After settling his differences with a Japanese P.O.W. 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
Producer Sam Spiegel was once known as "S.P. Eagle". He had an amazing talent for finding unusual material and hiring exactly the perfect director to execute it. He produced one of Orson Welles's few commercial successes, The Stranger (1946). Sir David Lean, the director of this masterpiece, was a well-respected director of moderate-budgeted English movies when Spiegel brought him to international prominence with Lean's direction of The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). He also worked with John Huston, first on We Were Strangers (1949), and most notably on The African Queen (1951). Finally, he found the funding from Harry Cohn at Columbia Pictures for Elia Kazan's controversial On the Waterfront (1954). Perhaps no other independent producer has been associated with so many brilliant movie directors on so many diverse and original stories. 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 »
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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