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Lawrence of Arabia or Smith in the Desert?

David Lean's film viewed as history

A review discussion by Jeremy Wilson

Welcome to an on-going project. Before the pages of detailed comment are posted here, they are discussed on the T.E.Lawrence Studies List, and that is a slow process. So it may be many months before the detailed notes reach the closing scene. Meanwhile, an overview is available:


In March 2006 I presented a shortened version of this discussion at the Imperial War Museum in London. You can read this online here. While it contains less detailed comment than the pages below, it covers the entire film.


Page 1 The Oxford Workshop - some useful reading - personal background
Page 2 A note about copyright - The question - Private agendas
Page 3 The disclaimer - major characters who were real people - major fictional characters
Page 4 Dramatic themes, interpretation, and other historical problems

Scene-by-scene comments
Page 5 Title sequence - the accident - memorial - on the steps of St. Paul's 
Page 6 Military Intelligence Office, Cairo - Lawrence passes through the Officers' Mess - General Murray, Dryden and Lawrence - Dryden and Lawrence
Page 7 Lawrence's ride inland from Rabegh to Feisal's camp in Wadi Safra
Page 8 Lawrence, Brighton and Feisal in Feisal's camp
Page 9 The expedition to Akaba crosses the desert
  More to follow....





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