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A Few Words About While we wait for A few words about...™ Lawrence of Arabia -- in 4k/UHD Blu-ray

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

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Strange man with a pipe...



    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jacksmyname

    Jacksmyname Second Unit

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    Agreed.
    This thread is absolutely priceless, bagels and all.
    Another thank you Mr. Harris, for the photos and everything else.
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor
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    It's almost as if this thread is to generate excitement for the theatrical re-release (and Blu-Ray, I guess). :D
    Lawrence of Arabia was one of the first roadshow epics I saw as a teenager. I borrowed the '89 VHS (restoration, letterboxed, black screen overture) from the high school library after reading about it in David Cook's book. After watching it that night, I immediately watched it again. It's one of the formative films that got me interested into classics.
    I'm really excited about seeing this in a real theater. I really hope it turns out to be real DCP instead of Fathom tripe.
    (And my opinion on the missing frames - it's kind of neat to have an artifact left that reminds of the destruction David Lean's film went through and what it took to make it right)
     
  4. 24fpssean

    24fpssean Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess you misunderstood me: the ENTIRE balcony scene, of so much geeky legend, has not been restored, only the two minutes or so that exist in the film from the 1988 restoration. As for the missing frames, I had read that those frames were saved and could one day be scanned and cut back in, and the soundtrack would have to be stitched or extended a few frames to match. There were a few "tsks" from several people around me at the Academy screening when those jumps occurred so at least a few people noticed. Not that it detracts from the overall enjoyment of the film. But is naturally worth mentioning as we are after all on the subject of the digital restoration of Lawrence of Arabia.
    Interesting place, Home Theater Forum. "I cannot fiddle, but I can make a great state out of a little city."
     
  5. 24fpssean

    24fpssean Stunt Coordinator

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    Bolt before prison. And flopped!
     
  6. sharkshark

    sharkshark Stunt Coordinator

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    Uh, you talking to me?
    My first thought was that you completely misread my post here (http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/308191/while-we-wait-for-a-few-words-about-lawrence-of-arabia-in-blu-ray/2040#post_3953383)
    I re-read what I wrote, and while my knee-jerk reaction was to, well, be a jerk and call you out, I actually do see how my words could be read as negative. They were meant far, far from that.
    I wrote:
    "OK, this thread has officially gone nuts..."
    Translation:
    "Oh my god, that's so awesome, I cannot believe I'm actually seeing photos of first edition books owned by participants here. This is the best thing ever"
    I also wrote:
    "I considered myself a fan of this film, but, lordy..."
    Translation:
    "Good lord, I thought I knew something about this film, but I'm being completely schooled on the multifacets of this wonderful production by a group of individuals that fully shame the small amount of knowledge I have on this subject. To see =first editions= trotted out, well, that's icing on the cake"
    I then said:
    *bow*
    ...which, frankly, I meant without irony, merely humility and the warm satisfaction of learning from those far more erudite about this subject than I.
    I'm sorry you were offended, even more sorry to see the personal attack above, but I grant that through your mirror of obvious disdain for me that my words were at best imprecise, and at worst cause for concern. Perhaps if you had read more of my earlier contributions, along with the article I wrote extolling the virtues of this thread, you'd have not concluded I was in anyway denigrating Dennis' personal connection to this thread's narrative.
     
  7. sharkshark

    sharkshark Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey, Robert... Seeing as we're both up here, you have a line on local source for your tome?
     
  8. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    Is the confusion here perhaps down to the difference between "restored" and "restored to the film"?
    It was my understanding that the entire balcony scene was "restored" (non-perfect Allenby dialogue notwithstanding) as in reconstructed and prepared, but then left out of the director's cut and not "restored to the film".
    If I remember what I've read here, Sir David requested 2 shots not be considered for the director's cut, but then all other material from the 222 minute premiere version was "restored" and then fine-cut by Lean and Coates into the 217 minutes of the final director's cut.
     
  9. sharkshark

    sharkshark Stunt Coordinator

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    I heard he was an executive at SONY.
    (Oh, wait...)
     
  10. sharkshark

    sharkshark Stunt Coordinator

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    This is the mightiest one... Impressive group backing you up, sir.
     
  11. dendodd

    dendodd Stunt Coordinator

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    Very nice to see you here. My goodness quite a group of authors on this thread. Heady stuff.
     
