‘Funny Girl’ to Open the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival

12:46 PM PST 11/01/2012 by Mike Barnes

A restored version of the Barbra Streisand classic kicks off the fourth annual event in Hollywood. Rejuvenated prints of “The General,” “Giant” and “The Great Escape” also will be on display.

The 2013 edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival with open with the world premiere of a new restoration of Barbra Streisand’s 1968 musical classic Funny Girl, Turner Classic Movies announced Thursday.

TCM’s Robert Osborne will introduce the film at the festival, which takes place April 25 to 28 in Hollywood.

The fourth annual event also will feature world-premiere restorations of The General (1926), Giant (1956) and The Great Escape (1963). Other titles will be announced.

A TCM spokesperson had no talent confirmations to announce Thursday, but one can be sure Streisand will be sought to attend the Funny Girl screening, much like Liza Minnelli was on hand for last year’s TCM red-carpet premiere of a restored version of Cabaret.

Refreshed in 4K from the original camera negative by Sony Pictures Colorworks in celebration of the film’s 45th anniversary, Funny Girl was directed by William Wyler and stars Streisand in her Oscar-winning performance as Ziegfeld Follies comedienne Fanny Brice.

The musical, which collected eight Oscar nominations in all, was adapted from the popular Broadway musical that earned Streisand a Tony nomination. It features a score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, and among the songs featured are the signature Streisand hits “People” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” Omar Sharif co-stars.

The General, Buster Keaton’s silent Civil War comedy that was made for an astounding (at the time) $750,000, returns in a newly restored edition presented with a live score written and performed by the Alloy Orchestra. A screening of Harold Lloyd's Girl Shy (1924), with live music by a 16-piece orchestra conducted by Robert Israel, was a highlight of last year’s TCM fest.

For Giant, the 4K restoration from the original camera negative was completed by Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging under the direction of producer George Stevens Jr., son of the film’s director. The Texas saga stars Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean.

The rejuvenation of The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen, was handled by MGM at Deluxe Digital Media using a 4K scan of the original camera negative. That entailed hundreds of hours of digital restoration to address significant damage and fading.

Festival screenings and events take place at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres and the Egyptian Theatre. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel serves as festival headquarters.

Vanity Fair is back as a festival partner and co-presenter of the opening-night afterparty. Passes for the TCM festival go on sale to the public at 9 a.m. Pacific time on Nov. 15 here.

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