A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia (1992) - full transcript

Lawrence and Feisal go to argue for Arab independence at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.

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>> All men dream, but not equally.

Those who dream by night in the

dusty recesses of their minds,

wake in the day to find that it was vanity,

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men

for they may act their dream with open eyes

to make it possible.


I did.

(solemn music)

("Pomp and Circumstance")

>> T. E. Lawrence, this young archaeologist,

without a days military experience in his life,

became the terror of the Turks,

the idolized leader of the Bedouins,

and when I met him, he told me

he had a price of $500,000 on his head.

This breathless youth placed himself

at the head of the Bedouin Army,

of the King of the Hejaz, drove the Turks

from the holy land and restored

the caliphate to the descendants of the prophet.

Here we see him, the uncrowned King of Arabia

and his Arabian Knights,

and Chief of his Arabian Knights,

the son of King Hussein of the Hejaz,

the Emir Faisal.


Faisal gave Lawrence his famous white robe

made from silk the Emir had intended

to wear at his own wedding, I saw him

present Lawrence with his own rifle

as a token of his gratitude and love.

Together, these 20th Century crusaders

sweep back the Turks on the plains of Sharon

where the muslim hoard of Saladin

vanquished the flower of futile chivalry

and marched, at last, triumphant into Damascus.

The wild sons of Ishmael regarded

the quiet fair haired leader as a sort of

super natural being, who had been sent

(Arabic music over talking)

(train whistle)

>> Voiceover: The train now arriving at platform three

at platform three is the 11:15

(train clanking and braking)

(background chatter)

>> Oh, sorry sir, are you hurt?

>> Voiceover: The train now arriving

at platform three, is the 11:15 from

(background chatter and whistle)

>> So much for Constantinople.

>> Yes, the French have their teeth firmly sunk

into that Ottoman Empire.

>> Is it lunch?

>> And one more item on the agenda I think.

>> Oh what's that?

(background chatter)

>> Lawrence.

>> Voiceover: Who?

>> Voiceover: The Arabs.

>> Voiceover: Which Arabs?

>> Voiceover: Well, that's the point,

there would seem to be a number of options.

>> I really can't see why we need to consult

with this man Lawrence at all.

What we want from the peace conference

is straight forward British control.

>> But it may be necessary to have

the facade of an Arab ruler.

>> Yes, of course, but Lawrence's Arab?

And why Lawrence, there are other Arabs

and there are other Arab specialists.

>> Colonel Minotagen, he was in

the desert campaign wasn't he?

>> Minotagen's on Palestine, he's our liaison

with the Zionists, we're seeing

him and Viceman this afternoon.

>> Well, that woman recommended by the foreign office.

>> Precisely, Gertrude Bedell

>> Ah yes, but Lawrence took Damascus didn't he?

We are obliged to listen to what he has to say.

>> (mumbles) disaster if Lawrence and Faisal

were allowed to get into Damascus first.

>> (mumbles) the King was an outrage,

he refused to accept his medal.

>> Soldier: Colonel Lawrence.

>> Do sit down.

I'm sure we all welcome Colonel Lawrence

to the Eastern Committee of the War Cabinet.

>> Voiceover: Indeed we do.

>> His Majesty's government would

greatly value Colonel Lawrence's opinion

as to the peace settlement.

>> The Hashemite royal house, under Prince Faisal,

proved itself in battle, it would

prove itself also in peace.

>> Voiceover: So we back the same horse do we?

>> Or in this case, camel.

There are other ships of the desert, Imam,

Idrisi, above all,

in my opinion, Ibn Saud.

>> But none who are so obliging to Great Britain's needs.

Trade routes, above all to India,

Lord Curzon, would be safe.

Indeed all the legitimate British interests

would be best served by supporting with the Hashemite's.

To this end, I would like to propose

that Prince Faisal, heads a delegation

to the peace conference in Paris.

>> British interests would best be.


>> I really can recommend him to your Lordship.

>> Faisal?

Malleable then?

>> In the right hands.

>> Yours?

>> Arabs deal best with individuals.

>> And what would the Emir Faisal get

for his selfless service to Great Britain.

>> No more than we have promised him already, Syria.

>> I really do feel

(clearing throat)

>> You make no mention of the French.

>> No.

>> The French can also be said to have

expectations in the near East,

Syria, in particular.

>> And the French are our allies.

>> (laughing) So are the Arabs.

The Emir Faisal, would of course

be completely at liberty to choose

any foreign advisors he wants,

of any nationality he pleases.

>> I find it most reassuring that

both the Emir Faisal and Colonel Lawrence

have British interests uppermost in their minds.

Thank you Colonel Lawrence.

>> Thank you sir.

>> Luncheon now, Louie?

>> Voiceover: Oh, are they catering for us here today?

(dramatic music)

(running film reel)

(train whistle)

(background chatter)

>> It is only dangerous

if you move.

You try, after all the handle is set with British gold.

Ah, Merci, losing on dinner Lawrence,

you are too late.

>> What?

(speaking foreign language)

>> It is strange, sitting with you on a train,

when we spent all our time blowing them up.

El Lawrence, wrecker of engines.

>> Wrecking engines was easy, I had to

tells lies about it to get you here.

>> It is not the first time, and perhaps,

it will not be the last.

What matters is, you got me here.

Paris, together, we will be irresistible.

(train brakes)

>> Lawrence: Why on earth are we stopping here?

(steam blowing)

>> George Dumont,

(speaking foreign language)

>> Emir Faisal, France has no information

concerning the official mission

with which you are charged in Paris.

Consequently, it is undesirable for you

to continue your journey to Paris.

(speaking foreign language)

>> I think there's been a misunderstanding,

the Emir Faisal is here by invitation

of the British government to represent

his father the Sharif of Mecca.

>> Yes, but I repeat, France has

(train moving)

France has not been informed of the Emir's mission,

perhaps you will translate that.

