When Lawrence is being escorted across the desert on his way to Faisal's camp, his Bedu guide offers to share his food with him. Lawrence is somewhat reluctant but is anxious to show that, unlike other Brits, he is at one with the desert people. He reaches into the guide's proffered dish and takes a morsel - but with his left hand, and he does it twice. The Bedu shows no reaction, but he should: among the desert Bedouin tribes, who eat by hand, the left is kept away from the food as it is the hand with which they clean themselves after defecating. It could be that the guide is observing another Bedouin custom, that of warm hospitality and unstinting generosity to strangers, and is too polite to mention the gaffe (he would probably be aware that many outsiders do not know of the taboo), but it is more likely that it is a genuine error. Peter O'Toole is left-handed, and though he goes to great lengths throughout the rest of the movie to do things right-handedly (T.E. Lawrence was right-handed), this was probably a momentary lapse that no one noticed, or thought to mention.
When Lawrence issues the promissory note to Auda he writes right-to-left. Many have interpreted this as the film being processed backwards when in fact he is writing Arabic which is right-to-left. And when he signs his name at the bottom, he does so left-to-right.
In the opening scene he is riding a motorcycle at high speeds, but his hair does not get swept back as it would at high speeds.
When Gasim is walking through the sun's anvil after falling off his camel, he begins to shed various items. During a reverse tracking shot, the dolly tracks are clearly visible in the sand.
In the movie, Farraj is mortally wounded by a detonator going off in his clothes, but in The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T.E. Lawrence writes that Farraj was wounded by a Turk shooting him while riding on his camel.
The airplanes used during the raid were DH Tiger Moths . They did not go into production until late 1929-early 1930.
As the Arab Army advances upon the Turkish rear, Lawrence and Ali look to their right at the thunder of the British artillery shelling the Turkish lines. Since in real life they were on the British right flank, they should have been looking to their left.
During the opening titles, the motorbike is shown from overhead standing on concrete, but when we see it started in the next close-up shot, it is standing on gravel.
When Lawrence arrives at the Suez Canal, the ship which comes into focus is a late-'50s Blue Funnel Line ship.
When Lawrence is crossing the desert with the prince's 50 men he starts to drift off. He is seen looking at his own shadow on the right side of the camel, but in the next shot the shadow is right under the camel. (See also Revealing Mistake)
In his interview of Feisal, Jackson Bentley mentions that "certain influential men" in America want their country to join World War I. However, this conversation occurs after the fall of Aqaba, which was in July 1917; by that time, the US had already been in the war for several months.
On their way to Wadi Rhum and Aqabah Lawrence and his party of 50 have to travel north and cross the Devil's Anvil. Yet, when Gasim is seen walking at sunrise he has the sun to his left and a stretched shadow to his right, meaning he is travelling south.
In the opening scenes set in 1935, not only are three phase electricity cables visible in many shots, but a color UHF television transmitter is also visible over Lawrence's right shoulder.
As Lawrence approaches the Suez canal from the east, he hears then sees over a dune the ship traveling left to right, obviously north. When he goes atop the dune, the ship is trailing away to the south.
At several points in the movie, Turkish soldiers are shown using Browning Model 1919A6 .30 caliber air-cooled machine guns. The Browning 1919 first entered service in 1919, too late to have been used in WWI. The Turks would have been using German Maxim machine guns. At other times, they are shown using Short-Magazine Lee-Enfield rifles which were standard issue to the British Empire forces. The Turks would, in all likelihood, have been carrying German Mausers.
When Allenby and Lawrence visit the officers' bar in Cairo, immediately after Allenby says "Shall we go outside?", a bright yellow American school bus is briefly visible driving by the distant window in the right-middle portion of the frame.
In the attack on Aqaba, a white pickup truck can be seen in the background parked next to some white buildings.
It is implied in the early scenes with Colonel Brighton and Prince Feisal that Yenbo is "fifty miles south" of Wadi Safra, when it reality it is only about five miles west of it.
Feisal gives Lawrence 50 men to take on Aqaba, but the group is never seen to have more than 30, even in long shots that show the entire group.
Contrail over Damascus when Allenby in discussing the Arab Council on his balcony.
