Taking A Ten-Year-Old To The Attack On Aqaba


We're talking with Michael Korda about his T.E. Lawrence biography, Hero, today, which brought me back to a profound movie experience, and the requisite YouTube search that goes with it.

When I was ten, my parents took me to see Lawrence of Arabia, which was playing on the big screen in a remastered version. There are several hilarious things about this — i.e., things I cursed at the time, and now bless, like most adult children.  First, LOA is a four hour movie, famous for its main set piece, the raid on Aqaba.  Perfect for a 10-year-old!  Second, it was Easter.  Which is fine, we're Jewish, and don't celebrate Easter, but I did suspect that other ten-year-olds were stuffing their faces with chocolate while I learned the roots of the modern Middle East.

Here's the good part: I loved it. The music alone was worth the price of the ticket (which I didn't pay, but you know what I mean).  I remember the desert shots on the big screen as being a formative visual experience, and I thought Lawrence was dreamy.  (I didn't really understand homoeroticism at the time.)  Peter O'Toole was cemented in my mind as a real deal dreamy hero of the big screen.  Those blue eyes! And who can blame me?  Here's an intense clip from what is still one of my favorite movies.



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