14 Mayıs 2012 Pazartesi

Lawrence's Delayed Screen Debut

lawrence links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 14 May 2012)

According to a report published in the La Repubblica newspaper
in Italy, the first effort to make a film about Thomas Edward
Lawrence, who died in a mysterious motorcycle accident on
8 May 1935, was initiated eight weeks after his death. Based
on secret documents from the period in the British State Archives,
director Alexander Korda wrote a scenario and cast famous
actor Leslie Howard in the role of Lawrence. Korda then applied
to the British Foreign Ministry for permission to film abroad.

However, Jordan's King Abdullah objected to the making of the
film in Palestine because such film would create a big risk in the
already tense region. The British monarchy then intervened and
requested that the Foreign Ministry 'prevent the making of this
film for our own interests. Let's not enrage our friends the Turks,
let's not have an incident like Tiran.' (probably a reference to
the Strait of Tiran at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba).

Nevertheless, director Korda tried again in 1937 to bring the
film to reality but the Foreign Ministry again vetoed the idea
even though the script had been changed. Finally, in 1939, Korda
sent a third script which was accepted by the Foreign Ministry
with the comment 'OK. There's nothing in it that will anger the

The same week Adolf Hitler occupied Poland and the Second
World War began. The 'Lawrence of Arabia' project was
scrapped. In 1962, director David Lean brought the film to the
screen without censorship and it won seven Oscars.

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