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

by Sophia Savage
September 26, 2012 3:57 PM
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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.

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.


  • Elise | October 6, 2012 2:12 AMReply

    ...But I'll bet you've seen Star Wars like 50 times, right?

  • John | October 6, 2012 2:10 AMReply

    This is the kind of crap your blogger "critics" post? Can you say something intelligent? If you can't, and you can't, you shouldn't be talking about this film. Go back to school and learn something before you decide you're a critic and people should for some reason read your writing.

  • Judy | September 27, 2012 10:20 AMReply

    Just got back from the 12th TEL symposium held at Oxford University. It was an interesting weekend learning more about Lawrence and the people who knew him. The movie only touches on part of his life. If you are interested look for the next symposium to be hel September 2014 at St Johns College. Check out Amazon for books on Lawrence.

  • Daniel | September 27, 2012 1:26 AMReply

    What exactly qualifies you to write for a film magazine when you haven't even seen one of the most groundbreaking films in cinematic history?


    this site loves to snub their nose at the "industry" and the "establishment," but expose their own ignorance on cinema time and time again. When they do want to be snobs I have to wince.

    I keep coming back for some news, some interviews but the commentary on this site could hardly be more inept

  • Jason | September 29, 2012 7:55 PM

    I would second what Daniel says above. I understand the impossibility of seeing every film dubbed a classic but this is on the very, very short list of films that one needs to see to profess to know anything about classic cinema or film history in general. Its pretty much Film 101. Its not unreasonable to expect that if someone writes about a subject such as movies then they should at least see some of the landmarks of that subject.

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