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on September 26, 2016
Didn't realize that "Region 2" meant it wouldn't play in Canada. Asked to return but informed that it must be still in shrink wrap for a rebate... not sure how I would know that it wouldn't play and still have it in shrink wrap. Very disappointed and guess I just have to chalk this up to a lesson that cost me some money.
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on June 11, 2017
excellent
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on April 23, 2017
A great movie well told.
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on July 19, 2017
Great classic
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on October 21, 2014
Great!
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RESTORATION:

"We wanted to return this film to as pristine a condition as possible to honour its anniversary release," says Grover Crisp, EVP of Asset Management, Film Restoration and Digital Mastering for SPE. The original camera negative was scanned at 8K and the film went through a painstaking process of repairing problems inherent to the 50-year old film elements. Using the latest digital imaging technology, the colour grading and re-mastering was completed in 4K at Colorworks, Sony Pictures Entertainments' digital intermediate facility. "The original negative was seriously damaged in a number of ways, some problems dating from the original release and some accumulated over the years." says Crisp. "But, until now, we did not have the tools available to address these issues. We think fans of the film will be as amazed as we are at the detail and resolution in the imagery captured by cinematographer Freddie Young to compliment David Lean's immaculate direction." How true!!

VIDEO:

Lawrence of Arabia arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.19:1 encode. Now through the high scrutiny lens of blu ray comes an image of the greatness in the look back at Lawrence of Arabia that today requires only the gift of sight to see in all of its filmic glory. Sony's meticulous 4K restoration is not just a treat, it's a revelation and perhaps the definitive blu ray catalogue release, if not the format's finest presentation. It is a beautiful picture, to say the least, every frame lovingly cared for and displayed on blu-ray with the sort of attention to detail and, indeed, flawlessness that a film of this magnitude commands. Sony's picture dazzles from the opening shots of Lawrence speeding down very well-defined pavement and past sharp and accurate foliage. Detail remains exacting throughout the film; whether fine grains of sand, sweeping desert vistas, intricate clothing lines, or complex facial textures, there's never a frame in which the picture doesn't dazzle with its perfect film-like elements. The image is absolutely clean, showing no signs of wear and succumbing to no unwanted artifacts or digital tinkering. Colours are equally resplendent. Gold trim, bright reds, lush natural greens, and all variety of colours simply dazzle in every scene. Black levels are perfect, as is shadow detail. It is the sort of timeless image that transfixes and immerses, one that is so precise that viewers will become absolutely lost in the beauty of the film. One should watch it twice in succession, once for the transfer and once for the movie. (5/5)

AUDIO:

Lawrence of Arabia makes its long-anticipated blu-ray debut with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack that's up to the task of sonically carrying the film and supporting its splendid visuals. The prologue music plays with superb clarity, excellent separation and distinctive notes, natural heft, effortless balance, and fine spacing, including a prominent but natural surround element. Music is certainly the sonic highlight throughout the film and a necessary ingredient in dramatically shaping the Lawrence of Arabia experience. Maurice Jarre's stunning score has never sounded better on a home video release. This is a high quality vintage soundtrack that's the perfect compliment to a classic film and its first-class video transfer. (5/5)

AWARDS:

Academy Award Winner (1963):

Best Picture (Sam Spiegel)
Best Director (David Lean)
Best Original Music Score (Maurice Jarre)
Best Cinematography (Freddie Young)
Best Sound (John Cox)
Best Editing (Anne V. Coates)
Best Set Direction, Colour

Academy Award Nominations:

Best Actor (Peter O’Toole)
Best Supporting Actor (Omar Sharif)
Best Writing, Screenplay

TRIVA:

Did you notice that almost all movement in the film goes from left to right? David Lean said he did this to emphasize that the film was a journey.

While filming, Peter O'Toole referred to co-star Omar Sharif as "Fred," stating that "no one in the world is called Omar Sharif. Your name must be Fred."

The film missed out on a 11th Oscar nomination - for Best Costume Design - because someone forgot to submit Phyllis Dalton's name for consideration.

