NEWS: Sky celebrates Sir Michael Caine's 75th birthday with classic films in high definition

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.

Technorati Tags: Blu-ray, high-definition, home cinema in a box, Sky HD

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.