Saturday, July 11, 2015

Omar Shariff: Film Moments

Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, who died the other day, burst into Western film as Sherif Ali in one of the most famous scenes in all of cinema.  

You can watch it above, but the thrill of it does not come across in a small format. It was shot on 70-millimeter film by the legendary cinematographer, Freddie Young, and only a huge screen does it justice.  

(Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”  Same idea.) 

The film, "Lawrence of Arabia" won Oscars for best picture, best director (David Lean) and best cinematography.  It has been rereleased several times, most recently in digital 4K for its 50th anniversary in 2012.    

Next time it comes around, go.  You won't regret it. 

Doctor Zhivago

Shariff was 83 when he died of a heart attack.  Another of his famous characters, Doctor Zhivago, met a similar fate in the saddest moments of another Lean/Young epic.  The movie is based on Boris Pasternak's fine novel of the upheavals of the Russian Revolution.  

In this scene, Zhivago catches a glimpse of Lara, his lost true love.  

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