What appealed to me in the idea of Summertime? Loneliness. Why? Because I think that loneliness is in all of us, it is a more common emotion than love, but we speak less about it. We are ashamed of it. We think perhaps that it shows a deficiency in ourselves. That if we were more attractive, more entertaining and less ordinary we would not be lonely.
The film is about a lonely woman who falls in love, and as I know no better remedy for the complaint I hope you will find it sympathetic.
- David Lean
And now another installment of the adventures of everyone’s favorite director, THE ALL-POWERFUL DAVID LEAN:
Omar: David, that is a very nice cardigan you have there.
David: THANK YOU, OMAR. I MADE IT MYSELF. WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS.
Omar: That is quite an achievement. Is that cashmere or-
David: NO OMAR THESE ARE THE HEAVEN’S EMBROIDERED CLOTHS.
Omar: Oh no-
David: THE BLUE AND THE DIM AND THE DARK CLOTHS-
Omar: Please God not again.
David: OF NIGHT AND LIGHT AND THE HALF-LIGHT-
Omar: Not like in the desert…
David: AND DREAMS, OMAR. MY DREAMS.
Omar: David, we’ve gone over this: you are not W.B. Yeats.
David: YES I AM.
David: I AM ALL THINGS. I AM W.B. YEATS. I AM OMAR SHARIF. I AM YOUR WIFE. AND I AM THE ALL-POWERFUL DAVID LEAN.
David: I AM YOUR DREAMS, OMAR. YOUR. DREAMS.
Omar:…And the strange thing is, you could never tell whether David was telling the truth or not.
Peter: You know, David gave me that cardigan after he finished Ryan’s Daughter. Something about parting the Irish Sea and this was too much proof…? Give me a minute…
(*Peter shuffles off and then shuffles back with cardigan in hand*)
Peter: Yes, here it is.
Omar: Well, what does the tag say?
Peter: Well I don’t bloody know, let me…(*searches for tag*) Ah yes, here it is: (*reading tag*) “50% Heaven’s Embroidered Cloths, 48% Dreams, 2% Poly-Cotton Blend.”
Parallels between Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Really, half this business is putting a rectangle around things. Put a square around something someone is looking at and he’ll say in surprise, “Oh, how beautiful.” And I don’t think it’s the photographer who provides the square. I do. - David Lean
Film is a dramatized reality and it is the director’s job to make it appear real…an audience should not be conscious of technique.
On the set of Lawrence of Arabia (1962).
What made the scene was the near-boredom of the three minutes of preparation. - David Lean
One of the cleverest things in Lawrence I think - I’m not sure whose idea it was, probably John Box - as you know Peter is given these robes fairly early on when he’s accepted by the Arabs, and then the rot starts to set in. And what they did was they gradually changed the material of which his Arab clothes were made, and they made it thinner and thinner until it was just muslin. At the end, he looked almost ghost-like, because the clothes he was wearing were the exact copies of the rich silk he wore at the beginning but they were almost transparent. It gave a kind of faded look which worked a treat. Nobody ever spots it. - David Lean
I supposed you could say he was a bit of a college boy. But he was highly professional. Worked like hell, never late, knew his lines. Had I said, “We’ll start the day with you standing on your head under that tree,” he’d say, “Oh, I see. Okay.” And he’d do it. If you asked some of the English actors to do much less, they’d start to argue. Trouble was, he was the biggest box office star in the world when he did Kwai. He was so good-looking and so accomplished that people kind of smiled – “Dear old Bill Holden, yes, very good” - and dismissed his talent. He had a huge talent and because it was apparently effortless, Bill never got the credit he deserved. - David Lean