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
Sir David Lean had less than two months to prepare the movie for its premiere after completing second unit work. As a result, the version shown at the premiere was a few minutes longer than he might have liked. He had hoped to go back and cut a few frames from some shots he thought ran too long. But after the premiere, distributor Columbia Pictures asked him to cut 20 minutes from it so that exhibitors could squeeze in an extra showing each day. So instead of his original intent of trimming a few shots, he had to cut whole scenes. For a 1971 re-issue, another 15 minutes were cut from the film. Many critics have complained that this later 1971 version renders the action incoherent, particularly in the second half, which sustained the largest cuts. See more »
At the end of the film, the army truck passing Lawrence's car in the opposite direction (after the motorcycle passes by) is a modern cab-forward design not seen in that era. See more »
The "Columbia" logo that begins the feature is still in original version. However, some versions (like the general theatrical release) replaces it with a animated one. See more »
The abridged 202 minutes version has at least one scene that was not in the original 222 minutes version, where Auda Abu Tayi (Anthony Quinn) calls out, "Come dine with me at Wadi Rhumm." In the original 222 mins version this scene cut directly to the inside of the tent where the Bedouins are waiting to eat. Director David Lean felt that this came across as corny, so he decided to insert a new shot of the the cliffs and asked Maurice Jarre (the composer) to compose new music that would be appropriate for the additional scene. This was the only scene that was not in the original 222 mins version. of the film. 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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