Comparison between the old version (Video: Columbia, TV airings) and the restored version from Columbia (Video, DVD). Running time data is taken from the old version.
Difference : 26 cuts = 26 Min. 41 Sec.
The tale of T.E. Lawrence leading the Arabian tribes into battle against the Turks. After being captured and tortured by the Turks he is not the man he once was.
The costs of the movie were about 12 Mio.$ and it took over 280 days of shooting.
7 Academy awards: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Cinematography, Best Director (David Lean), Best Film Editing, Best Music, Best Sound, Best Picture
3 times nominated: Best Actor in a Leading Role (Peter O`Toole), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Omar Sharif), Best adapted screenplay
4 Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Motion Picture Director, Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actor
4 BAFTA`s: Best British Actor, Best British Film, Best British Screenplay, Best Film
1 BAFTA nominee : Best Foreign Actor (Anthony Quinn)
The different versions
The first version, shown in cinemas in 1962 (10.12.1962: world premiere England, 16.12.1962: US premiere) was 222 minutes long. Because it was too long for the cinema managers 20 minutes had been cut by the director and producer Sam Spiegel. This version was shown in cinemas in 1963. In 1970, director David Lean was ordered to cut another 15 minutes for TV airings, which he did under the condition that this version was not to be shown in cinemas – which happened regardless. In 1989, attempts were made to recreate and restore the original version. Cut scenes were re-integrated and missing audio parts were re-recorded with he original cast.
Cast and Crew
Peter O`Toole - T.E. Lawrence
Alec Guinness - Prince Feisal of Mecca
Anthony Quinn - Auda Abu Tayi
Jack Hawkins - General Allenby
Omar Sharif - Sherif Ali Ibn El Karish
Director: David Lean
The overture is missing.
Old version: Screenplay by Robert Bolt, Restored version: Screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson
Shot of a bust of Lawrence. Two men are standing in front of it. While one says that he is the most extraordinary man he ever met, the other one asks whether he is worthy to have a place here.
Lawrence is drawing a map. He complains to Michael Hartley that doesn't like the dark, small room and Hartley replies that it beats a dark, small trench anytime.
The man adds that Lawrence is crazy to which Hartley replies that he's fine.
On his way to the General Lawrence comes across a casino. An officer calls him over, asks where he is going and doesn't believe him when he says that he's on his way to the General. Lawrence takes the white ball, throws it against the red balls and leaves.
The General talks to Dryden about Lawrence. The General doesn't like him and Dryden says that Lawrence cannot be of use in Cairo but in Arabia.
Lawrence and Prince Faisal of Mecca are talking to each other. Prince Faisal asks why he needs fifty men to which Lawrence replies that he wants to perform a miracle. The men mount their camels.
The men are riding through the desert a bit longer.
Lawrence uses his dagger as a mirror, adjusts his turban and practices a proper greeting. An Arab watches and asks what he's doing to which Lawrence replies that he should be able to see that and asks whether the Arab is alone. Auda Abu Tayi says "Almost.", asks if Lawrence belongs to the bandits who drink from his well, shoots into the air and says introduces himself. Lawrence answers that he knows a man of that name but that man would never call for help or deny water to a man who came from the desert Nefud.. Auda Abu Tayi says that he must be talking about a different man.
The men are riding to Auda Abu Tayis camp with him, followed by a short scene in the main tent.
The men are riding longer and start to sing.
The shot of Lawrence on the camel is longer.
Lawrence and his two servants ride through the desert. He asks if they have ever slept in a bed and promises that they will sleep in the best beds in all Cairo.
The shot of the gust of wind is longer.
Lawrence and General Allenby are walking down the stairs and he says that he must gather his forces if he wants to march against Jerusalem.
In the old version the General says that when they recognize the Turks will, too. In the restored version he asks Lawrence if he holds the Turkish army captive, to which Lawrence answers "Yes."
Lawrence talks about the Arabs advantages and that he can send Arabia into chaos in 13 weeks. The General asks if he is going back and Lawrence affirms. Then the line from the old version (1:55:04) is uttered.
Lawrence looks up to many men on the balconies.
The men are marching on. The text "Intermission" appears. The screen goes black and the music continues.
Prince Faisal tells the reporter that he should stay away from Mekab since the Turks are there. The reporter asks if it's true that no artillery will be given to them and the Prince affirms.
They talk about Lawrence and what he means to the tribes and to his men.
The reporter bids his farewell to the Prince. They walk a bit and the reporter says he's looking for a hero like Lawrence; that influential Americans think that America must intervene against the Germans and that they would need someone like Lawrence to justify their intervention.
General Allenby talks to Harry who admits that Lawrence has lied concerning an Arabian army. The Turks are offering 10000 pound for his head and he believes that the Arabs will return the next year.
Sherif Ali Ibn El Karish is seen longer.
Lawrence walks up the stairs and a reporter follows.
Lawrence tells General Allenby that they can burn the political papers which is considered a fair deal by the General.
A car with a reporter on the roof approaches. The Arab says that he's not allowed to take pictures. The reporter answers that he will only take pictures of Lawrence who has agreed to this.
The talk about the planned attack on Damascus starts earlier.
The end credits continue, listing those who worked on the restored version. After that the music goes on for a bit.