  12. Ignatius

    Ignatius Stunt Coordinator

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    Finally decided after much lurking to jump in and say my piece.
    The astonishing amount of information made available here over the past month has prompted me to seek out further reading, beginning with a copy of the Pictorial History by Messrs Morris and Raskin. I was lucky enough to discover it gathering dust in the basement of my local library and have eagerly pored over every page, something I will have to do two or three more times before I have to return it. The sheer amount of effort that must have been put into researching and gathering material is breathtaking. I'm already on the lookout for a copy I can permanently add to my shelf.
    I'm moving on to Kevin Brownlow's biography of David Lean next before attempting the more difficult task of tracking down Mr Turner's tome. There is currently a copy on eBay with an asking price of $369. Eager as I am that's a bit beyond my reach (to say the least).
    Many thanks to Mr Harris for driving the discussion and being so generous with his recollections. I adore the photo of you looking on as Freddie Young brandishes the formidable looking "mirage lens". Does anyone know if the lens (which Panavision was apparently so eager to get rid of) was used for any other significant productions?
    I have so many questions and comments I think I'll begin dropping them in at intervals rather than collating them into an unwieldy block of text. This thread is such a superb resource it would be criminal not to try and find out as much as I can.
     
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    We must be referring to different "balcony" scenes. The one that I know is restored. It has not been cut into the body of the fill, for the same reason that the missing frames have not been re-created.
    Not certain where you read that frames had been "saved" or by whom. I don't understand how they could have been.
    RAH
     
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Am aware is flopped. Quick, dirty, and pleased to have an image.
     
  15. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Which is precisely how I read your comments, and saw no problem.
     
  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    As back-up groups go, possibly even more impressive than The Pips.
    We would not have the film today, had it not been for the aiding and abetting of all imaged here. Jim Painten, who is over my left shoulder, towering over everyone should not be confused with Jim Katz. Two different Jims.
    RAH
     
  17. Lawrie Raskin

    Lawrie Raskin Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for your kind words. FYI, at present there are 7 copies available at AbeBooks — a quite reliable online used books dealer,
    They range in price from $9.95 to $75.00. Note that 3 are hardcover and 4 are paperback.
    Good luck.
    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=morris+and+raskin&sts=t&tn=lawrence+of+arabia+30th+anniversary+pictorial+history
     
  18. Lawrie Raskin

    Lawrie Raskin Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for your kind words. FYI, at present there are 7 copies available at AbeBooks — a quite reliable online used books dealer,
    They range in price from $9.95 to $75.00. Note that 3 are hardcover and 4 are paperback.
    Good luck.
    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=morris+and+raskin&sts=t&tn=lawrence+of+arabia+30th+anniversary+pictorial+history
     
  19. Lawrie Raskin

    Lawrie Raskin Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for your kind words. FYI, at present there are 7 copies available at AbeBooks — a quite reliable online used books dealer,
    They range in price from $9.95 to $75.00. Note that 3 are hardcover and 4 are paperback.
    Good luck.
    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=morris+and+raskin&sts=t&tn=lawrence+of+arabia+30th+anniversary+pictorial+history
     
  20. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

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    Jason,
    My posting of the photo of those two books was partially in response to a previous post where someone showed his original release lobby card. Actually first editions aren't really very costly: you just have to have luck. Penciled in the back of Revolt is the price of $4.50 I paid circa 1978 in a little used bookstore in Campbell, CA. After buying that I still kept looking for a nice hardbound copy of Seven Pillars. Years later, perhaps around 1992, I found a hardback copy of Seven Pillars in a used bookstore in San Jose, CA. The price of $9.99 is penciled inside still. I examined the book, noted the rather odd gold leaf swords on the front cover, and discovered the date of 1935 in it - a first edition, as publication was held up until after Lawrence's death on the motorcycle. I made my way to the checkout, paid my money, and got my receipt. I mentioned to the owner that I'd been looking for a copy of Seven Pillars for some time and was pleased to find a first edition. He said "no, that's no first edition. It's dated 1935". To which I responded with the publication history and why the first edition only came out after Lawrence's death. You should have seen the crestfallen look on his face. Most used booksellers are very savvy about the value of their merchandise.
    The history of Seven Pillars of Wisdom is a long story all on its own. Lawrence wrote a complete draft which got mislaid on a railroad trip. He had to painstakingly re-create the entire draft from memory again - shades of Mozart and the overture to the Marriage of Figaro! A private edition of a few dozen copies was prepared, each copy being made by hand. Lawrence hired an artist to illustrate it but told him he'd have to wait for payment. Lawrence really didn't have the money to pay the debts from this private edition and IIUC he authorized the 1927 publication of Revolt mostly to raise funds to retire the debt from the Seven Pillars private edition. Upon his death, with debts repaid, his brother Arnold took over the copyright and finally had Seven Pillars formally published.
    EDIT wikipedia has an account of the Seven Pillars history.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Pillars_of_Wisdom
     

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