/ A little movie quiz question ...

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Gordon Stainforth - on 26 Nov 2012
What do all the following films have in common?

The Speckled Band (1931), The Blue Danube (1932), Good Night, Vienna (1932), Bitter Sweet (1933), Nell Gwynn (1934), Limelight (1936), Sixty Glorious Years (1938), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), Contraband (1940), 49th Parallel (1941), The Young Mr. Pitt (1942), Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), The Winslow Boy (1948), Treasure Island (1950), Ivanhoe (1952), Lust for Life (1956), Bhowani Junction (1956), The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1957), The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Lord Jim (1965), Doctor Zhivago (1965), The Deadly Affair (1966), You Only Live Twice (1967), Battle of Britain (1969), Ryan's Daughter (1970), and Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)

I wouldn't be surprised if Bluestraggler answers this in minutes. It's not meant to be difficult. There are actually about a 100 other films I could have added to the list.
Bulls Crack - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Freddie Young
Gordon Stainforth - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Yes. And the reason I raise it now is that the 50th anniversary digital restoration of Lawrence of Arabia has just been released, and it is truly stunning. I would argue that it's one of the greatest British movies of all time, if not the greatest, thanks in part to the stupendous work of Freddie Young. Was a technical Oscar ever more richly deserved? ... In fact he won three Oscars in his incredible career which spanned some 50 years (he died at the age of 96). What a life!

I urge anyone who can to see Lawrence again in its superbly restored form to do so. Be ready to gape in wonderment. The whole thing was shot on 70mm in incredibly difficult desert conditions, and the definition and the audacity of most of the shots has to be seen to be believed. Vast scenes with huge numbers of extras, all for real. No CGI in sight.

Freddie Young was right at the pinnacle of our (old) film industry, one of the greatest film technicians that ever existed.
The Lemming - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Bulls Crack)
>
> Yes. And the reason I raise it now is that the 50th anniversary digital restoration of Lawrence of Arabia has just been released, and it is truly stunning.

This is in my top list of all time films. It shares top spot with Ben Hur and Sparticus.

:-)
Gordon Stainforth - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:

I should add that the whole film is brilliant too, with an extremely intelligent and often witty script (by Robert Bolt). With a surprisingly dark side to it. Not superficial entertainment at all, it works on multiple levels. The performances are superb, and Peter O'Toole appears to have fallen straight out of some casting heaven to play that part. And behind it all, the genius of David Lean.
Gordon Stainforth - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to The Lemming:

I am a great fan of both Ben Hur and Spartacus (which I saw recently, and was amazed how good it was, considering that Stanley disowned it ... but it's nothing like as good as Lawrence.)
colina - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

im spartucus!
Blue Straggler - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Sorry, I was out living life. I don't know that I would have got it in minutes (the question has been answered, so the onsight is blown...)

The last time I watched Lawrence of Arabia, I was struck by how Alec Guiness' performance is actually a little embarrassing. Post Star Wars, it plays like a bizarre spoof on Yoda. Obviously this would not have been the case in 1962, but that said, when you look at his later work beneath Lean, as Godbole in A Passage to India, you do have to wonder what they were thinking.



wercat on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I wish I could see it again in the Cinema, as a boy I was awestruck by Lawrence of Arabia
Blue Straggler - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Have you read Kevin Brownlow's biography of Lean? He tries - and manages - to remain impartial to all of Lean's work, apart from Lawrence, which he is unashamed to praise to the high heavens.

I'm not sure that people really need to be told that "vast scenes with huge numbers of extras" in a 1962 film were "all for real. No CGI in sight" but hey ho.

Thanks for making me aware of this new release. Genuine question though@ what does this 50th anniversary restoration bring that the restoration carried out around 1989 and viewed by me circa 1996 in the glorious Lumiere (or Luminaire?) cinema in central London, lacked?

The Wikipedia article states just
" the new 8K scan has such high resolution that when examined, showed a series of fine concentric lines in a pattern reminiscent of a fingerprint near the top of the frame. This was caused by its melting in the desert heat when handled by the film workers during production. Sony had to hire a third party to minimise or eliminate the fingerprint artefacts in the new restored version"

Great.
Gordon Stainforth - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
>
> Have you read Kevin Brownlow's biography of Lean? He tries - and manages - to remain impartial to all of Lean's work, apart from Lawrence, which he is unashamed to praise to the high heavens.

