Note that Ed Meza‘s 10.27 Variety story about the big 70mm retrospective that’ll be shown at next year’s Berlin Int’l Film Festival doesn’t actually say that each and every film will be shown in 70mm — it says only that the program will show films that were shot in 70mm. I’m not assuming David Lean‘s Lawrence of Arabia won’t be shown in 70mm (as 70mm prints of that 1962 classic do exist), but will William Wyler‘s Ben-Hur and Joseph L. Mankiewicz ‘s Cleopatra be shown in this format?

I’m not aware that 70mm prints of these films exist, and the Variety story fails to provide the specifics. A 70mm print of Ben-Hur would project an aspect ratio of 2.76 to 1. Ben-Hur hasn’t been seen in this aspect ratio since the roadshow engagements happened in 1959 and ’60. I shouldn’t talk but I don’t remember hearing from anyone that a good-condition 70mm print of Cleopatra is intact and screenable either. Am I wrong? I’m asking.

Meza adds that Franklin J. Schaffner‘s Patton, Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story, Wise’s The Sound of Music and Gene Kelly’s Hello, Dolly! will bne shown during the program. Again, it is presumed that 70mm prints of at least some of these films will be projected in Berlin, but the Variety story isn’t specific.