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'Lawrence of Arabia' 50th Anniversary 4K Restoration Hits Theaters October 4

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood September 26, 2012 at 3:57PM

On October 4, "Lawrence of Arabia" will celebrate fifty years with this Sony Pictures' Colorworks restoration by playing at over six hundred theaters throughout the country. Special matinee screenings will include an introduction from star Omar Sharif...
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After restoration - The film then underwent a painstaking process of repairing and restoring problems inherent to the 50-year-old film elements. Finally, the film went through a 4K color grading and re-mastering process at Colorworks Sony Pictures Entertainments’ digital intermediate facility.
After restoration - The film then underwent a painstaking process of repairing and restoring problems inherent to the 50-year-old film elements. Finally, the film went through a 4K color grading and re-mastering process at Colorworks Sony Pictures Entertainments’ digital intermediate facility.

Shockingly, at Sony's recent unveiling of its 4K restoration (from the original 65mm negative) of "Lawrence of Arabia," I was not the only person who raised their hand to admit never having seen the film. I was also surprised to learn that the film is not just long, it's indeed epic. After the first three-and-a-half hours I did not fall asleep but was instead riveted by the Oscar-winning mise-en-scene, cinematography, art direction, score, editing, and sound. (The 1962 movie took home seven Oscars including best picture.)

Peter OToole's performance as eccentric T.E. Lawrence did not win an Oscar (he lost to Gregory Peck in "To Kill a Mockinbird") . As Roger Ebert puts it: "T.E. Lawrence must be the strangest hero ever to stand at the center of an epic."

On October 4, "Lawrence of Arabia" will celebrate fifty years with this Sony Pictures' Colorworks restoration by playing at over six hundred theaters throughout the country. Special matinee screenings will include an introduction from star Omar Sharif, newsreel footage from the New York premiere and footage of King Hussein meeting director David Lean, star O'Toole and producer Sam Spiegel on the set. Martin Scorsese will also comment on the themes of the film and their influence on cinema.

AFI includes "Lawrence of Arabia" at No. 7 on their list of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time. Based on T.E. Lawrence's memoirs, the film stars O'Toole as a young British officer who is tasked to Arab Prince Feisal's camp during WWI. Lawrence ends up leading the Prince and his men in their revolt against the Turks through a series of audacious tactical maneuvers, resulting in god-like status among his newfound Arab brothers.
 
Tickets for the anniversary screenings are available through FathomEvents. The film will also be available in a fully-restored Blu-ray with UltraViolet on November 13.
 

This article is related to: Classics, Sony, Box Office, Digital Future, DVDs, DVD and VOD


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.