In the well scene when Lawrence and Ali first meet, Ali uses the water bag of the man he has just killed to hoist up some water, fill Lawrence's cup and drink from it. He then drops the water bag, which clearly falls behind the well and can be heard splashing on the ground, but that sound is immediately followed by a much louder dubbed sound of the water bag hitting the bottom of the well.
Throughout the movie T.E. Lawrence is seen carrying a revolver. The Real T.E. Lawrence had sent for two Colt M1911 pistols in 1914 when a friend was traveling in the US and British pistols were scarce due to WW1. In his letters to this brother he wrote: "The Colt is a lovely pistol. The more I examine it the more I like it. There is a vast gulf between it and the ordinary revolver."
During the attack on Aqaba, a Turkish soldier is seen with a Browning M1919 machine gun. Which would not have been in use at the time of the Arabian revolt (1917) and it would not have been used by the Turks.
When Col. Brighton and T.E. Lawrence are having a discussion after just having destroyed the train carrying some horses, the shadow on Col. Brighton's face changes from covering his entire face when both speakers are shown and the sun is behind him, to appearing only beneath the collar of his shirt when he is the only person in the frame.
In two consecutive shots of Bentley passing by the fountain in Jerusalem, the shadows are completely different.
Following Lawrence's memorial service, the view of the front of St Paul's Cathedral shows that the left-hand clock face (the North) is missing. This was actually destroyed during the Second World War, which did not begin until 4 years after T.E. Lawrence died.
When Lawrence is showing off in his new Arab dress, the shadows are initially long, but in the next shot have suddenly shortened.
At 1 hour 48m 56 seconds Auda Abu Tayi (Anthony Quinn) is smashing telegraphic equipment. In front of Auda Abu Tayi is a vacuum tube of approximately 1940 vintage and on the left hand side of the screen is a supethet radio receiver again of approximately 1940's vintage (with the tuning capacitor half open). Although vacuum tubes had previously been invented (1904) it is most unlikely that these would have been used in telegraphic equipment in Arabia in 1916. The Morse code heard when Auda Abu Tayi smashes the equipment is of an electronic nature again not available in 1916.
After the dissolution of the Arab Council, Ali disappears into the shadows leaving Auda alone by the reflecting pool. He looks briefly at the reflected moon in it, then turns toward camera as if to stare directly at it. But for the moon's reflection to be visible to the camera, the moon must be behind him.
After Lawrence is wounded in the shoulder, the bloodstain appears and disappears between shots as he marches along the top of the train.
Lawrence rides his camel on beach at the Gulf of Aqaba, after the victory over the Turks. The audience sees big waves in the water coming at Lawrence. These waves signify tide. There is no tide in the Gulf of Aqaba. In this region the water is often is smooth and calm as a windless lake.
When Jackson Bentley shows his business-card to Selim the Reciter the initial letter of his first name is printed as a G instead of a J.
At the end of the film, the army truck passing Lawrence's car in the opposite direction (after the motorcycle passes by) is a modern cab-forward design not seen in that era.
Details of some historical characters and events have been changed to fit the dramatic narrative.
Further to the change of the shadow position during the "drifting" scene, this shot is of an apparent evening/dusk period where the shadow is almost directly under the camel, revealing it to be a "day-for-night" shot which must therefore have taken place near noon.
During the opening credits, the shadows fall well to the right of the motorcycle. Right after the credits, when the angle changes, the shadows fall directly beneath the motorcycle.
When Lawrence reaches Suez, a steamship freighter is passing down the Nile and it blows it's whistle. The whistle is an electric siren whistle. In 1917 most merchant ships were steampowered. The ships whistles would have been steam powered and the whistle would have given out a bellow sound not a piercing shriek as from an electric whistle like seen in the film.
About 15 minutes into the film, Lawrence and Tafas are resting at night. The scene was filmed during the day with filters. The scene ends with a brief shot of the moon. The moon's top half appears illuminated which can only happen when the sun appears high in the sky.
On one of this film's many releases on DVD, during the intermission, the title on the screen reads "ENTER'E ACTE"- a French phrase which should actually be spelled either "entre acte" or "entr'acte."