To the editors:
Let us salute your movie critic, Jonathan Rosenbaum for his energetic--if breathless--review of Lawrence of Arabia [March 24].
I am relieved that your caption editor quickly established some sense of objectivity and sanity with his headline "Blue Eyes Is Back" to ameliorate--believe it or not--that David Lean used Peter O'Toole's blue eyes in the name of cinema--aesthetics. (circa J. R.)
Jonathan continues wallpapering the Reader's columns with undiminished aplomb. Apparently more than two decades have not made him any wiser. He remains convinced that six 1962 films were--and are--superior to Lawrence of Arabia which he rates a four star masterpiece.
Your critic Rosenbaum is perhaps unmindful that comparisons and certainly in this context--are not only odious, absolutely worthless, but also profane.
And finally, he recommends to the reader if they want to see a grand old fashioned film Lawrence of Arabia is currently the best movie around. Summarily is this the wrap-up of a 4 star masterpiece?
N. Pine Grove
Jonathan Rosenbaum replies:
If I had been reviewing Lawrence of Arabia in the early 60s, I almost certainly would not have given it four stars. My point is that evaluations can and should change in relation to changing contexts. English-speaking movies in 1962 were, on the whole, a great deal better than English-speaking movies today; ergo, in relation to the other available choices, Lawrence of Arabia is a better movie today than it was 27 years ago.