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Lawrence of Arabia

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by HeartFixr, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. HeartFixr

    HeartFixr Extra

    Jan 3, 2008
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    I can think of few films yet to released that I am awaiting more than LOA. This film begs for blu-ray but sadly doesn't seem to be on Sony's radar. Do you have any insight into this?
  2. Tom Fynan

    Tom Fynan Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 10, 2000
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    I don't have much insight, but I did see clips from LOA in blu-ray at the Sony store in Tokyo in late 2006. It was part of a display for blu-ray players and HD TVs, comparing them to standard DVD. So some work must have been done to prepare it for blu-ray.
  3. PaulBigelow

    PaulBigelow Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 5, 2002
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    There are a few tantalizing seconds during the BluRay ad in the original "Casino Royale" BD.
  4. Michel_Hafner

    Michel_Hafner Supporting Actor

    Feb 28, 2002
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    Apparently Sony is working on a new transfer...
  5. dannyboy104

    dannyboy104 Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 8, 2006
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    Real Name:
    ink to some interesting background information regarding the restoration,and links regarding the movie.
    The Restoration
    Reconstructed and Restored by ROBERT A. HARRIS
    Restoration Produced by ROBERT A. HARRIS and JIM PAINTEN
    Editorial Consultant ANNE V. COATES, A.C.E.
    Sound Consultant RICHARD L. ANDERSON, M.P.S.E.
    Spectral Recording Dolby (R) Stereo In Selected Theatres
    Rerecorded in Dolby 6 Track SR at Goldwyn Sound Facilities
    Rerecording Mixer GREGG LANDAKER
    65mm Negative Restoration by Metrocolor (R) Laboratories
    70mm Prints by Metrocolor (R) Laboratories
    35mm Prints by Deluxe (R)
    Special Thanks to
    Restored Version Copyright 1988 Horizon Pictures (GB), Ltd.
    All Rights Reserved
    MPAA Rating: PG Running Time: 216 min. (plus overture, entr'acte and exit music)
    - Re-released in New York City, Ziegfield Theatre,West 54th Street, February 4th,1989 (World Premiere)
    - Re-released in Washington,DC, Cineplex Odeon,Uptown Theatre, February 5th,1989.
    - Re-released in New York City and Washington, DC February 8, 1989.
    - Re-released in Los Angleles,Century Plaza1,February 12,1989.
    - Re-released in Los Angeles February 15, 1989.
    - Re-released in San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver March 17, 1989.
    - Restored version shown at Cannes Film Festival May 10, 1989.
    - Re-released in Paris May 17, 1989.
    - Re-released in London,Odeon Marble Arch, May 26, 1989.
    - Re-released in Madrid June 30, 1989.
    - Re-released in Sydney June 13, 1989.
    - Released in Brussels October 25, 1989.
    Taken from my copy of the booklet that came with the CAV 4 disc Laserdisc The Criterion Collection,the chapters refer to the laserdisc only.I have included some reference times from the 2 disc NTSC DVD(not Superbit)
    The following notes on the restoration of Lawrence Of Arabia were provided by Robert Harris who reconstructed and restored the film. The restoration which began in 1986,took nearly as long to complete as shooting of the film itself.
    When the film had been restored to slightly longer than its original running time of 222 minutes,it was presented to sir David Lean,who in conjunction with the restoration staff,then trimmed the film by about five minutes resulting in the present running time of aproximately 217 minutes. None of these final trims amounted to more than isolated shot's and sequences,no complete scenes were removed. Lean said that these were changes he had
    wanted to make ,had there been time.
    SIDE 1 (DVD 1)
    CHAPTER 1: Overture (00:00:00)
    All original tracks of the overture music had been discarded in 1975. The music track was found on a foreign music and effects track.
    CHAPTER 2: Opening Credits (00:04:19)
    The Columbia logo as it appears on the restoration was specially painted and photographed on 65mm film for the initial theatrical release as there was no large format Columbia logo at the time . It was the first piece of film to be removed in January 1963,to be replaced by a standard generic Cinemascope Columbia logo. It was also the last bit of film to be found for the restoration.
    CHAPTER 3: Death of a legend
    During the sequence of Lawrence's motorcycle accident,the shot of the goggles has been restored. (00:07:39)
    During the sequence of Lawrence's funeral,the scene inside St Paul's Cathedral with the bust of Lawrence,Colonel Brighton and the cleric has been restored. (00:07:44)
    At the exterior of St.Paul's Cathedral,about a foot and a half of the head of the tilt from the sky to the steps has been restored. (00:08:10)
    CHAPTER 4: Assignment : Arabia (00:09:30)
