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Miramax to rerelease a restored ’61 ‘El Cid’

Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren — together again on the big screen.

Miramax Films and director Martin Scorsese announced yesterday that they plan to team on the theatrical rerelease of director Anthony Mann’s “El Cid.”

In addition, Miramax announced acquisition of all rights in English-speaking territories to Chen Kaige’s “Farewell to My Concubine.” The New York-based distrib plans a fall release.

First released in 1961, “El Cid” stars Heston as 11th century knight Rodrigo Diaz, while Loren plays his wife.

Originally distributed by Allied Artists, “El Cid” was one of several independent epics from producer Samuel Bronston.

Miramax will pay for all prints and advertising in the U.S. The movie will be presented by Martin Scorsese, who has called “El Cid” one of his favorite movies.

Miramax acquired the negative from Paris-based Le Film 26, which is owned by distributor Jean-Paul DeVidas. The film and soundtrack were restored by DeVidas, who released the movie in France last year.

Miramax plans to add 16 minutes of restored footage. The original runs 180 minutes.

The deal for “El Cid” was negotiated by Miramax Intl. senior veepee David Linde, while “Farewell to My Concubine” was completed by Miramax Intl. president Ian Jessel.

In sequestering the rights to “Concubine,” Miramax negotiated with Shu Kei on behalf of Tomson Films. It is widely speculated that “Concubine,” which covers 50 years in the history of the Peking opera, will be entered into competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

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