What's the No. 1 question moviegoers are asking these days? Hands down, it's "When is `Lawrence of Arabia' coming?"
And at last, an answer - Wednesday, March 15.Where? Exclusively at the Cineplex Odeon Regency Theater.
In 70mm? Absolutely. And Dolby Stereo? Of course.
Those who are not aware of what's been happening with "Lawrence" may wonder why all the interest in a 27-year-old movie.
David Lean won an Oscar for directing the ultimate desert picture - the film won seven altogether - and Peter O'Toole became an instant star. Critics agree that of Lean's later "epic" pictures, this is indeed the best.
But the current fuss is over a restoration project that has put "Lawrence" back together after years of cutting and pasting for various re-releases, TV showings and video dubs left it at a mere 187 minutes in length.
Now it has been returned to its full 222-minute length (plus intermission, of course), and it has been subtly, slightly reshaped and enhanced.
Lean and his Oscar-winning editor Anne Coates participated in the restoration, and the surviving actors (O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Alec Guinness, etc.) redubbed some of their dialogue. The result is considered by those who have seen it probably the best example of state-of-the-art film restoration ever.
And there is only one way to see this movie, on the big screen in 70mm, where its scope and expansive vision can be appreciated the way it was meant to be.
When you hear the phrase, "They don't make pictures like this anymore," this is the movie they're talking about.
- REMEMBER THAT item a few weeks ago about all the weird names of local video stores? Here's a new one:
And, as you might expect, the store caters to those who rent classics (James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Fred Astaire, etc.) and foreign-language titles ("Diva," etc.). They have a small inventory at the moment - only about 100 titles - but it's growing. (Snob Video is a separate business inside Mary Amanda's Total Care Salon.)
Snob Video. That's a great name. Maybe it will encourage other blunt but honest names for business establishments.
How about Snooty Bank, where they gladly deposit your money in an account, but only let you withdraw when they feel like it?
Or We'll-Get-To-It Auto Repairs, which promises to find that part for your car even if it takes six months.
Or Lukewarm Pizza, which explains that it was hot once.
Or Snowy Cable, the company that corrects the problem on Ch. 42 by shifting it over to Ch. 37.
Or the We-Don't-Care-What-You-Think Tax Accountants, which finds deductions for you if they aren't too time consuming, and promises to get the forms to you by April 14th or so.
I sense a trend.
- LAST WEEK I noted that movies in Salt Lake City often open in too many theaters, and I cited "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" opening a week ago on five screens while on the same day "The 'burbs" opened on six. Actually, "Bill and Ted" opened on six screens and "The 'burbs" opened on seven!
I must get that calculator fixed.
- JANE FONDA HAS her video workouts, from "Complete" to "Low Impact," and there are similar cash-in tapes from Angela Lansbury, Raquel Welch, Debbie Reynolds and even Larry "Bud" Melman (ask a David Letterman fan who he is).
But the latest is from Shirley MacLaine.
And, appropriately, it is titled "Inner Workout."
Would I lie to you?
- QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Lloyd Bridges, currently stealing scenes in "Cousins," interviewed by Knight-Ridder reporter Glenn Lovell, assessing his lengthy career:
"They just put me in these awful B-pictures, like `Two Latins from Manhattan.' I even did a Three Stooges short. Sometimes I'd be in two or three movies a week. It was tough sledding. I've probably done more pictures than any actor living, probably a couple of hundred."
- QUOTE OF THE WEEK II: George Carlin, currently in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," telling Hank Gallo, of the New York Daily News, how his desire to be a film actor has never been fulfilled:
"I have an acting bug that has been dormant for some time. I always wanted to be a movie actor like Danny Kaye. My plan was to become a radio disc jockey first and then go into nightclubs as a comedian. My theory was, if I was a good enough comedian, they'd have to let me in the movies the way they let him in."
- QUOTE OF THE WEEK III: Gregory Hines, star of "Tap," talking to Baltimore Sun reporter Stephen Hunter about the film's director, Nick Castle Jr.:
"Nick Castle is the son of a great tap dance choreographer (Castle's father worked with both Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire in the '50s at MGM), but he's a terrible tap dancer. He couldn't tap dance to save his life!"
- TOM HANKS PROVED to be a big draw last week as his latest comedy, "The 'burbs," set a record for an opening weekend at this time of year.
"The 'burbs" earned $11 million, the best opening ever for a first-quarter release, and the other films in the top five also fared very well: "Rain Man," "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," "Three Fugitives" and "The Fly II."