Wednesday, 18 December 2013




One of the enduring images in my mind when I think of Lawrence of Arabia, is Lawrence's long return journey through the desert to rescue Gasim, his servant. The brilliant cinematography of this scene was replicated in Omar Sharif's wandering through Siberia to return to Yuriatin, in the other David Lean movie, Doctor Zhivago (Omar Sharif, of course, starred in both the films). The bare desert, however, lives in my mind through its striking contrast with Lawrence's brilliant blue eyes. I do not know if the real T. E. Lawrence had such blue eyes, but the actor's eyes, and his myriad emotions of hope, pride, despair, exhaustion, as he traverses the desert is mesmerizing. I'm aware that to talk about the 1962 film while talking about Peter O'Toole is a cliche, so I'll quickly pay tribute to those blue eyes set against Audrey Hepburn's startled face in a quashed cupboard in How to Steal A Million. . . .

Requiescat in pace blue-eyed Peter O'Toole.