HISTORY LESSONS: Lawrence of Arabia (1962)


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CONTENT WARNING: Discussion of suspected sexual assault during prison torture from 25:33-26:44, and a brief mention of suicide from 43:02-43:15. Also, discussion of torture, racism, brownface, racist portrayals in movies, homophobia, war, death, grief, murder.

Our next history lesson takes us on a journey across the desert through the longest film to date for this show. Clocking in at just under four hours, David Lean’s masterpiece is a film that truly stands alone in its scope and technique in filmmaking. No one had ever made a movie quite like this in 1962, and it feels safe to say no one will ever make another one like it again. Because the original story of the figure behind this week’s movie and the process of making the film itself were both epic in every sense of the word. And while we have some issues with the script and storytelling, the sheer beauty, magnitude and influence of this week’s film are simply undeniable. Grab your gun and climb on your camel as we continue our History Lessons series with 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia on Macintosh & Maud Haven’t Seen What?!

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Intro and outro music taken from the Second Movement of Ludwig von Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Hong Kong (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 HK) license. To hear the full performance or get more information, visit the song page at the Internet Archive.

Excerpts taken from the film Lawrence of Arabia are © 1962 renewed 1990 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpt taken from “Mr. Lucky” from Music De Wolfe, Copyright 1980.

Excerpt taken from “Sabre Dance from the Gayane Suite No. 3,” composed by Aram Khachaturian and performed by the Bernliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, December 31, 2013.

Excerpt taken from “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra,” composed by Benjamin Britten and performed by the WDR Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste, October 3, 2010.

Excerpt taken from the film The Great Escape is © 1963 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and John Sturges. All Rights Reserved

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