Two of the most iconic British films, Zulu and The Italian Job, are to be re-mastered in high definition as part of a celebration of Sir Michael Caine's 75th birthday later this month.

Sky has teamed up with Paramount Home Entertainment to re-master both films in HD, and they will premiere on Sky Movies on March 9th and 16th respectively.

Sir Michael Caine says: "It's fantastic that Zulu and The Italian Job are being re-mastered – I love HD, it's so difficult to watch anything else once you've watched HD. Of course, it's very unforgiving, especially on beautiful young ladies, but thank God I'm old, so I don't care..."

Ian Lewis, director of Sky Movies and Sky Box Office, adds: "Watching a classic title in HD is like viewing a restored painting. These films are part of our cultural heritage, and it's vital they are made available to be seen in the best possible format.

"Sky is now pro-actively looking at other opportunities to re-master other classic titles, particularly British product, to ensure the British film archive doesn't get left behind in a high-definition world."

Hollywood studios are currently working their way through their back catalogue to re-master classic films in high-definition – a process that is likely to be accelerated now that Blu-ray has won the HD disc format war.

Sky will broadcast Zulu on Sunday, March 9 on Sky Movies HD1 at 9pm and The Italian Job on Sunday, March 16 at 8pm on Sky Movies HD1.

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