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Lawrence of Arabia

A Mighty Motion Picture Of Action And Adventure! 

Year: 1962 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1 (70mm) 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by David Lean 
Starring: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn  
An image from Lawrence of Arabia

There’s undoubtedly a section of our audience seeing this and wetting themselves: “Lawrence of Arabia!? In 70mm!?!?”. To you, I don’t really have anything to say, you know what’s going on here, enjoy. There’s probably – let’s be honest here – also a contingent looking at the nearly 4 hour runtime (for what it’s worth, there is an intermission!) with some scepticism. You’re the people I’m going to talk to here: let me assure you, this film is nigh on perfect and, I promise you, will be the fastest four hours of your life. I say this because I was one of the doubters, until I got dragged by a group of friends to the BFI to see this very 70mm print. Everything about this film is utterly compelling and gripping (mesmerising, enthralling… I could go on!) from start to end, the iconic match cut (cough) still makes my breath catch every time I see it on the big screen, and Maurice Jarre’s score still makes the hair on my arms stand on end – in a good way! – every time I hear that main theme. I think I’m supposed to spend less time gushing and more time doing useful things like ‘plot synopses’. Fine. In short, basically, it’s Dune but based on real life and with Timothée Chalamet played by Peter O’Toole (to whom Noël Coward famously quipped “If you’d been any prettier, it would have been Florence of Arabia” – fangirling over Messiah-complexed desert twinks is esteemed artistic tradition, y’all!). And it’s reallllly good! To call this epic a masterpiece would be to barely do it justice.

Kieran Hall

One of the most iconic shots in cinema history is the very literal match cut at the beginning of Lawrence of Arabia; Lawrence lights a match and the scene cuts to a magnificent desert sunrise. One little British man becomes a key ally of the Arab Revolt for independence against the Ottomans – one day he is seen cycling down rural, English country lanes, the next he becomes a desert hero. Of course, historical accuracy isn’t what Lawrence of Arabia is all about. Epic cinematography, charismatic individuals, the stifling heat of the desert – all of this and more is what you will discover across the four, fast-paced hours which the film plays out. Here at Warwick Student Cinema, experience the film the best way you will ever see it, in 70mm! With as much wideness and detail and high-quality as Lawrence of Arabia deserves; this is not one to miss!

Daniel Kallin

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Screenings of this film:

1979/1980 Spring Term (35mm)
1985/1986 Autumn Term (35mm)
2005/2006 Spring Term (35mm)
2018/2019 Spring Term (70mm)
2023/2024 Spring Term (70mm)