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July 2019: Blackpool and the Lancashire Coast

It’s illumination time in Blackpool. Lancashire in October is not likely to be your choice for a sunshine break, but that is not why ...More
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Lawrence of Arabia
- favourite film

In any poll of the great British films Lawrence of Arabia is bound to feature in the top 10. Lawrence is cinema as it should be, making the best of the big screen to tell its story, glorying in wide-angle shots and set-pieces. David Lean as director and Sam Spiegel as producer put together all the components to make one of the great epics: the magnificent sweeping score by Maurice Jarre; the breathtaking cinematography of Freddie Young; and a cast – though neither lead Peter O’Toole nor co-star Omar Sharif were first choice for their roles – of genuine dramatic power. The film lives long in the memory for scenes like Lawrence in swirling robes atop captured train, and Omar Sharif appearing out of the desert haze. But it is not just cinematic eye-candy: the personal horrors and confused morality of war are conveyed in Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson’s script through episodes where Lawrence has to shoot his injured servant to keep him from a slow death at Turkish hands; the massacre of Turks who themselves had just massacred Arab villagers; and famously Lawrence’s possible violation by his Turkish captor, the effects of which are suggested rather than explored.

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Current top 10
1: Oliver!
2: Zulu
3: The Railway Children
4: The Italian Job
5: Life of Brian
6: Trainspotting
7: The Third Man
8: The 39 Steps
9: The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
10: Local Hero

Brit Quote:
If you're going to make rubbish, be the best rubbish in it. - Richard Burton
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On this day:
Stirling Castle Falls to Edward I - 1304, Euston opens as 1st London Station - 1837, FA Cup is formed - 1871, Botham’s Greatest Ashes Day - 1981
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