Really, I do. It depends on my mood, of course, but it’s one of my favorite all time movies, always in the top ten and sometimes undisputably the best ever.
They really knew how to write dialog back then – something you don’t see often in movies today. While some of the fit and finish – bits of continuity, dated film quality, etc. aren’t the same as top movies today, almost nowhere else can you find the regularly spectacular dialogs. I mean, where else can you find stuff like this – completely in character and fitting, not sounding corny at all, as it might if you’ve never seen it:
It reminds me of Sunset Boulevard, another classic with tidbits of amazing dialog – just great wordplay between the actors.
So if you haven’t seen it, you should. Oh, yes, it’s a drama, and suspend your disbelief, it’s in black and white and to the ininitiated some of the techniques feel dated compared to modern movies. But much of the cinematography, editing, and acting is truly deserving of such a classic as well.
Plus, I must have a touch of British in me with a strange hidden desire for the desert. Casablana and Lawrence of Arabia and such stories are what I think of when you say “mysterious” and “thrilling”. I just finished re-reading Stirling’s Desert Raiders, a story of WW2 daring by David Stirling, who founded the SAS. Good show, old chap!