Yes, I have seen Brownlow's excellent book. And I agree with his assessment.
>
> I'm not sure that people really need to be told that "vast scenes with huge numbers of extras" in a 1962 film were "all for real. No CGI in sight" but hey ho.

I said that because I suspect that quite a lot of modern moviegoers have no idea how much more difficult Lawrence was to shoot then than it would be now. The 70mm camera was huge and very heavy, and the whole thing on the dolly would have weighed much more. All those rails in the sand must have been very impressive technically. The other huge difference was the film. Very slow, requiring use of arc lights in low light, and many scenes are very skillful day-for-night. The lab costs were astronomic so they would have had to have been very sparing on the numbers of takes.
>
> Thanks for making me aware of this new release. Genuine question though@ what does this 50th anniversary restoration bring that the restoration carried out around 1989 and viewed by me circa 1996 in the glorious Lumiere (or Luminaire?) cinema in central London, lacked?

The registration and sheer quality of course. With the picture locked solid. perfectly clean, and with one of the highest resolution super panavision frames I've ever seen, thanks to the new digital process. It's also been very well re-dubbed (though the original would have been virtually as good, but again, not so clean).
>
> The Wikipedia article states just
> " the new 8K scan has such high resolution that when examined, showed a series of fine concentric lines in a pattern reminiscent of a fingerprint near the top of the frame. This was caused by its melting in the desert heat when handled by the film workers during production. Sony had to hire a third party to minimise or eliminate the fingerprint artefacts in the new restored version"
>

Yup, they've said it.

It probably looks even better than the original.

Gordon Stainforth - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to wercat:

This amazing re-release can be seen at 13 cinemas e.g many in London and S/e and other places like Leeds and Newcastle:

http://www.filmdates.co.uk/films/4416-lawrence-of-arabia/

Note: the colour has been enhanced very cleverly, so that it has none of the washed-out quality of previous surviving prints made from internegs. It has not been over-enhanced, in my opinion. It's just perfect.
Gordon Stainforth - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to wercat:

Sorry, 19 cinemas.
Blue Straggler - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
>
> I said that because I suspect that quite a lot of modern moviegoers have no idea how much more difficult Lawrence was to shoot then than it would be now.

As usual, I think(*) you are vastly underestimating the intelligence of the general populace.

> [...]
>
> The registration and sheer quality of course. With the picture locked solid. perfectly clean, and with one of the highest resolution super panavision frames I've ever seen, thanks to the new digital process. It's also been very well re-dubbed (though the original would have been virtually as good, but again, not so clean).

Thanks again for the info about this release. I must check up where it is screening. Oddly enough I bought myself a nice VHS copy in the late 1990s and also have a DVD (not sure which "version" or "restoration") but can not bring myself to watch this film on anything other than a cinema screen.

* "I think" being my lily-livered disclaimer.
Blue Straggler - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
> [...]
>
> Yes, I have seen Brownlow's excellent book. And I agree with his assessment.
> [...]
>
> I said that because I suspect that quite a lot of modern moviegoers have no idea how much more difficult Lawrence was to shoot then than it would be now.

It is 13 years since I read it, but I think Brownlow has an anecdote in his Lean book about a passer-by, somewhere near Shepperton or wherever the editing was done, being heard crowing that "they filmed it all in there in a sand pit".

So your dimwit hoi-polloi were out in force 50 years ago and are certainly not a modern phenomenon.
abseil on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Lawrence of Arabia is brilliant, one of the best.

PS Lawrence's book 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom' is also excellent.
Gordon Stainforth - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> As usual, I think(*) you are vastly underestimating the intelligence of the general populace.
>
> [...]

