A Few Words About While we wait for A few words about...™ Lawrence of Arabia -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Your invitation to the premiere in 1962:
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    Pages and foldouts from your program:
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    When the restoration is screened and the cover is designed for the Blu-ray, I hope Sony will return to the original Roadshow poster art:
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    1963 posters after winning the Academy Awards:
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  2. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Beautiful stuff there.

    A few months ago when we were talking about road show souvenir program books in some thread or other, I gathered all of mine together which revealed that I had two similar but different ones of Lawrence of Arabia. The one with pages matching the first two above is the slightly smaller, more ordinary one with no cutouts or foldout pictures. The other is a bit larger and more deluxe in treatment, with the foldouts that match those above. If Richard's samples all come from one copy, then there must have been at least three variations published.

    (I never saw Lawrence in the 1960s. These programs, like many of mine, have been picked up in secondhand bookstores or at library sales.)
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Actually, there is another variation. For the premieres, souvenir books were presentation pieces, bound in white leather. Very rare. Took me years to find one. I recall Ron Haver bringing his to our cutting room so that DL could sign it. That was the first that I'd seen.

    RAH
     
  4. ShellOilJunior

    ShellOilJunior Stunt Coordinator

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    Those are exceptional! Thanks for the post, Richard-W.
     
  5. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    I didn't know about the white leather program. Was that just for England? How many pages? I'll keep my eyes open. Charles is right about the different programs. I have the 20-page program and the 40-page program (no I didn't double-checkt the pages today). There is a slight difference in the cover, with the same photo being taken from a different frame showing Lawrence's left arm in a slightly different position. My scans may be a little jumbled. I've heard there is a 46 page program, but I haven't seen it.
    In any case, I can't imagine Lawrence of Arabia looking any better on home video than my Superbit DVD, currently the best way to see it outside of a theatrical projection. It is clean, sharp, detailed, with perfectly balanced color and gamma, and has presence on my widescreen monitor. Especially coming out of the Blu-ray player. But of course an 8K scan downsized to 4K Blu-ray disc would do better by the film.
    I'm too young to have seen Lawrence of Arabia in 1962, but I like being hypnotized. I've seen it projected on several occasions, and have invested a lot of time studying the film on the Superbit.
     
  6. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Not including the covers, I count 12 (24) and 18 (36) pages.

    Now I'll probably have dreams about finding a white leather-bound one.
     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The leather program was apparently for both. Mine was originally the property of a U.S. Senator, as the names of recipients were gold stamped on the cover, and presented at arrival.

    RAH
     
  8. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    No wonder I've never seen it. Guess I can live without it.
    That sounds right.
    There were programs for his other epics as well. Each film got at least two.
    I don't collect movie memorabilia as a rule, but David Lean films are something special, and I want the programs for those.
    I also have the programs for Bridge On the River Kwaii, Doctor Zhivago, Ryan's Daughter, and one for A Passage to India. Can't get to them now or I'd count the pages for you, Charles.
    I know of two Japanese programs for Lawrence of Arabia that are different from the English editions, although I don't collect those.
    I have a handful of programs to other films. Still looking for the 2001: A Space Odyssey program
     
  9. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    I have it. And not that I've searched, but I've never seen another copy. Somehow it survived years of moving, of being stored here and there, with family (worst possible chance for survival), various apartments, whatever. It's in a long horizontal "Cinerama" or "Panavision" format and not in pristine condition (I recall it had been folded for a while), but it's intact. I don't even remember actually getting it, but get it I did, and that would have been at Loew's State in Cleveland, summer of 1968.
     
  10. Brian McP

    Brian McP Second Unit

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    I have to admit I find the 1962 poster art kind of dull (and sorry Mr. Harris, that goes double for the 1989 restoration -- I was outside the theatre it first played in Melbourne, Australia (in all it's 7Omm glory) and saw people look at that poster and then move on very fast, to my sad regret.
    I liked the 1970 reissue poster as it made it look like the picture had plenty of life, almost a swashbuckling epic -- also it highlighted the great cast in separate portraits that were pretty good. Within the reduced space of a bluray cover, this artwork would be the easiest to adapt before someone from Sony goes at it with their own digital landscape agendas.
    (Mr Harris -- for the record, the poster for your restoration of "Sparticus" -- Best. Movie. Reissue. Poster. Ever.)
     
  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    You don't like the original dark artwork? Classic!
     
  12. Guest

    I'm not a fan of the original artwork either.
     
  13. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Well, Australia got these two daybills, from 1961 and after winning Academy Awards in 1962:
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    Here is an international poster from the 1971 re-release which may be the BrianMcP one refers to:
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    Personally I like the Italian posters from 1962:
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    I don't have much on Spartacus, but here are two of the original 1960 posters:
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    After winning Academy Awards in 1961, the posters changed:
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    The 1967 re-release:
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  14. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Supporting Actor

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    David Lean told me personally he liked the original artwork until "....characters started coming out of his ears".
     
  15. Guest

    I like most of those Spartacus posters, especially the first two. Gone With the Wind didn't have very exciting poster art either. I like the 1998 re-release poster though. The Wizard of Oz has never had good poster art.
     
  16. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Supporting Actor

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    This is the brochure I purchased at the Metropole Theatre in Victoria, London on April 20th, 1963 and I thought this was the original. I found out sometime later it was the one shown in post #41.
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  17. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Supporting Actor

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    Advertising the London World Premiere:
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  18. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Stephen Pi, how come your scan appears bigger than mine?
    I try to make them fill the browser, but they always shrink.
    Can you open that pressbook and show us the admats?
     
  19. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    That 1971 re-release was my first exposure to the film. I liked it okay, was certainly blown away by the pretty pictures, but I wasn't at all ready for any kind of real appreciation for it. Of course I knew nothing about cut material or anything else at the time, either. It was whatever I learned about the restoration in 1989, and being properly blown away a few times at the Plitt Century Plaza, that I can probably credit with being the opening of a door into the "adult" phase of my ever-lovin' movie-lovin' life.

    The reason I prefer the stark majesty of the "dark" poster and its variants is, well, just that. The "swashbuckling" ones -- at least at a glance -- are kind of "ordinary" for this film. And that 1971 one is bland. None of them are horrible, but the original concepts are unique and iconic, and that's what rings my bell 99% of the time. I don't have any LoA posters, but I can take out the LP and stand it up where it can be seen, and be quite satisfied glancing at that now and then.
     
  20. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    You were probably witness to the rather confusing 187 minute cut, which was prepared for network broadcast, and cut for that purpose alone. If you can find a copy, Stephen Farber discusses the cut in The NY Times, May 2, 1971 -- "Look what they've done to Lawrence of Arabia now.

    RAH
     

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