Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

I have finally got around to watching Lawrence of Arabia and to start off while it is a great movie I doubt that Hollywood could make a movie like this today, at times the pacing of the film could use some help. Lawrence of Arabia tells the exploits of T. E. Lawrence during The Great War (World War I) while he is in Arabia. The film itself is broken into two part separated by an Intermission. Please be advised there are spoilers below.

The film begins with an Overture like all the great films of the past. I wonder if any film would be able to do this today and be profitable. The score of the film is one of the highlights as it is regarded as one of the best scores of all times. When the film finally begins we met up with someone riding a motorcycle down the road, and he crashes. This we learn is T. E. Lawrence  and he has a funeral and his bust is put up in St. Paul’s. At the service a reporter is trying to learn more about Lawrence and from here we go into the story of Lawrence in Arabia.

Lawrence was stationed in Cairo and asked to go talk with Prince Faisal about his ongoing fight with the Turks. Lawrence is given a guide to help him find them and when Lawrence get to Prince Faisal they are getting bombarded by the Turks with airplanes. Lawrence helps calm the Turkish threat uniting two Bedouin tribes into an alliance in the process. They take the Turkish stronghold and now have a port which the British can help by sending supplies.  Lawrence goes back to Cairo to report what all has happened. This ends part I

We are treated to an Entr’acte during the intermission before part II begins. In part II Lawrence leads a guerrilla war on the Turks blowing up train tracks. During a scouting mission Lawrence is captured, beaten and perhaps raped by a Turkish Bey then thrown to the streets. After this Lawrence goes back to the British and tries to quit the desert, however the general will have nothing of it as he needs Lawrence and the Arabs to help capture Damascus.

This movie feature many great actors Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Claude Rains, José Ferrer are the names that I recognize but I felt that they all disappeared into their roles or perhaps it’s just that I haven’t seen enough of their movies to be able to recognize them. As I said at the beginning there were times when the movie felt slow and could use a quicker cut or something. The biggest complaint I have is the movie could be shorter but it was a great movie as a whole. I don’t know much about the First World War so I though that this was an interesting movie as it explains some about a lesser known part of the First World War.

Lawrence of Arabia is considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made and if you haven’t seen the movie at least once you need to. I caught the showing on TCM, it will most likely be shone by them again sometime with this year, or perhaps check you local public broadcasting station as they usually air older movies on like Friday or Saturday nights.

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2 thoughts on “Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

  1. i’m glad you liked it. It’s one of my favorites too. Hollywood could not make it now, nor could they have then. It’s a British film with no Americans in the cast or crew except for Arthur Kennedy and Jose Ferrer. (Anthony Quinn was Mexican and Rains was British too.) David Lean, the director, practically invented this kind of epic film adaptation style with Bridge on the River Kwai in 1957, and he continued it after with Doctor Zhivago, Ryan’s Daughter, and A Passage to India.

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