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  1. #21
    Super Moderator Country: England
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    As an aside, would I be correct in thinking LOA was one of the first British war films in colour?
    regards



    Freddy
    Not really...there are a few from during WW2; Western Approaches for instance. Depending what you mean by War films, you could include This Happy Breed and Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, and A Matter of Life and Death started filming in 1945...The Four Feathers was 1939...

  2. #22
    Super Moderator Country: Great Britain
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    I was surprised as to how inaccurate the film seemed in portraying events, based on my recent reading of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. After reading the book, I watched the film again, and very little seemed right. Certainly some of the characters were there, but they did things in the film that hadn't been mentioned in the book, or had been done by someone else.

    The main criticism I've got is the huge inflation of the role played by Sherif Ali. In the book he is a very minor player and had hardly anything to do with Lawrence.

    But all said, the film's a romance.



    Nick

  3. #23
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    Not really...there are a few from during WW2; Western Approaches for instance. Depending what you mean by War films, you could include This Happy Breed and Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, and A Matter of Life and Death started filming in 1945...The Four Feathers was 1939...
    Thanks very much for that Penfold, .



    I think what confused me was out of the b/w war films of the 50s LOA in colour seemed to be at the forefront of a number of others such as Battle of Britain; Where Eagles Dare; 633 Squadron; Hannibal Brookes; and Zulu.



    regards



    Freddy

  4. #24
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Also I'm not sure (But would stand corrected) that in 1962 the Middle-East situation was as much of a hot topic; generally known or media-covered; as it would be in 1967 and since....1962 was Cold War and Cuba....we have the benefit of a further 44 years of hindsight.
    Apart from the fact that they still taught History in the 1960s, the Middle-East would also have been in the news more with things like the Suez Crisis still fairly fresh (& painful) in the memory.



    Steve

  5. #25
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    I still prefer seeing LAWRENCE on the big-screen. "The only way to see it..."

  6. #26
    Super Moderator Country: England
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    Apart from the fact that they still taught History in the 1960s, the Middle-East would also have been in the news more with things like the Suez Crisis still fairly fresh (& painful) in the memory.



    Steve
    True enough, but that was '56, and was hardly front page material by 1962...it was the '67 and '73 wars, and the upsurge in terrorist violence by the PLO and PFLP (Munich, Hijackings) that put it there....'62 wa all about Gary Powers, Cuba, the Cold War, the early Space Race...oh, and The Beatles, a popular singing group...

  7. #27
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    If I can tear this away from Gromit's trousers for a sec, I do think it makes quite a difference to how you look at LAWRENCE OF ARABIA if you don't know that he was part of World War One. The movie simply becomes a Boy's Own adventure -- more adult, wonderfully written and shot and acted, but not very deep. Just guys fighting in the desert.



    But if you know that we were in a war with the Germans, and the Turks were allies of the Germans, and that Lawrence was authorized to promise independent kingdoms to the Arabs (kind of reduced to Feisel in the movie) as rewards for fighting the Turks, then the movie -- and the central character -- takes on an awesome historic sweep. The British and French essentially created the modern Middle East because of the commitments they made to the Arabs (and the Jews with the Balfour Declaration), commitments that could never be completely honored, and which led to disaster in later years. That's a context. Without it, LAWRENCE might as well be THE FLAME OF ARABY Part II with Jeff Chandler as T.E...


    How times change. In 1962 when the film was made the controversy over the story was not about who buggered up the Middle East but was or was not Lawrence buggered by the Turks. Now if it was being remade today what slant would you think the tale would take?.

  8. #28
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    Has anyone ever seen the 1990 film A Dangerous Man: Lawrence after Arabia, with Ralph Fiennes in the role of Lawrence? I thought it was excellent, though not a well known film.



    DeeDee

  9. #29
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    THE CINEMATOGRAPHY WAS GRAND



    Perhaps I was attracted to the autobiographical aspect, the epic story, of a larger-than-life adventurer, T.E. Lawrence's Arabian adventure in Lawrence of Arabia. Perhaps it was the impressive cinematography. By the time I came to write this prose-poem I had been working on my own autobiography for 23 years and I had seen the film twice in the 47 years since the start of its production history began back in October 1959, the month I joined the Bahá’�* Faith. The film, Lawrence of Arabia, was first released three months after my own pioneering venture began in Canada in September 1962.



    Lawrence's life and personality were enigmatic and complex, sexually problematic and excessively arrogant and solitary and adventurous. These are qualities I have myself exhibited, some more than others; they are features of life many people find characterize their own days, especially when they go to write their autobiography. Lawrence's task, among others, was to unite the Arabian Bedouins against their Turkish oppressors. My task was one of trying to bring unity to a people as well, although in the years 1959 to 1962 I had no idea of the scale, the nature and the complexity of the exercise.



