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
When the scene where Lawrence is first given his Arab clothes wasn't working as written, David Lean took Peter O'Toole aside and said, "There's something missing, Peter. What do you think a young man would alone in the desert if he'd just been given these beautiful robes?" He pointed out to the desert and O'Toole's eyes followed. "There's your theatre, Peter. Do what you like". So, O'Toole improvised Lawrence looking at his reflection in his knife. See more »
Over the course of the film, several Ottoman Turkish soldiers are seen armed with British Short-Magazine Lee-Enfield (SMLE) No. 1 Mk. III rifles. Although it is indeed not a standard Turkish weapon, many Lee-Enfields had been captured during the Gallipoli campaign between 1915 and 1916 and from other battles. Several were then issued to Turkish troops, some after conversion to the standard 7.92mm Mauser ammunition used by the Turks. Their appearance in the hands of Turkish soldiers is, in this case, justified, though it remains true that the majority of the Turks would still be armed with Mauser rifles. The reason for their use in these scenes is most likely that Lee-Enfields were the rifles that the filmmakers could acquire with the least trouble, given their filming location in several former British colonies, and had been 'assigned' to stand in for Turkish weapons. See more »
Originally released at 222 minutes. Shortly after its premiere, David Lean, reportedly under the orders of producer Sam Spiegel, cut 20 minutes from the film. The 1971 re-release cut the film further to 187 minutes. The film was restored in 1988 at 216 minutes. This version, supervised by Lean, was advertised as a Director's Cut. See more »
Did you know that Cary Grant had been approached to play it? Yes, as well as Albert Finney and that made a lot more sense but it was Albert Finney who said, have you considered Peter O'Toole? Who? - Yes, I love that story. It goes to prove that certain things are meant to happen. I'm sorry if I'm going on about it. But I saw Lawrence Of Arabia for the nth time in a 70mm print in a crowded theater and what came across as the one major reason this film will be relevant forever is Peter O'Toole. His performance is timeless because it is unique. Cinematic and theatrical but always true. David Lean brilliantly created a sense of intimacy in O'Toole's eyes within the vast, arid landscape. I know the film has its detractors. I heard once director Michael Apted call it a "silly movie" Wow, I had Michael Apted's quote in my mind when I saw the film last and for the life of me, I don't know what he meant. I love this film.
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