Talk:Lawrence of Arabia (film)

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Former good article nominee Lawrence of Arabia (film) was a Media and drama good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
July 5, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed

Passages to use[edit]

On 10 June 1916, Sharif Husayn's tribal warriors attacked the Turkish garrison in Mecca. With him he had the English officer, Thomas E. Lawrence, whose adventures were immortalised in David Lean's film Lawrence of Arabia. Romantic historians have represented the revolt as a general Arab rising after more than 400 years of Turkish despotism. In reality, Husayn's personal ambitions to be king of the Arab world were more decisive, and the tribal warriors he mobilised by no means represented a broad, popular movement. Nonetheless, when these tribal warriors, in cooperation with the British, entered Damascus in 1918, the jubilation was great. Husayn's son, Faysal, rode triumphantly into the city and formed an Arab government.

  • Selvik, Kjetil; Stenslie, Stig (2011). Stability and Change in the Modern Middle East. I. B. Tauris. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-84885-589-2. 

For possible use in the "Historical accuracy" section. Erik (talk | contribs) 16:21, 25 February 2011 (UTC)


There are certain film directors like David Lean, Andre Tarkovsky or Chen Kaige who have earned a justifiable reputation as filmmakers preoccupied with the power and specularities of landscapes. Films, such as Dr Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, Yellow Earth exemplify this fact.

  • Harper, Graeme; Rayner, Jonathan (2010). Cinema and Landscape. Intellect Ltd. p. 155. ISBN 978-1-84150-309-7. 

For possible use in regarding to the film and the landscape in it. Erik (talk | contribs) 16:36, 25 February 2011 (UTC)


One can see the influence of Lawrence of Arabia here, the first film [Siddiq] Barmak ever saw. Just as in David Lean's film, Osama opens the viewer's eye to a desolate panorama of (urban) desert. From the very first sequence, which portrays a demonstration of women clad in blue burqas, the camera's depth of field extends far beyond the protesters to include the hills of mud-brick homes behind them and the mountains beyond.

  • Graham, Mark (2010). Afghanistan in the Cinema. University of Illinois Press. pp. 90–91. ISBN 978-0-252-07712-8. 

For possible use in the "Legacy" section. Erik (talk | contribs) 16:46, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Plot[edit]

Today, I used this synopsis published by the British Film Institute to cite the plot summary with a secondary source since Wikipedia is supposed to be based on such sources whenever possible. We only use primary sources with great care, and in articles about film, we often run the risk of including interpretations. The goal of the plot summary is to provide an overview of the film in a concise manner. I was reverted, and I am concerned that we have a lot of interpretations in the primary-sourced revision. We have creative descriptions and a few assumptions about characters' behavior. A few recent Featured Articles about Star Trek films source their plot summaries to similar secondary sources, and there is no risk of interpretation in that approach. Can we not do the same here? The article may not be able to reach Featured status with the interpretations of the primary source, especially when we have a synopsis readily verifiable. Erik (talk | contribs) 00:12, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

