After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
Due to his knowledge of the native Bedouin tribes, British Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence is sent to Arabia to find Prince Faisal and serve as a liaison between the Arabs and the British in their fight against the Turks. With the aid of native Sherif Ali, Lawrence rebels against the orders of his superior officer and strikes out on a daring camel journey across the harsh desert to attack a well-guarded Turkish port. Written by
Peter O'Toole's screen test was more modest than Albert Finney's, taking only a day to shoot. He dyed his hair blond and shaved the beard he was wearing in a Stratford, England, production of The Merchant of Venice. David Lean was impressed at the first sight of him in costume. Halfway through, he stopped the cameras and said, "No use shooting another foot of film. The boy is Lawrence." O'Toole signed for the film with the stipulation that his wife, actress Siân Phillips, be flown to the location once a month at the production's expense. See more »
When Lawrence is being escorted across the desert on his way to Faisal's camp, his Bedu guide offers to share his food with him. Lawrence is somewhat reluctant but is anxious to show that, unlike other Brits, he is at one with the desert people. He reaches into the guide's proffered dish and takes a morsel - but with his left hand, and he does it twice. The Bedu shows no reaction, but he should: among the desert Bedouin tribes, who eat by hand, the left is kept away from the food as it is the hand with which they clean themselves after defecating. It could be that the guide is observing another Bedouin custom, that of warm hospitality and unstinting generosity to strangers, and is too polite to mention the gaffe (he would probably be aware that many outsiders do not know of the taboo), but it is more likely that it is a genuine error. Peter O'Toole is left-handed, and though he goes to great lengths throughout the rest of the movie to do things right-handedly (T.E. Lawrence was right-handed), this was probably a momentary lapse that no one noticed, or thought to mention. See more »
The fact that 744 people on the Internet Movie Database gave Lawrence of Arabia a "1" one the the 1-10 scale is outright obscene. Not only is Lawrence of Arabia one of the best cinematic achievements of all time, and historically intriguing to boot, it's a just plain great film with a little bit of something for everyone, including a rich historical plot, vibrant characters, great setting, and plenty of fabulously choreographed battle scenes. The film is also topical for today's society, for example: "Why is terrorism so popular in the middle east today? Well, it might just have something to do with the fact T.E. Lawrence encouraged the Arab tribes to deal with their Ottoman occupiers using bombs and machine guns." How anyone with eyes and ears could dislike this movie that much is beyond my comprehension.
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