4k Movie, Streaming, Blu-Ray Disc, and Home Theater Product Reviews & News | High Def Digest
Film & TV All News Blu-Ray Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders 4K Ultra HD Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders Gear Reviews News Home Theater 101 Best Gear Film & TV
Ultra HD : Highly Recommended
Sale Price: $ Last Price: $ Buy now! 3rd Party In Stock
Release Date: June 16th, 2020 Movie Release Year: 1962

Lawrence of Arabia - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (Columbia Classics Vol.1)

Overview -

Featuring Peter O'Toole's memorable performance as the titular character, David Lean's historical epic Lawrence of Arabia remains a brilliant, mesmerizing cinematic masterpiece that could only be best appreciated on a big screen. Shy of its 60th Anniversary, the classic film rides into 4K Ultra HD with a reference-quality Dolby Vision HDR and riveting Dolby Atmos presentation. With one new exclusive joining a strong set of supplements, this UHD edition is a must-own for cinephiles and makes for a Highly Recommended addition to the library. 

Winner of 7 Academy Awards® including Best Picture of 1962, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA stands as one of the most timeless and essential motion picture masterpieces. The greatest achievement of its legendary, Oscar®-winning director, David Lean (1962, Lawrence of Arabia; 1957 The Bridge on the River Kwai), the film stars Peter O’Toole — in his career-making performance — as T.E. Lawrence, the audacious World War I British army officer who heroically united rival Arab desert tribes and led them to war against the mighty Turkish Empire. Restored and re-mastered at 4K resolution, the massive scope and epic action of the Director’s Cut of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA can now be experienced like never before.

Nominated for 10 Academy Awards® in 1962, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA won seven, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography [Color], Best Art Direction-Set Decoration [Color], Best Film Editing, Best Music [Score] and Best Sound.


4K Ultra HD™ Includes:

  • Feature presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision, fully restored from the original camera negative
    • Feature split across two 4K Ultra HD discs for optimal bitrate
  • Dolby Atmos English audio
  • 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Special Feature:
    • NEW: Unused International Prologue

Feature Blu-ray™ Includes:

  • Feature presented in high definition, sourced from the 4K master
  • 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Special Feature:
    • Secrets of Arabia: Feature-Length Picture-in-Graphics Track

Special Feature Blu-ray™ Includes:

  • Peter O’Toole Revisits Lawrence of Arabia
  • Making of Lawrence of Arabia Documentary
  • Deleted Balcony Scene with Introduction by Anne V. Coates
  • The Lure of the Desert: Martin Scorsese on Lawrence of Arabia
  • A Conversation with Steven Spielberg
  • Wind, Sand and Star: The Making of a Classic (1963 & 1970 Versions)
  • Maan, Jordan: The Camels Are Cast
  • In Search of Lawrence
  • Romance of Arabia
  • King Hussein Visits Lawrence of Arabia Set
  • In Love with the Desert Documentary
  • Lawrence at 50: A Classic Restored
  • Archival Interviews
    • Steven Spielberg on Lawrence of Arabia
    • William Friedkin on Lawrence of Arabia
    • Sydney Pollack on Lawrence of Arabia
  • New York Premiere Footage
  • Advertising Campaigns
  • Vintage Trailers & TV Spots

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA has a run time of approximately 228 minutes and is rated PG.

Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Region Free
Video Resolution/Codec:
Aspect Ratio(s):
Audio Formats:
English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English SDH, Arabic, French, Spanish
Special Features:
Digital Copy
Release Date:
June 16th, 2020

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


If there exists an established, conventional "going-native" narrative, then David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia is the definitive masterwork. The spectacularly beautiful film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence (a memorably remarkable Peter O'Toole) is the standard by which all other such narratives should be estimated and measured. Working very closely with cinematographer F.A. Young (49th Parallel, Treasure Island, Doctor Zhivago), Lean's classic epic historical drama is magnificent in its scope, capturing every detail of the culture, and breathtakingly stunning in its scale, showing the majestic grandeur and splendor that seduced the British Colonel. 

While we continue celebrating the elegance in the photography and the notable achievements in the creative editing, we should not overlook the brilliance in Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson's script, which goes deeper into our hero's psyche than simply being charmed by the homeliness of a culture he initially believed to be savage or primitive. Here, he loses a part of himself, struggling to maintain a sense of identity while also battling the post-traumatic effects of war, displaying a genuine internal conflict with a loyalty to his country versus a commitment to a greater and arguably nobler cause. Lawrence of Arabia is a splendidly brilliant cinematic masterpiece that continues to impress and mesmerize. 

For a more in-depth take on the movie, you can read our excellent review of the 2012 50th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition HERE.

Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment brings David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia to Ultra HD Blu-ray as a four-disc combo pack with a flyer for a Digital Copy, which can be redeemed via sonypictures.com and Movies Anywhere. When redeeming said code, users are granted access to the 4K UHD version with legacy Dolby Digital audio. The 228-minute epic spans a pair of Ultra HD discs housed inside a black, eco-elite vortex case with a glossy slipcover. The first triple-layered UHD100 disc contains approximately 140 minutes of the film while a second dual-layered UHD66 disc contains the rest. Both are joined by another BD50 disc featuring the entire film and a BD25 disc with the special features. At startup, the disc goes straight to a static main screen with the usual options along the bottom while music plays in the background.

