Restored Film

Sony Pictures Entertainment has preserved or restored over 1,500 films so far, including such classics as LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, FUNNY GIRL, EASY RIDER, and IN COLD BLOOD. Other films such as THE BIG HEAT, IN A LONELY PLACE, COVER GIRL, FIVE EASY PIECES and 1776, have also recently been restored, making them available to a whole new generation of film enthusiasts.The technology employed for restoring films has evolved over the years. As the technology improves, it is often possible to return to work previously completed and improve the final product. ON THE WATERFRONT is a good example. When first restored by Sony Pictures, in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art, in 1992, state-of-the-art laboratory processing and printing was employed. Although many problems with the picture and the audio could be addressed, such as torn perforations, or scratches on the emulsion of the negative, were replaced in acceptable fashion at the time, there were still problems that could not be resolved because necessary film materials did not exist.
A decade later, we now have the availability of certain digital technologies that allow us to achieve results not possible in a traditional photo-chemical (analog) world. With ON THE WATERFRONT, there were several places in the picture negative that were torn or scratched that the studio could not replace because of the lack of good secondary material with which to replace the damaged sections. Typically, a torn original negative would be replaced with a duplicate negative that was made prior to the damage occurring in the original.
The unfortunate trade-off would be the resulting loss of picture information, or resolution, because of the generational loss from copying of the original to a positive element to a duplicate negative. An acceptable loss, perhaps, in a traditional sense, but not really desirable.


Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint and Karl Malden starred in Columbia Pictures' Oscar®-winning film.