Oscar DVDs

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 March, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 March, 2002, 12:00am

Tonight's the night in Los Angeles - but here are some previous best film winners you might or might not want to revisit

Lawrence Of Arabia

Year: 1962

Starring: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Omar Sharif

Director: David Lean

The film: It's debatable that there's ever been a performance that so instantly launched an actor to super-stardom than Peter O'Toole's in Lawrence Of Arabia. It's an extraordinary performance in an extraordinary production - and, try as he might, O'Toole was never able to match it again. And although director David Lean was consistently brilliant throughout his career, this is such a profound and visually spectacular film it's probably his most complete work - and that's from a man who also made, among others, The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957) and Doctor Zhivago (1965). The story traces the steps of the legendary TE Lawrence and his rise from lowly British army officer to champion of the Arab cause during World War I. Everything is done on such a grand scale - the acting from the stars, the huge array of extras, the sensational battle scenes - that you'll be swept away by it all. Seven Oscars were hardly enough.

The extras: There's absolutely everything you could want here - you'll lose a day if you sit through the lot, so stock up on munchies. The documentary takes you back to this most classic of film sets, where Lean's fastidiousness led directly to some of the more astonishing scenes - he waited countless times for the right light and moved entire sets, and to different countries, to get the looks he wanted. And then you can see the stars go out and play at the film's New York premiere.

The verdict: A fabulous addition to any collection and a rare opportunity to see a director and a star at the absolute pinnacles of their crafts.