In November, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will bring Lawrence of Arabia to Blu-ray. Director David Lean's epic drama focuses on the military career of T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole, Becket), a lieutenant in the British Army who makes a profound impact on the Arab nations during World War I.
Beginning with the motorcycle accident that claimed his life in 1935, Lean's film then flashes back, following Lawrence from his initial explorations in and around Cairo through his assault on the Turks in Damascus, an experience that united the region's Arab tribes but left Lawrence cynical and disillusioned.
Both versions will present the 227-minute director's cut (including the overture, intermission, entr'acte and exit music) of the film in its 2.20:1 original aspect ratio with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. The print used is courtesy of a 4K digital restoration; according to Sony's official press release, "the original camera negative was scanned at 8K and the film went through a painstaking process of repairing problems inherent to the fifty-year old film elements."
Bonus supplements include:
Secrets of Arabia picture-in-graphic track
Newly produced Peter O'Toole Revisits Lawrence of Arabia interview
Feature-length The Making of Lawrence of Arabia documentary
Five behind-the-scenes featurettes:
A Conversation with Steven Spielberg
The Camels Are Cast
In Search of Lawrence
Romance of Arabia
1970 version of Wind, Sand and Star: The Making of a Classic
Newsreel footage of the New York premiere and material from the film's advertising campaigns
Limited Edition Blu-ray Exclusives:
Never-before-released deleted scene with introduction by editor Anne Coates
Newly produced The Lure of the Desert: Martin Scorsese on Lawrence of Arabia interview
Three behind-the-scenes featurettes:
- In Love with the Desert
- King Hussein Visits Lawrence of Arabia
- Original 1963 version of Wind, Sand and Star
Archival interviews with William Friedkin, Sydney Pollack, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg
- Theatrical trailer
- Two teaser trailers
- The 1989 70mm restoration trailer
- Two TV spots
Exclusive Lawrence of Arabia soundtrack CD that includes the film's score plus two previously unreleased tracks
70mm film frame
Eighty-eight-page book with on-set photographs and notes on the film's production and legacy
Lawrence of Arabia streets on November 13th (the date confirmed by the studio's press release).
Note: The image of the Fiftieth Anniversary box set comes courtesy of Home Theater Forum.
I watched this in the theater 50 years ago when I was 13. In fact, I think I went to see Lawrence three times. To this day, it is my favorite movie. I am very excited. Lawrence of Arabia is a must own for anyone who loves movies. Thank you Sony. "He likes your lemonade"
I knew this was coming later this year, but just reading the news...I can't stop smiling.
Just the other day I was thoroughly enjoying one of my other all time favorite movies that was recently released on blu-ray: To Kill A Mockingbird, and I was wondering how it didn't win the Oscar for best picture. When I looked it up, it came out the same year as LOA - so that explains it. I guess you could also wonder how Peter O'Toole didn't win the oscar for best actor, then you realize it went to Gregory Peck that year.
Not a bad year...and now, 50 years later, maybe they will be competing against each other again for Blu-ray of the year!
Doesn't look similar to the Bridge On The River Kwai box set, I think. It looks much bigger. And it's not a digibook in a case.
It's a box, with a seperate book. I think, this surpasses the River Kwai quite a bit. Beautiful.
At long last. Lawrence of Arabia is a title I've been wanting to add to my collection since I first saw it on cable and started collecting blu-rays years ago. It's terrific that Sony will treat it as well as detailed above. It will be a very special release indeed—and it will be added to my library on its Day One.
2012 is certainly a big year for fans of David Lean. First came Criterion's David Lean Directs Noel Coward box set, now Lawrence, for a total of five films in one year. This will look nice next to that Criterion set and my copies of Doctor Zhivago and The Bridge on the River Kwai.
I will have to see it on the big screen again as well as getting the boxed blu-ray on day one. I'm a little confused about the mention of an additional 21 minutes of never before released footage. The 1989 restoration which Robert Harris, and Jim Painten did with input from David Lean himself was I thought the director's "vision" and included scenes that had been cut over the years. Are these 21 minutes more footage that was not in the 1989 restoration version? If so, this news is even better than expected for my favourite movie of all time.
