Lawrence of Arabia or Dr Zhivago. Which, in your opinion, is the better movie?

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Lawrence of Arabia or Dr Zhivago. Which, in your opinion, is the better movie?

I have always been a fan of the David Lean film Dr Zhivago but on every film poll I look at, it always seems to be beaten by a mile by David Leans other famous film epic Lawrence of Arabia.

Though the films have some things in common; both have the same director with a love of majestic landscapes; both have an incredible Maurice Jarre soundtrack and both have Omar Shariff and Alec Guinness in them for some reason I just have never really enjoyed Lawrence of Arabia as much as Dr Zhivago.

Perhaps I am just more of a snow person than a sand person or perhaps its because there is more brooding silence in Lawrence of Arabia versus so much beautiful dialogue in Dr Zhivago or maybe its because the love story in Dr Zhivago touches me more than the homo-erotic bromance thing (mixed in with Lawrences Sado-Masochism) of Lawrence Of Arabia, although I do find the history and politics of Lawrence of Arabia interesting and its a perfect film to watch for anyone interested in the colonial roots  of middle-eastern conflict.

What do other people think? Do you prefer Lawrence of Arabia or Dr Zhivago? Or perhaps you like one of David Leans other films better like Ryan's Daughter or Brief Encounter or Great Expectations or The Bridge On The River Kwai.



Dr Zhiavago by a mile. I'd have left Lawrence in the desert 


I do not cry much and yet the end of Dr Z got me watery.

They're both awful!  Great Expectations is a classic. (all of which is only my opinion). Guinness fell out with Lean they reckon - which is a shame - them having collaberated so well.


I haven't seen Dr Zhivago in years, but I was bored silly when I did see it.  I'm not sure I could stomach Laurence Olivier as the Mahdi in Lawrence of Arabia again, although I do think it's an interesting film.  I still like Lean's version of Hobson's Choice, very small scale but very satisfying, with Charles Laughton doing his wonderful dance with the moon in a puddle.  Magwitch in Great Expectations scared the bejesus out of me when I was a kid.

Dr. Zhivago. I have a deep respect for Russian Neo-Marxists.


Personally I always loved both of these films, both two of my top favourite films, along with Spartacus and perhaps Ben Hur. I can't really choose between them, as I regard both as perfect. Both conjur up their times and places ( about the same time in history!!). Perhaps if the Ottoman Empire had stayed intact the middle east would be a calmer and safer place today. What if the First World War and therefore the Russian Revolution had never happened? Perhaps a slower evolution of history would have been preferable. We can't change those histories now, but those films show the history unfolding so well.