PACKAGING:

This Limited Edition box set is quite large, measuring 12” x 12”, larger than regular box sets like The Sound of Music, Singin’ In The Rain, etc. This huge box really reminded me of those huge laser disc box sets from the days gone by. The white box is sheathed in a clear plastic slide-on cover that lists specs and supplement info. Inside, there is a fantastic 88-page coffee table book of the same size, with rare behind-the-scenes photos. There is an individually numbered 70 mm mounted film frame.

There are 4 discs: disc 1: Feature Film with secrets of Arabia: Picture-in-Graphics Track; disc 2: Special Features; disc 3 (gift set exclusive disc), containing never-before-released deleted scenes, the lure of the desert: Martin Scorsese on Lawrence of Arabia, Lawrence at 50: a classic restored; In love with desert; King Hussein visits Lawrence of Arabia set; Wind, Sand and Star (Original 1963 version); archival interviews with William Friedkin, Sydney Pollack and Steven Spielberg; trailer & TV spots; disc 4: Soundtrack CD with original score from the film, with 2 previously unreleased tracks.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

2012 is a very good year for vintage catalogue blu ray releases. Thankfully, they all had careful and detailed restoration. Thus, we are blessed with the best editions on blu ray in our collection, including E.T., Jaws, Indiana Jones, Cinderella, etc. And we end the year with the ultimate release of Lawrence of Arabia. Thanks to Sony for doing such a magnificent job in restoring this vintage classics to its original glory. This large box set is priceless, and will be displayed next to my other blu ray box sets, like Singin’ In The Rain, The Sound of Music, The Ten Commandments, The Wizard of Oz, Gone With The Wind and Ben Hur. This is indeed a special treat for all the Lawrence of Arabia fans. There are two blu ray discs of Special Features, and I shall take my time to slowly go through and enjoy each section. The song listing for the original score CD is found on the page within the case. There are two previously unreleased tracks: Entracte and Exit Music. The sound of the CD is very well remastered.

All in all, this box set has so many goodies: restored film with tons of Special Features in HD, large book with gorgeous pictures and information about All You Want To Know About Lawrence of Arabia, the well-remastered soundtrack CD with bonus tracks, plus the authentic film frame (70mm film print)…my conclusion: priceless! Naturally, this box set is very highly recommended! The 2-disc movie only edition is of course also highly recommended, but you will be missing out on a lot of bonus features, plus all the goodies stated above. Personally, I find the higher cost for the box set is definitely worthwhile, and just opening the box set to discover all the different goodies is already a gratifying experience, like a child again looking for all the goodies.

I hope the above review is helpful to you.
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on April 5, 2017
I think what kept me from this movie for so long is I thought it would be this epic praise of T.E. Lawrence liberating Arab tribes from Turkish infiltration. And to much extent, it is. Wonderfully shot, amazingly directed - yes. But there's this underlying 'unhinged' thread that doesn't have any resolve by the end. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) is revered and despised by the British military hierarchy from the get go. Brilliant, yet insolent. Trustworthy, but not to be fully trusted. And he himself admits to wrestling with it as an inner turmoil. Sent out to 'observe and report' on a Arab prince and his tribe, and what the intentions are against the Turks and for his people after was in some way getting Lawrence away from the military HQ, and not cause upset and fervor with his radical ideas and insubordination. Yet, there was odds placed on him that he maybe crazy enough to go beyond the call of duty, and actually gain ground for the British empire - or be killed off quickly for his young ideals, which the British could easily apologize for sending him in haste. Much like a vicious pawn on a chess board, Lawrence does win the hearts and minds of the Arab tribes. And leads them to attack the Turks in brilliant fashion. Winning respect from his military peers, they agree to Lawrence's request for more arms and support for the Arab faction. What the movie does and doesn't show is the ambiguity of all this escalation. Does Lawrence actually like this faith and hope Arabs are investing in him? Does he truly realize the thin ice he's upon that if he makes one wrong move now, he could be sacrificed by his own military and/or the Arab tribes which he leads. This is where I falter with a 5 star rating. The elements are there, and lightly or maybe coldly touched upon. But never fully cemented at any point. Understandably, it may make the British and/or Arab people look bad in the end. And to avoid backlash from either on the movies release, best to make Lawrence look like he was getting too blood thirsty and reckless. Which to me, given the epic scale of this movie, and daring and passion of Lawrence himself - seemed like a bit of a cop out for it all? But to Lean's and all credit; maybe that's exactly where it should end. Lawrence served his masters well, could not call his neighbors yard his own anymore, and was sent home to roam and frolic freely. And was it his carelessness and need for speed that caused him to luck out with the Arabs and all to begin with? Or was he truly trying to outrun his past, knowing the dangers up ahead for him and/or England? No one will ever know the answer for sure either way. He was frisky and obedient, leader of the pack, and fearful of his masters. It doesn't make him sound great, I know. Or does it make the volatility of war sound that much worse? The movie will beg to differ either way till the end of time I suppose.
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on August 22, 2012
Praise is often lavished too readily but for "Lawrence of Arabia" all the accolades are justified. This film owes its place among cinema's greatest achievements because of a quality which occasionally emerges when talent combines to create something special.