I disagree. What you are proposing is not the norm for film plots. I can't recall the last time I ran across a synopsis based on some other group's (other than copyvios), nor do I consider the anonymous BFI writer a reliable source worthy of a reference. If some new consensus has formed, I'm not aware of it. Blade Runner, Casablanca, Dog Day Afternoon, and other feature articles seem to have managed without referencing the plots in this manner.
If you have concerns about interpretations, please go into specifics. Clarityfiend (talk) 01:42, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
Most films will not have secondary sources providing detail about their plots. That is why the default is to use the film as a primary source, though with great care. If we can use a secondary source, we should. The source I used was the British Film Institute, which is definitely reliable. I'm not sure why you would argue otherwise. As we've seen, plot summaries can fluctuate a great deal because there are too many ways for random editors to explain the events in a film. The synopsis from the British Film Institute is just over 800 words and conveys what happens in the film. By attributing the content to a secondary source that is quickly verifiable as a web page, we do not have to worry about extraneous detail nor inappropriate tone. For example, Star Trek: The Motion Picture references this. The approach provides a concise summary of the work, and it does not prevent providing explanations of scenes elsewhere in the article body when context is needed. Erik (talk | contribs) 05:21, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
I would consider the BFI reliable as a whole, but not necessarily every aspect of it, until somebody or some prior discussion proves it to my satisfaction. I've looked around the BFI site to try to ascertain who is responsible for their synopses and how reliable they are, without much luck.
Assuming it is a reliable source, is it necessary or even desirable to base the plot summary on it? Where was this decided? All I see is Wikipedia:When to cite#When a source may not be needed, which, while only an essay, makes sense to me. Clarityfiend (talk) 06:34, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
The problem is, you're saying you trust the anonymous writers of Wikipedia over the anonymous writers of the British Film Institute. WP:NOR says, "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources... primary sources that have been reliably published may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them." That kind of language is why I said we should use a secondary source if one exists. We should not be questioning the BFI's content in the first place; we should be able to assume that it is reliable unless indicated otherwise. WP:RS says, "Reliable sources may be published materials with a reliable publication process, authors who are regarded as authoritative in relation to the subject, or both." Is there any reason to believe that the films' web pages did not go through a reliable publication process under the institute? In addition, are you opposed to using any secondary sources at all? In my research, I think it is likely we will find solid synopses of the film, but they're not going to be as accessible as this one from BFI. I think its use will help ensure overall verifiability. I have seen editors in the past challenge a summary because it is a lot of describing of the primary source and because the summary has typically lacked citations. If we reference the secondary source for the summary and cite it, we can avoid a stink about it. I would like to do a peer review at some point, and I can raise this issue then. Erik (talk | contribs) 13:53, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
You're missing my point. References are necessary to support statements that are likely to be challenged. I personally don't recall ever running across anyone who complained because a synopsis wasn't cited. It's not felt necessary in novels, plays, television episodes, etc.
It also makes me very uneasy about co-opting somebody else's writing. What's the point? BFI's version can be externally linked. Clarityfiend (talk) 23:06, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Faisal[edit]

Although the Article refers to Faisal as a practical joker, according to TEL in Seven Pillars it was Faisal's older brother, the less serious Abdullah, who was an unrepentent practical joker. — Preceding unsigned comment added by J52Jarhead (talkcontribs) 13:00, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Candidate for anniversary collaboration[edit]

Hello, the film Lawrence of Arabia (film) is one of the candidates for WikiProject Film's anniversary collaboration. Please see the discussion about the collaboration here. Feel free to support this candidate, the other candidates, or even nominate other films as candidates for the anniversary collaboration. Erik (talk | contribs) 17:37, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Motorcycle[edit]

"As he is being driven, a motorbike rides by as a fascinated Lawrence watches on, marking the beginning of an obsession with motorcycles which would eventually cause his death."

Having viewed that scene just now, I didn't view it as fascinating Lawrence at all. Yes I'm sure it whizzed past as the writer was foreshaddowing what happens to Lawrence later, but it didn't strike me that Lawrence paid that much attention to it at all, or that the film was suggesting that was the beginning of an obsession. Maybe Lawrence wrote somewhere that this happened but it was certainly not in evidence in the scene 92.40.62.169 (talk) 17:18, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

I've deleted it. Clarityfiend (talk) 08:36, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
The motorcycle O'Toole rides at the beginning of the movie appears to be a J.A. Pierce but Lawrence rode a Vincent Black Shadow as I recall. Thoughts? 50.202.81.2 (talk) 18:49, 12 March 2016 (UTC)
This doesn't seem relevant to the plot to me. I'd want to see a reliable source that discussed the motorcycle in relation to the film. DonIago (talk) 03:47, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
Lawrence's motorcycle was a Brough Superior. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 95.149.173.13 (talk) 01:05, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Historical Accuracy[edit]

One of the authors who has questioned the film's historical accuracy is Jeremy Wilson, Lawrence's official biographer. He has a paper/presentation entitled "Lawrence of Arabia or Smith in the Desert" in which he analyzes the historical content of the film. Unfortunately, EU privacy regulations have led him to temporarily take down his website (he promises to rebuild it as time allows), and I don't have access to a print version to be able to cite it. The current section on historical accuracy is largely original research, attempting to compare the film's content to the account in the Osprey books volume on the Arab Revolt. This is doubly bad, since it's original research, and the Osprey books, while passable for some purposes, are not the most reliable scholarly accounts. I don't have the Osprey volume on the Revolt, but one claim cited from it is that there was a unit of 1,100 French officers with the Arab Army. There might have been 1,100 men, but surely not 1,100 officers.MayerG (talk) 04:06, 29 May 2012 (UTC) I've noticed that some of the later sections do cite Wilson's "Smith in the Desert", although the links is now dead.MayerG (talk) 04:24, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Wilson's "Lawrence of Arabia or Smith in the Desert" is currently available on the T. E. Lawrence Studies website, starting at http://www.telstudies.org/discussion/film_tv_radio/lofa_or_sid_1.shtml Nedrutland (talk) 10:52, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