    In the scene in the basement of the military headquaters in Cairo,the truncated version began on the close-up of the camel's feet moving above the street. A medium close up of Lawrence's hand painting the map and a medium angle of Lawrence painting,then turning to the window,have been restored. Also the interchange with Hartley has been restored,as was the very end of the scene (The corporal saying of Lawrence "He's barmy) {1}
    The entire sequence in the officer's club,before Lawrence speaks with General Murray has been restored. * (00:11:39)
    The beginning of the scene between General Murray and Mr.Dryden had been cut. (00:12:26)
    In the shortened version,the scene began with General Murray saying "I might as well tell you.." (00:13:18)
    CHAPTER 5: The journey with Tafas
    The entire sequence with Tafas had been spatially reversed.The restoration has flipped the image back in it's original orientation.{3}
    CHAPTER 10: Setting out for Aquaba
    The scene between Prince Feisal and Lawrence as the latter prepares with Ali for the cross-desert trek to Aqaba has been restored.
    CHAPTER 11: Crossing the desert
    The sequence of the desert night crossing had several individual shots removed,which have been replaced. (01:10:02){4}
    CHAPTER 12: "Nothing is written"
    During the sequence of Gasim's rescue,one shot of Feisal waiting on the cliff has been restored. (01:18:58)
    CHAPTER 15: Auda's hospitality (01:33:03)
    The sequence of Lawrence,Ali and company dining with Auda had,in the shortened version,dissolved from Auda inviting them to Wadi Rumm to the inside of Auda's tent.The entire sequence of the entrance to the camp,about 16 shots was restored. Also the first tracking in from the cliffs was extended. Another dissolve has been added from the close up of the Arab girl,into the tracking shot past the Arab women in Auda's tent.
    CHAPTER 18: Crossing Sinai
    The night scene with Lawrence,Farraj and Daud setting out across Sinai ("Lord,can we not rest") has been restored. 01:54:37 - 01:55:11
    CHAPTER 21: Cairo
    In the sequence after the scene in Allenby's office,as Lawrence,Dryden,Allenby and Brighton move down the corridor,down the stairs and the shot of officers looking down from the balcony has been restored. 02:12:39 - 02:12:56
    The "Clauswitz" dialogue between Allenby and Lawrence has been restored.
    In the officer's club,the shortened version cut from Allenby "at Major Lawrence's invitation" to shots of people in the doorway,looking out to the patio,where Lawrence and Allenby were talking. (02:14:07)
    The "1000 Arabs,1000 knives" dialogue up to Allenby saying "Well if we can see it,so can the Turk" has been restored. (02:14:29)
    Also,the shot of Lawrence looking up at the shot of officers,and the following swish pan have been restored. (02:16:26)
    The entire sequence ended in the shortened version with Allenby saying "He's riding a whirlwind". (02:18:32)
    The following reverse angle,as Dryden,Allenby and Brighton walk away from the camera,had been shortened and the "Intermission" title removed.** (02:18:39)
    CHAPTER 23: Entr'acte
    The entire Entr'acte has been restored. DVD 2 (00:00:50)
    CHAPTER 24: Talking turkey
    The scene between Prince Fiassel and Bentley had been cut in half. The second half had been discarded. The remaining half had been shortened further.
    The discussion of the Arab's lack of artillery and of the Arab casualties had been removed. (00:07:13)
    Everything after Guinness' line "With me is merely good manners.You may judge which is more reliable" has been restored.
    The dialogue in the restored scene is partly original dialogue, partly alternate dialogue takes (i.e. audio recording from film takes which were not used) and newly recorded dialogue with Alex Guinness and Arthur Kennedy.
    Missing footage{6}
    CHAPTER 29: Moving North
    The entire scene between Colonel Brighton and General Allenby by the fireside has been restored.*** (00:28:16)
    CHAPTER 30: Deraa
    {7}Missing footage
    In the Deraa sequence,a reaction shot of Ali outside,tracking into a close-up of Ali crying ,as the whipping sound from inside stops,has been restored. (00:39:01)
    CHAPTER 31: Resigning
    During the sequence of Lawrence's return to the British, bits and pieces had been taken out, and have been restored.
    Lawrence followed by Bentley going up a staircase 00:45:15 - 00:45:21 has been restored.
    CHAPTER 32: Allenby persuades Lawrence to return (00:50:31)
    The scene where Allenby peruades Lawrence to return to Arabia had been cut in half. Some of the dialogue for this scene has been lost,although the corresponding picture is still available. It was impossible to restore the lost dialogue with a vocal double for Jack Hawkins. Various bits and pieces,including lines of dialogue,have been restored to the scene using alternative dialogue takes. One line of dialogue, Lawrence saying"For what's fast got to do with it" has been restored from the shortened version
    CHAPTER 33: "Damascus!" (00:52:20)
