Lawrence of Arabia (film)

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
There's been a lot of killing, one way or another.

Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 film loosely based on the life of T.E. Lawrence, a flamboyant and controversial British military figure, and his conflicted loyalties during wartime service. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Directed by David Lean. Written by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson.
A mighty spectacle of action and adventure!


My manner, sir; it looks insubordinate but it isn't, really.
  • A thousand Arabs means a thousand knives, delivered anywhere, day or night. It means a thousand camels. That means a thousand packs of high explosives and a thousand crack rifles. We can cross the whole of Arabia while Johnny Turk is still turning round. I'll smash his railways. And while he's mending them I'll smash them somewhere else. In thirteen weeks I can have Arabia in chaos.
Time to be great again, my Lord.
  • Sherif Ali, so long as the Arabs fight tribe against tribe, so long will they be a little people, a silly people, greedy, barbarous, and cruel, as you are.


  • I think you are another of these desert-loving English: Doughty, Stanhope, Gordon of Khartoum. No Arab loves the desert. We love water and green trees, there is nothing in the desert. No man needs nothing.
  • Young men make wars, and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men – courage and hope for the future. Then old men make the peace, and the vices of peace are the vices of old men – mistrust and caution. It must be so.
  • "In this country, Mr. Bentley, the man who gives victory in battle is prized beyond every other man..."


  • When we told lies you told half-lies. And a man who tells lies, like me, merely hides the truth. But a man who tells half-lies has forgotten where he put it.
  • Big things have small beginnings.


Dryden: Lawrence, only two kinds of creatures get fun in the desert: Bedouins and gods, and you're neither. Take it from me, for ordinary men, it's a burning, fiery furnace.
Lawrence: No, Dryden, it's going to be fun.
Dryden: It is recognized that you have a funny sense of fun.

Potter: [trying to copy Lawrence's snuffing a match with his fingers] Oooh! It damn well hurts.
Lawrence: Certainly it hurts.
Potter: Well, what's the trick, then?
Lawrence: The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.

Murray: If you're insubordinate with me, Lawrence, I shall have you put under arrest.
Lawrence: It's my manner, sir.
Murray: Your what?
Lawrence: My manner, sir; it looks insubordinate but it isn't, really.
Murray: You know, I can't make out whether you're bloody bad-mannered or just half-witted.
Lawrence: I have the same problem, sir.

Feisal: In the Arab city of Cordova, there were two miles of public lighting in the streets when London was a village...
Lawrence: Yes, you were great.
Feisal: ...nine centuries ago...
Lawrence: Time to be great again, my Lord.
Feisal: ...which is why my father made this war upon the Turks. My father, Mr. Lawrence, not the English. Now my father is old. And I, I long for the vanished gardens of Cordova. However, before the gardens must come fighting.

Lawrence: Look Ali, if any of your Bedouin arrived in Cairo and said, 'We've taken Aqaba,' the generals would laugh.
Ali: I see. In Cairo, you will put off these funny clothes. You will wear trousers and tell stories of our quaintness and barbarity. And then they will believe you.

Auda: In ten days. You will cross Sinai?
Lawrence: Why not? Moses did.
Auda: And you will take the children?
Lawrence: Moses did.
Auda: Moses was a prophet and beloved of God.

Lawrence: We've taken Aqaba.
Brighton: Taken Aqaba? Who has?
Lawrence: We have. Our side in this war has. The wogs have. We have...
Brighton: You mean the Turks have gone?
Lawrence: No, they're still there but they've no boots. Prisoners, sir. We took them prisoners, the entire garrison. No that's not true. We killed some, too many really. I'll manage it better next time. There's been a lot of killing, one way or another. Cross my heart and hope to die, it's all perfectly true.
Brighton: It isn't possible.
Lawrence: Yes it is. I did it.

Lawrence: I killed two people, I mean two Arabs. One was a boy. That was yesterday. I led him into a quicksand. The other was a man. That was before Aqaba anyway. I had to execute him with my pistol. There was something about it I didn't like.
Allenby: Well, naturally.
Lawrence: No, something else.
Allenby: I see. Well that's all right. Let it be a warning.
Lawrence: No, something else.
Allenby: What then?
Lawrence: I enjoyed it.

Bentley: Watch out for Allenby. He's a slim customer.
Feisal: Excuse me?
Bentley: A clever man.
Feisal: 'Slim customer.' It's very good. I will certainly watch out for him. You are being very sympathetic, Mr. Bentley.
Bentley: Your Highness. We Americans were once a colonial people, and we naturally feel sympathetic to any people anywhere who are struggling for their freedom.
Feisal: Very gratifying.
Bentley: Also, my interests are the same as yours. You want your story told. I badly want a story to tell.

Feisal: Since starting this campaign four months ago, we have lost 37 wounded, 156 dead. Do you remark at this proportion between our dead and wounded?
Bentley: Yeah. Four times as many.
Feisal: That's because those too badly wounded to bring away we ourselves kill. We leave no wounded for the Turks.
Bentley: You mean...
Feisal: I mean we leave no wounded for the Turks. In their eyes, we are not soldiers, but rebels. And rebels, wounded or whole, are not protected by the Geneva Code and are treated harshly.
Bentley: How harshly?
Feisal: More harshly than I hope you can imagine.

Bentley: I heard in Cairo that Major Lawrence has a horror of bloodshed.
Feisal: That is exactly so. With Major Lawrence, mercy is a passion. With me, it is merely good manners. You may judge which motive is the more reliable.

Bentley: It's very simple, sir. I'm looking for a hero...certain influential men back home believe that the time has come for America to lend her weight to the patriotic struggle against Germany, uh, and Turkey. Now I've been sent to find material which will show our people that this war is, uh...
Feisal: Enjoyable?
Bentley: Oh, hardly that, sir. But to show them its more adventurous aspects.
Feisal: And you are looking for a figure who will draw your country towards war.
Bentley: All right. Yes.
Feisal: Lawrence is your man.

Bentley: What, in your opinion, do these people hope to gain from this war?
Lawrence: They hope to gain their freedom. Freedom.
Bentley: They hope to gain their freedom. There's one born every minute.
Lawrence: They're gonna get it, Mr. Bentley. I'm going to give it to them.

Bentley: What is it, Major Lawrence, that attracts you personally to the desert?
Lawrence: It's clean.
Bentley: Well, now, that's a very illuminating answer.

Brighton: [speaking about Lawrence and the Arabs] They think he's a kind of prophet.
Allenby: They do or he does?

Brighton: [as Damascus falls and burns] Look, sir, we can't just do nothing.
Allenby: Why not? It's usually best.


External Links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about: