Dial M for Murder (1954) - What OAR?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Douglas R, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    At what aspect ratio was Hitchcock's DIAL M FOR MURDER originally projected? The Region 1 DVD is full frame 1.33:1 and every review which I have read claims that this is the original theatrical ratio, as it also says on the box. However the Region 2 & 4 DVD is 1.85:1 anamorphic and the box for that also says that it is the original theatrical ratio.

    I have both DVD versions and the 1.85:1 looks framed correctly. There is no essential information missing from the top and bottom of the frame. The film was first released in May 1954 and by then the vast majority of theaters were no longer showing films in 1.33:1. I have also seen the film projected in a cinema on a re-release at 1.85:1. So it seems to me that the Region 1 full frame version is surely incorrect?
     
  2. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    IMDB lists 3 aspect ratios for this film, and I suspected why, due to the original 3D intent for this film. They list this film at 1.17 3D anamorphic, 1.86 2D theatrical and 1.37 dual strip 3D.

    I'll bet Bob Furmanek might know, or Robert Harris could give a clue.
     
  3. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    DIAL M was photographed for 1.85:1 presentation in theaters.

    Check out this article http://www.3dfilmpf.org/info-hondo.html and specifically the link in paragraph 7 "composed for the aspect ratio of 1.85:1."
     
  4. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Cool!
     
  5. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    When I saw DIAL M FOR MURDER projected in its proper aspect ratio of 1.85:1 at the World 3-D Expo I was once again impressed by Hitchcock's compositions. It looked perfect. I suppose the sliver of top and bottom information is critical on tiny television screens, but theatrical projection on the big screen makes it clear that nothing is lost or missing at 1.85:1. If anything, balance and symmetry are restored to the film. For sheer quality control, the World 3-D Expo set a standard that the industry should take note of and emulate.
     
  6. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Thank you very much Richard. We tried our best to present all the films at Expo 2 in the correct aspect ratio. I'm glad that you appreciated our efforts. Seeing such films as Miss Sadie Thompson, Taza, Son of Cochise, Kiss Me Kate and The Glass Web in widescreen was quite a treat!

    In fact, we just confirmed that the 3 Stooges short Spooks was filmed for 1.85. We ran a print in that ratio, and it looks great.
     
  7. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Bob F - the current dvd of Dial M is full screen. Does that mean we are missing the sides of the picture. or is this film open matte and we are seeing too much of top and bottom?
     
  8. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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