    A medium close-up of Auda on horseback in the sequence when Lawrence returns to Arabia has been restored.{8} The long shot panning left as Bentley enters on the truck has been restored. The dialogue between them had to be restored. Anthony Quinn's dialogue was re-recorded in New York: Arthur Kennedy's in Savannah,Georgia.
    CHAPTER 34: "No prisoners!"
    The sequence of the slaughter of the Turkish column had been altered significantly. The shot of slaughtered Arabs,(00:59:20)
    the high angle of Turks ( a few shots),the high angle tracking forward,the pan to the ladies had all been removed. The cut to the reaction shot of Lawrence now shows him seeing the devastation.
    Also restored was the shot of Lawrence shooting the surrendering Turk. (01:03:07)
    CHAPTER 39: Thanks (01:21:32)
    In the shortened version, the brief scene with the medical officer insisting on shaking Lawrence's hand had been taken out. This excision created a gap in the sequence, which had been covered with shots of Anthony Quayle. These extraneous shots of Quayle have been removed from the restored version.
    In addition to all of the above, all of the dissolves in the film had to be removed,remeasured and replaced.
    Restoration Credits (01:25:48)
    David Lean's 'Cutting comments' dated December 28th-30th 1962 make's interesting reading:
    * "Whatever we do I would be happy to cut out the whole of the billiards scene and cut straight from the map room to Murray's office. I have turned more and more against this billiards scene everytime time I have seen it with an audience. It doesn' t come off as we had hoped. Even the beer spilling falls flat. I think the audience doesn't know what to make of this scene. I know it introduces the Club Secretary but think we should pick up with him later when Lawrence returns with Farraj."
    ** Loss of interval . Yes please. Ann(V.Coates) will be able to time this,but my guess is that we should fade out on a 6 footer starting the fade where the fade in on the interval title now begins. We would have , of course to loose the music and have only foot-steps"
    *** Allenby-Brighton fireside scene . "As you know, Sam,Billy Wilder queried this. He didn't condemn it and said he couldn't on one running. It was just a query. I am in a real quandry about it. The footage involved tempts me very much - but only under the circumstances - for I like the scene and think it has great contrast value from a pictorial piont of view,it shows Allenby's very tolerant and understanding attitude towards Lawrence (and we don't get too much of this aspect of their relationship)It shows the begining of the change in Brighton's attitude to Lawrence,and almost best of all it contains,"Not lies,poems,"-which is valuable from an audience guidance piont of view".
    "But if we have got to cut , it could go with audience none the wiser. The only way to do it would be to dissolve from "What do you recommend?" to the snow blowing across the hole in the ruins. If pure length is our sole critereon then it must come out. If it be speed or boredom in the audience I think it should stay in".
    {1} The original 1962 long version contained the lines "He has, too." "Has what?," "Gone to see the General."after Lawrence has left the map room
    {2} (Not recorded in the Reconstruction notes)
    CHAPTER 4 : 00:16:24 From when Lawrence and Dryden exit Murray's office up to the point just before the match strike,this section was restored from dupe material.
    {3} 00:21:05 Starts with the shot of the stars at night and ran until 00:28:23
    This error was caused when Techniclor created a 35mm master interpostive in 1966 when this sequence was reversed.
    {4} Lawrence looks at his watch, and yawns 01:10:02 - 01:10:31
    {5} The shot of the sun setting has been restored 01:49:01 - 01: 49:08
    {6} Missing/trimmed from the restored version and included in the short version , at 00:19:01 is brief dialogue between Farraj "Aurens - the man " and Lawrence " It's alright, Farraj"
    {7} Missing/trimmed from the restored version and included in the short version which started at 00:38:34 was a shot of Ali waiting outside the headquarters with a length of 10 seconds.
    {8} Missing/trimmed is a 2 second shot of Auda climbing on to his horse.
    There are reference's made in the notes to David lean having sought out opinion from various friends and colleagues including Fred Zinnerman and Billy Wilder.
    An extract from the LA times
    An Epic Story in Itself
    By Jon Burlingame
    September 22, 2002
    A few weeks ago, “Lawrence of Arabia” was playing in a screening room on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City. Three men in shirt sleeves were watching closely and listening carefully for nearly four hours, checking details on a new 70-millimeter print of the Oscar-winning best picture of 1962.
    “This is one of the crown jewels, if not the crown jewel, in Columbia’s library,” says Grover Crisp, vice president of asset management and film restoration at Sony Pictures, which owns Columbia, during a break. “So it’s worth it to spend the money and make sure we get it right.”
