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Title:LOWELL THOMAS' FILM OF LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (rough material) [Allocated Title]
Film Number:IWM 41
Summary: Extremely jumbled and mixed rough material - now also held in more coherent form as IWM 42 - of the visit of Lowell Thomas to the deserts of the Middle East, autumn 1917.
Description: The film runs in segments of varying length, with sequences often breaking, to continue later in the reel or another reel. It shows the voyage of Lowell Thomas out from Salonika to Cairo, where Sultan Hussein Kemal conducts the 'ceremony of the drums', granting a new set of parade drums to an Infantry regiment. While in Egypt Thomas also takes an aeroplane flight to get aerial views of the River Nile and the Pyramids, and watches a divisional horse show and sports, possibly 7th (Meerut) Division. He and his companions take a ship from Port Said to Jidda, and are greeted on arrival by Feisal's Arab horsemen. A variety of location shots of the desert, including rock caves and the ruined city of Petra. Thomas meets with Prince Feisal and with Major Lawrence, and films both them and their men on the march and in acted combat. Thomas returns via Jerusalem, where he films the arrival of General Sir Edmund Allenby for his ceremonial entry into the city, 11 December 1917, and his decoration with the GCB by the Duke of Connaught. The film also includes various shots of British, Australian and Arab troops, and local scenes.
Production Details: Thomas, Lowell18921981American writer and broadcaster (Production individual)
Chase, H A (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Thomas, Lowell (person)
Lawrence, Thomas Edward (person)
Hussein Kemal, Sultan of Egypt (person)
Feisal I, King of Iraq (person)
Allenby, Edmund Henry Hynman (person)
Arthur, Prince (Duke of Connaught) (person)
British Army, Egyptian Expeditionary Force (regiment/service)
Egyptian Army & [infantry] (regiment/service)
Army of Hejaz (regiment/service)
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 7
Footage: 5412 ft; Running time: 90 mins
Notes: Production: Lowell Thomas used his film for a series of lectures, 1918-1919. William F Jury arranged for the British government to receive copies of this film in exchange for British official material of Palestine.
Summary: the film as it now stands clearly represents material held in the most convenient form for re-editing, in short segments. It is unlikely that a definitive version of the complete film ever existed, and if so it is now lost, although copies of two short "Lowell Thomas Adventure Films", WITH LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and WITH ALLENBY IN PALESTINE (held as IWM 1131a and 1131b respectively) may give some idea of the uses to which the film was put post-war. It is also not clear how much of the existing scenes of Allenby and the British forces in Palestine were filmed by Lowell Thomas himself, rather than British and Australian official cameramen.
Shotsheet: in its present form this film is extremely difficult to interpret and virtually impossible to catalogue fully. See the detailed shotsheet for a scene-by-scene description.
Technical: reel 7 of this film was formerly part of a single reel in IWM 42. This reel was broken up and the number IWM 42 allocated to a compilation of IWM 41 footage (5 reels in all) in a more coherent order.