Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

lawrence arabia filmNot to be confused with his less popular cousin, Lawrence of Beaver City, Nebraska.


Largely considered one of the greatest movies ever made, this film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won seven of them, including Best Picture. This puppy also happens to be about four hours long, so you may want to find some tape for your eyelids.

lawrence of arabia real

The real T.E. Lawrence

It’s based on a real officer in the British Army named Thomas Edward Lawrence who was renowned for the role he played in the Arab Revolt and other major events in the early 20th century. He also went by T.E. Lawrence, so you know he was important, just like C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, and A.J. Putnam (a childhood friend of mine who coined the phrase, “you son of a bleep!” — and yes, we literally said “bleep.” Sure, it was a bit edgy for the 3rd grade, but pogs and cut-off shorts will bring out the rebel in any man.)

Lawrence is played by Peter O’Toole. In fact, it was this movie that launched his career, paving the way for other classics such as Goodbye, Mr Chips and How to Steal a Million.

Other faces you’ll recognize: Anthony Quinn (The Guns of Navarone), Omar Sharif (Funny Girl), Claude Rains (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington), Alec Guinness (Star Wars), and Jennifer Lopez (Maid in Manhattan). J-Lo isn’t technically in this movie, but you’d still recognize her face.

Now Lawrence of Arabia is a war movie, so I’m giving you a “some-scenes-not-kid-friendly” alert (unless, of course, they own cut-off shorts, in which case this would be perfectly suitable).

Also, expect four and a half minutes of a black screen with music playing at the very beginning and intermission of the film. Those meditative portions should give you ample opportunity to reconsider pledging four hours of your life to this movie.

OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: The only movie I’ve seen that lasted longer than this one was a film called She’s the Man — and that one was actually less than two hours.


Lawrence of Arabia encountered opposition from many who believed certain things were impossible. Lawrence, however, responded with a motto that exemplified the incredible feats he was able to accomplish:

“Nothing is written.”

The doctrine of predestination is a false one, and it undermines our entire earthly existence. While an all-knowing God surely knows what we will do before we do it, that does not alter the choices we mortals make in our individual journeys back to Him.

Neither you nor I have been sent to this earth doomed to a destiny we ourselves will not ultimately choose. The chronicles of our lives can be written only by us.

So what will you choose to do with your life?

I know that [God] granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.” — Alma 29:4

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3 Responses to Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

  1. John Rainier says:

    I’ve seen this movie on TV, the only way I would watch it again would be at a theatre for the big screen effect. I like your comments about predestination. The whole idea offends me deeply.

  2. As a filmmaker, this is the most admired film for its time, subject and dedication to the craft. It is always on the top of my list of all time. As timely now about conditions and difficulties as it was in the early 1900s.

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