Even if you've seen "Lawrence of Arabia" at your local repertory cinema or, more likely, on DVD, you've never seen it like this. Hot on the heels of Peter O'Toole's announced retirement comes news that one of his most famous movies will be back in theaters this October in a special digitally restored director's cut.
Grover Crisp, Sony Pictures Entertainment's exec VP of asset Management, film restoration and digital mastering, told the LA Times, "The original negative itself was actually quite scratched and not in good shape… [But] the original negative is kind of the Holy Grail in this kind of work because the detail and sharpness were there in the negative so we wanted to work with that."
As part of its 50th anniversary, Sony will also be offering a Blu-ray box set of the movie, and it will play on Turner Classic Movies on Nov. 16. This version of the movie, which clocks in at 3 hours 42 minutes, played Cannes this past spring as well.
The eerie android David (Michael Fassbender) in "Prometheus" was obsessed with "Lawrence of Arabia," and it's no wonder. The epic drama is arguably one of the best movies ever made, and definitely a crown jewel in director Sir David Lean's crown. Peter O'Toole stars as T. E. Lawrence, with Sir Alec Guinness as Prince Feisal and Omar Sharif as Sherif Ali. Steven Spielberg's favorite movie almost starred Marlon Brando or Albert Finney, but they both turned it down. (Brando made "Mutiny on the Bounty" instead, but only because it paid more.)
The restored version will have its US premiere in Los Angeles on July 19 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.