(train chugging)

>> Ah, Eddie Dyson.

>> George Dumont.

>> Oh course, it's a great honor to meet you.

>> The honor's entirely mine, allies in

the peace, as in the war.

>> Yes, come Lawrence, we must talk.

>> Yes.

>> In private please, it's cold out, be more comfortable.

Mr. Dumont, I'm sure you'll understand.

Ah, that's much better, you have to

return to Paris at once.

>> I can't leave Faisal.

>> It appears you've been uncoupled already.

(car engine)

>> Lord Curzon has much more on his plate

than the plight of the Hejaz delegation.

He's briefing Lord George for the

preliminary meetings with Clemenceau and President Wilson.

>> And then there's the additional problem,

who exactly are you?

What exactly are you going to do in Paris?

And by who's authority and in who's name will it be done?

You must define your role.

>> We have to know who's side you're on.

>> It was all agreed in London,

I attached to the Hejaz delegation.

>> What as?

>> As what?

>> Prince Faisal doesn't speak English,

he needs an interpreter.

>> An interpreter, so modest for

the conqueror of Damascus.

>> How will we know if your version is the truth.

>> I don't think it's only my

interpreting that's in question.

>> I believe I knew your father once.

>> My father?

>> Let's hope isn't the same man.

>> They only gave me one cipher,

and that one is completely hopeless.

And the French are intercepting our telegraphs.

>> Voiceover: The French, how do you know?

>> Voiceover: Because we're intercepting theirs.

>> Lawrence: Colonel Lawrence.

>> Lawrence?

(background chatter)

>> Lawrence, is that a U or W?

>> Could you tell me which room

Lord Curzon is in please.

>> His Lordship's in suite 6.

Have you got any luggage?

>> How's your room?

>> Freezing.

>> No metro, no taxis, no coal, no lift,

any moment now, no electrictiy.

Look Gertie, it's Lawrence.

>> Colonel Lawrence, top floor,

I'm afraid there's no bath.

>> No bath, hardly VIP.

>> Meinertzhagen.

>> Darling boy, how nice to see you again.

>> Hello Miss Bell.

>> I am advising on the Jews,

Gertie's on the Arabs, what are you doing here?

>> Oh just a bit of interpreting.

>> We haven't run across each other

since (mumbles), excuse me, he called you

Colonel Lawrence, last time we met

it was Captain wasn't it?

>> (mumbles) bumped me up, second

campaign in (mumbles) that's all,

I'm awfully sorry, I've got to rush,

I've a bit of rendezvous with Curzon.

>> You'll have a long wait.

(background chatter)

>> My name is George Nathaniel Curzon,

I am the most superior person,

my clothes are neat, my hair is sleek,

I dine (mumbles) times a week. (laughing)

(background chatter)

>> Yes, looks like it.

>> Goodnight sir.

>> Grey Haired man: Goodnight. >> Balding Man: Goodnight.

>> Grey Haired Man: Night cap? >> Balding Man: Thanks.

>> Oh, good Lord.

>> I'm sorry sir, but I had to see you urgently.

>> Did you indeed, well you'd better come in then.

Whiskey Louie?

>> Louie: Thanks.

>> Oh, no thank you.

>> Well, what is it?

>> Faisal's railway carriage has been stopped

by the French who kept in a siding outside Montdidier.

>> Lord Curzon: Faisal.

>> Faisal and his enteourage are all

still inside the carriage.

>> We must leave it to the French.

>> The French won't recognize his diplomatic status.

>> So I'm told.

>> You must insist that they do.

>> Must?

>> You agreed to it sir.

>> Very well, would you Louie,

well you know this sort of thing,

HMG vastly in debt to France,

if she can see her way clear to the mid

Hejaz delegation, from whom she has

nothing whatever to fear,

into whatever billage she may have been

kind enough to provide.

>> Oh no, have your drink first

old chap, for God's sake.

>> Thank you, Lord Curzon.

>> Colonel Lawernce.

Make it quite clear, won't you,

to Faisal, that the very last thing

we want at this conference is to ruffle French feathers.

>> The French cock and the British bulldog,

I'll try and explain, but I'm not sure

it's possible to render a cock

and a bull story in Arabic. (laughing)

>> I suggest that you try,

very hard.

>> Yes sir, goodnight.

>> I do hope we made the right choice.

(background chatter)

(speaking in foreign language)

(bird screeching)

(praying in foreign language)

(creaking door)

>> Do sit down, now I've managed,

with some difficulty I may say,

to fit you in a week on Thursday

into the (mumbles), you have the opportunity

to leave your case before the Counsel of Ten,

with your deputation at 5:00 p.m. sharp, don't be late.

They've got a lot on, and they take,

>> If I may translate for you.

>> By all means.

(speaking foreign language)

>> Is that all?

>> I thought in your case I'd use

one of the more economical dialects

of the Hans region,


and 3:30 would suit us better.

>> Impossible, now, the Emir's father's title.

>> What about it?

>> Well we've got to get it right, haven't we?

>> 157740 strike 15 to HMG,

Hussein assigns himself Sharif and Emir of Mecca,

no problems with that, but, and it's a big but

on the political front, fourth of November, 1916,

crowned King of the Arabs, the function was not,

however, attended by either the French or the British.

Now telegram number 961, Sir H. McMann to the FO,

suggests in view of our treaties with other Arab chiefs,

Ibn Saud, the Imam, the Idrisi, etc.

It should only be King of the Hejaz,

so, we suggest, for these proceedings,

his Lordship, Siada,

the King, Malik, of the Hejaz.

Alright, that's French approved I might add.

(speaking foreign language)

>> My father is the descendant of the Prophet Muhammad,

and for 900 years my ancestors have been Sharif's

of the Holy City, no other title

in the world compares in splendor.

180 million Muslims share this view.

The Emir of Mecca goes back to the other sides,

you are an impertenant fool if you think

the bearer of such a title cares,

in the least, if you call him, in addition,

King, Emperor, President, or donkey.