At the site announcing the U.S. premiere of the restored version of LOA at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater tomorrow night it says that the running time is 217 minutes. However, the running time of the Super Bit version of LOA which is the 1989 restored version is 227 minutes so I am now even more confused. Maybe the 217 is a typo. By the way ibeetle, blu-ray is 1080P and not 1080i. In addition LOA has a ratio of 2.20 to 1 so it will not fill the entire television screen. The movie is not "squished" when shown at the proper ratio. None of the picture will be missing which would be the case if they expanded it to fill the entire television screen. There is no doubt that the blu-ray version will show LOA in its original theatrical ratio as did the Super Bit release.
Finally ! I see too from the press release that the rumours I heard several years ago concerning the delay were true. The BD could not be released until extensive repair was done due to damage to the negative. The announcement confirms this fact. At the time my suggestion earned me a hidden post (lots of thumbs down). It is nice to be vindicated.
Finally! Thank you god. I've been waiting 4 years for this on blu. I once had the pleasure of having a two hour private conversation with Robert Harris about his restoration of the film and I was a huge fan before that but after, there just weren't words to describe my respect for Mr Harris, David Lean and the movie.
One of my top five movies of all time. A movie that I could easily watch it every day
Thank you, thank you, thank you
Needless to say first day buy!
The French DVD had a feature length documentary that was exclusive to that set, In Love With the Desert, which was about Eddie Fowlie, the legendary property master and all round fixer who worked on the film and was a close friend of Lean. It's listed on the BD page for the film on Amazon.fr, but I'd be surprised if they included it on any of the other releases.
Didn't see LOA until the restoration release in 1990 at the famous Uptown theater in Wash. DC (almost IMAX size!), absolutely breathtaking! Me and some buddies were sitting around on a Sunday after some partying on Sat. and I was looking through the paper and noticed a 1pm matinee showing there. 2 of the guys were for it, but 1 of them was being a stick in the mud. We finally got him to go and after the film, he changed his tune. Thought it was incredible.
Finally at last on BD, I'm sure it will be worth the wait. Sony is usually pretty good for these restoration releases.
This design kinda reminds me of the Limited UK Arrow releases, The front looks like it might have a cutout square window, showing the book's image inside, I could be wrong though. Then if the blu-ray is much smaller than the book (maybe a thick 3 disc Amaray), it must be contained on some sort of tray next to the book. I expect the CD sampler will maybe be like the Dr.Zhivago one in a thin cardboard cover.
I was hoping for a much smaller box though, something like the bridge on the river qwai one would have been plenty big enough.
I will still get this though if it's a great price (under $20) cos it's way nicer than the UK one and Lawrence deserves it.
$67.19 for a Warner-esque box'o'swag is a little too pricey for me. Thankfully my Amazon UK preorder is still active for September, so I have time to decide both before & after the barebones UK edition ships. May end up like Ben-Hur--got the UK edition first, then bought BB's box'o'swag on BF and sold the UK set on eBay.
I'm locked in on the Amazon pre-order for $ 67.19. I would like to see the theatrical exhibition in 4K digital projection like Taxi Driver. I have seen Casablanca (4K restoration) and Singin' in the Rain (4K restoration) this year in merely 2K projection. These 2 showings were Fathom Events.
Too pricey - $67.19 for one movie is ridiculous, why did sony offer us this?
I can buy 6-8 other movies for the same price as this one/ or 3 or 4 Digibook editions.
Why not a cheaper 3 disc version without the big box,cd & book but keeping all the extras in a nice digipack.
I'm sure they could've (or will do in future) given us this for under $20
I'll wait or buy it from another country, maybe the UK one if it's the only reasonably priced one.
El Aurens is coming, because it is his pleasure! Hands down the BEST announcement since the dawn of the format. And because I can't wait until Nov, I'll get the non-deluxe U.K. version on Sept 10th (!!!), and then get the U.S. boxset 2 MONTHS later....best of all, the combined cost of both editions won't run much more than what I paid for my CAV Laserdisc back in 89'. Also hoping that the theatrical run in Oct includes Canada
I've never seen this in full, and I can't wait. I will go in the theater then wait for the simple inexpensive version. They all come eventually. See 'Wizard of Oz', 'Casablanca', 'Gone with the Wind', etc...
Considering the time (4 years), expense, and effort that Sony has taken to bring out this digitally restored version of one of the great movies of all time, I will be buying the boxed set to show my support for their efforts. Just a little perspective, earlier this week I paid $78 for a round of golf.
