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Golden sands: Lawrence Of Arabia ~ fifty years of the movie masterpiece

December 31, 2012

On the Set of "Lawrence of Arabia"

Darling of the desert: impossibly blue-eyed and indubitably brilliant, Peter O’Toole’s Lawrence was just one genius ingredient of David Lean’s multi-Oscar-winning movie masterpiece

Well, went the year well? Yes, if you were a British Olympian, Her Maj, a blond secret agent employed by Her Maj or, erm, a rain-lover. If you were any of them then you had much to celebrate, indeed. Yup, there were more than one several-year anniversaries in there. And here’s another. For, as 2012 just ducks out of sight, George’s Journal is seeing out the old and ringing in the new by celebrating the golden anniversary of one of the greatest films this very blogger’s ever seen – if not the greatest he’s ever seen. Peeps, I give you a tribute, (still just about) in its fiftieth year, to the seven-time Oscar-winning, 20-minutes-shy-of-four-hours-long, utterly awesome Lawrence Of Arabia (1962). Happy New Year…!

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PASS MOUSE over the images for more detail about their contents

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lawrence_of_arabia_omar_sharif_as_ali lawrence_of_arabia_peter_o'toole_as_lawrence

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Lawrence: “No prisoners! No prisoners!”

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lawrence_of_arabia_alec_guiness_as_prince_faisal lawrence_of_arabia_anthony_quinn_as_auda_abu_tayi

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Did you know?

Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Anthony Perkins were all considered for the role of Lawrence and Albert Finney even turned it down before Peter O’Toole was cast after acing his screen-test

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lawrence_of_arabia_david_lean_and_producer_sam_spiegel lawrence_of_arabia_peter_o'toole_between_takes_with_his_double

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Lawrence: “I killed two people. One was… yesterday? He was just a boy and I led him into quicksand. The other was… well, before Aqaba. I had to execute him with my pistol, and there was something about it that I didn’t like” 
Allenby: “That’s to be expected” 
Lawrence: “No, something else” 
Allenby: “Well, then let it be a lesson” 
Lawrence: “No… something else” 
Allenby: “What then?” 
Lawrence: “I enjoyed it”

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lawrence_of_arabia_david_lean_on_location_with_camera lawrence_of_arabia_filming_on_location

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Dryden: “If we’ve been telling lies, you’ve been telling half-lies. A man who tells lies, like me, merely hides the truth. But a man who tells half-lies has forgotten where he put it”

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lawrence_of_arabia_david_lean_on_location_on_cracked_sand peter o'toole - lawrence of arabia 1962

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Did you know?

Boasting a bladder-challenging running time of 220 minutes, Lawrence is by just one, single minute the longest Best Picture Oscar winner ever made. Gone With The Wind (1939) lays claim to the #2 spot

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Did you know?

Omar Sharif’s role, Sherif Ali (Lawrence’s closest Arab ally), is a fictional composite of two real-life figures, as is Claude Rains’ slippery politician Dryden. Sharif was originally cast in the tiny role of Lawrence’s guide Tafas, before being upgraded to playing Ali

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lawrence_of_arabia_peter_o'toole_between_takes_with_a_camel 

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Allenby: “You acted without orders, you know” 
Lawrence: “Shouldn’t officers use their initiative at all times?” 
Allenby: “Not really. It’s awfully dangerous”

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lawrence_of_arabia_david_lean_directing_peter_o'toole lawrence_of_arabia_david_lean_directing_omar_sharif

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Colonel Brighton: “Are you badly hurt?”                                                                              Lawrence: “I’m not hurt at all. Didn’t you know? They can only kill me with a golden bullet”

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lawrence_of_arabia_david_lean_directing_alec_guiness lawrence_of_arabia_peter_o'toole_and_david_lean_on_location

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Did you know?

The film’s copious desert scenes were shot in Jordan, Morocco and Almería and Doñana in Spain. The shooting schedule was notoriously long, partly because its third screenwriter Robert Bolt was arrested for an anti-nuclear weapons demonstration and producer Sam Speigel had to broker his release from jail 

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lawrence_of_arabia_peter_o'toole_and_wife_sian_williams_on_location

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Dryden: “Well. It seems we’re to have a British waterworks with an Arab flag on it. Do you think it was worth it?” 
Allenby: “Not my business. Thank God I’m a soldier” 
Dryden: “Yes, sir. So you keep saying”

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Lawrence: “Nothing is written”

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