Legendary Egyptian actor Omar Sharif passed away earlier today at age 83.
He is perhaps most famous for his two film collaborations with British director David Lean. Together they made “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Doctor Zhivago,” two of the greatest cinematic epics of all time.
While “Zhivago” gave him the leading role, “Lawrence” is where he really proved himself. After all, it was Sharif’s first English speaking role after appearing in 15 Egyptian movies.
“Lawrence of Arabia” has twice been named one of the ten best films of all time by the American Film Institute. At 227 minutes long, it feels like the kind of film that never gets made anymore, which is partially why it is still so special today.
In the film, Sharif plays Sherif Ali, who proves to be an unlikely ally to T.E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole). He grabs you immediately from his slow, silent introduction, which is one of the times when the film best takes advantage of its long running time.
In one of the film’s many stunning visual tricks, Sharif first appears out of a mirage.
He slowly inches closer towards Lawrence and his Bedouin guide.
The drawn out entrance creates unbearable tension. This man, dressed in black covered nearly head to toe, could be a friend or a foe.
That question is quickly answered when Ali pulls out a gun and kills Lawrence’s guide.
Ali eventually explains that the man was drinking water from a well without permission.
In this brief moment, you learn so much about the character, and the fact that Lawrence is in the middle of a complex conflict that he barely understands.
And in that three minute span, Sharif made movie history.
Watch the scene below:
NOW WATCH: Watch Omar Sharif in the trailer for one of the greatest movies of all time, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’
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