Sunday, February 20, 2005


They should do a remake.

It was a great movie. One of the greatest. Remarkable performances. Jose Ferrer in a beautifully nuanced cameo as a Turkish officer. Claude Rains as a scheming advisor to generals. Alec Guiness hardly recognizable as an Arab prince. Anthony Quinn in a great performance as an Arab tribal chief. Omar Sharif in a career making role as an Arab sharif. And of course, on the screen almost throughout, Peter O’Toole.

The dialogue was inspired. There was one lightning bolt of a line, delivered flawlessly and angrily by Quinn: “There is no gold in Aqaba, He lied. He is not perfect.” That one line gave me chills. It explained more about Lawrence’s relations with the Arabs than could a thousand words.

So why do a remake? Lots of reasons.

1. It would make money (most important to Hollywood). Just the connection to the first would guarantee it some interest.

2. It’s been over 40 years since the first was made (1962).

3. Lawrence was a fascinating character. Fascinating characters make good movies.

4. Much of the first, though true to the spirit of Lawrence’s adventure, was not accurate. So what? So the truth will give just as dramatic incidents and give quite a different movie. One thing that was glossed over in the movie was the way Lawrence cut the Turkish communications and arranged a general uprising to coincide with the allied offensive from the west.

5. It’s a movie I would like to see.

I rest my case.


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