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In Honor of 'Lawrence of Arabia' 50th Anniversary, BFI Lists '10 Desert Films to Try' (TRAILERS)

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood November 26, 2012 at 3:33PM

With David Lean's epic masterpiece "Lawrence of Arabia" celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the BFI has compiled an unranked list of "10 Desert Films to Try." The finely curated list includes classics like Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," Erich von Stroheim's gold-hungry "Greed" and Nicolas Roeg's dreamy "Walkabout," but also Gus van Sant's underappreciated "Gerry" and Nicholas Ray's less-seen Richard Burton-starrer "Bitter Victory."
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Lawrence of Arabia

With David Lean's epic masterpiece "Lawrence of Arabia" celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the BFI has compiled an unranked list of "10 Desert Films to Try." The finely curated list includes classics like Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," Erich von Stroheim's gold-hungry "Greed" and Nicolas Roeg's dreamy "Walkabout," but also Gus van Sant's underappreciated "Gerry" and Nicholas Ray's less-seen Richard Burton-starrer "Bitter Victory."

As the weather cools down, what other great movies are set in the endless sand and glaring sun?

BFI's 10 Desert Films to Try:

"Bitter Victory" (dir. Nicholas Ray, 1957)

"Darratt" (dir. Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, 2006)

"Fata Morgana" (dir. Werner Herzog, 1971)

"Gerry" (dir. Gus van Sant, 2002)

"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (dir. Sergio Leone, 1966)

"Greed" (dir. Erich von Stroheim, 1924)

"Ice Cold in Alex" (dir. J. Lee Thompson, 1958)

"Walkabout" (dir. Nicolas Roeg, 1971)

"Woman of the Dunes" (dir. Hiroshi Teshigahara)

"Zabriskie Point" (dir. Michelangelo Antonioni, 1970)

This article is related to: BFI, News, Lawrence of Arabia, Classics


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.