The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.
Fortunately for O’Toole, the camel, trained for such situations, stood over him and saved him from being trampled.
The Battle of Aqaba was a real event that took place during World War I and was a key turning point in the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire. In the battle, T.E. Lawrence and a small force of Arab soldiers captured the strategically important port of Aqaba, opening up a supply route to the Arab forces and helping to secure their hold on the area.
In the real Battle of Aqaba, Lawrence was nearly killed when his camel threw him after he accidentally shot it in the head. In a remarkable coincidence, Peter O’Toole was nearly killed himself when a gun or rocket used to signal action in the first take went off prematurely, and O’Toole was thrown by his panicked camel in front of the charging horses.
Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia by David Lean
While filming, Peter O’Toole bonded with co-star Omar Sharif. Recalls Sharif, ‘Peter and I were like brothers immediately. He said to me, ‘Your name is not Omar Sharif – no one is called Omar Sharif. Your real name is probably Freddy something!’ And for the rest of the film and the rest of our lives, he’s never called me Omar. He calls me Freddy.’