Are you an expert on "Lawrence of Arabia"?

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Image: Horizon Pictures

About This Quiz

Known for its panoramic desert vistas, Oscar-winning score and stellar performances, "Lawrence of Arabia" is one of the most influential films of all time. You've probably seen it more than once, so let's test how well you remember it.

What rank is Lawrence when the film begins?

At the movie's beginning, T.E. Lawrence is a lieutenant in the British Army stationed in Cairo. He is well educated, but bored and insolent, so he leaps at the opportunity to get out into the field.

What is General Murray's opinion of the Arab operations?

General Murray thinks the Arab operations are a waste of everyone's time. He believes the real war is against the Germans and the Bedouins are fairly useless.

What is Lawrence's specific assignment?

General Murray and Mr. Dryden task Lawrence with locating Prince Faisal and getting information from him. They know he is the leader of the Arab movement and want to know his overall intentions.

Why does Tafas, Lawrence's Bedouin guide, not complete the journey?

Tafas is guiding Lawrence across the desert when they come upon a well and take advantage of the opportunity to get water. Sherif Ali approaches and shoots Tafas to death, explaining that Lawrence is allowed to use the well, but not Tafas. Tribal rivalries run deep.

Once he is alone, how does Lawrence entertain himself on his journey through the desert?

Once he is alone, Lawrence manages to entertain himself by singing loudly. As he passes through areas with large rock formations, he finds that his voice echoes many times over.

What is the Navy's top priority in the area?

Colonel Brighton makes it clear that the Navy's top priority is protecting the Suez Canal. Prince Faisal has other needs, but Brighton will not be budged.

How does Lawrence propose attacking Aqaba?

Taking Aqaba would open up a much-needed port for the British, but the shoreline is strongly protected. Lawrence proposes attacking by land, which requires crossing the Nefud Desert, a feat considered impossible.

Who are Daud and Farraj?

Daud and Farraj are two young boys who attach themselves to Lawrence. Eventually, he agrees to let them become his servants and pay them one shilling each per week.

Why do Lawrence and Ali change their travel plans midway through the trip?

As they travel across the unforgiving desert, Ali realizes that it is becoming too hot to travel during the day. Although they need to make quick progress, he insists they begin resting during the day and traveling at night.

Why is it so important that they reach Faisal as quickly as possible?

There are no water sources for the vast majority of the journey across the desert. The men are limited to the amount of water they are carrying and there is no water for the camels, which will begin to die after about 20 days.

How does Lawrence gain Ali's respect?

When Gasim falls off his camel from exhaustion without anyone noticing, everyone wants to leave him behind and proceed with the journey. However, Lawrence insists on going back and when he returns with Gasim, Ali is impressed and his opinion changes.

Who is Sir Thomas Chapman?

Ali is confused when Lawrence reveals that his father's name is Sir Thomas Chapman because their last names are different. Lawrence explains that his father never married his mother, so he is illegitimate.

Why does Ali burn Lawrence's uniform?

After accepting Lawrence and learning about his background, Ali tells Lawrence he can choose who he wants to be. He then burns his military uniform and gives him Arab robes to wear instead, signifying that he is "one of them" now.

With what does Lawrence need Auda abu Tayi's help?

The city of Aqaba is in the hands of the Turks and Lawrence needs the help of Auda abu Tayi, leader of the Howeitat tribe, to take the city. He eventually convinces Auda to rally his considerable troops for the cause.

Why does Lawrence kill Gasim?

When one of Auda's men is shot to death, the killer turns out to be Gasim, the man Lawrence saved from dying in the desert. Lawrence is assured that the only solution is for Gasim to die as well, and in order to save his alliance with Auda, Lawrence offers to kill him himself and does so.

Why is Auda upset after the troops succeed in taking Aqaba?

Part of Lawrence's sales pitch in getting Auda's help was that the Turks were underpaying him and there was a large box of gold in Aqaba. When they arrive, Auda finds lots of paper money, but no gold, so he realizes Lawrence lied to him.

Where does Lawrence go after he takes Aqaba?

After he successfully conquers Aqaba, Lawrence takes Daud and Farraj and heads across the Sinai Desert to Cairo. He wants to report directly to General Murray and Mr. Dryden on the success of his mission.

What happens to Daud on the trip across the Sinai?

As they are crossing the desert, Daud steps into quicksand and is immediately pulled down. Lawrence tries to save him but is unable to do so and Daud is pulled under.

After arriving at British headquarters, what does Lawrence refuse to do?

