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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > British TV > Telefilm > A Dangerous Man - Lawrence After Arabia (Telefilm)

A Dangerous Man – Lawrence After Arabia (TV)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: D     Film: C



Outside of sheer remakes or sequels, if you are going to make a follow up movies there is one thing that is quite clear.  Not only should you be fully aware of the previous material, but you better be able to offer something in order to bring continuity to the material.  I certainly would not advise anyone trying to go above and beyond the greatness of certain films that have been made over the course of cinema and without a doubt one of them being David Lean’s epic masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia (1962).  That film alone brings new meaning to the word visual filmmaking and on an epic scale that put motion picture filmmaking into a new world.  Add to that, the industry was forever changed in the way that cinema was looked upon from a large-scale viewpoint. 


That brings us to A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia (1990) starring Ralph Fiennes as the bright eyed Lawrence, who would have made a good candidate for a young Lawrence back in 1962, but that role was played to perfection and established by Peter O’ Toole and any other portrayal of the title character seems ridiculous now.  What happened with Lean’s epic is that he put these large than life events into a film that in and of itself was larger than life, therefore creating a standard that cannot be reached by today’s attempts. 


While this may be an Emmy Award winning program and it does have some very fine highlights, including Fiennes performance, it just does not meet up to the reputation that we have administered to Lawrence.  While this follows the events after he rose through the British ranks to lead the Arabs into battle over Turkish rule, the grandiose nature of his life cannot be fully realized here. 


Released through BFS, the film is presented in its full frame TV aspect ratio, which looks very dated, even only being a few years old.  The tape source is very analog in origin and demonstrates a lackluster quality overall.  Colors are messy and detail is problematic throughout.  Considering that this is going for a look it has to compete with Academy Award winning cinematography (not to mention probably the best camerawork in the past 50 years) from Lawrence of Arabia, which was shot in the large 70mm format!  The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is either stereo or mono, but either way its mono coming through two channels, meaning anything stereo here is barely so.  Almost entirely dialogue based the audio works just fine with nothing stellar enough to beg for a larger mix anyway. 


For History buffs, this might be a nice companion piece to have in addition to Lawrence of Arabia, but for true cinema buffs, stay far away from this!  You will just end up laughing at its attempt to be a continuation to the story, which will only make you thirst for Omar Sharif to pop on screen.



-   Nate Goss


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