A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia

A Dangerous Man:
Lawrence After Arabia

Ralph Fiennes as T.E. Lawrence
Directed by Christopher Menaul
Produced by Celia Bannerman
Written by Tim Rose Price
Running time
107 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia is a British television film of 1992 depicting the experiences of T. E. Lawrence and Emir Feisal of the Hejaz at the Paris Peace Conference after the end of the First World War. One of the conference's many concerns was determining the fates of territories formerly under the rule of the defeated Ottoman Empire. The film stars Ralph Fiennes (in his first film role) as T. E. Lawrence, Alexander Siddig (then credited as Siddig El-Fadil) as Faisal, Denis Quilley as Lord Curzon, and Nicholas Jones as Lord Dyson. It was made by Anglia Films and Enigma Television, and was first screened on 18 April 1992 on the ITV network.

The film was produced in 1990, a year after David Lean's film epic, Lawrence of Arabia (1962), was re-released to cinemas. It serves as an unofficial sequel to that earlier film, as it depicts events that happened after the Great War.

The film's screenplay was written by Tim Rose Price. Christopher Menaul directed the film.

The film goes further than its predecessor in showing the effects of revisionist historians. It demonstrates contemporary concerns about British and international politics and ethnic conflict. It also explores further Lawrence's enigmatic personality and suggests more openly his alleged homosexuality.


The film starts with a quotation from Lawrence's book Seven Pillars of Wisdom which is used to provide the title of the film:

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream in the dark recesses of the night awake in the day to find all was vanity. But the dreamers of day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, and make it possible."

Faisal arrives at the post-war Paris Peace Conference of 1919 to claim Syria for Arab rule, after the break-up of the Ottoman Empire. He is delayed by French diplomats, uncertain of his intentions. Lawrence joins Faisal's negotiating staff despite attempts by the French and British to exclude the Arabs altogether. (The only country portrayed sympathetically is the United States, with Woodrow Wilson’s dictum to let populations decide for themselves, in terms of self-government for colonial and territorial areas). Lawrence defends Faisal’s claim to Syria by citing previous British undertakings to Faisal’s father in a "secret letter", as well as their joint triumphant march into Damascus against the Turks. Faisal's main demand at the conference is for Syria to be governed by Arabs. France has a stake there, however, and has made previous colonial agreements with Great Britain which complicate matters.[1]

Lawrence's newly gained popularity after the recent Great War poses a further complication, as popular films promote him, a white European, as the "Uncrowned King of Arabia". The wartime friendship between him and Faisal is thereby strained. As negotiations reach a peak, Lawrence is called away to his dying father’s bedside. He arrives too late to see his father again alive and must leave too soon to see him buried.

Throughout the film, Lawrence is shown writing what would become his most lasting publication, Seven Pillars of Wisdom. As in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia and many biographies, the film suggests that Lawrence favours relationships with men over women. Ralph Fiennes plays Lawrence as hesitant in the public eye, smiling when forced to, knowing when to be hard in his negotiations, and completely alien to the world of women.


Awards and nominations


International Emmys, 1992


  1. ″A Dangerous Man: Lawrence after Arabia″. Nothing is Written Film
  2. John J. O'Connor. ″Complex Lawrence Of Arabia″. The New York Times (6 May 1992)
  3. see Meinertzhagen's Diary Ruse: False Entries on T.E. Lawrence, 1995, chapter "The Paris Entries".
  4. IEMMY — Previous Award Winners. iemmys.tv
  5. International Emmy Awards — 1992. IMDb.com

External links

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