Rare behind the scenes footage with the film producer Sam Spiegel on Lawrence of Arabia. Narrated by Ludovic Kennedy. On location in the desert; filming with Arabs and camels; Sam Spiegel arrives in a plane; Peter O'Toole and director David Lean; filming the quicksand scene. Thanks to Huntley Film Archives.

“I have a host of memories which I see very clearly,” actor Peter O’Toole told Fresh Air’s Terry Gross in 1993. “And though I’m very aware of the tricks of memory, I’m also aware of the concrete nature of these brilliantly lit pictures in my mind. They’re ineradicable.” O’Toole, who died Saturday at the age of 81, was instrumental in making many “brilliantly lit pictures” for movie lovers during his decades-spanning career. Nominated for eight Oscars, the tall, blond, blue-eyed actor captivated audiences, on-screen and onstage. O’Toole grew up in northern England during World War II and began his acting career after two years in the Royal Navy. He became best-known for his starring role in the 1962 film epic Lawrence of Arabia. “I can’t imagine anyone whom I’m less like than T.E. Lawrence,” O’Toole admitted, but he suspects director David Lean wanted “someone who could act it rather than be it.” —The Camels Were ‘Impossible’: Peter O’Toole Remembers ‘Arabia’

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Producer with the stars.
Sam Spiegel(centre) talks with the stars of the film he produced “Lawrence of Arabia”, Peter O'Toole and Middle Eastern star Omar Sharif during a reception held at the Claridge’s Hotel in Mayfair this evening to mark the return of the team from location, shooting in Jordan. O'Toole plays the part of lawrence and Sharif , the part of Sherif Ali. 3rd October,1961

Brook Street, Mayfair, London, England

Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif

peter O'Toole and Michel de Carvalho (former child star Michel Ray) (probably at the same time)


if you liked HER or even if you didn’t, please watch this short film by Spike Jonze with the voice acting talents of Andrew Garfield


 David Lean’s first choice to play the title role of T. E. Lawrence was a virtual unknown at the time by the name of Albert Finney. Finney was worried that the film wouldn’t be a successful and so he turned the role down. For a brief period Anothy Perkins and Montgomery Clift were considered for the role. Clift wanted the role badly, but Sam Spiegel didn’t want him cast after having issues with his drinking on the set of Suddenly, Last Summer. Marlon Brando was then offered the role, and did accept the role, but later left the project to star in Mutiny on the Bounty. A screen test of Peter O'Toole was seen by David Lean and declared “This is Lawrence!” Spiegel was against casting O'Toole having worked with him when he understudied for Montgomery Clift on Suddenly, Last Summer. But, he decided he would agree to Lean’s demands of casting O'Toole after both Finney and Brando had dropped out. 

Great Britain London Screen Award Winners

Award winners get together for a picture at the British Film Academy Awards Dinner at London’s Hilton Hotel, United Kingdom, on 7th May, 1963, where Prince Philip announced and presented the prizes.

From left to right:
Irish actor Peter O'Toole, Best British Actor of 1962 for his role as Lawrence in “Lawrence of Arabia”;
Sam Spiegel, Austrian-born American producer of Lawrence which was selected as Best British Film of 1962;
French actress Leslie Caron, Best Actress Award for “The L-Shaped Room”
and English actor Tom Courtenay, most promising newcomer for his role in “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”, smoking a cigar. (AP Photo)

Sam Talks Karen O's Perfectionism, Planking, and More

The curious art-meets-technology experts at Creator’s Project interviewed Squeak E Clean’s Sam Spiegel about “Stop the Virgens,” Karen O’s rock opera. Sam gives insight into how he brought Karen’s perfectionist vision for the project into fruition. He also talks about working with Nick Zinner and what his role in guiding the artists was like from a producer’s perspective. Read the full interview HERE.