Dad gave me tickets for a 1962 Christmas present. High school junior and I had discovered that girls did not have cooties. I went to Quincy, Illinois - the BIG city - in my 1949 Ford with Janet M. - a fellow history nerd. We both knew who TE Lawrence was and I had done a book report on the script to Ross a few months earlier. Quincy was a forty-five-minute drive and we went to a matinee since the night showing let out so late. Three and a half hours plus. The theater had a 70mm screen - wide - and we sat up close enough that we had to turn our heads to follow the scenes. Absolutely swamped in the movie. I had a WWII Matchless so was captured at the opening moment by Lawrence’s Enfield. The first view of the desert with the Turkish fighter planes was a knockout. That day was one of the highlights of my high school years. I have spared you some of the memories!
This version of the overture is a later recording by the Prague Symphony (I think?) and is a better recording than the original. The tempo is faster. The clarity of some of the “incidental” instrument accents and moments is a revelation if you are a fan of the original.
I also read Lawrence’s “Revolt in the Desert”, a shortened version of “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” giving Lawrence’s story from his own viewpoint. One thing that really caught my attention was the portrayal of Emir (later King) Faisal. The film as I recall portrayed him as weak, indecisive, and willing to go along with almost anything Lawrence suggested because he had no idea what to do otherwise. In the book, Lawrence portrayed him as a strong natural leader for whom he had tremendous respect.