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Big screen outing for 1954 classic

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Film buffs across the UK will next week be able to enjoy a big-screen outing for a digitally restored version of classic 1954 movie The Dam Busters.

According to the Telegraph, technicians spent over two months down at Pinewood Film Studios "cleaning and enhancing" the original neg, using specialist kit to "correct flaws, reduce grain and scratches and achieve new high-definition pictures".

The two-hour result will screen at 136 cinemas across the UK on Tuesday 4 September as part of the UK Film Council's Digital Screen Network, funded to the tune of £12m by the National Lottery.

John Leslie Munro, 88, the last surviving pilot of the original 617 Squadron, said yesterday: "You find young people today who have never heard of the Dambusters. I think that the younger generation really need to know what went on during the War. I found that the original film was well-portrayed. Now it will reach a completely new audience."

In case you're wondering, the restored Dam Busters will remain "true to the original", according to a spokesman for Studio-Canal, one of the remastering companies. He said: "The contents of the original 1954 film have not been changed. The re-release is taken from the original print of the film, which includes the name of Wing Commander Gibson's Labrador dog, who was called 'Nigger'."

Regular readers will recall that Peter Jackson last year announced he would remake the film, and promised his version would be "as authentic as possible and as close to the spirit of the original as possible". This assertion provoked a certain amount of speculation as to how he would deal with the delicate matter of Guy Gibson's mutt. ®

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