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  1. #61
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    I believe it was only shown for a short while at it's original running time at Leicester Sq. and then edited to fit in an extra screening. Am I wrong ?

  2. #62
    Senior Member Country: United States
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    I believe it was only shown for a short while at it's original running time at Leicester Sq. and then edited to fit in an extra screening. Am I wrong ?
    The film ran at the Odeon until 6th February, 1963. The film's length was 222 mins at the Odeon, when it commenced at the Metropole, Victoria on 7th Feb. it was trimmed down by twenty minutes to 202. It still ran for two performances a day and one on Sundays. It is obvious that the film was not cut for this reason but for reasons a little unclear at the time. Documentation clearly shows that the cuts were supervised by Lean obviously, I think, under pressure from Spiegel. It wasn't until 1989 that Lean was free to supervise the film's editing to match closely the premiere version.

    When Lean was editing "Ryan's Daughter" at Pinewood in 1970, I recall clearly when Lean went over to Shepperton to do a further edited version, this time probably under the pressure of Columbia, for the US. It ran often in a double bill at US revival theatres with "The Man Who Would Be King".

    When the film was re-issued at the Dominion, Tottenham Court Road in 1970 it was the regular 202 minute version that played at the Metropole and on it's general release in 1965 on the Rank Circuit. It continued in the UK at 202 minutes right up to the restoration in '89.

  3. #63
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    The irony about this discussion is Laurence of Arabia is one of the more factual film biographies. All movie biographies leave some facts out. There are some unsavory deatails about Ghandi's sexual persuits and controversial comments he made about how to deal with Hitler that wasn't in the Attenborough film, but it was still fairly factual and accurate.

  4. #64
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Lawrence of Arabia is a stunning film. Seeing it restored on the large screen was almost too much to take in. There are aspects to the plot that are a bit muddled at times, and his fascination with the Arabs is never really explained - but you can't have everything from an epic film, and this has just about everything else.

  5. #65
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    Not seeing this is one of my movie shames. I must dig out my sealed dvd , bought in 2004, and watch it! I have no good explanation.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    Taken from the Times archive blog.

    The Real Lawrence of Arabia. A letter from BH Liddell Hart on his take of the film and the changes that were made.

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/papers...8-d8e072f57687

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy bentley View Post
    I believe it was only shown for a short while at it's original running time at Leicester Sq. and then edited to fit in an extra screening. Am I wrong ?
    It's a myth that the film was cut to allow another screening - as Mr Pickard says, there were only ever two shows a day but the cuts meant that the film finished earlier enabling people to use public transport to get home. This applied to the US as well as the UK where roadshow theatres were in city centres.

  8. #68
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    I saw the film in Leicester Sq at the age of 4 in 1963. Unlike "The Music Man" and "My Fair Lady" which I was also dragged to it blew me away and scarred my psyche for life (I like to think in a good way :) ). I took away the"boys own perspective" of course but several scenes and themes burned much deeper. I saw the restoration in Leicester Sq in I think 1989 on my way back from Abu Dhabi to Scotland! and all the same frissons flowed through me. I have now ordered the blu-ray to enjoy again at my 2012 widescreen TV. Over the years I have read much on Lawrence and much on the movie and the two have a relationship, funnily enough!
    Now at 53 after half a centuries repeat viewing and a greater knowledge of life I see that the films themes are universal and epic. The details of it's time and place in history are less important. The film timeless questions are about:
    The provisional and limited nature of existence itself.
    Acceptance of the indifference of the physical world to man's aspirations.
    The realization of this not as regret but as opportunity.
    Understanding that we are free to make our own meaning but that with this freedom comes a responsibility, because without commitment there is no meaning.

    This was David Leans cry across the Sinai Canal ("Who are you??") and Lawrences (and the audiences) quest for personal identity and existential meaning.
    There is no eternal truth, only individual truth
    ("Nothing is written")

    There are so many existential quotations in the movie and this inner search goes on against the political backdrop where all the other players are wrapped up in their contemporary issues. Lawrence is on a personal quest. ("so I drew these tides of men into my hands and wrote my will across the sky in stars") as he wrote in the Seven Pillars dedicatory poem.
    The film resonates with greatness for those who look beyond the mundane and within themselves. To quote T.E Lawrence again("All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible")
    I suspect Robert Bolt took these two introspections from Lawrence and wove a masterpiece screenplay around them. His finest work IMO.

  9. #69
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argonauta View Post
    I saw the film in Leicester Sq at the age of 4 in 1963. Unlike "The Music Man" and "My Fair Lady" which I was also dragged to it blew me away and scarred my psyche for life (I like to think in a good way :) ). I took away the"boys own perspective" of course but several scenes and themes burned much deeper. I saw the restoration in Leicester Sq in I think 1989 on my way back from Abu Dhabi to Scotland! and all the same frissons flowed through me. I have now ordered the blu-ray to enjoy again at my 2012 widescreen TV. Over the years I have read much on Lawrence and much on the movie and the two have a relationship, funnily enough!
    Now at 53 after half a centuries repeat viewing and a greater knowledge of life I see that the films themes are universal and epic. The details of it's time and place in history are less important. The film timeless questions are about:
    The provisional and limited nature of existence itself.
    Acceptance of the indifference of the physical world to man's aspirations.
    The realization of this not as regret but as opportunity.
    Understanding that we are free to make our own meaning but that with this freedom comes a responsibility, because without commitment there is no meaning.

