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Lawrence of Arabia Blu-ray: November 13th

Moises Chiullan

The essential info:

The new 4K digital version will start screening in theaters on the 4th of October. The 3-disc Blu-ray arrives on 13 November, with no extras listing announced yet. They scanned the 24-year-old restoration negative at 8K (the impossibly huge resolution of 8192 × 4320 pixels). This is the negative struck by restoration king Robert A. Harris back in 1988. [UPDATE 3: Robert Harris tells Jeffrey Wells the following: "It would have been far easier for Crisp to simply take one of our 65mm interpositives and scan that, but he decided that what was best for the film was to scan our neg, which was in very worn condition. With this Crisp knowingly opened a Pandora's Box, but for the betterment of the film. He's been working with those elements tirelessly for two years, and went far beyond what any studio executive would normally have done. My hat is off."]

No word of any new celluloid prints being struck.

[UPDATE 1: The Digital Bits posted about rumored new extras here, which include a featurette and an enhancement track.

UPDATE 2: Above is the first image of the box art and guts. Perhaps the fourth disc is a score CD?]


Full text of the freshly-arrived 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.”