>> Right,

3:30 it is then.

>> Thank you.

>> Thank you for inviting Colonel Lawrence, Winston.

>> Is that him?

>> Yes.

>> Oh.

>> No, he's actually quite brilliant,

his experts are epic, and when you're with him

you have such great talks, make vast schemes

for the government of the universe.

You two are bound to hit it off.

He was just a boy on a dig when

we first met, now look at him.

>> Did you hear what Colonel Lawrence

did at the investiture last month?

He refused the CB, and the DSO.

>> Colonel Lawrence's conduct was most wrong,

not fair to the King as a gentleman,

and grossly disrespectful to him as the sovereign.

(speaking foreign language)

>> I believe Colonel Lawrence was

drawing attention to the Arab cause by his refusal.

>> Any man may refuse a decoration?

Any man might, in refusing, state the reasons

of principle which led to his action,

but to choose the occasion, when His Majesty

was actually about to perform the gracious act

was monstrous.

>> My action was prompted by a

burning sense of shame, and the likely

betrayal of the Arab's, by the

very country in which they had placed their trust.

It was not my

>> Oh, no, no, no, no, no, Miss Bell,

let's hear, Colonel Lawrence have his say,

I'm sure we're all vastly intrigued.

>> I simply felt, therefore, that

the King should be made aware of

what was being done in his good name.

>> I was not aware of the depth

of passion seething in the Arab bosom.

Indeed, so great, or was the pressure of war

so vast and scale, so demanding

the great battles of France that I was only,

dimly aware, of the part played

by the Arab revolt in the desert.

>> I very much doubt that the Secretarty of State,

the war's existence, was of any consequence at all

to the Howeitat, Argyll, or a'Tiber warriors.

>> And I was even more dimly aware of the part

played by Colonel Lawrence in that revolt.

>> It was nothing.


>> Voiceover: How long were you actually in the desert?

>> Gertie: I dined last night at the Majestic, George.

It seemed to be made entirely of onyx.

(background chatter in foreign language)

>> Emir Faisal: What have you been writing, Lawrence?

About me?

>> Just jotting, I left my war diaries in Cairo.

>> Ah, the war, the war was so much clearer.

Is this all as you would expect?

Is this how it is in Europe?

>> What?

>> This waiting.

>> Oh that, diplomacy,

our time will come.

(jingling bell)

(speaking in foreign language)

I drew these tides of men into my hands,

and wrote my will, across the sands, (laughing)

>> I drew these tides of men into my hands,

and wrote my will across the sky,

in stars.

(pen scratching)

I drew these tides of men into my hands,

I loved you,

so I drew these tides of men.

>> It has come to our knowledge,

that certain promises your government

made to the Arabs during the war, may be,

(mumbles) with the understanding

arrived at in private between our

two nations with regard to Arabia.

To the Arabs, who promised Arab independence.

With us you agreed a division of control.

France has every sympathy for the dilemma

in which His Majesty's government finds itself,

and Monsieur Clemenceau trusts that you will be able

to reconcile your contradictory positions,

to everyone's satisfaction.

>> Please assure Premiere Clemenceau,

of my Prime Minister's unfailing loyalty.

Great Britain's alliance with France is the

(speaks foreign language) starting point,

the rest I assure is of, minor detail.

>> We have never doubted that these

minor details can be, ironed out.

(laughing and speaking foreign language)


>> Lord Dyson to see Emir Faisal.

(women giggling)

>> Oh, yes, oh very good of the French

to try and make the Emir feel at home,

it's very, very Louie Baghdad.

>> Yes, the Ministry of Reconstruction paid us a visit.

(speaking foreign language)

>> The Emir looks absolutely,

(speaking foreign language)

>> If the Emir is dressed like the others,

perhaps he will be treated like

the others, not like a savage.

He will be wearing this suit for

his appearance at The Council of Ten tomorrow.

>> Ah, I fear you've been postponed.

>> Why?

It's the French isn't it, they want Syria?

>> Well, there must be give and take.

>> The Arabs fought for their freedom,

to get rid of empire, not acquire it,

and freedom for the whole Arab nation,

not pieces of it.

>> Oh indeed, they did, did they?

Your Magesty,

HMG is eternally in Colonel Lawrence's debt

for harnessing the Arab Revolt

so efficiently to our (mumbles).

Especially considering, he was aware all along,

of the Franko, British agreement,

to divide Arabia into spheres of influence.

The French in Syria, ourselves in the lower extremities,

don't let's pretend, that there's

anything new in any of this.

We've all known about it for years, haven't we?

Of course I leave the interpretation,

of what has been said, entirely up to you.

>> Any such agreement was nullified when Faisal

marched into Damascus at the head of the Arab army.

>> I'm not sure the French would

agree with you Colonel Lawrence.

>> Then they must be made to, Lord Dyson.

I shall have to see Curzon again.

>> Lord Curzon has gone back to England.

He's acting PM for Lloyd George.

(closing door)


>> Is Damascus really all we have?

(deep breath)


>> [Meinertzhagen Still up?

>> Yes.

>> Yes, I heard you moving about,

I'm right underneath you, this spot and room.

Oh good, you're not using your coal,

you mind if I just swipe some, I've run out.

What are you writing?

What is this anyway?

>> Just jotting, it's nothing, about the war.

>> The seven pillars of wisdom.

A triumph?

You're a tiring little man.

>> Do take the coal, I really don't need it.

>> The whole war, was a side show, of a side show,

now we are interpreters for minor

supplicants of that side show.

We are hardly even visible here.

A triumph.

Oh, thanks for the coal.


(deep breath)

>> (mumbles) Sharif Faisal, why do you

feel you have the right to create

and rule an independent Syria?

(speaking foreign language)

>> I meant to make a donation,

to restore a lost influence,

to give 20 millions of Semites the foundations

on which to build and inspire dream...

