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#022 David Lean: Lawrence of Arabia vs. Madeleine

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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare David Lean’s best and worst rated films, Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Madeleine (1950), respectively. Nate makes fun of most European countries, Austin ruins peoples lives with popcorn, and they both WANTA DE LINGUINIIII.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008) and Insomnia (2002), his best and worst rated films.


Also check out this behind the scenes footage from Lawrence of Arabia:


Madeleine Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: The middle-class family of a young woman cannot understand why she delays in marrying a respectable young man. They know nothing about her long-standing affair with a Frenchman.

  • Ratings: IMDb 7.0 | RT 100% C / 67% A
  • Released: 1950
  • Director: David Lean (The Bridge on the River Kwai, A Passage to India, Doctor Zhivago)
  • Writer(s): Nicholas Phipps, Stanley Haynes
  • Cinematographer: Guy Green (Great Expectations, Oliver Twist)
  • Notable actors: Ann Todd, Norman Wooland, Ivan Desny, Leslie Banks
  • Budget: N/A
  • Box office: N/A
  • Fun Facts:
    • Ann Todd had portrayed the title character in theatrical productions of the play this film was based on, and had always wanted to play her in a film adaptation. Shortly after she married director David Lean, he agreed to make this film and cast her as the lead as a “wedding present” of sorts.
    • David Lean regarded this as his worst film.

Lawrence of Arabia Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: The story of TE Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and lead the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War 1 in order to fight the Turks.

  • Ratings: IMDb 8.4 | RT 97% C / 93% A
  • Released: 1962
  • Director: David Lean (The Bridge on the River Kwai, A Passage to India, Doctor Zhivago)
  • Writer(s): T.E. Lawrence (writings), Robert Bolt (screenplay), Michael Wilson (screenplay)
  • Cinematographer: Freddie Young (Doctor Zhivago, Ryan’s Daughter)
  • Notable actors: Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Omar Sharif, Jose Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains
  • Budget: $15 million
  • Box office: $70 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • King Hussein of Jordan lent an entire brigade of his Arab Legion as extras for the film, so most of the “soldiers” are played by real soldiers. Hussein frequently visited the sets and became enamored of a young British secretary, Antoinette Gardiner, who became his second wife in 1962. Their eldest son, Abdullah II King Of Jordan, ascended to the throne in 1999.
    • Peter O’Toole claimed that he never viewed the completed film until nearly two decades after its original release, by which time he was highly impressed.
    • Almost all movement in the film goes from left to right. David Lean said he did this to emphasize that the film was a journey.
    • The first time Peter O’Toole tried riding a camel, blood oozed from his jeans. “This is a very delicate Irish arse”, he warned his instructor”. He finally mastered his camel-riding technique by adding a layer of sponge rubber under the saddle to ease his bruised backside…a practical innovation quickly adopted by the actual Bedouin tribesmen acting as extras during the desert location filming.
    • The film was banned in many Arab countries as they felt they were misrepresented. Omar Sharif arranged with President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt to view the film to show him there was nothing wrong with the way they were portrayed. Nasser loved the film and allowed it to be released in Egypt where it went on to become a monster hit.
    • To film Omar Sharif’s entrance through a mirage, Freddie Young used a special 482mm lens from Panavision. Panavision still has this lens, and it is known among cinematographers as the “David Lean lens”. It was created specifically for this shot and has not been used since.
    • David Lean didn’t see his first royalty check for the film until 1978.

 

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down – Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0

 


 



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