Addition of sequences not previously included took the film to 3 hours 40 minutes, plus an intermission. It took quite some time to build up to the capture of Aqaba. Hence Danielle's comment - "two hours to cross the freakin' desert".
This isn't the most historically accurate piece of cinema - it misrepresents Lawrence, Allenby, Feisal, Auda and others, and takes liberties with the timeline - however it makes fabulous viewing.
Restored, this fifty year-old film is visually as good as many far newer productions. It is superbly crafted, using the magnificent desert scenery to full effect. Of course there was no CGI back then, just the skill of director, actors and camera operators.
Last week I saw the first part of The Hobbit. What can I say? There isn't nearly enough material in the book to make a film trilogy so plenty of padding has been added. Just because money can buy 3D and a lot of CGI doesn't mean that these things will enhance storyline or viewing experience. The much criticised 48 frames per second didn't make much difference however 3D definitely detracted whilst CGI sequences made the film look like a video game.
For my money Lawrence of Arabia is the better piece of cinema. Neither film is accurate, Lawrence thanks to David Lean's liberal agenda, The Hobbit through greed and precociousness. Overall I'd vote for Lawrence.