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.”
As part of a summer-long celebration of the widescreen theatrical experience, the Academy is proud to present the first U.S. screening of Sony Pictures' new digital restoration of the Director's Cut of "Lawrence of Arabia," following its world premiere at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
David Lean's epic biography of adventurer T.E. Lawrence, based upon Lawrence's book "Seven Pillars of Wisdom," was shot in exotic locations in Jordan, Morocco and Spain in 65mm (nearly two times as wide as standard 35mm film stock), and printed and presented in glorious Super Panavision 70.
The film received seven Academy Awards, including one for Freddie Young's stunning photography, which captures Lawrence's efforts to rally divided Arab forces against oppressive Turkish troops in the early twentieth century. Also collaborating with Lean for the first time was composer Maurice Jarre, who won the first of his three Oscars for his work on the film.
Presentation of "Lawrence of Arabia" will be from a newly created 4K Digital Cinema Package. Essential viewing on the big screen! Running time: 222 minutes.
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!!
UPDATE: I was finally able to track down some information regarding this very special screening (and series). You can read more about it by going to the Lost Dominion blog. There is also a mention that Robert Harris (who was personally involved in the restoration) may be on hand for a Q&A, though the website does not list when/where/time. I’ll update once I can confirm this event.
UPDATE 2:Thanks to some readers of the site, I’ve been able to find out where you can get additional information on the 70mm presentation of Lawrence. Thanks to all those who wrote me.
On a personal note, Brownlow was also extremely helpful to me in helping with my “David Lean: Interviews” book, providing me with unedited transcripts of his many hours of interviews with Lean.
There's no information on tech specs, supplements, suggested list price, or even a release date yet. The only tidbit released so far is the image of the packaging, which appears to be a digibook.
I also heard an interview with George Feltenstein, Senior VP for Theatrical Catalog Marketing, where he did discuss this title and that work was being done for a 2010 release.
|6:00 AM||Madeleine (1950)|
| ||A beautiful young woman stands trial for poisoning her lover. Cast: Ann Todd, Norman Wooland, Leslie Banks. Dir: David Lean. BW-115 mins, TV-PG|
|8:00 AM||Passionate Friends, The (1949)|
| ||A married woman has one last fling with her childhood sweetheart. Cast: Ann Todd, Claude Rains, Trevor Howard. Dir: David Lean. BW-91 mins,|
|10:00 AM||Great Expectations (1946)|
| ||A mysterious benefactor finances a young boy's education. Cast: John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Finlay Currie. Dir: David Lean. BW-118 mins, TV-G, CC|
|12:00 PM||Brief Encounter (1945)|
| ||Two married strangers meet in a train station and fall in love. Cast: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway. Dir: David Lean. BW-86 mins, TV-PG, CC|
|1:30 PM||Doctor Zhivago (1965)|
| ||Illicit lovers fight to stay together during the turbulent years of the Russian Revolution. Cast: Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Rod Steiger. Dir: David Lean. C-200 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format, DVS|
|5:00 PM||Bridge On The River Kwai, The (1957)|
| ||The Japanese Army forces World War II POWs to build a strategic bridge in Burma. Cast: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Sessue Hayakawa. Dir: David Lean. C-162 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format|
More information found here.