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.
An inordinately complex man who has been labeled everything from hero, to charlatan, to sadist, Thomas Edward Lawrence blazed his way to glory in the Arabian desert, then sought anonymity as a common soldier under an assumed name. The story opens with the death of Lawrence in a motorcycle accident in Dorset at the age of 46, then flashbacks to recount his adventures: as a young intelligence officer in Cairo in 1916, he is given leave to investigate the progress of the Arab revolt against the Turks in World War I. In the desert, he organizes a guerrilla army and--for two years--leads the Arabs in harassing the Turks with desert raids, train-wrecking and camel attacks. Eventually, he leads his army northward and helps a British General destroy the power of the Ottoman Empire. Written by
The final location for the film was in Morocco, where they moved to shoot the massacre of the Turkish army. The scene required an Arab army of 800 mounted on horses and camels and a Turkish army of 1,200 on carts and mules. David Lean started with long shots and moved to close-ups so they could gradually let people go throughout the day before they got too tired, a real danger shooting epic scenes of this nature. 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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