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

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

YouTube

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.

NPR thanks our sponsors