Lawrence of Arabia

Director: David Lean

Cast: Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Omar Sharif, Jose Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Wolfit, I.S. Johar, Gamil Ratib, Michel Ray, John Dimech, Zia Mohyeddin, Howard Marion-Crawford, Jack Gwillim, Hugh Miller

The film begins with the 1935 motorcycle accident that takes T.E. Lawrence’s life and ends with the funeral eulogizing his remarkable life. Flashbacks tell the story of an idealistic British officer that directs an Arab army to fight Turkish forces on the First World War’s Middle Eastern front. In Cairo in 1916, young British intelligence officer T. E. Lawrence (O’Toole) is sent to investigate the progress of the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire. In the Arabian desert, Lawrence meets Arab leader Prince Feisal (Guinness), organizes a guerrilla army, and plans attacks on Turkish lines of communication. Lawrence inspires Arab tribes, led by Auda abu Tayi (Quinn) and Sherif Ali (Sharif), in an uneasy alliance to attack and disrupt Turkish armed forces. Acting without orders, Lawrence and his improvised army ride camels hundreds of miles across the Arabian desert and attack the Turks where they least expect it, at the port city of Aqaba on the Red Sea. After a stunning victory, Lawrence is directed by his commander, General Edmund Allenby (Hawkins), to enlist his Arab warriors in the Allied push for Syria. Lawrence directs his motley contingent in swift desert raids across spectacular scenery, wrecking trains and devastating military outposts. The film is enhanced by Maurice Jarre’s music and Freddie Young’s cinematography. Based on Thomas Edward Lawrence’s World War I memoir Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

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