(speaking in foreign language)

>> That's an interesting technique Miss Bell.

>> What do you mean?

>> Emir Faisal is actually quoting from the Quran.

(background chatter in foreign language)

Now doubt you will recognize the Book of the Cow.

This, of course, allows Colonel Lawrence,

a considerable degree of freedom.

>> Lawrence: The Emir will be most grateful

if you would convey this to your readers.

>> Pierre!

Oh, I'm sorry, am I interrupting something?

(speaking foreign language)

>> Mr. Richard Smithers, Sharif Faisal, Colonel Lawrence.

>> How do you do?

>> Lawrence, really, I didn't recognize you.

I mean, we haven't met in the flesh, but,

hell, (mumbles) I've seen you in New York,

in the moving pictures, Lowell Thomas

is doing a show on Allenby and you're in it,

and you, of course, Lord Faisal, haven't you seen it?

>> No I haven't.

>> Well, it's a sellout, and I'd say

you are the main attraction,

I just didn't recognize you, you know,

without the flowing white robes and so on,

the Uncrowned King of Arabia.

Pierre, could I just borrow your pencil for a minute,

by the way, you really must see the show.

Colonel, can I ask you a few questions?

>> Yes, of course.

>> Richard: Thank you Colonel, our

readers will be very interested.

>> But if he's not going to speak up for himself,

then I'm going to have to speak up for him.

>> There are dangers in being seen

as Faisal's ventriloquist.

>> The trouble is, he resents thinking.

He's bored but has insence of impotence.

>> Don't lose sight of who you are, goodnight.

Ah, good evening Rebecca.

>> Voiceover: Good evening, madam.

Is the water hot enough?

>> The trouble with the French,

they take their victories very badly.

>> Madame Dumont, the wife of the

star secretary, Mr. Lloyd George.

>> How do you do Madame?

>> How do you do sir, and who

is governing the English while

their Prime Minister is away?

(background chatter)

>> Well, she's a very lucky woman,

I've heard the PM is hung like the Tour Eiffel.

>> Paris is riddled with it, Sir Mark Sites,

he's died with it, and they say it's killed as many people.

(background chatter in foreign language)

>> The (mumbles) distrust, and intrigue has

cleared away, man is able to say,

(background chatter)

(speaking in foreign language)

>> Even better than the show.

>> They're too oriental for my taste.

>> I doubt their entry into Damascus

made quite such an impresssion as this.

>> Then it was a coup d,etat, now it's a

(speaks in a foreign language)

(background chatter)

>> Ah, gentlemen, may I have a quiet word with you?

The Hejaz delegation, today we have

a golden opportunity to apply the

principles of self determination.

>> Prior agreements complicate the issue of principle.

>> Oh, but surely.

>> The principles, surely, are to adopt in this matter,

is what is best for the Arabs,

not necessarily what they imagine they want.

The British, and their allies, the French,

are equally eager to offer themselves up

as midwives at the birth of an Arab nation.

It seems clear to me, that this conference,

should concern itself with, above all,

with selecting which limbs of Arabia,

each of us should be responsible for.

>> Heads or tails.

>> Shall we proceed?

(background chatter)

>> Good morning Eddie.

(speaking in foreign language)

>> I feel sure that the council,

would wish to welcome the Hejaz delegation,

and it's representative the Emir Faisal.

(speaking foreign language)

>> With the permission of the council,

France has asked to appoint our own interpreter,

in order to verify Colonel Lawrence's translation.

>> Your excellencies, when I received

the formal order to go to the Paris Peace Conference,

I went to my father and asked him

for the political documents containing

the promises made to him by England,

which I had not yet seen, I know though

that these promises were contained

in a letter sent by the British government.

My father replied that this letter was in England,

and that I had no need of it,

I offer this as more proof of the absolute trust

my father has in the government of Great Britain.

You excellencies, I, however, would like

to see this letter, and I would like

it's contents to be made known here,

for in it, I believe there are no divisions,

no spheres of influence, but a promise to the Arabs

of their absolute independence.

Your excellencies, our cause is this,

that all Arabic speaking regions

should enjoy individual independence.

Your excellencies, show us the letter,

it predates any secret agreement

made between Great Britain and France,

and any such agreement was rendered

meaningless when I and Colonel Lawrence

marched, triumphant, into Damascus.

(speaking foreign language)

>> The Baron doesn't understand English,

we are to congratulate Colonel Lawrence

on his understanding of the Arabic language,

but I fear his interpretation was entirely lost

on certain members of the Council of Ten.

(speaking foreign language)

>> Perhaps Colonel Lawrence could provide us

with one of his instant translations,

only this time, in French.

>> That seems a lot to ask, Prime Minister.

(speaking foreign language)

(clapping and cheering)

>> Voiceover: Bravo.

(background chatter)

>> The point is, the publication of

the specific letter Faisal requested would cause confusion.

>> And, considerable embarrassment

to His Majesty's government.

>> Yes, and that's the very last thing

we all want, isn't it Colonel Lawrence?

>> We rely on you Lawrence, to make this plain to the Emir.

>> We simply can not expect the French

to drop all their claims in Arabia.

>> I'm afraid, if you have no influence over Faisal,

then you have no use here in Paris.

>> You think you can work everything out in private,

and win your case behind closed doors,

but in the open, in public,

I have the advantage of the terrain.

(background chatter)

>> Well that's as far as I can go Colonel Lawrence,

but I assure you that President Wilson

would greater appreciate any such sign of cooperation.

>> I know,

(speaking over each other)

>> Ah, the mystery man of the desert.

(speaking over each other)

>> I'd very much like to meet him,

will you introduce me to him?

>> After the letter has been published.

>> Until then, good luck.

>> (mumbles) and may I present, Madame Dumont.

>> Madame.

(speaking foreign language)

>> Monsieur Dumont is advisor to Premiere Clemenceau.

>> Ah, yes.

>> I'm most interested in your cause.

