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‘Lawrence of Arabia’ Returns to Theaters, Hits Blu-Ray

Lawrence of Arabia
Sony

For it’s fiftieth anniversary, 1962′s best picture winner ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ was given a new restoration that will be shown off when the film returns to theaters October 4. That also means that there’s going to be a new home video edition, and they’ve produced a special edition Blu-ray set that will be available November 13.

The only disappointing thing about this is that ‘Arabia’ is one of the great widescreen epics of its time, and was shot in Super-Panavision 70mm. When the film was restored in 1989, that’s the way it was presented, on 70mm. But it looks like that’s not an option this time.

Here’s the press release:

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 13thfrom 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.”

Even though we wish there was a 70mm option, we can’t wait to watch this on the big screen again.

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