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Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Approved | | Adventure, Biography, Drama | 11 December 1962 (UK)
4:43 | Trailer
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.


David Lean


T.E. Lawrence (writings), Robert Bolt (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1,754 ( 121)
Top Rated Movies #109 | Won 7 Oscars. Another 23 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter O'Toole ... T.E. 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


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


The Desert Classic. (1983 Video Release) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Anthony Nutting had to negotiate hiring the Bedouin tribesmen, who wanted £1 million. When Nutting asked how they could ask for so much money, he learned what the Bedouin's representative, Sherif Nasser, had learned: that producer Sam Spiegel had taken out a secret £1-million loan from the Arab Bank there. The bank director, as it turned out, was Sherif Nasser's uncle. Spiegel ultimately got the price down by pulling a ploy his associates were familiar with. He [claimed he had?] had a heart attack, which so threatened the production's future that the Bedouin lowered their price. 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 »


[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 U.S. 1983 Capacitance Electronic Disc (CED), also commonly known RCA Selectavision Videodisc contains the 1970 theatrical re-release version which was rated "G" by the MPAA. See more »


Referenced in What's My Line?: Bobby Darin (3) (1962) See more »


Arrival At Auda's Camo
Music by Maurice Jarre
Performed by London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Maurice Jarre
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User Reviews

A Film of Epic Scale and Epic Proportion= One of the Greatest
30 June 2019 | by nferlisiSee all my reviews

Every once in a while there is a film that will blow you away from start to finish, in this case Lawrence of Arabia ins one of those very few films that will blow you away. For many years my grandfather enjoyed this film and suggested it to me for some time, finally being old enough to see it, I see why he and many others have enjoyed it. Epics are a kind of film that take an immense approach towards a story that needs a massive vision in order to tell such a story. David Lean took this massive vision in order to create something of epic scale and scope, which captured the extensiveness of an epic-genre film. Like most other epics, they take a great amount of time to tell their long stories, some ranging between three to five hours long which I will say may be too long for any kind of film. Lawrence of Arabia runs in at three hours and thirty-six minutes would seem like a rather long film, but this runtime feels appropriate when telling the progressional story of T.E. Lawrence building his character in great depth. Think of it like breaking the character of T.E. Lawrence into several parts such as a man, soldier, hero, leader, and advisor. In regards to the performances, Peter O'Toole brings T.E. Lawrence to life on multiple levels making us feel for his life journey and all other circumstances that he faces on that journey. All supporting and secondary performances adds a lot of good flare as well, especially from Omar Sharif's character. The direction by David Lean resonates every minute of this epic, Lean took such great care in creating a film of scale, meaning making this film both look and feel immense. Great utilization of wide lenses and shots allow the look of the film to larger than life, which in turn makes those particular shots more impactful.

I would recommend this film to anyone, even if it were just one time. This film has been on many "top films or greatest films of all times", after seeing it I feel that this film justifies its placement on those lists. Overall Star Rating: 8.4/10

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English | Arabic | Turkish

Release Date:

11 December 1962 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Lawrence of Arabia See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,846, 22 September 2002

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Horizon Pictures (II) See more »
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Technical Specs


(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



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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