The first time I saw this World War I epic was around the age of eleven or twelve, and its effect on me was profound indeed. Without question its my favorite movie, one that Ive seen probably 20 times or more.
Maybe he passed on it because it was one of those foreign films from England, and figured he could never keep up with the sub-titles.
Perhaps he did go to see this great movie and left after two hours at the intermission, thinking it was over and having no idea there were nearly two hours left.
These tribes have their own lands, customs and languages. They wear clothing unique to themselves. The rank-and-file are proud of their warrior heritage, unquestioningly loyal to the tribal leader, a code of honor, and Allah.
Not to mention those that are only in it for the prizes the money and booty (this last word is open to interpretation).
In many ways they share a commonality with the Native Americans who were dissected, dismembered and destroyed by the U.S. Army of the 19th Century.
(Have you ever speculated as to which tribe was run off the land now known as Bushs Prairie Chapel Ranch?)
Early in Lawrence, as English Lt. T.E. Lawrence (Peter OToole) is being escorted by a hired guide to the camp of King (Sir) Alec Guinness, the pair stop at a well. A rider, approaching from the distance, shoots the guide. It is Prince Omar Sharif, who informs Lawrence that the dead man was of a dirty people and not allowed to drink in his well.
Lesson number one: Always know whom your companions are.
The Prince leaves Lawrence on his own; he eventually meets up with Maj. Anthony Quayle, senior liaison to King Guinness. As it happens, Sharif is Alecs son.
The Kings warriors move on camelback and carry 19th Century weapons, essentially cumbersome single-shot long rifles. They have access to one small armored car with a machine gun provided by the British. The enemy is the Turkish army, with automatic weapons, cannon, control of the railways, and airplanes. All the Kings camels and all the Kings men do not have the numbers or firepower to fend off the better-equipped Turks.
Maj. Quayle has been trying to get the King to move out of airplane range for some time, but is countered with continual requests for English air support. This isnt going to happen. Neither can they any further because of tribal boundaries.