>> I too, have undergone something of a conversion.

>> Oh, good.

>> On the road from Damascus, indeed,

I have been speaking up about it,

coming up loud and clear,

call me, I'm at your indisposal.

>> Madame Dumont, how nice to see you.

>> Le George is leaning towards us.

(background chatter)

>> Excuse me guys.

>> Who gave you the name Lawrence?

>> I was born with it.

>> Colonel, have you used that dagger often?

(crowd talking)

>> Lawrence (speaking foreign language)

(horse galloping)

>> Voiceover: What was it he said Colonel?

>> He's asking me to ride with him.

(speaking foreign language)

>> Colonel, is that the famous

Arab stallion that you rode in the desert?

Colonel Lawrence?

>> Excuse me.

>> Voiceover: Colonel, is this some sort of contest.

(horse neighing and galloping)

(Arabic music)

>> There was a time, remember Lawrence,

when all the tribes came to my meshless tent.

Line upon line of their princes,

kneeling before me, in the sand,

and swearing their allegiance to me,

and at the end of that day, you came to me,

and you knelt in the sand, and you swore yourself to me.

What do we got from all this performance?

You are the talk of Paris, but what of our cause?

And, of course, they have not

produced the letter I asked for.

They promised to send an international commission,

but they haven't even got around

to choosing their commissioners,

and I am still not recognized,

by any of them, is this all a pretense?

Lawrence, think of something to do,

you are so full of ideas.

>> I have, already.

(horse neighing)

>> Morning Eddie.

>> Robert, good morning, have you read this?

Lawrence's Arab is supporting Meinertzhagen's Jew.

Would that constitute a holy, or

an unholy alliance, do you suppose?

>> Well, according to this, Faisal, and I quote,

would not interfere with Viceman's Zionists

in an Arab state of Palestine.

What do you make of that?

>> It's very cunning of Lawrence,

very unpragmatic for an idealist.

No doubt, it will gain them

considerable support in certain quarters.

>> Quite, no doubt.

>> I read your letter on Palestine, Prince Faisal,

I was most gratified to see the principles

of cooperation being carried out in practice.

(speaking foreign language)

Now, as you are aware, the French and the British

are prevaricating, they have not yet selected their

commissioners to visit your country.

(speaking foreign language)

But we have.

(speaking foreign language)

Oh, before we go any further Colonel Lawrence,

I must tell you how much my wife and I enjoyed your show.

>> Voiceover: Oh yes, it was wonderful.

>> Have you seen it yet?

>> No, I haven't.

>> Oh, a most exhilarating experience,

it's an illustrated lecture by Mr. Lowell Thomas,

my wife was particularly intrigued

by your camel mounted body guard,

though a little alarmed, I must say.

I personally found it and incredible

insight into the Arab revolt.

It all begins with a magnificent soprano,

she gives her version of the

(speaking foreign language)

>> The Emir would be most honored

if you would sign this in memory

of this most delightful meal.

>> I would be very happy to sir.

Thank you.

Would you be kind enough to tell me

what the Emir has written?

>> I, undersigned, agree to all Prince Faisal's demands.


(speaking foreign language)

Lawrence is writing a book.

The great Lawrence is writing a book.

He has not allowed me to read it yet.

>> That's very interesting Colonel Lawrence.

(speaking foreign language)

>> In the desert, you can see

fine camels walking perfectly in line.

When you go close, you see that

they are in fact tied, head to tail.

At the front of the line, we have put a little donkey.

>> Voiceover: Do you understand their answers?

>> Voiceover: Well, yes mam, but I think

it loses a bit in the translation.

>> Excuse me.

(background chatter)

>> Yeah, I got an urgent dispatch

for President Woodrow Wison.

(speaking foreign language)

I got a dispatch here for the President

that I've got to deliver now.

(speaking a foreign language)

Well, there's a letter here,

excuse me, mademoiselle, do you speak any English?

>> A little.

>> Can you tell this guy I've got.


(birds chirping)

(motorcycle engine)

(horses galloping)

(horse neighing)

>> Lawrence!

>> Good afternoon. (laughing)

>> Lord Dyson: You stupid, bloody fool!

>> Good afternoon Ned, why don't we have tea together?

>> Why not.

(speaking foreign language)

Even better.

(horses galloping)

(motorcycle engine)

(speaking foreign language)


(door creaking)

>> Lawrence: What were you doing with Dyson?

>> Look, we all have the same aim,

it's just, now, your Arabs.

>> My Arabs?

>> It's a terrible shame your Arabs

are a little (foreign language)

>> (laughing) (speaking foreign language), to fight a war.

>> Gertie: For gold.

>> For an ideal.

>> And gold.

The Saudis are the better warriors,

purer than the Sharifites.

Dyson believes Ibn S'aud to be the Arab leader.

>> (laughing) Dyson?

>> And others, we all have our favorites.

The desert's like that isn't it?

>> And I chose Faisal, I knew when

I saw him, he was the one.

>> Ibn S'aud is the purest soul of the Arabian desert,

Faisal is too civilized, too complex.

>> So, Faisal doesn't wear his religion on his sleeve, good.

>> And Ibn S'aud is the greater warrior.

>> And who captured Damascus, Ibn S'aud?

No, Faisal, me and Faisal, and we're winning again now.

>> Well, if you're sure your Arab.

>> What I want is that Arabia should become

our first brown dominion, not our last brown colony,

and I can pull that off with my Arabs,

I can do anything I want with Faisal,

he will do anything I say, I know he will.

(speaking foreign language)

(background chatter)


>> Your taxi's here Colonel Lawrence.

>> I can manage, thank you.

>> We have Churchill on our side now,

and the Americans.

I'll be back as soon as I can.

>> Voiceover: Give this to the concierge

and make sure it's posted as soon as possible.

(speaking in foreign language)

Eddie, Eddie!

(whistle and background chatter)

>> Sorry sir, we didn't see you there.

