Robert Harris

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Robert Harris
The new 4k release of David Lean's epic, Lawrence of Arabia, has seen four versions, and a myriad of home video itinerations, going back to praxinoscope days.

Now released in the new Columbia six film boxed set, it has seemingly reached home video nirvana.

Everything that one might wish for is here.

The film has been split across two discs, for maximum data throughput;

Dolby Atmos has been added for a bit of height, which works nicely;

Color, black levels, shadow detail and general densities all work nicely;

Grain structure is superb;

Image stability is perfect.

For those unaccustomed to the film, be aware that it's four hours long, has no women with speaking roles, spends hours watching men cross deserts on camels, and has no musical numbers.

It's all about this slightly looney Brit who seems to enjoy pain, and takes pleasure in burning himself with matches.

It was originally released in December of 1962 at 232 minutes inclusive of music. In January, twenty minutes was removed, making certain sequences a bit incoherent, and in 1970, supposedly only for American TV, it was shorn of another fifteen minutes, leading to a wonderful article in the New York Times, entitled Look What They've Done to Lawrence of Arabia Now.

Most people seemed to enjoy the 202 minute cut (212 with music), until a slightly looney American became involved and put back most of the pieces that had been cut, finally ending up with a Director's Cut at 227 minutes with music.

Those elements were digitized in 2012 by Columbia's Grover Crisp, leading to what we have today.

A tiny silver disc, weighing probably less than an ounce, instead of the earlier necessary 70mm print, that weighed in at closer to 750 pounds on 13 reels.

The miracle, if you will, has been accomplished. This tiny disc can be run on a 4k player, and with enough illumination, can easily fill a screen 35-40 feet wide.

So how does it look on a 65" OLED?

Pretty good.

If you're running on an OLED, please do check settings, as certain levels between HDR and DV may not coincide. Just saying.

Projectors will still have their HDR problems. JVCs seem to handle it better than Sony units, but the larger the image, the better.

Audio now has the addition of Dolby Atmos, giving us a bit of extra excitement.

Not bad, really...

After you receive a copy, and watch a few moments, you might consider a delicate bow to the west toward Grover Crisp and his team at Columbia.

Not bad at all.

Oh, one more thing. The film comes with digital codes so that it can finally be seen as the filmmakers intended.

On one's iPhone.


4k Image – 5 - OLED Panel
4k Image - 4.5 - Projection

Audio – 5 (Dolby Atmos)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from Blu-ray - Don't even ask

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 
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PMF

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Philip
[...]For those unaccustomed to the film, be aware that it's four hours long, has no women with speaking roles, spends hours watching men cross deserts on camels, and has no musical numbers.[...]
With all due respect, good sir, you clearly have forgotten Mr. O’ Toole’s toe-tapping rendition of “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo”.

But seriously, though, this long awaited review is both a relief and an all-out thrill...to say the very least.

My most sincerest of congratulations; not only to Grover Crisp, but also to Robert A. Harris. Or, if I may paraphrase Prince Feisal, “What we at HTF owe you both is beyond evaluation“.
 
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titch

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Kevin Oppegaard

jayembee

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Jerry
"For those unaccustomed to the film, be aware that it's four hours long, has no women with speaking roles, spends hours watching men cross deserts on camels, and has no musical numbers."

You forgot about the part where a British white dude plays an Arabian prince.

Have this on order from Best Buy (along with the Laurel & Hardy: Definitive Restorations set). Can't wait. The only problem is the feeling that I need to upgrade my not-at-all-top-of-the-line equipment to see this in the way God intended.

I still remember going to the Charles Cinema in Boston to see the 1989 restoration. Wednesday. Afternoon. Sold out show.

Then getting the Criterion laserdisc. Then the Sony DVDs. Then the Sony Blu-ray (all of these interspersed with the occasional ginormous-screen theatrical showing).
 
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Dennis T. Gallagher
Once again - one of my top five favorite movies, perhaps related to how I experienced the 1989 restoration (the Ziegfeld in NYC - with no
commercials or trailers and two sets of curtains - one opening just for the overture and entr'acte and an audience applauding the Super Panavision 70 credit). I do so wish there were still theaters like this around as well as more movies like this as I'd be more inclined to go back.
Never-ending thanks to Mr. Harris for his efforts in bringing this back to us in all its glory - and the efforts of all following him in continuing to make sure we see it as it's meant to be seen.
(Now - I'm sure that I shouldn't complain about paying semi-big bucks for other movies in the 4K collection that don't really interest me as 4K worthy. I don't know how many times I've purchased this, but I'm sure I still have the Criterion laserdisc and DVD lying around somewhere, and the Blu-Ray box set still holds a place of honor on my shelf.)
 
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Dennis T. Gallagher
(Now - I'm sure that I shouldn't complain about paying semi-big bucks for other movies in the 4K collection that don't really interest me as 4K worthy. I don't know how many times I've purchased this, but I'm sure I still have the Criterion laserdisc and DVD lying around somewhere, and the Blu-Ray box set still holds a place of honor on my shelf.)
OK - Best Buy appears to have an offer I couldn't refuse and I'll be receiving the box set on release day.
 
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David Wilkins

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Jul 5, 2001
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Fantastic news! I'm a bit surprised that discs have been released early for reviewers, given the trend of recent months and years. Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits also posted a review of Dr. Strangelove yesterday, and after reading his review and yours, I'm damn glad to have pre-ordered the set.
 
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Carlo Medina

Executive Producer
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Oct 31, 1997
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Who needs women with speaking roles when you've got camels, amirite? :laugh:

Glad to see this post, will look forward to picking it up. I'll even pre-order the set since I like/love most of the films on there, and those that I perhaps watched them at a certain point in my life that it may be worth revisiting to see them afresh.
 
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Brian Husar

Second Unit
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Feb 23, 2006
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422
I am so so so happy. Box set is ordered and I can’t wait. I missed the restoration in the theater in 89. It was showing at the now defunct McClurg Ct Cinema in 70mm and THX in Chicago but Christmas of 89 my Mom got me the VHS of the restored version. I also got the pan and scanned Apocalypse Now on VHS. I was amazed at how
Similar they were. This film has followed me and I bought almost every rerelease and finally, Summer of 2018 I saw the 4k version on the big screen. First time ever seeing it on the big screen and it was amazing.
 
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owen35

Stunt Coordinator
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Oct 14, 2008
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240
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Steve
"On one's iPhone" -- That killed me. Pretty soon we will be watching movies on our watches.

I am curious if a revised digital version of the film will hit theaters, should they ever open. To see this release in a Dolby Vision/Atmos theater would be an experience to be sure.
 

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