I saw Lawrence of Arabia as a 14 year old in 1963 in a theatre on the big screen and it changed my entire perspective of movies. I have spent a life time collecting LOA movie memorabilia and have every version put out in VHS, laserdisc, and dvd. I believe my Criterion Collection laserdisc of LOA cost me more than $70. I doubt that we will ever see any movie whether contemporary or classic given this much restoration effort, treatment and presentation by any studio or corporation that Sony has.
One of the greatest classics. While the big-budget films made today are remarkable in their own right, this film has a majesty to it that no filmmaker seems to be able to achieve today, probably due to Lean's intelligence. I don't normally go for the big boxes, but in this case I might make an exception (although why do they have to make them so thick? - they're mostly filled with air). Hopefully that book replicates the pages from the original program sold primarily at the roadshow theatres. I owned that once.
I've seen previous restorations in 70mm at both the Ziegfeld in NYC and the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles. Hopefully it's now even better. As good as those restorations were (and this film was in very bad shape), it has never looked as crisp as it did originally.
I'm going to support SONY by buying the full limited collector's edition and put the book with the Beatles Anthology and house the discs in a standard Blu-ray box on the media shelf. What Robert Harris said about the work done and how it is going to look on Blu-ray was breathtaking. Gotta support efforts like that. There are two kinds of movies ... a David Lean film and all the others. I regret that Warner didn't do a better job wth Dr Zhivago. I thought it could have looked just a bit better resolved.
I saw this on it's first release when i skipped school for the day and by the time i left the theatre i was in love with movies. It is because of David Lean that i am a poor man today spending all my money on blue rays instead of saving up for more important things, well here goes another $70. Thanks David Lean if you were not so brilliant heaven only knows where I would be today.
For those wondering,here's the content of the french Blu-ray version:
-first blu-ray is the movie restored in 4k.
-second blu ray contains 2 hours of bonus features(1hr making of+exclusive interview from Peter o toole+featurette).
-third Blu-ray contains archives and the 80 mn documentary "in love with the desert".
-fourth disc is the cd soundtrack of the movie.
Also there's a 50 page book and a unique senitype for each box set.
Hope it helps
Not too keen on paying for all this. I'll probably get the UK or local (Australian) one, even though I don't really like the UK artwork and the Australian one's cover probably won't be too good either.
@jimmy3vil: Yes for me too. I hope Ryan's Daughter will be out next year. in 1997 I toured the Dingle Peninsula. I recognised it immediately as it still looked just as it did in the movie. All that gorgeous Irish scenery on the Dingle should sparkle like an emerald on Bluray
No words can describe how excited I am for this release. First time I saw this was in a theatre and Ive made sure to catch it every time its shown since.
Been hoping for this announcement since I bought my first blu ray and it really sounds like theyre trying their hardest to make sure this is the blu-ray of all blu-rays.
Pre-ordered the second I could!
Day one! I saw this in the mid-90's when they re-releaseed it in the theatres and I was blown away by the scope and size of this film! Peter O'Toole was robbed of an Oscar for this performance, although Gregory Peck was good in To Kill a Mockingbird it didn't come close to O'Toole's performance.
Box sets make more money. The studios count on the fact that the real fans of a movie will want the extra trinkets included in the box and willingly pay for them even though the value of those items is usually extremely questionable. Once they think they've milked the box set market for all its got, they put out the movie only (usually single disc) to snag a few more customers and pad their profits a bit more.
Now having said that I'd like for once to give credit to James Cameron. He is putting out his magnum opus on how not to build a ship in September in mutiple versions from big box set to discs only. He at least is showing some respect for his audience.
@rediw: I agree to some extent. While I'll probably hold off for a less expensive release of this title, many people will see this as simply endorsing all of the hard work that went into the restoration project. From my understanding, this was put off a few times because they just didn't get it right. Kudos to Sony for the extensive (hopefully) work that went into LoA. At some point though, you have to think price and I'll see if this goes down before/when I pull the trigger.
@oneneo: People I know who work for Sony have told me that when the company went to the vaults to pul out the carefully stored (not) negatives they discovered extensive damage that had occurred after the major restoration in the late 80s. The damage may have been from a fire or it may have been from water. In any case instead of abandoning the project they decided that it was worth it to fix the damage even though it would be a costly and very time consuming process. This film was just too valuable a piece of cinematic history to let it go. This fall we will see the results. I'm looking forward to it as should all real cinephiles.
Very disappointed that this isn't being spread over two blu-ray discs. It made a huge difference for Lord of the Rings and it would make a huge difference for Lawrence of Arabia. What were they thinking?!