Coming up on TV: Lawrence of Arabia

Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia

It’s time to revisit a spectacle.  On May 9, Turner Classic movies is broadcasting Lawrence of Arabia.  For decades, many of us watched this epic squeezed into tinny-sounding TVs.   In 1989, I was fortunate enough to see the director’s cut in an old movie palace.   Now technology has caught up, and modern large screen HD televisions  can do this wide screen classic justice.  Similarly, modern home sound systems can work with the great Maurice Jarre soundtrack.

Nobody has ever created better epics than director David Lean (Bridge Over the River Kwai, Dr. Zhivago).  Peter O’Toole stars at the moment of his greatest physical beauty.  The rest of the cast is unsurpassed: Omar Sharif, Jose Ferrer, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains, Arthur Kennedy, thousands of extras and entire herds of camels.  The vast and severe Arabian desert is a character unto itself.

Settle in and watch the whole thing – and remember what “epic” really means.

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