After he returns to headquarters, he is expected to trade his robes for a uniform, but Lawrence refuses to do so. He feels closer to the Arabs than his fellow officers and prefers to keep the attire he has adopted.

While in Cairo, Lawrence receives a reward for his accomplishments. What is it?

General Allenby, who has taken General Murray's place as commander, is impressed with Lawrence's accomplishment, especially since it was considered impossible to cross the desert and take Aqaba. He rewards Lawrence by promoting him to major.

What assurance does Lawrence want from General Allenby?

Before undertaking further assignments, Lawrence asks General Allenby to assure him that the British have no designs on Arabia. He is afraid that he will fulfill their desire to drive out the Turks, but rather than leaving Arabia to the Arabs, the British will seize control and add it to their empire.

How does Lawrence become a world famous hero?

Journalist Jackson Bentley arrives in Arabia looking for a hero to give life to his stories. He hears about Lawrence and begins following him around, sending photos and stories back to the United States until Lawrence becomes something of a folk hero and the face of the Arab cause.

Faisal says his troops are treated especially badly if they are captured. Why?

Faisal says that if his men are captured, the treatment they receive is much worse than that received by British soldiers, including torture. He says it is because they are considered to be rebels rather than soldiers and thus are not protected by the Geneva convention.

Why do Auda and his men leave Lawrence's outfit after destroying a couple of Turkish trains?

Although Lawrence is planning a winter campaign, he loses almost all his men after they loot a couple of trains and make off with their prizes. Auda explains that they have gotten what they want but will be back after winter. He is among those who leave after scoring a fine white horse.

How does Farraj die?

In preparation for blowing up a train, Farraj puts a detonator into his waistband and then can't find it. As he goes to get another one, the original detonator goes off and injures him badly. Rather than leave him to be tortured by the Turks, Lawrence shoots him.

After Lawrence is captured by the Turks, who does their leader think he is?

The Turkish Bey is curious about Lawrence because he clearly is not an Arab but he wears robes. He concludes that Lawrence must be a deserter, but he is not sure from which side he deserted.

Who is waiting with General Allenby when Lawrence arrives at British headquarters?

When Lawrence arrives in Cairo, he finds Faisal with General Allenby. Faisal wants to talk to the general first because he is afraid Lawrence will report poorly on his troops and the Arabic people in general.

For what does Lawrence ask General Allenby?

After his traumatic experience in Deraa, Lawrence has had enough of Arabia. He asks General Allenby for an assignment anywhere else, but Allenby thinks he is not finished with his work yet and talks him into taking on another mission.

What is different about the troops Lawrence raises for his Damascus mission as opposed to those he has commanded earlier?

The troops provided by Auda and Faisal were committed to the Arab cause and fought passionately for it. Those who sign on for the Damascus mission are different. They are thugs who are motivated by money rather than anything altruistic.

When he and his men encounter a line of Turkish troops, why does Lawrence shout a "no prisoners" order?

When the men encounter a long line of Turkish troops who are leaving Tafas, Lawrence sees them as no different from others until one of his men shouts "no prisoners" and when Lawrence disagrees, the man charges the troops and is killed. Learning that the man is from Tafas and the Turks have just slaughtered the entire village, Lawrence shouts "no prisoners" and leads the charge to a massacre.

What does Bentley do when he arrives on the scene of the massacre?

Bentley is horrified when he sees what Lawrence and his troops have done, and he realizes just how far Lawrence has sunk. Although Lawrence is in a daze, realizing himself what he has commanded, Bentley insists on taking his photo to document what has happened.

When Allenby arrives in Damascus, what does he find?

Upon arriving in Damascus, Allenby finds that Lawrence and his men have gotten there first. The Arabs have taken over the government and formed an Arab Council to run it.

Why does the new government of Damascus fail?

The new Arab government is a disaster from the beginning. The members of the Arab Council have no experience governing, and the representatives from the rival tribes can't put aside their differences. Soon all the city's services -- water, hospitals, utilities -- are in disarray, so the Arabs simply leave.

After the British take over the government of Damascus, what does Ali plan to do?

Rather than leave with the other Arabs, Ali tells Lawrence he plans to remain in Damascus and learn politics. He has seen a different side of things and says that he never would have thought about this until his experiences with Lawrence.

What happens to Lawrence at the end of the film?

Lawrence's experiences in Arabia have left him a shell of his former self. After Damascus, he is promoted to colonel and leaves to return to England.

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