    I don't want to summarize the story of Lawrence or the movie here, suffice it to say, the cinematography was breathtaking and some argue that this is the main reason for seeing the film. Lawrence seemed to possess the paradoxical qualities of a man blinded by his ego, desirous of fame and yet at the same time self-effacing. The film works with themes of fate and war, Arab tribal disunity and national politics. Lawrence exists as a dark, blank shadow, a complex, jelly-like personality in a brightly it desert. He is a man incomprehensible even to those who knew him best: intelligent, charismatic and slightly mad. In the end he can not bring unity to the Arab tribes, cannot create an Arab state. Unity is elusive for them for many reasons as it is elusive for us. The pioneers of our generation can but construct a portion of it, a stage along the way.-Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, 28 December, 2006.



    I had no idea back then that

    I would be a bit mad, too, as

    I journied across the deserts,

    the Arctic-ice and the great

    tracts of land playing my part

    in trying to unite the peoples

    of the Earth who did not seem

    to want to unite at least through

    the mechanism which I advised

    and suggested again and again

    for over fifty years, say, back to

    '56 as they were just starting to

    go to the moon and rock-'n-roll.



    The cinematography could be

    magnificent in the hands of a

    David Lean and poetic imagery

    with super panavision 70 mm scope.

    My, you could capture the hills and

    valleys of my life with a spectacular

    epic story, a much larger-than-life

    idealistic adventurer and reduce my

    several decades to, say, 222 minutes.



    Ron Price

    28 December 2006

  10. #30
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    I have joined the cause to ensure youngsters see this film on the Big Screen during our annual showing of it. All of these 12 or 15 year olds have seen recent Star Wars or Starship Troopers or ?? whatever is exploding at the moment ?? but without exception, all of them end up during the post-film ice cream by remarking, "Now THAT is a big picture."



    And all of them go back to the Water Well Scene, where VERY very little action occurs. Only a single run for a rifle. Only a single shot. And yet, the simplicity of waiting waiting waiting shows so much about the character of the filmmaker, I think.



    There are more grand vistas, I think, but hardly any grander scene.



    It's also one of the few films they've seen with an intermission, and it's always amazing to see them gasp at its inclusion, and then discover with huge relief that the story's going forward.



    I like to think this is one of those films that stirs something in every young person's imagination and makes them wonder if they could be such a storyteller.

  11. #31
    Senior Member Country: UK Wee Sonny MacGregor's Avatar
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    Christine,



    There's a very intersting account of the making of the film in Kevin Brownlow's biog of Lean. What a perfectionist.



    Sonny

  12. #32
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    Mostly I've wondered if the participants changed their views of their hardships and efforts, the worthiness, etc, after years of seeing it 20, 30 and now 40 years later.



    I think this film will stand the test of time.

  13. #33
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    I saw the movie on film 4 during the christmas season it's magical movie! it's mesmorising and also very long but I wasn't complaining!


  14. #34
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    I've heard all sorts of lurid stories about how both Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif gambled away all their earnings from the movie in some dodgy middle eastern casinos before they had actually completed filming and were consequently quite broke afterwards, any truth in that or just mythology? I would be inclined to think that it was true!

  15. #35
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    When Peter O'Toole appeared on Omar Sharif's THIS IS YOUR LIFE - he told the story of how he had gambled away his earnings and Sharif topped the story by saying not only had he gambled away his earnings on that film, but also on a more recent film he had worked on. The O'Toole anecdote was clearly rehearsed for TIYL - but the spontaneous reply sounded like a man who was telling the truth.



    Gambling -

  16. #36
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    At least Omar was able to put his mug and name on a software card game, Omar Shariff's Bridge.

  17. #37
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    At least Omar was able to put his mug and name on a software card game, Omar Shariff's Bridge.
    A very fine player...as is Zia Mohyeddin, IIRC....

  18. #38
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    In the "unfolding drama/adventure" catagory this probably is my favorite film. So superbly shot & crafted.

  19. #39
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    A letter in todays Telegraph mentions what Noel Coward told Peter O'Toole at the time:

    "If you were any better looking, you'd be Florence of Arabia"

    regards

    Freddy
    I think he may have used the word "prettier" rather than better looking!! Though I am prepared to be corrected! Its hilarious either way, Coward was almost on a par with Oscar Wilde for his witty one liners. While strolling along Shaftsbury Avenue with a friend one evening, on seeing a poster of the Michael Redgrave Dirk Bogarde film "The Sea Shall Not Have Them" Coward turned to his friend and read the title aloud in mock astonishment and added " well I don't see why not, every one else has!" . Very amusing!!

  20. #40
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    I saw it on the big screen in the late eighties when it was re-released and it was at the Warner West End , Leiciester Square, London, before that cinema was carved up into a multiplex. The screen was extremeley large and the audience was treated to a full 70mm presentation rather than a scaled down 35mm projection print. The effect was absolutley mind blowing, it was like watching a 3D movie without the need for polarised glasses, amazing sharpness and clarity,the most satisfying cinema experience I have ever had and ever likley to have. I saw it again at the NFT London some years later, the image was not quite as sparkly and sharp as that West End presentation, I suspect it may not have been a full 70mm print, it was good nonetheless but I think the quality of projection equipment along with a full size 70mm print makes quite a difference. I cant imagine there are many cinemas left that have a 70mm projector system, its a shame really, there were some superb films made in this format, Ben Hur being another notable example.

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