    As the afternoon wore on, Crisp–along with technicians from Technicolor-owned CFI and theater-sound specialists DTS–discussed the minutiae of color contrast and density, and the specifics of the six-track sound mix. For Crisp, it was at least his eighth viewing of the film in six weeks.
    To mark its 40th anniversary, Columbia is re-releasing “Lawrence of Arabia” beginning Wednesday at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. A critical and popular favorite, director David Lean’s film is widely considered to be among the greatest screen epics ever made. A sharply etched character study of enigmatic British adventurer T.E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) and his role in uniting Arab tribesmen against the German-allied Turks during World War I, it was filmed on stunning desert locations in Jordan, Morocco and Spain by venerated cinematographer Freddie Young.
    The American Film Institute’s controversial top-100 list ranks the film at No. 5, and some will insist that it really belongs in the top three (along with “Citizen Kane” and “Casablanca,” above “The Godfather” and “Gone With the Wind”). The British Film Institute cited it as No. 3 in its own poll, behind “The Third Man” and Lean’s “Brief Encounter.”
    “Lawrence” was nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 1962, and won seven, including best picture and director, and statuettes for cinematography, music, editing, art direction and sound. It got a new lease on life with a widely praised 1989 restoration, in which Lean, who died in 1991, participated.
    It is that “director’s cut” that audiences will see this week, with two exceptions: The soundtrack has been digitally remastered, and writer Michael Wilson’s name has been added to the credits. Few will object to the sonic improvement, although purists may be bothered by the alteration of the main-title sequence.
    In 1995, the Writers Guild of America ruled that Wilson–blacklisted after his hostile-witness appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951–was entitled to share writing credit with Robert Bolt, who received sole screenplay credit initially. Wilson died in 1978, Bolt in 1995.
    “Wilson created the basic structure for the film, but the dialogue was not good,” says Robert A. Harris, who produced the restoration with the aid of Lean. After three Wilson drafts, Bolt was brought aboard to rewrite the script. He ultimately became Lean’s regular collaborator.
    Harris acknowledges Wilson’s contribution to the script but is uncomfortable with the screen credit modification, because of Lean’s long-held position that Bolt should have sole credit. “It was inappropriate to do it after both David Lean and Robert Bolt were gone,” he contends. “It’s like sneaking it in when your parents aren’t watching.” But, he adds, “it doesn’t change the film. It doesn’t hurt anyone.”
    Wilson was given belated writing credit, and a posthumous Oscar, for co-writing Lean’s previous film, “The Bridge on the River Kwai.” It was also a Columbia film, and Crisp says that Wilson’s name was added to those credits for a 1992 re-release.
    The re-creation of the “Lawrence” titles was complicated. The credits appear on the right side of the screen, while on the left side O’Toole, as Lawrence, is shown preparing his motorcycle for what will turn out to be his last ride.
    “We had the negative for the background shot, which is textless,” Crisp explains. “We basically had to have this font style created by hand, because it didn’t exist. We tried to match exactly the font, the placement, the size and everything else, and then built a new main-title negative.” Pacific Title and Arts spent two months rebuilding the titles.
    The running time is 217 minutes, unchanged from the 1989 restoration. The various lengths of “Lawrence,” and who authorized the cuts, is a story all by itself: 222 minutes at the December 1962 London premiere; trimmed in late January 1963 to 202 minutes (by either Lean, or producer Sam Spiegel, or both, depending on who’s telling the story); and further cut, to 187 minutes, for a 1970 re-release, making the film “virtually unintelligible,” Harris says.
    In the restoration, which Variety hailed as launching a new era in “movie archaeology,” some scenes were added and others trimmed.
    "These were events that altered my entire life,'' he told TIME correspondent Anne Constable.
    'The two men reunited last April when O'Toole joined Alec Guinness to dub parts of the restored film under Lean's direction. ''It could have been macabre,'' he acknowledges, ''but it wasn't. It was fun. For one thing, David and I could see Lawrence in a different light. We were more detached, and the way to capture those moments seemed clearer:
    General links
    http://www.go-metacom.de/vorschau/si...s_FMaxwell.pdf Not Lawrence,but feature on General film restoration in relation to Lean's Early work
    Restoration drama: Film classics in HD - Features, Films - The Independent Again general feature via the BFI
  6. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Second Unit

