Omar Sharif: A Celebration
United Kingdom / 1962 / English dialogue with Unknown subtitles / Colour / 35 mm / 216 minutes
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Hard to credit now, but in its days this film was banned in all Arab countries save Egypt, and was never screened in Jordan and Morocco, where it was so magnificently photographed. Restored some 30 years after its premier, the revival revealed a brilliantly crafted, flawlessly directed motion picture, fully justifying its seven Oscars. It is impossible to forget the spectacle of Sherif Ali slowly appearing on the horizon, as if in a mirage, his camel's footsteps (courtesy of sound editor Stan Fiferman) padding towards Peter O'Toole's Lawrence at the well. This was an image fraught with both mystery and romance; it is a star-making entrance arguably unmatched in the history of cinema. Omar Sharif was nominated as Best Supporting Actor; the film catapulted him to stardom.


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