Hudson, Joel. "Who Wrote Lawrence of Arabia? Sam Spiegel and David Lean's Denial of Credit to a Blacklisted Screenwriter." Cineaste: America's Leading Magazine on the Art and Politics of the Cinema 4.20 (1994): 12-18.
The article written by Joel Hudson is particularly apt for researching the production history of Lawrence of Arabia. In this work, Hudson discusses the long-drawn-out battle over screen credit for the film that took place between David Lean, the director of the film, and Michael Wilson, the original scriptwriter. Robert Bolt, the second writer hired to the film, until recently was the only writer given official recognition in America. Hudson gives a detailed analysis of the similarities between the Wilson and Bolt scripts, and argues that the basic structure of the film largely results from Wilson’s invention. He gives examples of several scenes crucial to the dramatic development of the film. Furthermore, the writer outlines the personal and political motivations that initially fueled the battle. He describes Wilson’s status as a screenwriter blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee, and the personal grudge that arose between Lean and Wilson after the latter, frustrated and exhausted, abandoned the project.This article provides a broader historical context for the film, as it grounds Lawrence of Arabia in reality. The practical focus of this piece works well as a contrast for the very mythic themes that must be dealt with when writing about a figure like T. E. Lawrence and the legendary film that portrays him. When trying to analyze the myth of Lawrence, it is terribly important to know which writers are responsible for formulating his portrayal as it appears in the film, and why they made particular choices about which events to include, which to cut out, and which to dramatize. Furthermore, it seems that the well-publicized and long-drawn-out legal battles that surrounded the film also aided in drawing it attention. Hudson's piece makes it clear that there are very many factors involved in bolstering a film's status within the public eye.