(Editor's note: The following excerpts are taken from a review that appeared in The Tech on Jan. 9, 1963.)
Any serious attempt at a screen biography of T. E. Lawrence must meet with almost unsurmountable difficulties: Lawrence, a man who became a legend in his own time, was an incredibly complex and many-sided character.... As a result, Lawrence of Arabia, visually rich, intellectually honest and careful as it is meets with only a partial success.
The film does not stand up to detailed psychological examination. I failed to comprehend the psychology behind Lawrence's contradictory behavior.... Robert Bolt's screenplay succeeds only in capturing the external side of Lawrence's character.... Had the film been restricted to the legend of Lawrence, had it not had any psychological pretensions, any desire to portray the man, perhaps it would have been the achievement its talented staff had led us to believe.
Directed with painstaking dedication by David Lean.... Lawrence of Arabia is a product of years of work. Shot on location in the Arab desert, a beautiful color photography and a sense of pictorial composition give it a splendid visual quality. If one is content with admiring the polished surface of the film, one will think highly of it. Indeed, Lawrence of Arabia remains a good film -- beautiful, powerful, always intriguing; certainly one of the best Hollywood offerings of the year; perhaps worthy of all the Academy Awards it will probably receive.