The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

Director:

David Lean

Writers:

T.E. Lawrence (writings), Robert Bolt (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,411 ( 236)
Top Rated Movies #114 | Won 7 Oscars. Another 24 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter O'Toole ... Lawrence
Alec Guinness ... Prince Faisal
Anthony Quinn ... Auda Abu Tayi
Jack Hawkins ... General Allenby
Omar Sharif ... Sherif Ali
José Ferrer ... Turkish Bey (as Jose Ferrer)
Anthony Quayle ... Colonel Brighton
Claude Rains ... Mr. Dryden
Arthur Kennedy ... Jackson Bentley
Donald Wolfit ... General Murray
I.S. Johar ... Gasim
Gamil Ratib ... Majid
Michel Ray ... Farraj
John Dimech ... Daud
Zia Mohyeddin ... Tafas
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Storyline

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 Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the Vast Scope of 70mm and Full Stereophonic Sound See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the desert location shoot, after each rehearsal and take, 300 Bedouins wearing sandals muffled in wool were charged with smoothing out the desert sands with palm fronds so that no extraneous footprints would be visible in the sand. See more »

Goofs

When Lawrence is showing off in his new Arab dress, the shadows are initially long, but in the next shot have suddenly shortened. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Colonel Brighton: He was the most extraordinary man I ever knew.
Vicar at St. Paul's: Did you know him well?
Colonel Brighton: I knew him.
Vicar at St. Paul's: Well, nil nisi bonum. But did he really deserve a place in here?
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Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Followed by A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Rescue of Gasim
Music by Maurice Jarre
Performed by London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Maurice Jarre
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User Reviews

 
The best movie of all motion picture history
24 August 2005 | by nisitpavSee all my reviews

I first watched "Lawrence of Arabia" when I was about 11 years old. Being a big fan of Steven Spielberg at that time, I was sort of awed by the fact that this was his personal favorite (check the "conversation with Steven Spielberg" featurette in the special features disk and you'll really see Spielberg's affection for that film)

Over the years, Lawrence remained among my DVD collection, and I can't say I actually watched it since that first time, when, by the way, I didn't really like it. But "time does things to movies", and when I watched it again last year, I found my eyes to be weeping at the end. It instantly became one of my favorite movies.

Since then I learned a lot about the history of cinema, and I also learned a great deal about the movies of Sir David Lean. I found my self watching films like "Brief Encounter", "The Bridge on the River Kwai", "Doctor Zhivago", "Ryan's Daughter", and the underrated, "A passage to India". Lean became one of my favorite directors, and, just a few months ago, I decided to watch Lawrence with some friends. Although I had seen it a couple of times before, this time it was a different experience altogether: from the starting credits, to the blowing of the match, the crossing of the Nefud dessert, finding Gassim and bringing him back to the camp, the invasion of Aqaba, his torture and rape (?), Lawrence's laugh after the slap by the "outrageaous" guy, his being left alone, to the final gaze to the motorcycle. I sensed something when I watched that film, which leaves my with the undoubted feeling that "Lawrence of Arabia" is the greatest film ever made. For me, this is it. Ever since '62, it's been a downfall. No other film has managed to reach Lawrence in its poetic greatness. Few do come very close (Vertigo for instance).

If we are to classify the two complete different cinematic styles, it would be those of Hitchcock and Ford. Hitch was a very "confined" director. He captured his movies from the point of view of one character. His movies took place, most of the time, in closed spaces. In a sense, Hitchcock's films were a journey in people's emotions and a study in people's characters. On the other hand, Ford was an open director. He wasn't confined to one character, or one location, his films where actual journeys. His basis was mostly on theme, and his main ability was to amaze with his imagery. Thus, these are the two different shooting styles....Well, Lean combines both.

Which is basically why his best film, Lawrence, is the best film of all times. But not only in terms of style. Also, in terms of content. The intelligent script written by Robert Bolt, the powerhouse performances by O'Toole and Shariff (a shame they didn't get the statuette), but also, the ultimately heroic yet tragic figure of T.E. Lawrence, contribute in making this the most visually and emotionally sweeping film of the last 111 years.

Such a shame that Lean retired for 14 years after "Ryan's Daughter", there's no way to know where he would have gotten.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Arabic | Turkish

Release Date:

11 December 1962 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Lawrence of Arabia See more »

Filming Locations:

Saudi Arabia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,846, 22 September 2002

Gross USA:

$45,306,425

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$45,715,757
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Horizon Pictures (II) See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(re-release) (1970) | (cut) (1962) (theatrical) | (premiere) | (1988) (restored)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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