Fifty years ago last month, "Lawrence of Arabia" opened at the Odeon Theater in London and five days later in New York City. Probably the best example of a "thinking person's epic" film, it's been one of my favorites and one of a handful of films I feel MUST be seen at least once on a big screen if possible. It garnered numerous British, American and international awards and remains a classic.
The film depicts an enterprising, brilliant but troubled British scholar/officer in the Middle East, T.E. Lawrence. He was an improbable figure who jumped on the world stage during the bloodiest war (then) in human history and became both a romantic figure and a controversial agent of colonialism. His personal life showed a mix of being both a cross-cultural wonder, shameful showman, and just an ordinary man all too aware of his own defects.