Video Release: September 9, 2003
Rating: PG (MPAA)
Studio: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
- Runtime: 227 minutes
- NTSC (Canada and USA)
- Originally in English
- Released in English, English, French, Thai, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, Spanish
Based on the real-life exploits of the legendary British scholar and soldier, T. E. Lawrence. Stationed in Cairo in 1916, Lawrence languished in the map-making department of British Intelligence until he was asked to find and gather information on Prince Feisal, leader of the Arab Allied forces in World War I. His desert journey inspired his first military success, when he lead a small contingent of Arabs against the Turkish stronghold of Aqaba. Lawrence's military career flourished and he attempted to forge a new, united Arab nation out of squabbling tribes.
The breathtaking cinematic account of the true-life exploits of famed British Officer T.E. Lawrence. Assigned to Arabia during World War I, Lawrence courageously united the warring Arab fractions into a guerilla front. Winner of seven academy Awards. Academy Award Nominations: 10, including Best Actor--Peter O'Toole, Best (Adapted) Screenplay. Academy Awards: 7, including Best Picture, Best Director.
John Ford was originally slated to direct the film, with Alexander Korda attached as producer.
Director David Lean died in 1991 shortly after he was awarded the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award in March 1990.
Producer Sam Spiegel reportedly wanted Marlon Brando for the role of "T. E. Lawrence," but he was already occupied with "Mutiny on the Bounty." Albert Finney was also offered the role, but declined because "[he didn't] want to be a star" (American Film, March 1990).
Director David Lean once described T. E. Lawrence as "a fascinating character. This Oxford don on camelback - I mean, it was absolutely nutty. Sort of intellectual, with a gang of Arabs on camels, you know." (American Film, March 1990)
"Lawrence of Arabia" was named Best Film of 1963 by Italy's David Awards, Best Foreign Film of 1963 by Japan's Kinema Jumpo, and Best English-Language Film of 1962 by the National Film Board.
Lean received Italy's Silver Ribbon Award and Japan's Kinema Jumpo Award for Best Director of 1963. He was also named Best Director of 1962 by the National Film Board.
Peter O'Toole received Italy's David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actor of 1963.
Sources for the film included:
"Seven Pillar of Wisdom" by Thomas Edward Lawrence
"Revolt in the Desert" by Lawrence
"The Essential T. E. Lawrence" by Lawrence (with a preface by David Garnett)
"Secret Dispatches from Arabia" by Lawrence
"Crusader Castles" by Lawrence
"The Diary of T. E. Lawrence" by Lawrence
"La bibliotheque ideale: T. E. Lawrence" by Lawrence
"The Home Letters of T. E. Lawrence and His Brothers" by Lawrence
"Selected Letters of T. E. Lawrence" by Lawrence (edited by Garnett)
"The Selected Letters of T. E. Lawrence" by Lawrence (edited by Irving Howe)
"The Mint" by Lawrence
"With Lawrence in Arabia" by Lowell Thomas
"Lawrence and the Arabs" by Robert Graves
Chapter 28 of "Goodbye to All That" by Graves
"T. E. Lawrence and His Biographers, Robert Graves and Liddell Hart"
"Lawrence of Arabia" by Richard Aldington
"T. E. Lawrence in Arabia and After" by Basil Liddell Hart
"Heroes of the Empty View" by James Aldridge
"The Desert and the Stars" by Flora Armitage
"T. E. Lawrence: By His Friends" (edited by A. W. Lawrence)
"Letters to T. E. Lawrence" (edited by A. W. Lawrence)
"Lawrence of Arabia" by Anthony Nutting
"Lawrence of Arabia" by Alistair MacLean
"Lawrence of Arabia" by Robert Payne
"Private Shaw and Public Shaw" by Stanley Weintraub
Additional crew members: Douglas Twiddy and Eva Monley (location managers); Roy Rossotti, George Richardson, Terence Marsh and Anthony Rimmington (assistant art directors); Eddie Fowlie (property master); Archie Dansie (chief electrician); Peter Dukelow (construction manager); Fred Bennett (construction assistant); Morris W. Stoloff (music coordinator); Norman Savage (associate editor); Beryl Mortimer (footsteps); Mark Kaufman and Ken Danvers (still photographers); Marie Budberg (research); The Location Caterers Ltd. (catering); Charles Bishop (sketch artist); and John Graysmark (draughtsman).
Additional cast members: Howard Marion Crawford (Medical Officer); Jack Gwillin (Club Secretary); Hugh Miller (R.A.M.C. Colonel); John Ruddock (Elder Martin); Kenneth Fortescue (Allenby's Aide); Stuart Sanders (Regimental Sergeant-Major); Fernando Sancho (Turk Sergeant); Emilio Noriega (Train Wreck Stunt); and Cher Kaoui, Mohammed Habachi and members of the Jordanian Desert Patrol and the Royal Moroccan Army Camel Corps.
Estimated budget: $13-15 million.
Filmed at Shepperton Studios in Middlesex, England and on location in Jebel Tubeiq and Wadi Rhumm, Jordan; in Sevilla, Spain; Aqaba, Turkey; and in Morocco. The three-year project completed shooting in October 1962.
Shot in Technicolor. Filmed in Super Panavision 70, for a projected aspect ratio of 2.05:1. Sound in RCA six-track magnetic stereophonic sound, recorded at the Shepperton Studios.
Released in England in November, 1962, after a premiere for Queen Elizabeth. Released in USA on December 16, 1962.