David Lean | Lawrence of Arabia | 1962

Opens with just music. Polishing the motorcycle. Flashing lights on Lawrence’s face as he rides. Goes from Cairo, Egypt to Bedouin country… Arabia. Sent to find a prince and gather intelligence. Silence while Turks? approach. It is not a Turk, it is Ali. “Have you no fear, Englishman?” “My fear is my concern.” “Truly.” Lawrence’s friend and guide is shot.

“I think you are another of these desert-loving English.” Weird shot of the pole with two things on it.

“This is the sun’s anvil.” Lawrence goes back and rescues Gasim, who would have dies from heat. “Nothing is written.” Ali burns Lawrence’s clothes, re-names him. Lawrence plays in his new clothes. Men in the background listen attentively while Auda Abu Tayi (Anthony Quinn) speaks with Lawrence and Ali. “It is the servant who takes money.” Wailing/trilling women and singing men and Lawrence smiling. Lawrence executes Gasim. “A pillar of fire.” “No, Lord, dust.” Laughs. One of Lawrence’s servants dies a horrible quicksand death. “There’s something else… I enjoyed it.” “What I’m trying to say, is I don’t think I’m fit for it.” [Unfit to serve]

Spin shot of British troops watching Lawrence in his Arabic clothes. “You are looking for a figure who will draw your country towards war– Lawrence is your man.” Photographer shooting. Boots / S&M / beating. Lawrence strikes when the Bey comments on his white skin. At the aftermath of battle, a feminine scarf rolls by.

Auda Abu Tayi sees the moon, and stretches.

The politician, when asked a question, dodges it (as politicians are said to do) by answering with a statement: I never should have left my hometown. The solider says to Lawrence, Home, and the motorcycle rolls by, recalling first scene death.


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