>> I wonder if I could trouble you for a cup of tea?

>> Certainly sir.

>> I'm only a temporary brass hat, my name is Ned.

>> Tom Prince.

>> Sprak sir.

>> Please sit down.

(background chatter)

>> Will you share a little top with us sir?

>> Oh, why not.

>> To your health.

(clanking cups)

>> Back in Surrey Street soon (mumbles) sir.

>> Yes.

(background chatter)

So, what are you doing here?

>> On my way to Buck airport, taking

some Handley Pages down south,

we're flight mechanics.

>> 1500's?

>> Yes, that's right, destination Cairo.

You interested in aircraft then?

>> Yes, as a matter of fact, I came

across them for the first time in the desert.

>> You've been in the desert then, have you?

>> Lawrence: Yes, I have.

>> How long were you there then?

>> A few years.

Yes, you'll a difference in the air.

When I was first there, I was taken

to a ruined castle in northern Syria.

The clay walls of the castle were

suppose to have been kneaded,

not with water but with precious oils of flowers,

roses, violets, jasmine,

but my friend Da-um,

took me to the windows,

the eastern facing windows of the castle,

and asked me to drink in the air.

He said, "This is the sweetest

"scent of all,

it has no taste."

(train chugging)

You'll notice the difference.

>> The press are furious about not being allowed in

and having to rely on dry press releases.

>> Good afternoon, Winston.

We've received the geologists preliminary

reports on the Persian Gulf.

>> Have we, interesting?

>> Very.

(door squeaking)

>> How very good of you to come Emir.

We were just hoping to take this opportunity to

clarify some matters.


Ah, Ms. Bell, would you be so kind

as to translate for the Emir,

he greatly misses the service of Colonel Lawrence.

>> Oh, I don't think that's necessary is it?

Sharif Faisal's English is quite good,

his French is positively fluent.

I really do think it's high time

to explode this absurd romantic myth, don't you?

He hasn't exactly stepped from the tents of hair

direct into civilization for the first time.

The Emir is certainly a great deal

more sophisticated than he has chosen to demonstrate,

and quite capable of understanding all the nuances

of whatever Lord Curzon has to say.

In fact, the absence of his interpreter

may well improve communication greatly.

(telephone ringing)

Thank you.


>> Voiceover: Who can bring a clean thing out

of an unclean, not one.

Seeing his days are determined,

the number of his months is with thee

and thou has to point at his bounds that he can not pass.

Look away from him that he may rest,

til he shall accomplish as a hireling, his day.

For there is hope of a tree if it be cut down

that it will sprout again, and that the

tender branch thereof will not cease.

Though the root thereof wax old in the earth,

and the stock thereof die in the ground,

yet trough the scent of water it will bud,

and put forth boughs like a plant.

But man dieth,

and wasteth away.

Yea, man giveth up the ghost and where is he?

(birds chirping)

(church bells)

(door squeaking)

>> Vicor?

>> No.

>> I thought he might've been able

to help me, parish records and so forth.

>> Lawrence: Are you a journalist?

>> Yes, trying to get a bit of background

detail on T. E. Lawrence.

He lives near here, do you know him?

>> I think he's away at the moment, in Paris.

>> But, you do know him?

>> Not really.

>> Oh, he's here all right, his

father's death, it's a good story.

>> I look forward to reading it.

>> Yes, and there's a show opening

about him in London.

>> Is there?

>> Right up from America.

Can you imagine they idol him in New York,

with Lawrence in Arabia.

>> Ned, there's someone here to see you.

>> Colonel Lawrence, just a few words please sir.

We could have had this chat earlier on.

>> Please go.

>> I just want to ask you about your father.

>> No.

>> It won't take a moment, just a quote.

>> For God's sake, get out.

>> Is your illegitimacy widely known?

(door slamming)

>> Lawrence: I'll be leaving for Paris

in the morning, Mother.

(crowd yelling)

>> Voiceover: Did you really refuse

the Kind of England's medal sir?

Have you heard about the Lowell Thomas

show opening in London?

(yelling over each other)

>> Voiceover: Do you see yourself

Colonel Lawrence, do you see yourself

as an Angle Saxon hero?

>> Voiceover: Colonel Lawrence,

may I have a few words with you?

(crowd yelling over each other)

>> Have you conceded anything?

If you've conceded anything at all we can not win.

If you give up on anything, you give up

on the whole principle.

The British military presence in Damascus?

>> Only as a temporary measure.

>> What else?

>> It is suggested to pacify the French,

we allow French advisors in certain towns

as a temporary measure.

You were not there when I needed you.

>> I arrived too late to see my own father alive,

and left too early to see him buried.

What more could I do for you?


I'm here now.

So now we've got to regain lost ground.

I think I can see how.

If I can't persuade my own people,

I can try and persuade the French.

(paper crinkling)

>> Lawrence: Good evening, madame.

>> I'm sorry but my husband is not here tonight.

>> Forgive me, I wouldn't have

troubled you if I had known.

>> Not at all, you'll have to make do with me.

Won't you sit down.

>> Thank you.

>> I have spoken to my husband about you.

He says he knows you.

>> Yes.

>> If I can be of any assistance, I will.

>> I believe if I could speak personally with Clemenceau,

it would make all the difference.

If your husband would help in any way

to arrange a meeting.

(speaking foreign language)

>> Anybody who's seen the things that

you must have seen must (mumbles)

>> No, not at all.

>> Everybody talks about your eyes,

the blueness.

>> I was told by an Arab woman they were quite horrid.

They reminded her of the blue sky

shining though the sockets of a skull.

(speaking in a foreign language)

>> You know, the danger of being decorative,

is that you're never taken seriously.

But I am serious about helping you.

>> I would appreciate it.

Thank you.

(background chatter in foreign language)

>> Colonel Lawrence, for the final act

of the Treaty of Paris, I have selected

the Place of Versailles, as a historian

you will appreciate my choice of venue.