It's impossible not to admire the grandeur of the sweeping desert scenes, photographed by Freddie Young in Super Panavision 70 (no CGI here!), blending with Maurice Jarre's majestic soundtrack; the imaginative transitional editing which so inspired the likes of Steven Spielberg; Robert Bolt's provocative screenplay with its ironic twists and character complexities; the spectacular battle sequences full of swirling colour; and not least the mesmerising Peter O'Toole as Lawrence, superbly supported by Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins and the rest.

All these elements were moulded under the hands of director David Lean into a film that has become an enduring masterpiece. His vision, understanding of the subject matter, mastery of technique, eye for detail and uncompromising standards present us with a riveting desert saga based on the exploits of enigmatic British army officer, T.E. Lawrence, during the Arab Revolt in the First World War. Lean's work is now restored to its original pristine state, the transfer to blu-ray injecting it with a refreshing vitality.

Some find it difficult to accept western actors in Arab roles and the film is indeed a product of the early 'sixties, when such things were common practice. But it should be remembered that Alec Guinness as Faisal was mistaken for the Prince on the set by people who knew him, and that Lean himself did not recognize Anthony Quinn when he first arrived made up in Arab costume. To my mind both actors appear perfectly natural alongside Omar Sharif, an ethnic Arab, in their scenes together.

O'Toole's portrayal of Lawrence has drawn criticism also as too egotistical. The truth is that T.E. Lawrence was a difficult man to understand and that cinema by its nature must distort to some extent in order to create the illusion of reality. Where the film unquestionably succeeds is in its depiction of a character with divided loyalties struggling to reconcile personal demons amid the horrors of war. Although the real Lawrence comes across as a more subdued personality in his book "Seven Pillars of Wisdom"--which Bolt studied for his script--it's clear that he was a tortured soul.

Such issues are, anyway, superfluous because this is not an historical documentary. It is an epic adventure story staged in a landscape of austere and perilous beauty. For newcomers to the film I should do no better than to quote the Lawrence character: "It's going to be fun." To say they don't make films like this anymore may be a cliche but in the case of "Lawrence of Arabia" they really don't.Lawrence of Arabia Giftset (Restored Version) [Blu-ray]
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on May 5, 2002
The Lawrence of Arabia boxed set released by Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment is based on a 1988 restoration of the film. This version omits some of the very best scenes from the original picture; specifically, the long, tense, horse & camel charge on Akabar. The "1988" version only has about a 30 second mish-mash of footage from the original picture. There are also other shorter, less dramatic, but "arguably" important scenes missing from this version.
I only saw the movie for the first time in 1991. A restored version was being played in Austin, TX and a friend insisted that we simply had to go see it on the big screen. Needless to say, I loved it. But, my absolute favorite part was the charge on Akabar. When I bought the video, I actually fast-forwarded through to see the "charge"?! Imagine my suprise when it was not there. If you can find a more complete version than the one TriStar currently has available, I heartily recommend buying it instead of this current release. I wish I had.
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on December 16, 2016
music too loud/dialog too faint
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