Currently only available with Sony's Columbia Classics Volume 1 6-film collection which also includes:
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Dr. Strangelove
A League of Their Own
Jerry Maguire

Video Review


Struck from the same 8K scan of the meticulously restored 70mm camera negatives and later mastered to a 4K digital intermediate, the classic epic drama rides into Ultra HD on a jaw-droppingly gorgeous, reference-quality HEVC H.265 encode that amazingly surpasses its Blu-ray brethren. The native 4K transfer showcases sharper, better-defined details from start to finish, exposing the intricate stitching and threading in the costumes. The enhanced contrast levels not only show brighter, more dramatic whites, but the improvement also allows for better visibility in the mesmerizing photography of the vast, infinite desert vistas. The unique features in the rock formations and in the architecture of buildings are plain to see at all times while the specular highlights display a radiantly intense yet crisp and narrow splendor in the hottest spots without washing away the more minute aspects.

F.A. Young's memorable cinematography also enjoys a brand-new lease on life thanks to Dolby Vision, supplying the action and drama with a more sumptuous and vibrant assortment of colors throughout. The HDR presentation makes the cerulean blue skies really pop, and the greens of some foliage bloom while the reds of various outfits and furnishings are much richer and dynamic. The varied array of browns, tans and sepias of the desert are more animated while explosions bursts with spirited, fiery oranges. Facial complexions reveal the smallest wrinkle, pore and stumble, but they also appear more lifelike and accurate to the blisteringly hot climate. Meanwhile, black levels come with an inkier, sootier appeal while nighttime sequences are bathed in silkier midnight shadows that maintain excellent visibility within the darkest corners. 

Awash in a very fine layer of natural gain, the 2.20:1 image is simply stunning to behold on UHD, and the classic film has never looked better. (Dolby Vision Video Rating: 96/100)

Audio Review


Complementing the spellbindingly beautiful video presentation is a riveting Dolby Atmos soundtrack, offering a dramatic improvement over its DTS-HD MA counterpart, which is also included on the disc for comparison. 

Although still maintaining a very front-heavy presentation, the extra breathing room allows for various audio effects to better discretely travel into the surround channels. Granted, this object-based version is not the sort to battle with the current crop of war films, but the track feels broader and significantly fuller, exhibiting better warmth and superb clarity in the midrange. The upper ranges display the same level of exceptional distinction and separation in Maurice Jarre's iconic score as they do during the loudest moments of warfare. Speaking of which, the music is most effective in engaging the listener, extending into all the channels and generating an enveloping hemispheric soundfield. Action sequences come with background activity spreading evenly across the screen while also subtly bleeding into the top heights, such as an early scene with the echo of German airplanes filling the room. 

Meanwhile, dialogue reproduction is distinct and precise at all times with distinguished intonation in the performances. Most impressive is a robust and surprisingly powerful low-end providing a deep, impactful presence to the explosive action while occasionally energizing the room and nicely shaking the couch. (Dolby Atmos Audio Rating: 88/100)

Special Features


The same set of supplements from the 50th Anniversary Blu-ray are ported over for this Ultra HD edition while throwing one small exclusive to boot. According to Sony, the package of bonuses is apparently missing some intended material and are currently working to rectify the issue. We will update this section as soon as the correct bonus features are available. 

UPDATE From Sony About Disc Replacement Program:
Due to a manufacturing error, the Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection currently includes an incorrect LAWRENCE OF ARABIA special features disc, which does not include the full amount of intended content. This does not affect the 4K UHD presentation of the film itself. The correct special features disc will be available to consumers who purchase the set, whether as a pre-order or as part of a future order, pending the eventual availability of sets that already have the correct disc included. Consumers should receive communication from their retailer about this corrected disc soon, but may contact the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Customer Care team with any questions at consumer@SPHECustomerSupport.sony.com or 1-800-860-2878.

Ultra HD Disc One

  • Unused International Prologue (2160p, 1 min): A black screen with white text providing historical context to the plot but was never officially used during its original theatrical run. 

Blu-ray Disc One

  • Secrets of Arabia: A Picture-in-Graphic Track (HD)

Blu-ray Disc Two

  • The Making of Lawrence of Arabia (SD, 62 min) 
  • Peter O'Toole Revisits Lawrence of Arabia (SD, 21 min) 
  • A Conversation with Steven Spielberg (SD, 9 min) 
  • In Search of Lawrence (SD, 5 min) 
  • Romance of Arabia (SD, 5 min) 
  • Wind, Sand and Star: The Making of a Classic (SD, 5 min) 
  • Maan, Jordan: The Camels Are Cast (SD, 2 min) 
  • New York Premiere (SD, 1 min) 
  • Advertising Campaigns (SD, 5 min) 

Final Thoughts

David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia is a splendidly brilliant cinematic masterpiece that continues to mesmerize and is the sort of film that could only be best appreciated on the biggest screen possible. Featuring remarkably memorable performances from Peter O'Toole, Anthony Quinn and Omar Sharif, the classic epic historical drama remains a feast for the eyes with an enthrallingly engaging tale of one's many journeying of self-discovery against the backdrop of the vast, infinite desert. Just shy of its 60th Anniversary, the film rides into 4K Ultra HD with a magnificent, reference-quality Dolby Vision HDR presentation and a riveting Dolby Atmos soundtrack, providing cinephiles not only with an appreciable upgrade over its Blu-ray counterpart but also with the most beautiful home video edition of the classic ever. With one new exclusive bonus joining the same set of supplements as before, this UHD edition makes for a highly recommended addition to the library.