Aspect Ratio Documentation

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Bob Furmanek, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    I love that ad, thanks Doug!
    Would it be possible to get a higher-resolution copy for the widescreen article?
     
  2. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    Sorry Bob. I don't have the original ad so can't provide anything better this time.
     
  3. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    Just a quick question and apologies if it has previously been covered. Written on the Wind has been shown on UK television a couple of times recently and the framing looks very tight. You can immediately notice this from the Universal globe. What should the AR be and does anyone know if a blu-ray is imminent?
     
  4. Bob Furmanek

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    Here you are, Keith.

    You'll note that even by September 1956, 2.55, 2.1, 1.85 and standard (1.37:1) are still suggested in the trades. They were very careful to report the correct data as supplied by the distributor.

    8befc81331617b1addf12a5052f9f887_3772_0.jpg
     
  5. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

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    Even Criterion had this down as widescreen all the way back in 2001, when they released their DVD. Albeit, it was 1.78:1 rather than the slightly wider 2:1. If a Blu-ray is coming it will most likely be from them, and since they got it right with Magnificent Obsession they'll probably take the opportunity to correct their earlier mistake.
     
  6. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    Gentlemen, thanks for your responses. I saw it in HD (on television) and it was like watching it for the first time.
     
  7. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Bob,
    I don't believe the aspect ratio of The Wild One has been discussed yet, at least not in this thread. I just watched the Sony Blu-ray (imported region-free from Europe). It is 1.33:1. Now I know the film was released in December of 1953 and was most likely cropped to widescreen in many theaters. The opening titles were slightly moved up so that they weren't exactly centered, probably to accommodate a crop with minimal head-clipping. The 1.33:1 framing looked correct in that there was no space above the actors' heads to speak of. My question is, when did principal photography occur on this film?
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    February 12th to March 17th, 1953.
     
  9. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Good. Then it is safe to say that this movie was not intended for widescreen. I suspected as much.
     
  10. Bob Furmanek

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    Variety lists February 17th as the start date and 1.37:1 is correct.
     
  11. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    I thought this BD of The Wild One looked quite nice and was framed correctly. One thing I noticed was in some of the night-for-night street scenes is that there is ghosting on the street lamps, as if there was a shutter problem with the film camera or it was threaded with too small a loop.
     
  12. EddieLarkin

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    Bob, do you have a variety clipping for Hitchcock's The Wrong Man, from 1956 also? 1.85:1, yes?
     
  13. seangood79

    seangood79 Stunt Coordinator

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  14. seangood79

    seangood79 Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob, am I reading that clipping correctly? Toward the Unknown was CinemaScope in 1.85?
     
  15. Bob Furmanek

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    No, it's 1.85. The wrong icon was used.
     
  16. EddieLarkin

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  17. EddieLarkin

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    Bob, do you have access to any documentation relating to Kubrick's films? Surprisingly, he seems to have been little discussed in this thread. I'm trying to establish definitively how each of his films should be presented.

    Killer's Kiss, despite being released in '55, is 1.37:1. This is plainly obvious from watching the Blu-ray, where even the opening credits are not widescreen safe (this release of the film already has a ton of additional information in the frame compared to the DVD, so is likely not cropped already).

    I think we can chalk this up to the time the film was actually made though. In the scene where a street performer steals Davey's scarf in Times Square, you can spot both How to Marry a Millionaire and Carol Reed's The Man Between on separate theater marquees. Both of these films were released in November '53, so I wouldn't be surprised if Kubrick was shooting these scenes around that time. Does anyone know when filming started? His first film, Fear and Desire was released in '53, but was shot 2 years earlier, so at this point in his career it wasn't unusual for his films to take a long time to reach screens.

    The 3 James B. Harris produced pictures, The Killing, Paths of Glory and Lolita are presented 1.66:1 on Blu-ray. Does any of the documentation support this? The only thing I can think of that does is that Kubrick obviously had a thing for 1.66:1 at some point in his career, as his note to projectionists showing Barry Lyndon proves beyond any doubt. But did he strive for 1.66:1 in his films as early as the 50s and 60s too? I'm thinking that MGM's belief that all UA titles were 1.66:1 (see: Night of the Hunter, The Horse Soldiers) likely has a lot more to do with it.

    Dr. Strangelove is also 1.66:1, so see above. I do seem to recall reading somewhere that Kubrick supervised an older (laserdisc?) transfer of Strangelove and advised 1.66:1. Though I don't know if this is true, or an example of him changing his mind later. Again, documentation from the trades etc would be very interesting.

    A Clockwork Orange is 1.66:1 too, but we are now only 4 years away from the 1.66:1 Barry Lyndon, so who knows. That said, 5 years later (and from then on), Kubrick chose 1.85:1 for The Shining. So for his final 3 films discussion is not necessary. Same goes for his two anamorphic pictures, Spartacus and 2001.
     
  18. Douglas Monce

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    2001 was not anamorphic, it was Super Panavision 70, which is 65mm film with spherial lenses.

    Doug
     
  19. EddieLarkin

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    Thank you for correcting me! I stupidly assumed it was Ultra Panavision.
     
  20. Bob Furmanek

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    I don't have information from Variety but here are the Boxoffice listings. I suspect he was composing for 1.85 and protecting for 1.66.

    1.66 as a presentation format was pretty much finished in the U.S. by the end of 1954. Paramount had been the primary supporter of that ratio but starting on Feb.13, 1954, they were recommending 1.85 for VistaVision. The last holdouts for 1.66 were the 20th Century Fox Panoramic Productions, Republic and RKO.

    By February 10, 1955, in an effort to "stabilize shooting methods in British studios," the Camera Technical Committee of the British Film Producers Association began recommending 1.75:1 as the optimum ratio for British productions.

    By this point, both in the UK and U.S., 1.66 was simply used as protection for either 1.75 or 1.85 productions.

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