    This was David Leans cry across the Sinai Canal ("Who are you??") and Lawrences (and the audiences) quest for personal identity and existential meaning.
    There is no eternal truth, only individual truth
    ("Nothing is written")

    There are so many existential quotations in the movie and this inner search goes on against the political backdrop where all the other players are wrapped up in their contemporary issues. Lawrence is on a personal quest. ("so I drew these tides of men into my hands and wrote my will across the sky in stars") as he wrote in the Seven Pillars dedicatory poem.
    The film resonates with greatness for those who look beyond the mundane and within themselves. To quote T.E Lawrence again("All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible")
    I suspect Robert Bolt took these two introspections from Lawrence and wove a masterpiece screenplay around them. His finest work IMO.
    Well said,sir!
    Ta Ta
    Marky B

  10. #70
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Using the Lawrence of Arabia thread most closely related to the historical issues, notice here of yesterdays edition on BBC Radio 4 of the historical-documentary programme "Archive on Four".

    This weeks broadcast of the long-running series uses the 50th Anniversary-this week-of Lean's mammoth opus to draw upon historical perspectives of the geographical-political region covered in the time of T.E.L, in the period of when the film was premiered in London, and right up to the minute commentary on Lawrence's legacy on the Middle East as we speak.

    Owing to building work here at Chateau Rick not all my archive papers related to the film over the years easily discoverable; except from in the days when adverts for BIG productions were almost as large as the screens themselves publicity for the fabled re-release of the film on its 1970's Dominion Tottenham Court Road presentation.

    Understand there may have been a jaw-dropping presentation at the super-screen Odeon Marble Arch in its day; will keep an eye open on publicity for this booking too.

    000_0847.jpg


    Here's the link for the BBC radio documentary anyway
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01p6p7s

  11. #71
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    Cheers Rick, available on iplayer till the 15th Dec.

  12. #72
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    Further to my post of just a few days ago regarding the weekend radio documentary on Lawrence (post #70) within a day or so of its broadcast the Radio 3 late-night arts review 'Night Waves' showcased a discussion on Lawrence between a range of international critics and how the film had appreciated in their own countries over the 50 year period.

    Night Waves
    10.00 pm BBC Radio 3
    Monday 10th December
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01p3nwz

  13. #73
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    I believe there is a film in pre-production about a colleague of Lawrence,Gertrude Bell,a woman from County Durham who helped create the modern Iraq. Nicole Kidman is tipped to play the role.
    Ta Ta
    Marky B

  14. #74
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    Just glancing through a book and came across Florence of Worcester,a 12th century monk and historian. An idea for a film,maybe

    Ta Ta
    Marky B

  15. #75
    Senior Member Country: Australia lllIIlllIIlllIIl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marky B View Post
    ...a film in pre-production about a colleague of Lawrence,Gertrude Bell,a woman from County Durham who helped create the modern Iraq. Nicole Kidman is tipped to play the role....
    Please! No! Her attempt at playing the genius Virginia Woolf was LUDICROUS. Ludicrous and embarrassing!

  16. #76
    Senior Member Country: England Nakke's Avatar
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    One thing I did not like was that there seemed to be a lot of subtext in Lawrence's character the way O'Toole played it. From the beginning, it seemed to the viewer that this was a very complex character evidenced by the psychological mannerisms in the acting when, after all, T S Lawrence was probably not the first Oxford-educated young officer with homosexual tendencies in the Great War. A very unreadable character as to how he would react next in even the most simple and mundane point of the film. Lawrence is pouring a cup of tea - is he going to act and run like a chicken? I just wasn't able to see that character believable at all - anything was going to happen. Perhaps there's something in Lawrence's backstory and history O'Toole was tapping into.

  17. #77
    Senior Member Country: Australia lllIIlllIIlllIIl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakke View Post
    ...there seemed to be ... it seemed to the viewer... A very unreadable character... I just wasn't able to see that character ...Perhaps ...
    Yes. You imagined it all. David Lean hired a blank-faced mannequin to impersonate the character of TE Lawrence. He and Robert Bolt wanted you the viewer to imprint your own imaginings on to the mannequin's face. Look at the face as shown in the original advertising poster—

    lofa_poster21.jpg

  18. #78
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    The real Lawrence looked more like Nicholas Farrell, I think. I loved O'Toole in this picture, but his prettiness is what made the film easier to watch. The egotistical aspect of his character was in evidence, but then most leaders must be very vain, especially those with what would appear to be unrealistic expectations. Unrealistic to the less vain, that is. I'm glad they hired a pretty Lawrence, as the film is mostly desert. I remember being very thirsty at the final credits.

  19. #79
    Member Country: United States Jennythenipper's Avatar
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    I don't know if this has been covered but when they bought the rights to Seven Pillars of Wisdom they presented a very different script to Lawrence's brother. It was much more straight forward account of the campaign in the dessert with less psychological shading. They also name-dropped Marlon Brando who they were hoping to get because he was so big at the time. All of the psychological stuff, the sado-masochistic subtext, the love story between Ali and Lawrence all of that was added later, with the second screen writer, Robert Bolt, and much of it put in by O'Toole and Lean working together on set.

  20. #80
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    At different times Michael Powell, John Ford and David Lean were asked to direct it

    soundonsight.org/

    Steve

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