You do not like the French Colonel Lawrence.

>> I do not like colonial aggression.

>> France's claims in Syria, you must remember,

go back to the time of the Crusades.

>> Please, do remind me, who was it who won the Crusades?

>> We will not withdraw our claim,

Faisal must come to terms with France.

He must accept the French mandate,

or he must abandon Syria completely.

>> Faisal believes that would mean slavery

for the Arabs and bloodshed in Damascus.

>> You are, it seems to me, a young man

who's fond of publicity,

but you are not always completely truthful.

Tell me, I want to be clear on one point.

You claimed Damascus by a coup d'etat?

>> Yes.

>> You have made great play of this,

you got there first, it is a central theme,

the glory of your entry with Faisal into Damascus,

which, at a stroke, justifies all Arab claims,

and wipes out all French ones,

because you got there first.

>> Yes.

>> There is someone here who disputes that.



>> I understand the significance you attach to the Arabs

being first in, but I fear that honor does not

rightfully belong to them, or to you.

As I think you know very well,

the facts are these, Faisal entered

the city on the third of October,

you entered at seven thirty on the first of October,

but on the thirtieth of September,

the advance guard of my Anzac mounted division,

had already marched into Damascus.

>> The Australians weren't there until the first.

There were Arab irregulars in on the thirtieth.

>> Irregulars?

My men fought hard for this moment of glory,

at Magdhaba, Ghaza, and Palistine,

I will not give up our position as conquerors of Damascus

to a couple of marauding tribesman.

>> General Chauvel, are you quite willing

to dispute this matter in public,

should it become necessary?

>> I am.


>> Herr Lawrence.

>> I need to see Mr. Churchill it's very important.

>> I'm sorry, he had to go to London, he flew this afternoon.

>> Lawrence: I see.

>> Would you like me to take a message?


>> Lawrence: Ah, Prime Minister.

>> Ah Lawrence, you're still here.

>> Still here?

>> Well, I thought perhaps by now,

you've done all you usefully could.

>> Did Mr. Churchill speak with you?

>> About what?

>> Faisal, Damascus, Syria?

>> Ah yes, you were spoken of well,

made a fine case, but counselates

must decide what is best now.


>> Lawrence: I've come to see President Wilson.

>> That's impossible right now.

>> I must see him, it's important.

>> He can't see you.

>> Why not, he must, he promised

his support, now I need it.

>> He can't see you because he's ill.

>> Where is he?

>> He's in the hospital.

>> Where, which hospital?

>> I'm sorry, Colonel Lawrence,

I'm not at liberty to tell you that, excuse me.

(door opening)

>> I gave the man downstairs some money

to let me in, so I could wait for you.

I hope you don't mind.


>> Madame Dumont, I shall always be

grateful for your help but, (laughing)

I can not respond to you as I feel you'd wish.

It's simply not within my power to do so.



(door closing)

>> No carpets at the (mumbles) either.

>> You have to apply for carpets, you don't just get them.

>> Well, the Serbs have carpets.

>> The Serbs probably bought their own.

Anyway, if the press go on treating

President Wilson badly, he's threatening

to move the conference to Geneva,

good thing if he does.

>> Well, at least we get carpets in Geneva.

(speaking foreign language)

>> It's iron.

>> What?

It's iron, petroleum.

That's why Faisal's being sacrificed, to guarantee

British petroleum rights.

If the French get Syria, we get the Persian Gulf.

Well if it's Faisal versus oil,

Faisal doesn't stand a chance.

(speaking in foreign language)

>> You can't go home, not now.

>> Ibn S'aud is fighting my family.

He's threatening the holy cities.

There is a ship waiting at Marseille docks,

I drive straight there now.

Lord Dyson and Monsieur Dumont have arranged everything.

>> I don't doubt that they have.

>> They tell me your meeting with Clemenceau went well?

(background chatter)

Can I leave,

knowing we are making progress at last.

>> Yes.

>> Faisal's gone, I don't know when I'll see him again.

>> Have some champagne, you'll feel better.

>> No.

>> Come on, it'll steady your nerve.

>> I don't drink alcohol.

>> One glass,

I won't tell.

You know, the first time I saw you

was when you came to my tent in Arafa.

You stood there, with the blackness

of the desert behind you, and I thought

you were somebody's pleasure boy.

You sat down on my bed and said,

"I am Lawrence" and I said,

"Boy, or girl?" (laughing)

>> Would you mind if I borrowed your bath?

They haven't given me one.

>> Help yourself.

>> Thanks.

(door opening)

Have you read my manuscript yet?

>> I have.

>> You don't like it.

>> I dislike it intensely.

>> I'm sorry, I couldn't have been nicer about you.

>> You could have told the truth about me.


>> Ah that, the truth.

Well, little of the book is the strict truth.

It's based on fact, but, I made it,

so what can you expect,

T-E-L, opus, fake it.

It's precisely what I am, a fake.

I'm imprisoned in a lie.

My whole life is a lie.

Did you know I was illegitimate?

>> No.

>> Yes, my father and mother never married,

but we were brought up in a framework of

the strickest moral rectitude.

No one would never have known.

So you see, I was born to it,

and I have sustained it throughout my life.

Lawrence is an assumed name,

I've been living under an alias since I was born,

technically I have no name,

my father's real name was Chapman.

He was an Anglo Irish aristocrat.

My mother came to his family as a governess.

I suppose they must have been in love.

I find it hard to imagine, don't you, I mean,

the coupling.

It must be all the unborn children that make our flesh itch.

(water splashing)

>> Good lord, what on earth are those?

>> Oh, I was dragged through barbed wire by a camel,

during the war.

>> It looks more like punishment to me.

>> Would you mind closing the door?


(door closing)

(drum music)

I'm going to do something that

will probably destroy me.

Anyway, thanks for the bath.

(door closing)

>> Good morning sir, can I help you?

>> Yes, I'm Colonel Lawrence attached

to the Hejaz delegation.

