On 6.17 I noted that the 50th anniversary Ben-Hur Bluray will, of course, arrive almost 52 years after William Wyler‘s film opened on 11.18.59. In response Warner Home Video’s Ronnee Sass has forwarded the following statement from Warner Home Video exec vp Jeff Baker:
“At WB we are more than acutely aware of the age of Ben-Hur — i.e., 52 in 2011. It was our intention to release this film in Blu-ray in 2009, but the film restoration was complex, and the 8K scan was the optimal solution vs. 2K or 4K, therefore we took our time and did it right to deliver the best possible resolution for the consumer. Therefore we are celebrating the 50th anniversary in 2011, and considering that it is more than 50 years, we do not see this as being disingenuous, particularly due to the circumstances surrounding this restoration. After all, we are not advancing the clock and celebrating the 55th or 60th.”
The Ben-Hur restoration, just to be clear, was completed from an 8k scan of the original 65mm camera negative, with a 6k finish making this the highest resolution restoration ever completed by Warner Bros.