Mike Barnes 04/15/2022

Turner Classic Movies is expanding its partnership with The Film Foundation with a multiyear financial commitment to fund education and the restoration of classic movies, it was announced Friday.

The fruits of this relationship will be on full display — in 4K, no less — at next week’s TCM Classic Film Festival with an April 22 screening of a restored version of Giant (1956) at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

At 7 p.m. before the start of the film, TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz will host a conversation with Film Foundation board member Steven Spielberg, executive director Margaret Bodde and George Stevens Jr., whose father won an Oscar for directing the sweeping Texas-set family saga that starred Elizabeth TaylorRock Hudson and James Dean.

Since its launch by Martin Scorsese in 1990, The Film Foundation has restored more than 900 movies. Scorsese and fellow board member Spielberg hand-picked Giant as one of the group’s latest restoration projects, working with the Warner Bros. archives team for a year to complete the process.

“Anything that presumes to call itself ‘Giant’ better have the goods to keep such a lofty promise,” Spielberg said in a statement. “Both [novelist] Edna Ferber and George Stevens far exceeded the title to bring such an epic American story to the big screen, and I’m proud to have been a small part of the restoration team of this classic motion picture.”

The restoration was completed by Warner Bros. Post Production Creative Services: Motion Picture Imaging and Post Production Sound by sourcing both the original camera negatives and protection RGB separation master positives for the best possible image, then color corrected in high dynamic range for the latest picture display technology. The audio was sourced primarily from a 1995 protection copy of the Original Magnetic Mono soundtrack.

The restoration also will be available on HBO Max this year.

“Working with The Film Foundation allows us to preserve these important films for future generations to experience across multiple platforms,” TCM GM Pola Changnon said. “There is so much to learn from classic movies, and we are honored to host the world premiere screening of the 4K restoration of Giant.”

Added Stevens Jr.: “I was with my father during the writing of the Giant screenplay, and he measured films by how they stood the test of time. Giant has more than met that test, and he would be grateful that Steven, Marty, The Film Foundation and Warner Bros. have achieved this brilliant restoration so a new generation can see Giant on the big screen, streaming and Blu-ray.”

Hollywood Reporter

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