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‘Lion’ restored in time for spring

O'Toole adds to renaissance, reformation experience

LONDON — Mayfair’s Washington Hotel and the Curzon Cinema were packed with film fans and showbizzers April 22 for the party and unspooling of Sony’s freshly restored version of triple Oscar winner “The Lion in Winter.”

The 1968 classic, starring Peter O’Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins, Timothy Dalton and Jane Merrow, launched a series of events for the U.K.-based members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which as Acad prexy Robert Rehme noted in his opening remarks, “constitutes the largest concentration of Academy after L.A. and New York.”

He also pointed out “the town has an awful lot of gold statuettes as well!” with several of those attending as proof.

Variety executive editor Steven Gaydos hosted the Q&A before the screening with a rascally O’Toole, (“I’ve been through a renaissance and a reformation, but never a restoration,”) Dalton, Merrow, producer Martin Poll and Oscar-lauded editor John Bloom.

Also attending the glittery event were the film’s d.p. Douglas Slocombe and sound man Simon Kaye; the Acad’s Bruce Davis and Sandy Lieberson; guests Ken Adam, Frank Pierson and Jeremy Thomas.

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