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Brilliant acting, but it wasn't an accurate picture

PETER O'Toole's performance in David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia may have been terrific acting (News, Dec 16), but it was a complete traducement of Lawrence.

O'Toole portrays him as a neurotic, boastful, effeminate and egomaniacal, bloodthirsty exhibitionist – there is nothing in the records of Lawrence's exploits in Arabia to suggest he was like this.

As one small example, take that absurd early scene where O'Toole's Lawrence plays with matches. I don't know whether Lean, scriptwriter Robert Bolt or O'Toole himself invented this, but it is quite unhistorical.

Lawrence's brother said of the film: "I should not have recognised my brother." He also spoke of its "character assassination".

GRAHAM CHAINEY

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