>> I know exactly who you are sir.

>> Good, I have a meeting with Lord Curzon.

Prince Paisal is away at the moment

and I'm his sole representative.

>> Straight away sir.

(keys jingling)

(ominous drum music)

>> Yes, Bratianu of Romania, 3:00 p.m

and Mrs. (mumbles)

at 5:00 p.m., Sergeant,

open up the Arabia room and make a note

to try and avoid them having too much time in the same room.

>> I've done it sir.

>> You've done it, already?

>> Yes.

>> Why.

>> Well for Colonel Lawrence sir,

he's meeting with Lord Curzon.

(pencil scratching)


(doors opening)

>> A mirage I suppose.

>> He was here a minute ago sir.

(ringing bell)

>> Lawrence: Could you post this for me please,

I don't have a stamp.

>> Leave it with me sir.

Colonel Meinertzhagen left this for you sir.

>> A triumph.

>> Lawrence.

>> Lawrence: Ah, you're back.

>> As you see, with an invitation to lunch.

>> I know how they hashed you up, oil.

>> Oil?

>> Well, you've had your battleships

converted from coal to oil haven't you?

>> There are many kingdoms in Arabia.

Faisal doesn't have to have Syria.

>> I gave him my word.

>> You can't expect to get anything done here.

Everybody's far too busy devising

a degrading ceremonies for the Germans, now afterwards,

after the show, then we can really put things right.

You are that rare thing, an enabler,

you make things happen.

I want you with me.

Come and have lunch.

You know the others I have my eye on.

>> Lawrence: I've done something you will hate, all of you.

>> What?

All I'm doing is inviting you

to serve your king and country.

It becomes so much simpler then.

>> After this is over, all you'll

see of me is a small cloud of dust,

vanishing over the horizon.

>> Perhaps when the dust is settled.

>> One thing you should note, you three,

I am the only informed, freelance European.

(clanking glass)

(striking match)

I swear by almighty God that I will be faithful

and bare true allegence to His Majesty, King George V,

his heirs and successors, and that I will

(speaking foreign language)

In person, crown, and dignity, against all enemies,

and will observe and obey,

(speaking foreign language)

his heirs, and successors, and of the Generals

and officers set over me.


>> You've written a letter which includes

specific extracts from secret correspondence

without authority of any sort in order

to further a cause which you know

to be contrary to the national interests.

This is the act of a traitor.

You have performed the function of an enemy spy.

It has put you beyond the pail.

Lord Curzon can not bring himself to see you.

Like us, he is deeply hurt,

unlike us, he is also surprised,

no punishment, in my view, would be sufficient.

Do you have nothing to say?

The only informed freelance European,

you're not the only one, you're not informed.

You're not, judging from this letter, European.

You've turned on your country and your race,

and you have betrayed your religion for heathen aliens.

I know something of the stigma

the connection with your father has brought my family.

The shame in which he lived,

and the circumstances of your birth,

this act of yours confirms your illegitimacy.

You will cease all contact with Faisal,

and you will refrain from any further campaigning.

I would ask for your word if I thought

it would do the slightest good.

You will resume your academic studies at Oxford,

where you will be offered a fellowship,

just as soon as the army have demobbed you.

Try very, very hard,

to disappear.

(solemn music)

(running film reel)

>> Where's Lawrence?

>> Lawrence has no part to play

in the affairs of state anymore.

He's in Oxford continuing his researches

into the antiquities ethnology, history,

ancient and modern, of the near east.

Forgive me, do you understand my English?

>> I understand perfectly,

we have become an academic study.

>> Welcome to England sir, can we have a few questions.

(crowd talking over each other)

>> Will you be seeing Colonel Lawrence?

Will you have time to see the show sir?

>> What show?

>> The Royal Command Performance.

>> I am here to discuss the situation in Syria.

>> The Uncrowned King of Arabia.

>> What do you think of Colonel Lawrence sir?

>> That he's a genius, but not for this age.

>> Ah, for a past age?

>> On the contrary, for the future.

100 years, perhaps 200 years from now

he might be understood, but not today.

If you'll excuse me please gentlemen.

>> Voiceover: I hope you find

your stay pleasant and comfortable.

>> Have you called for the police?

>> He hasn't done anything.

>> Yes, well we can't have every Tom, Dick and Harry

in London clutching at the Carlton

saying he's Lawrence of Arabia.

>> Lawrence!

(speaking in a foreign language)


>> I haven't, well, I've been writing a lot.

I've brought it to you, I'd like you to read it.

>> It is finished?

>> Yes.

>> Faisal: I have been thinking what I can give you.

>> No, please, please, I haven't.

>> No, I have it.

I shall give you the archaeological rights,

>> You know that I haven't

>> The exclusive archaeological rights in all my kingdom.

>> That wuold be very special.

>> However, I think I'm about to be deposed.

Why were you not there to meet me?

>> I was ordered not to see you again.

>> So, they did not break you?

>> No.

>> They are frightened of us together,

and we are together now.

>> Lawrence: Yes.

>> I do not believe you could have done more to help me.

>> It's not over.

>> Faisal: No? >> Lawrence: No.

>> No.

We were fond together, because of the sweep

of the open places, the taste of the wide winds,

the sunlight and the hopes in which we worked.

The morning freshness of the world to be intoxicated us.

We were wrought up with ideas inexpressible

and vaporous, but to be fought for.

We lived many lives in those whirling campaigns,

never sparing ourselves,

yet when we achieved and the new world dawned,

the old men came out again

and took our victory to remake in the likeness

of the former world they knew.

(deep breath)

I hear the American show has come to London.

>> Yes.

>> They are watching us.

Lawrence of Arabia.

>> I know.

>> The uncrowned king of Arabia.

>> Yes, I know.

>> It is a title that suits us both.

>> It's not over.

(deep breath)

(wind blowing)

>> Faisal: Lawrence!


(somber music)