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Director David Lean and screenwriters Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson’s expansive account of the Arab revolt and the duplicity of the imperial powers in the latter stages of World War One is not an attempt to elucidate the truth about the part played by a still mysterious and controversial figure.
Rather, it is a grandiose, Fordian celebration of the myth the real T. E. Lawrence did so much to create. Peter O’Toole’s charismatic (and best) performance presents a character of fascinatingly half-hidden complexities and flaws.
A carefully orchestrated narrative of battles, heroic journeys and betrayals, this supreme achievement of epic cinema is shown here in a new, full digital restoration to celebrate the film’s 50th anniversary.