DVD Review: 'Lawrence of Arabia' looks great on Blu-ray
A scene from "Lawrence of Arabia" with Peter O'Toole. (Courtesy of Sony Pictures / November 26, 2012)
The remarkable restored director's cut, assembled about a decade ago, has been released on DVD a number of times, but this is the sort of epic filmmaking that needs to be presented in the highest possible quality. Nothing can replace the experience of seeing it projected on a huge theater screen; but, within the limitations of even the best home equipment, the new two-disc Blu-ray release looks amazing — possibly the best-looking Blu-ray I've ever seen: beautiful, sharp and detailed.
The first disc has nothing on it but the film — which, given its three-hour, 45-minute length is a wise decision — and a “Picture-in-Graphic” track, which shrinks the image to make room for written commentary. It has a lot of information, but it's hard to imagine sitting through the whole thing; the movie speaks for itself. The second disc repeats the more than an hour and a half of extras from earlier editions, plus a new interview with O'Toole.
Sony also offers a Gift Set — for $95.99 — which adds another disc of extras, a soundtrack CD, a book and some “collectibles.” If you're one of the 1%, you may be able to afford it, but for all but the most ardent fans, paying three times as much to get that stuff seems rather silly.
"Lawrence of Arabia" (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Blu-ray, two discs, $26.99; Gift Set, Blu-ray, 3 discs plus soundtrack CD, book and other gewgaws, $95.99)
ANDY KLEIN is the film critic for Marquee. He can also be heard on “FilmWeek” on KPCC-FM (89.3).