    Jan 31, 2003
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  7. dannyboy104

    dannyboy104 Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 8, 2006
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    Thanks for the links Stephen.
    There is some more info regarding the Balcony scene , taken from an interview conducted by Geoff McNeal with Robert A Harris in August 2000.
    "When we were completing the cut, we attempted to put together a balcony scene in reel 11B, in which Allenby works to get Lawrence to go back to Arabia. The scene had been hacked in the shorter version. David wanted it in. Bob Bolt felt it was the finest scene he had ever written, which is saying a great deal. David directed the looping of dialogue in London with Peter and, lending his voice to the Jack Hawkins character, Charles Gray. We had requested that the studio check the voices on a few actors and select the best for the roll. They simply took the first on the list, which was Gray -- a fine actor-but sounded nothing like Hawkins.*
    When we put together the scene, it was obvious that Gray's voice didn't work. At precisely this time, David had to leave for the Cannes Film Fest, Dawn Steel wanted to see the film before he left and we went about recutting the scene once again for a special screening. It was a horrific decision and something that I should have fought at the time, but didn't. David wanted the Allenby lines revoiced and put back at some time in the future. Days after he left town, over cutting room was shut down-and it never happened. I've been trying to get the extended scene reinstated ever since. It adds layers to the film which are unbelievably rich. Their feeling, and one cannot find ultimate fault with their position, is that David allowed the film to be screened in 1989 without the additional footage, thereby accepting it as "his" cut."
    * Charles Grey provided his voice(along side Robert Rietty) on numerous films when Jack Hawkins lost his voice due to cancer of the larynx.
    screenonline: Gray, Charles (1928-2000) Biography
  8. dannyboy104

