Act 1

Scene 1:

  • Film fades into focus: (Above shot) Lawrence polishes his motorcycle. Lawrence is soon driving off into the countryside, as he races though the country lane, a sign up ahead reads “Warning Danger”; this may reflect Lawrence journey throughout the film. In the scene Lawrence revs up the motorcycle at mid point; to me I feel this point represents the point in his journey that will be the most intense.
  • A team member also hinted at the idea; that the jittering/unfocused view of the camera, suggests the heightening  for intensiveness.
  • The narrow country lane – I think is also a descent for the audience point of view from the calm and homely, Ordinary World and brings them into the Special World, which to an audience is the starting point of a film. So in all, the country road scene acts like a passage for the audience; a kind of womb/ tunnel that will question and challenge their own view about Lawrence.
  • Another thing one team member pointed out was the goggles Lawrence is wearing, represent/metaphor of  him not being able to see from his flaws.
  • The heightened point of this scene is when, Lawrence loses control of his motorcycle; this is also a type of metaphor linking to his journey; at some point in the journey Lawrence loses his innocence, he can’t control his emotions, he does not see from his flaws that his acts are not the right solution to the problem. Hence the motorcycle journey ending with him spinning into a ditch.

Scene 2:

Lawrence’s Funeral – (Scene Opens outside St. Paul’s Cathedral, Bird’s Eye view shot; scene cuts to bust of Lawrence) Colonel Brighton stands in front of the bust, with a man; they are chatting about Lawrence.

  • Lawrence’s Funeral – A crowd ascends from a church; Colonel Brighton, is talking about Lawrence; he is praising him, a man asks the question “Yes, but, did he really deserve a place, in here?”, this asks the question everyone in the audience is thinking; who was Lawrence, it is a repeatedly asked question throughout the film. One that is never answered.
  • (Cut to) General Allenby, he is stopped by a reporter, trying to find out who Lawrence was? Allenby answer is not what the reporter or the audience is after; the reporter asks “Did you know him?” – Allenby replies “No, I did not know him?”
  • (Cut to) General Murray – Lean has the actors walking toward the screen, I feel like this centres the viewers/audiences attention to what is being said; Murray’s line are spoken like a introduction/ the starting point of the story. They pin the point which the film what’s the audience to think. “
  • With each conversation of this scene, Lean places the characters on the centre of the screen. This is so the the central aim of focus is to what the characters are saying.
  • I think really what this scene is trying to pin-down is the question that will be asked throughout the film. “Who are you?”
  • In the making of the film, the crew says that this question will never be answered: reason being Lawrence does not know the answer himself.

Scene 3:

Characters: (in order of Appearance)

  1. T.E. Lawrence
  2. Michael George Harvey
  3. William Potter
  4. Army Officer

Scene Description: Close up of Lawrence’s arm painting a map. Cut to Medium Shot of Lawrence. He looks towards the barred window; there is a group of camels walking across the barred window.

  • (Cut back to a long shot of Lawrence and his peer, Michael George Harvey) Lawrence: “Michael George Harvey. This is a nasty dark little room. We are not happy in it.” Michael Harvey replies: “I am.” This scene could suggest the desire of Lawrence; he is not happy sitting in a dark room painting a map; which in someway, (even if it might be reading too much into) also suggests he wants to venture out of the room.
  • “It’s better than a nasty dark little trench.” say Michael George Harvey. Lawrence’s face jumps up, and glares at him. Seems to me like he doesn’t agree and is offended by the very mention of it.
  • William Potter enters the scene far off behind characters in the the scene (whistling); Lawrence hears him before we see him, “Ah, here comes William Potter this mornings news paper.” The headline was not in the Times as hinted by Lawrence, so he reads it from an Arabic newspaper: Headline reads – “Bedouin Tribes Attack Turkish Stronghold.” 
  •  Army Officer (Messenger) brings Lawrence a letter.
  • At this point Lawrence is lighting Potter’s cigarette; he takes the match and snuffs it out with his fingers. At this stage we see Lawrence showing off to the officer’s in the room, of his unique talent (or rather his brilliance that he thinks of himself).
  • William Potter asks Lawrence “what is the trick?”, Lawrence replies “The trick William Potter is…. not minding that it hurts.” This act explains that Lawrence can withstand the heat, that he endeavors in the desert.

Scene 3:

Characters (in order of Appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. Freddie
  3. Army Officer 1
  4. Army Officer 2

Scene Description –  Lawrence enters the bar of the Army Officers; he is called by Freddie. Lawrences folds his arms behind his back with a smirk on his face.

  • Freddie asks: “Your supposed to be on duty? Where are you going?.” Lawrence replies: “Mustn’t look so shocked Freddie, as a matter of fact I am going to the “pow wow” with the General. In this scene we see that Lawrence is a well-known misfit.
  • Freddie asks Lawrence again: Where he is going. Lawrence reacts by throwing a snooker ball toward a nicely pile being sorted by Army Officer 1. Army Officer 1 shouts back in anger. Freddie says of Lawrence: “Your a clown, Lawrence!” Lawrence replies: Ah well, we can’t all be lion tamers.” This is hinting to Lawrence’s nature again, suggesting himself as a lion and Freddie his Lion tamer. Showing the superiority of Freddie to Lawrence.
  • At the end of this scene Lawrence knocks over a table; he spills tea/water over Army Officer 2, who was seated at the table. This I think is director’s David Lean’s idea to show the clumsiness of Lawrence; Peter O’Toole talked about how Director David Lean, wanted to have a graceful descent for Lawrence in much later scene. This early scene mirror’s that same act as a metaphor.

Scene 4:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. General Allenby
  2. Mr Dryden
  3. Lawrence

Scene Description:

General Allenby’s office: General Allenby is seated at his desk discussing Lawrence to Mr Dryden.


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