I think you are right to have a disclaimer :) ... because I believe very few people realise that Lawrence of Arabia was shot on the Super Panavasion 70 system (using 65 mm wide film stock) i.e. twice as wide and thus twice as heavy as standard 35mm wide movie film which was used on later Panavasion films (with an anamorphic lens) after c.1969. I had certainly forgotten. Only about 14 movies were ever shot using this system with spherical lenses and thus an unsqueezed image, including Exodus, West Side Story, Grand Prix, 2001, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The camera body was based on an old Mitchell, and the dolly alone weighed something like 450lbs. The 3-inch wide film was going through the camera at a rate of 1 1/2 feet per sec (like 35mm) i.e. approx 54 square inches of film a second!



Al Evans on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Did you know Peter O'Toole was a great fan of cricket, I worked with him on a series he was making for GTV and each lunchtime he organised a game of cricket among the staff which I patrticipated in. A young female reporter tried to interview him and asked him about the cricket, his reply was " What the f**k do you know about cricket" :-)
Blue Straggler - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I was referring more to your mention of CGI, than to the physical bulk of the camera system. Sorry if that wasn't clear enough in my post.

Anyway you may know whether this is true or apocryphal - that Spiegel was giving Lean some grief over the phone (Spiegel in the UK or US, Lean in the desert) so Lean sent, embedded in the rushes, some footage of himself in the sand (possibly sweeping it with a broom), shouting "Well YOU come and bloody shoot it, you bugger!". I hope it's true.
Blue Straggler - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
>
> I was referring more to your mention of CGI, than to the physical bulk of the camera system. Sorry if that wasn't clear enough in my post.

(I should have quoted your sentence about the CGI a second time)
To be fair though, although people won't know the full technical spec of the Super Panavision 70, I think they are still aware that cameras now are much easier to handle than in 1962.
Some of the day-for-night shots in Lawrence may be skillful, but some are rather obvious! :-( (not saying that I could do better under those conditions)

I like the two myths which can be disproved by simply watching the film.
People think that Omar Sharif's entrance is an unbroken wordless 2 minute shot of him starting as a speck in the mirage, riding straight toward to camera. It's not - it keeps cutting back to Lawrence and his guide at the well.
Plus the nonsense about how there are no women in the film. A load of nurses at the end in Aqaba, and a woman in the "Lawrence's funeral" scene (I think she even gets to SPEAK!)
Fraser on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans:

> A young female reporter tried to interview him and asked him about the cricket, his reply was " What the f**k do you know about cricket" :-)



And my how we boys laughed, eh? Toole by name, tool by nature I guess.

Having said that, it's without doubt a great film.

Gordon Stainforth - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth) Did you know Peter O'Toole was a great fan of cricket, I worked with him on a series he was making for GTV and each lunchtime he organised a game of cricket among the staff which I patrticipated in. A young female reporter tried to interview him and asked him about the cricket, his reply was " What the f**k do you know about cricket" :-)

Lovely story. I remember Ray Lovejoy, editor of Ruling Class (and also an assistant editor on Lawrence) had loads of stories about him. Sadly, I can't remember any in particular, except the general impression that he was very much larger than life and pretty bonkers.

Gordon Stainforth - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Ah the CGI. Well, I realise that the vast majority of people realise that there wasn't CGI, but of course in those days there was a lot of matte painting and blue screen optical travelling mattes used. I don't believe there were any in Lawrence - though I would have to do some research into that.

Great story about Spiegel. I thought the famous riposte, 'In two words: im-possible' was by him too, but I see that it was Sam Goldwyn.
Gordon Stainforth - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Re. your other points. Day for night always looked very phoney, but Freddie Young's in Lawrence are among the best I've seen (mind you, they could easily have been improved in the latest extraordinary new digitally enhanced version).

I think the main point about the famous arrival of Omar Sharif is that they got it in one take. Somewhere I've got an interview with Young, and I think he talks about it.

Also, I thought the point about women is that there is no line of dialogue for a woman in the entire film. I don't think any women say anything at the memorial service scene. Might be wrong, but the absence of women in any key roles in the film is very unusual.
Blue Straggler - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
I checked on imdb.com, no speaking roles.
I did a thread on here once asking about films that have no women on screen AND no dialogue reference to women (so anything where, say, a submariner speaks about his wife, doesn't count) AND no pictures of a woman e.g. a background poster.
They are VERY rare!
Most people assume submarine movies would fit, but they don't - from those I've seen , The Bedford Incident does this.
Even Glengarry Glen Ross fails my very strict test :-)
That one-man Moby Dick filmed stage play might pass, but it's hardly a major film.

