Sony Pictures Entertainment Celebrates
50th Anniversary of David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia
Just announced at the Home Theater Forum comes the much-anticipated news of Lawrence of Arabia not only making is debut onto Blu-Ray but to be re-released to theaters in a newly restored digital format. A lot of work has gone into this most recent restoration of the film and this looks to be a very big release. To read more, please go here. To follow a great discussion with the many fans of Lawrence and the man who was instrumental in the original restoration, Mr. Robert Harris, please go here.
CULVER CITY, CALIF. (July 18, 2012) – Widely considered one of the greatest and most influential films in the history of cinema, David Lean’s masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia returns to the big screen 50 years after its 1962 premiere in a 4K digitally-restored version of the Director’s Cut. Following its international debut at Festival Du Cannes this past May, Lawrence of Arabia will screen nationwide in a digital-only theatrical event in theaters starting October 4th. The film will be available in a Blu-ray™ 3-disc collectible boxed set starting November 13th from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Additionally, the film will be featured for one night only on Turner Classic Movies, November 16th at 8:00PM in a television exclusive. The U.S. premiere of the new restoration will take place in Los Angeles on July 19th with a special 4K presentation at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Nominated for 10 Academy Awards®, winning seven, including Best Picture and Best Director and staring Best Actor nominee Peter O’Toole and Best Supporting Actor nominee Omar Sharif, the film is one of the crown jewels in the legacy of Columbia Pictures. “We wanted to return this film to as pristine a condition as possible to honor its anniversary release,” says Grover Crisp, EVP of Asset Management, Film Restoration and Digital Mastering for SPE. The original camera negative was scanned at 8K and the film went through a painstaking process of repairing problems inherent to the 50-year old film elements. Using the latest digital imaging technology, the color grading and re-mastering was completed in 4K at Colorworks, Sony Pictures Entertainments’ digital intermediate facility. “The original negative was seriously damaged in a number of ways, some problems dating from the original release and some accumulated over the years.” says Crisp. “But, until now, we did not have the tools available to address these issues. We think fans of the film will be as amazed as we are at the detail and resolution in the imagery captured by cinematographer Freddie Young to compliment David Lean’s immaculate direction.”
Oops, seems the French Amazon.com website jump the gun. Prior to an official announcement, Amazon.com France posted a link (link is now dead.) and photos of the upcoming boxed set. From what I can translate, it will be a 3 disc set. Disc 1 will be the film; Disc 2 will be a making of & an In-depth interview with Peter O’Toole; and a third DVD is filled with new material that is over 2 hours in length. Also included in the boxed set is a book of photos and memorabilia. Looks like an impressive package, but until it is officially announced, this is still guess work.
Box Set Feature Includes:
- New high-definition digital transfers of the BFI National Archive’s 2008 restorations, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray editions
- Audio commentary on Brief Encounter by film historian Bruce Eder
- New interviews with Noël Coward scholar Barry Day on all of the films
- Interview with cinematographer-screenwriter-producer Ronald Neame from 2010
- Short documentaries from 2000 on the making of In Which We Serve and Brief Encounter
- David Lean: A Self Portrait, a 1971 television documentary on Lean’s career
- Episode of the British television series The Southbank Show from 1992 on the life and career of Coward
- Audio recording of a 1969 conversation between Richard Attenborough and Coward at London’s National Film Theatre
- PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by Ian Christie, Terrence Rafferty, Farran Smith Nehme, Geoffrey O’Brien, and Kevin Brownlow
This is terrific news and a long-time coming!!