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Lawrence of Arabia (Restored Version) [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 2,059 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

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.

Additional Features

Much has been made about the wealth of extras found on the four-disc 50th-anniversary collector's edition Blu-ray, but this two-disc edition also offers an exceptional array of supplemental features devoted to the making of Lawrence. However, buyers should note that most of the extras consist of the same material found on the 2008 collector's edition DVD, including the hour-plus "Making of Lawrence of Arabia," a nine-minute conversation with Steven Spielberg about the impact of the film on his career, and four short vintage documentary featurettes about the rigors of location shooting; one of the shorter items, Wind, Sand and Star: The Making of a Classic, from 1970, is featured in a slightly shorter presentation than on the 50th-anniversary collector's edition. A newsreel from the film's premiere and a gallery of promotional material from the picture's original release and subsequent reissues round out the set, while three minor extras from the collector's edition DVD--a handful of theatrical trailers, talent files, and the DVD-ROM feature "Archives of Arabia: Historic Photographs Take You Behind the Scenes"--have not been included. In their stead are two new HD features created exclusively for the Blu-ray release: "Secrets of Arabia: A Picture-in-Graphic Track" presents an array of textual information on the film and the historical events that inspired it, including excerpts from T.E. Lawrence's own writing, maps, and still photographs that can be viewed along with the film, while "Peter O'Toole Revisits Lawrence of Arabia" is a 20-plus-minute interview with the actor, who recalls his career-changing work on the film through typically charming and informative anecdotes. For buyers wishing to have the best Blu-ray presentation possible of Lawrence of Arabia, but are unwilling or unable to pay for the 50th-anniversary collector's edition, the restored version is a fine compilation of some of the best extras available from both past and present for this extraordinary film. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

BD Disc 1:
  • Fully-restored feature
  • Picture-in-Graphic "Secrets of Arabia" (Blu-ray Exclusive)

BD Disc 2:

  • Peter O'Toole Revisits "Lawrence of Arabia" (Blu-ray Exclusive)
  • The Making of Lawrence of Arabia documentary (Restored Version)
  • 5 Featurettes
  • NY Premiere (Newsreel)
  • Advertising Campaigns (Restored Version)
  • Theatrical Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Peter O'Toole, Arthur Kennedy, Jose Ferrer, Anthony Quinn, Omar Sharif
  • Directors: David Lean
  • Producers: David Lean, Sam Spiegel
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Restored, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Dutch, English, French, Japanese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2012
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: December 31, 2017 (Click here for more information)
  • Run Time: 227 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,059 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008Y1YK0I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,650 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lawrence of Arabia (Restored Version) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The Blu-ray edition of Lawrence of Arabia is spectacular in every way. The first impression is sonic, with the overture by French composer Maurice Jarre played over a blank screen, soon followed by truly astounding images from the deserts of Arabia (actually Jordan and Morocco). The clarity, minute detail and brilliant color of the picture made it difficult to believe I was watching a fifty-year-old film. Every facet of the filmmaker's art is showcased here at an extreme level of competence and inspiration. Lawrence of Arabia's revered status with film fans can only be further enhanced by this high definition re-mastering.

British director David Lean had long wanted to do a production based on T.E. Lawrence's autobiography, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, but the anticipated scope and consequent cost of the film were prohibitive. With the success of his 1957 Bridge On the River Kwai (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor Alec Guinness) the necessary funding became available. The story of Lawrence, his Arab cavalry and their campaign against the Turks on the desert fringe of the First World War would come to the screen. The effort and expense were rewarded with another raft of Oscars for 1962, including Best Picture, Director, Cinematography, Editing, Musical Score, Art Direction and Sound.

Two of the ten special features are exclusive to the Blu-ray, one being an interview with Peter O'Toole many years after the film was made. The other exclusive feature, the only special feature on the disc with the film itself, is called Picture in Graphics - Secrets of Arabia. I was not enthused, thinking this would be a mere gallery of production photographs, but it turned out to be a very special device for students of the history of film or of T.E. Lawrence.
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