    dannyboy104 Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 8, 2006
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    updated in my post above with full Restoration notes taken from the CAV laserdisc.
  9. Justin Boggan

    Feb 5, 2005
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    The horrible story is the studio threw a bunch of masters in the garbage, and one of the things they threw away were the masters to Maurice Jarre's score -- a fact lost upon them, as I understand, until one day a few years back when they could not find them for DVD.
    Jarre got the notice too late to pick them up, and now they're gone to history.
    The score is nearly done being recontructed for re-recording by some master re-recorders.
    My question is, have any masters at all since been located for the score? Or any papers (or masters, if recorded) for the rejected score by another composer?
  10. linksano

    linksano Auditioning

    Nov 21, 2008
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    got this on vhs, lazerdisc and dvd
  11. Josh Pounds

    Josh Pounds Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 31, 1999
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    It's a shame this film was treated in such a manner prior to the restoration efforts.
  12. dendodd

    dendodd Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 24, 2010
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    I have bought a bluray player specifically to be ready to screen Lawrence the moment it is released. Let's hope it's soon! These glimpses now and then are encouraging feelings of frustration with Sony/Columbia.
    Lawrence will be shown in 70mm super panavision in Ottawa by the Lost Dominion Screening Collective. I understand that Robert Harris will be attending the festival as a number of his restorations will be screened. Also, at least one of the authors of "The 30th Anniversary Pictorial History Lawrence of Arabia" will be in attendance. I believe also that copies of that book will be available in both paperback and hardcover editions at the festival.
    Lawrence of Arabia; Vertigo; Spartacus; Baraka and more restored fims to be shown at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, Canada Sept 24, 25 & 26 See: http://lostdominion.blogspot.com/
  13. Paul Rossen

    Paul Rossen Supporting Actor

    Mar 9, 2004
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    Is this scene being restored for the Bluray or is it lost forever?
  14. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

    Sep 14, 2009
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    You would think with the technology available that they could redo the voice of Hawkins for that scene and put it back in, that's assuming the footage is still in good condition, think of the sales potential to put on the cover that this edition includes such a scene, i would think it would pay for itself with regards to additional costs to include it.
    I would love to see that scene in the film, hell i'd love to see every scene ever shot for this film.
  15. owen35

    owen35 Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 14, 2008
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    What a great festival!!! Why can't it come to the Bay Area where I live? :)
    I did post this to my DavidLean.com website, but I don't see any information on the blog about Mr. Harris making an appearance. If that date/time is made available, please let me know so I can update the posting.
  16. dendodd

    dendodd Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 24, 2010
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    I did post this to my DavidLean.com website, but I don't see any information on the blog about Mr. Harris making an appearance. If that date/time is made available, please let me know so I can update the posting.
    You will find the reference to Robert A. Harris on the Blogsite just below the list of films. I quote from the site: "Film restorer Robert A. Harris, the man who led the teams that restored all three films, is currently planning to attend the festival. If all goes as planned he will be available for Q&A sessions at some of the screenings". On blog: http://lostdominion.blogspot.com/ Also on: http://www.in70mm.com/news/2010/canada/index.htm There it is just below the image of the poster beside the photograph of the auditorium showing the projection booth. Here it says: Robert Harris is planning on attending the festival and will do a Q&A on large format film restoration. Check www.lostdominion.ca for more details in the coming weeks. Trust this helps Jennifer Dodd
  17. Tom_Ca

    Tom_Ca Agent

    Sep 23, 2004
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    I would also like to know that!
  18. dendodd

    dendodd Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 24, 2010
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    " did post this to my DavidLean.com website, but I don't see any information on the blog about Mr. Harris making an appearance. If that date/time is made available, please let me know so I can update the posting."
    Here's the information from the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, Canada: http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/whats-on/search-results&Types=1
  19. dendodd

    dendodd Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 24, 2010
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    Concerning the "terrace scene" Robert Harris would like very much to restore this scene and has an actor in mind to dub the lines, but he's keeping that information to himself. He seemed confident last weekend, (Sept. 24-26, 2010), about the inclusion of that scene in the BD.
  20. Stefan Andersson

    Stefan Andersson Second Unit

    May 12, 2001
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    Thank you Jennifer for this info re: the terrace scene!

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