Anyway I digress.
Did I mention that I like Lawrence of Arabia?
When I was watching it at the Lumiere I was sad that there was an intermission even though it was designed to have one!
Gordon Stainforth - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I really urge you to see the digitally restored version at one of those 19 cinemas. I'll be very surprised if you're not blown away by it.
Blue Straggler - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
I tried the link late last night to see dates but it was a niggling website! None of them are very near me so I'd like to tie it in with another trip e.g. visiting family or something.

Thanks again for highlighting it.
Offwidth - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Thanks for this Gordon...just when I begin to despair of many UKC non-climbing threads you post this. My bet is less than half of the poster's on UKC will have seen this masterpiece.

PS if someone pops up to say how Hitler liked good cinematography or how the Phantom Menace pips it, or how filming a crazed psychopath loose with an axe in a deserted hotel in winter is harder, I still won't change my mind ;-)
Wonko The Sane - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Bulls Crack)
>
> I should add that the whole film is brilliant too, with an extremely intelligent and often witty script (by Robert Bolt). With a surprisingly dark side to it. Not superficial entertainment at all, it works on multiple levels. The performances are superb, and Peter O'Toole appears to have fallen straight out of some casting heaven to play that part. And behind it all, the genius of David Lean.

One of my favourite all time films. It also has my second favourite line:

[Lawrence has just extinguished a match between his thumb and forefinger. William Potter surreptitiously attempts the same]
William Potter: Ooh! It damn well 'urts!
T.E. Lawrence: Certainly it hurts.
Officer: What's the trick then?
T.E. Lawrence: The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.


(My favourite line, you won't like....... Spoon from Dog Soldiers: " I love it when a posh bird talks dirty")


All in all, great cinematography which you seldom see these days. Solid acting all round. But then.... Peter O'Tool was great in many things, Murphy's War being another favourite.
Gordon Stainforth - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Wonko The Sane:

I do like your favourite line, actually, because I too love it when apbtd :)
ads.ukclimbing.com
milestone - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
Just back from seeing it at the Bham IMAX - what a fantastic experience! To see one of the best films of my lifetime on such a massive screen, 46 years after first seeing it..................and to think there were only 20 or so others there!!
If it's still on near you, don't miss it.
Blue Straggler - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> I tried the link late last night to see dates but it was a niggling website! None of them are very near me


I found the working bit of the website. Stratford upon Avon beckons tomorrow, bit of a trek but so far I have nothing else planned, so why not...
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> As usual, I think(*) you are vastly underestimating the intelligence of the general populace.
>
I very much doubt you're right. I wouldn't have a clue - it's a niche specialism within a niche subject.
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
> [...]
>
>
> I found the working bit of the website. Stratford upon Avon beckons tomorrow, bit of a trek but so far I have nothing else planned, so why not...

What do you have planned there?



Blue Straggler - on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
> [...]
>
> What do you have planned there?

Watching Lawrence of Arabia. That should have been clear from the context.
Blue Straggler - on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:
>
>
> Plus the nonsense about how there are no women in the film. A load of nurses at the end in Aqaba, and a woman in the "Lawrence's funeral" scene (I think she even gets to SPEAK!)

I meant Damascus, not Aqaba. And no woman speaks in the film. There is one brief shot where a female face fills the majority of the frame (a young girl in Auda's massive tent) and only about 5 nurses in shot at the end (I had maybe imagined a wider shot of more trucks and nurses, or maybe it was snipped for this current restoration?)

Blue Straggler - on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Gordon thank you again for bringing this to my attention. I went to see it today.

Surprised you didn't remember to drop young Nicolas Roeg's name into the mix there.
Gordon Stainforth - on 02 Dec 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I'll have to confess I missed his name in the credits. Mind you, they read like a who's who of most of the talent in the British cinema at the time, quite a few of which I was fortunate enough to meet or even work with many years later - like Ray Lovejoy who became first assistant editor to Anne Coates during Lawrence, just as I became his first assistant during Krull (on The Shining I was promoted to joint first when Ray fell ill, because the workload was so heavy.)

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.