Filmed in Dorset: Lawrence After Arabia

Film poster for Lawrence: After Arabia

Poster for the film that was shot in Dorset during the summer of 2019, lockdown delayed its release until this month - Credit: lawrencethemovie.com/Mark J T Griffin

A film shot in Dorset about the final years of T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia is now on general release. Filmed during the summer of 2019, Lawrence: After Arabia has a largely local cast and crew supporting a stellar line-up that includes Brian Cox, Michael Maloney, Hugh Fraser, Nicole Ansari Cox and Tom Barber Duffy in the title role. It focuses on the events that led up to Lawrence’s fatal motorcycle accident near Bovington Camp on 13 May 1935. But was his death the result of a freak accident or a bodged assassination? The film examines facts around this commonly held conspiracy theory.

Man with motorbike outside Clouds Hill house

Tom Barber Duffy as T. E Lawrence, outside Lawrence's home Clouds Hill near Wareham - Credit: lawrencethemovie.com/Mark J T Griffin

Man on vintage motorbike passing a vintage 1930s black car on a road near a wood

A still from Lawrence: After Arabia - prior to the fatal motorbike crash - Credit: lawrencethemovie.com/Mark J T Griffin

Lawrence: After Arabia, which won Best Feature at the Florence Film Awards and IndieFEST Film Awards, is the creation of writer-director Mark J.T. Griffin who came across the sculptor Eric Kennington’s life-size effigy of the national hero in Arab dress in St Martin’s Church in Wareham as a child. And this real life event is captured in the film. 

Man filming inside a church with an effigy of Lawrence of Arabia

Mary J T Griffin filming the opening scene at St Martin's Church in Wareham with the Kennington's effigy of Lawrence of Arabia - Credit: lawrencethemovie.com/Mark J T Griffin

The church, along with Lawrence's home Clouds Hill, now owned and run by the National Trust, and locations around Wareham and Bovington where Lawrence lived, as well as St Nicholas Church in the village of Moreton  (Lawrence is buried in the churchyard), were used as locations in order to make the film as authentic as possible - setting the events leading up to Lawrence's death firmly in the Dorset countryside he loved so much.

Originally planned for release in April 2020, the pandemic has meant that Lawrence: After Arabia's release was put back until this month. It joins a long list of 'filmed in Dorset' movies including Netflix Rebecca, released last October and filmed at Mapperton House and Cranborne Manor. And Ammonite starring Kate Winslet as Mary Anning and filmed in and around Anning's home town of Lyme Regis.

This pretty Jurassic coast town has proved a popular film location for Hollywood as only last month Timothée Chalamet and Matt Lucas were filming  Wonka there, a Willy Wonka prequel. Chalamet was seen striding along the town's famous Cobb harbour wall. 

Click here to read more about Wonka which is due for release in March 2023

Filming Lawrence: After Arabia inside the church at Moreton

Filming Lawrence's funeral inside the local church at Moreton with its Whistler windows - Credit: lawrencethemovie.com/Mark J T Griffin

Man on vintage motorbike looking over a Dorset landscape

Tom Barber Duffy as T E Lawrence on his motorbike, filming near Corfe Castle - Credit: lawrencethemovie.com/Mark J T Griffin

Screenings of Lawrence: After Arabia are at The Regent Centre, Christchurch (November 8); The Exchange, Sturminster Newton (November 9). More details about other screenings  at lawrencethemovie.com 

Man dressed in white Arab dress for the film Lawrence: After Arabia

Tom Barber Duffy as T.E. Lawrence in the film Lawrence: After Arabia filmed in Dorset during the summer of 2019 - Credit: lawrencethemovie.com/Mark J T Griffin

Find out what other famous films were shot in Dorset