1966 TV version[edit]

How long was the 1966 TV version? I'm asking because the 1989 re-release made a big deal about having to re-dub at least 29 minutes of restored footage that was found to be silent, and the documentary on my 2-disk edition even makes it out of as if they had to re-dub the entire movie. Couldn't they have gone back to the 1966 telecine for the audio? After all, wasn't the original 1962 release monaural anyway, so a mono soundtrack from the telecine wouldn't have mattered much? --87.151.17.65 (talk) 17:33, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Influence on Spaghetti western?[edit]

The suggestion that this movie popularized the location for Spaghetti westerns (which is un-cited) is surely fairly bogus: the location was used for “The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw” in 1957/58, and the standing Western town set attracted other film makers - in addition to which, where else in Europe *could* you have gone to make them? Jock123 (talk) 20:22, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

A factory-made Porsche[edit]

José Ferrer as the Turkish Bey. Ferrer was initially unsatisfied with the small size of his part, and accepted the role only on the condition of being paid $25,000 (more than O'Toole and Sharif combined) plus a factory-made Porsche.[5]

Is there any other kind? I have owned two Porsches. I was able to ascertain that they were both "factory-made" and I have never heard of any other make. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.156.22.220 (talk) 01:33, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Lawrence of Arabia Theatrical Poster jpeg Removal[edit]

The poster for Lawrence of Arabia has been removed and should be restored for such an iconic film. This is outrageous and I believe someone removed it because they wanted to vandalise the page and make it seem like "official" copyright infringement, which it is not. This issues needs to be fixed asap. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Internet Informant (talkcontribs) 23:52, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Implied Rape[edit]

Lean went to great pains to depict within the limits of the film code of the day the rape that Lawrence alleged happened in Deraa. Beyond the fact that both dialogue and visuals all but shout the point, the scene remains controversial. Should a source be necessary, this 2006 article from The Telegraph should do just fine. Note its reference to the "graphic depiction" of the rape. [1] Sensei48 (talk) 13:26, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Yet another 'made in America' stamped article[edit]

I have had to re-add deleted reliable source citations pertaining to the fact that LoA is a British film, the cited sources are: BAFTA, BBC and a reference to the AADA in it's definition of LoA as a British film, warm regards. Twobells (talk) 10:35, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

