Thursday, November 3, 2011

Win Tickets to Meet Hollywood Film Preservationist Robert A. Harris

By Devin Wachs, Public Relations Manager

Not unlike Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (which Robert A. Harris restored), sometimes films need to be refreshed and polished to be seen for the beauties they are. Film preservationist Robert A. Harris is both Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering to these tarnished gems, gently cajoling new color and life out of some of the twentieth century's best cinematic masterpieces. Learn about his fascinating process and hear his stories of Hollywood past and present at a special illustrated lecture and dinner on Thursday, December 1.

In addition to My Fair Lady, Robert A. Harris is responsible for restoring Lawrence of Arabia, The Godfather trilogy, Vertigo, Rear WindowSpartacus, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and more. A fascinating man (and quite the raconteur), he has numerous stories from the Hollywood trenches as a producer (The Grifters) and film preservationist.

A scene from The Godfather, before (left) and after Robert A. Harris's restoration.

Be a Winner:
Do you want to find out about where he gets the film prints that he restores? What it was like to work with Martin Scorsese and David Lean? How the change from 35mm to digital effects film preservation?

In the comments here, post one question you'd like to ask Robert A. Harris. We'll choose our favorite question. The author will receive two tickets to hear Robert A. Harris's illustrated lecture in the theater, where they'll be able to ask him in person!

Entries must be posted by Monday, November 7 at noon. We'll announce the winners next week.

Please note: When posting your comment, you will be asked to select a log-in from a list. If you do not have a Google account, etc., please select either 1) "Name/URL", which requires that you have a valid website address of your own, or 2) "Anonymous". If you select the latter, please be sure to sign your name in the post. Thanks!


  1. How does one become a film preservationist?

  2. i would imagine technology has helped preservationist. is there a time when technology is "too good" or causes a problem for preservationists? lori sloan

  3. Have you ever restored a silent film and can you speak about how it is different from restoring films with sound and color?

  4. How do you satisfy the need to preserve with the choice of hues to get what the original filmmaker intended? How much is art and how much is science?

  5. What was your favorite movie to restore?

  6. Vertigo is certainly one of the most beautiful films ever made and the use of color has meaning in the film. The “green” of Madeleine’s Jaguar is repeated elsewhere in the film and is no “ordinary green”. How does the preservationist assure that this “green” doesn’t become “ordinary” in the preservation process and adheres to Hitchcock’s original color scheme of over 50 years ago?

    Alan Webber

  7. If you had only enough money to preserve one celluloid film from the 70's, which would it be and why?

  8. Do you think that film is given a bit too much credit as far as its cultural benefits/applications? For instance, how will the restoration of a film like IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD benefit future generations? Why do film-related nonprofits exist when there are thousands of real-life problems that can be addressed with that government/donor money?

  9. I think You have great creativity on dealing any kind of subject which is really appreciated