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Sat 21 May 2011, 2:00pm–5:45pm
Sun 22 May 2011, 4:00pm–7:45pm
Mon 23 May 2011, 1:00pm–4:45pm
Tue 24 May 2011, 1:00pm–4:45pm
Wed 25 May 2011, 1:00pm–4:45pm

Where: The Paramount Theatre, 25 Courtenay Place, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages


Listed by: Kate Larkindale

Lawrence of Arabia
UK 1962

Running Length: 216 minutes

Cast: Peter O’Toole, Alec Guiness, Anthony Quinn
Director: David Lean
Screenplay: TE Lawrence, Robert Bolt, Michael Wilson
Cinematography: Freddie Young

Lawrence of Arabia has to be considered one of the greatest historical epics ever to have been committed to film. It has everything: stellar performances, gorgeous cinematography, and a story that remains riveting from start to finish.

The film follows the larger-than life exploits of T E Lawrence, a British Army officer serving in the Middle east during WWI. The film opens in 1935, showing Lawrence’s death in a motorcycle accident. The film then travels back 20 years to Cairo. His commanding officer orders him to enter the desert and contact the Bedouin Prince Feisel.

What follows is a tale of Biblical proportions as Lawrence becomes a pivotal figure in the Arab revolt against the Turks. The film focuses on five major events: Lawrence’s first excursion into the Bedouin territory, his trek across the Nefud desert and attack on Aqaba, his torture by the Turks, his leadership in the massacre at Tafas and eventual victory in Damascus. Each event builds Lawrence’s reputation, and shapes him as a man. He begins to believe his is capable of anything, a minor deity in the clothing of a man, but after brutal treatment and degradation, he grows bitter and hell-bent on revenge. Once he has taken Damascus, his role is finished and he bows out, leaving the mess for the politicians to sort out.

Essentially a character study, this is a film any serious film scholar, lover or buff should see on the big screen. Even the best television cannot do this film justice. It is a film the word ‘spectacle’ was designed for, and a spectacle it is. Don’t miss it.

Restaurants to book near David Lean Series: Lawrence of Arabia