All we need to do now is get the proper UK quad poster on the page.... Nick Cooper (talk) 11:38, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Like it or not, the film was produced by Columbia Pictures and American producer Sam Spiegel. That's in the film credits and stated in the article. All the after-the-fact tertiary sources in the world won't alter that one salient fact. --Drmargi (talk) 14:07, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
The text states that the film was, "produced by Sam Spiegel through his British company Horizon Pictures," and Colombia is mentioned only in the context of being the distributor. Spiegel having American citizenship is a bit of a stretch in labelling the film as "American." Nick Cooper (talk) 14:04, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Drmargi. At the same time, I think the desire to stamp the nationality of the film in the lede paragraph is a symptom of some kind of psychosis. I don't think that information is useful or relevant in most cases, and says little to nothing about the film or its quality. I'd like to see the practice end, unless it can be proven that the nationality of its production is somehow relevant. ---The Old JacobiteThe '45 15:02, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
'like it or not' is not best wiki practice, the previous best version with the reliable, associated citations were deleted favouring yet another 'woo hoo made in AMERICA! ' stamp. I am adding a NPOV tag until this can be resolved.Twobells (talk) 10:35, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
You are the only editor arguing this view, and hence your continued edit-warring has been adding to the report against you. Have a nice day. Alex|The|Whovian? 10:37, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
'Arguing this view'? You took a reliable, best version of many years and stamped 'made in the USA!' stamp on it like you have done across wikipedia as mentioned by many other editors and this is no more than the same old behavior. I have to ask; why are you so inclined as to stamp articles in this nationalist manner when the citations all suggest otherwise? Also, when your edits are reverted to the best previous version why do you rush to the edit warring noticeboard like some juvenile schoolchild running to his mummy? Are you incapable of accepting the reliable citations associated with the articles in favour of some spurious cite promoting your nationalism?? Warm regards.Twobells (talk) 10:50, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Are you edit-warring, against an enforceable policy rather than a guideline? Yes? Your answer. And if you wish for editors to take you seriously at all, do try to attempt to remain civil. By the way? I'm not American. Alex|The|Whovian? 10:51, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Who said you were? Also, I have no interest in what 'other editors' think of me, I am more interested in them sticking to the guidelines, not reverting well-written articles and stamping them with some sort of mis-guided nationalistic fervor.Twobells (talk) 10:58, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
You, by calling me nationalistic. And what on Earth do you mean by You took a reliable, best version of many years and stamped 'made in the USA!' stamp on it? Look at this version from January 3 this year. It already said British-American. If you want to stick to the guidelines, then stick to WP:FILMLEAD. Alex|The|Whovian? 11:00, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
I have amended the article to show the results of five sources. This should not be undone without further discussion. Quite frankly, I can't see how the facts can be argued with. --Warner REBORN (talk) 20:37, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, you added all these sources, at least one of which is not reliable, and half of which do not say what you are claiming. There are sources already in the article that call it a British-American film, and it is this disagreement that led to the decision not to put the nationality in the lede. You were also the one who removed United States from the infobox, which was a deliberate act of vandalism. There is no reason to put the nationality in the lede. ---The Old JacobiteThe '45 21:53, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
I apologise for the removal of US info box. I assure that I was a mistake and in no way deliberate. The sources provided citing the film as GB/US are invalid as they take into consideration the distributor against Wiki policy which dictates that the production country is what should be followed. This is further evidenced by the bfi which takes only the production country which is why it is the most commonly used source. Any change without EXPLICIT discussion is vandalism. --Warner REBORN (talk) 21:42, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

Group Project[edit]

Greetings, I am Gizem and as part of my university project I will be editing the Lawrence of Arabia (film) wikipedia page. To edit the page I will be working along side other members of my group of which are Lyndsey, Rado, Daniel and Freddie. Our aim is to try and improve the article from a (Rated C-class) article. (Undergraduate level students)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Education_program/Students

Welcome :) --Warner REBORN (talk) 21:42, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

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Guide's death[edit]

It is a material fact that the guide was shot when he was attempt to draw his weapon not for drinking the water without permission. Yes they were at the well without permission but the death did not happen until the attempt to draw the weapon. Yes, Sharif said that he should not be drinking the well water without permission but again that was not the reason why he was shot otherwise Sharif could have shot before the guide reached for the weapon.2605:E000:9152:8F00:7060:320D:932D:E7A6 (talk) 15:03, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Not so. Your point that "that was not the reason why he was shot otherwise Sharif could have shot before the guide reached for the weapon" is an inference - your inference. It is supported by neither the action of the film nor the dialogue. In order to include this in the article, you need a reliable source supporting your contention. As there isn't one cited now, your edit must be removed until you can find one - that's how Wikipedia works. For reference sake, here is the operative dialogue between Lawrence and Ali copied from the online edition of the script:
Lawrence: He is dead.
Ali: Yes.
Lawrence: Why?
Ali: This my well.
Lawrence: I have drunk from it.
Ali: You are welcome.
(Several Lines later)
Ali: Your "friend"...was a Hazimi of the Beni Salem.

(Later)

You are angry, English. He was nothing.
The well is everything. The Hazimi may not drink at our wells. He knew that.
Ali's clear statement is that the killing is based on his ownership of the well and the fact that Hazimi like the guide are forbidden from using it. Ali also makes clear that as an English ally, Lawrence is "welcome." Sensei48 (talk) 16:40, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Sensei48 is correct. Thanks to you S for taking the time to lay things out so clearly. WP:OR and WP:SYNTH are always to be avoided when dealing with plot points. MarnetteD|Talk 18:55, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Like I said they were at the well without permission but if the guide had not gone for his weapon he would not have been shot at. If Sharif did not want the guide to drink from the well then he should have shot before the guide went for his weapon.2605:E000:9152:8F00:7060:320D:932D:E7A6 (talk) 19:25, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

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