* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Were the Arab tribesmen proud warriors who were manipulated into exchanging Turkish masters for English ones? Or backwards, amoral thugs who were incapable of administering Damascus, much less a country of their own?
** Is Allenby a callous, manipulative villain or a good but conflicted man "just following orders"? The finished film leaves it ambiguous; several [[AllThereInTheManual deleted scenes]] point to the latter.
** Lawrence himself - a good albeit eccentric man fighting for a just cause, or a ManipulativeBastard out for personal glory?
** Brighton - Creator/AnthonyQuayle thought he was an idiot, while Creator/DavidLean thought he was noble.
* AwardSnub: A tricky one. While winning almost all the major awards, it won none for acting, leaving O'Toole (regarded as some of the best acting ever in film) empty handed. Of course, GregoryPeck won that year for ''Film/ToKillAMockingbird'', so it was either giving it to the newcomer (O'Toole) doing (in hindsight) the role of his career, or the veteran doing the role of his career. Essentially, no matter who won, the other would have equally deserved it. What makes it HarsherInHindsight is that this was very much a ToughActToFollow for O'Toole: He holds the record (8 nominations) without ever winning an Academy award.
** Similarly, the heavily-acclaimed script lost in Best Adapted Screenplay (again, to Horton Foote for ''To Kill a Mockingbird''). Without slighting Foote, the main reason appears to be co-writer Michael Wilson being denied credit by Sam Spiegel. His involvement, though unacknowledged by the production company and Robert Bolt, was an open secret (and minor scandal) in Hollywood due to Wilson's former blacklist status.
** Additionally, Omar Sharif was seen as the frontrunner to win Best Supporting Actor, even winning the Golden Globe that year. However, in a stunning upset, he lost out to Ed Begley for ''Sweet Bird of Youth''[[note]]Never heard of it? There's a reason why.[[/note]].
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: The inexplicable Mr. Perkins, who praises Lawrence on a job well-done while only being shown from the waist-down (and is never seen or heard from again). Odd in and of itself, doubly so as MoodWhiplash during a very tense scene between Lawrence and Allenby.
* CrazyAwesome: Lawrence. Do we really need to explain this one?
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr4ydFsIs9o Maurice Jarre's sweeping orchestral score]] (originally recorded by the London Symphony) has long been regarded as one of the best in cinema history.
** When originally released, ''Lawrence'' was considered fairly progressive in making the Arabs not only sympathetic, but drawing fairly complex characters in Ali, Feisal and Auda. In contrast, modern reviewers often complain about alleged stereotyping due to the emphasis on Bedouin looting and political discord, and the casting of English Alec Guinness and Hispanic Anthony Quinn as Feisal and Auda.
** Later audiences have come to appreciate the film for being one of the few big-budget films about a homosexual that refused to hide it with a female love interest. The intense friendship between Lawrence and Sheriff Ali (who is played by Omar Sharif, an Egyptian) is also rare for portraying them as true equals, and Sheriff Ali is a highly complex character who actually ends up becoming Lawrence's conscience and arguably the most heroic figure in the film.
* FreudWasRight: The Bey's cough while Lawrence is being whipped. David Lean reportedly told Jose Ferrer to act like he was having an orgasm (which makes sense, [[RapeAsDrama given the scene's subtext]]); the result is suitably creepy.
* FridgeBrilliance: O'Toole was primarily a stage actor before this, and it shows. But think about the way in which ''Lawrence'' is trying to create a larger-than-life persona for himself, and suddenly his grandiose way of carrying himself makes perfect sense.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: Daud, Farraj, and Gasim are all introduced as comedic characters. Good luck with that.
* HoYay: Lawrence and Ali, intentionally so.
** Also, Lawrence, Ali, and Auda when the three dine in Auda's tent. Lawrence in particular behaves flirtatiously when trying to convice Auda to join his side. Auda even tells them, "You trouble me like women!"
* OneSceneWonder: Jose Ferrer's scene-stealing cameo as a [[DepravedHomosexual perverted]] Turkish general. Ferrer himself reportedly considered this his best film performance.
* StrawmanHasAPoint: While Murray is caricatured as an unimaginative martinet he makes a reasonable point: why encourage an Arab uprising when the British plan to rule over them anyway?
* ValuesResonance: In the wake of the UsefulNotes/TheArabSpring and the Arab Winter, the film's criticism of imperialist meddling and fomenting uprisings for short-sighted political gains regardless of the feelings of the people on the ground, has made it timelier than ever. This is especially the case since many people cite the Sykes-Picot Agreement discussed in the film as one of the main causes for the crisis in Syria.