Making of Lawrence of Arabia" documentary; "A Conversation with Steven Spielberg"; "The Camels Are Cast"; "In... Read More
Aug 8, 2012 by Kites |  See all 3 posts
is the single disc version worth it?
If you only want the film then go with the single but if you like extras go for the two disc. The two disc also has slightly better picture quality.
Dec 2, 2009 by DLMJ |  See all 3 posts
Problems with disc one
I can't speak from personal experience because I have not watched my copy yet, but I have an idea of why it's happening. This is an extremely long movie at almost 4 hours and I think the data is too heavily compressed, perhaps by the type of encoding that was used. I think they probably should... Read More
Feb 17, 2008 by Vic Rattlehead |  See all 3 posts
Questions about the Collector's Edition
This quote might help. It's David Horiuchi's editorial comment provided by Amazon on the Superbit Edition: "Lawrence of Arabia raises the bar on Superbit DVDs by not only using the much-publicized higher bit rate, but also offering a brand-new transfer by restoration expert Robert Harris,... Read More
Feb 25, 2009 by A. Caplan |  See all 7 posts
Why no release date from Amazon? Be the first to reply
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