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Mannix is Coming! (All things Mannix w/spoilers)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Hank Dearborn, Sep 20, 2007.

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  1. Harry-N

    Harry-N Well-Known Member

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    Stanley Adams had a major role ("Cyrano Jones") in the rather famous STAR TREK episode, "The Trouble With Tribbles", so he was already a known quantity at the Desilu stable of shows. And since he was in that show, he posthumously appeared in archival footage in DEEP SPACE NINE's crossover into the events of that episode, "Trials And Tribblations".

    Harry
     
  2. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Well-Known Member

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    Harry,

    Gee, I had forgotten about that! According to Wikipedia, he also co-wrote, "The Mark of Gideon."

    He was one of those actors that seemed to always play the same kind of role, but one that fit the background of so many diverse kinds of situations that you never noticed that it was the same person behind that role! He would up in Star Trek, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Andy Griffith, and Mannix, in addition to some classic movies. By and large, he played a jovial character -- that is what struck me in Lilies of the Field.

    Not to put a downer on the thread (that is not my intention), but, he has one of the few non-ambiguous Hollywood premature deaths.
     
  3. Harry-N

    Harry-N Well-Known Member

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    And he was the voice of Cyrano Jones in the animated STAR TREK, "More Troubles, More Tribbles".

    Harry
     
  4. Harry-N

    Harry-N Well-Known Member

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    8.13, "A Word Called Courage". This is an episode that can be put into the column of one where the title is uttered by someone on-screen - in this case by Joe Mannix in the opening scene. It also fits into the Korean-War-buddy mold, except that the person in question wasn't a buddy, but rather a subordinate to Joe. We also get a "let's torture Joe" episode, and a Peggy-is-kidnapped scenario thrown in.

    That's not to demean the episode - I actually rather liked it. You just knew that Joe would use the ringing church bells, the sound of the sea and tunnel, and the smell of the bait shop to track his way back to the kidnap location.

    The torture segments were very much like some similar scenarios on MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE.

    A DVD note - during the first scene of Joe examining his chamber for the first time, he goes over to a water-dispensing device. It looked like it could be used as a sink and/or a makeshift toilet if necessary. As he goes over there the first time and touches the faucet, the entire white room looked like it turned yellowish - and it remained so until he went over to examine a speaker.

    I'm wondering if there was still some kind of taboo about showing a toilet on a television program that would have required someone, somewhere to have had that short scene excized, accounting for the change in the coloration of a scene that might have been restored. Just a thought...

    Harry
     
  5. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Well-Known Member

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    Harry,

    When you get vey deep into season 8, I may need to go back and re-watch the episodes. I tend to not watch those as often, because I associate them with the series coming to an end -- and, remembering that the first time around, there is a kind of sadness there, for me. Still, "A Word Called Courage" was one I was confident I would not need to have to re-watch -- I've seen that one quite a few times. In fact, it tends to act as a kind of barrier, beyond which I don't tend to watch very often -- with the possible exception of "The Tower."

    However, you pointed out something that necessitated my re-watching the episode!

    That changing color -- yes, it is surely there But, I don't think it has to do with anyone confusing the sink as a makeshift toilet. Having said that there were taboos in TV during those days, for sure. I remember it being a big deal when Archie Bunker flushed a toilet offscreen -- so that the sound wound up in the scene.

    Having watched it closely a few times now, notice how the color changes slightly in the shots right before and after the one where Joe touches the sink -- the color change is subtle, and brief -- but it is there. Mostly you see it when Joe is examining the white grate. So, it must be there on purpose -- despite that particular few seconds having some scratches, the color is not due to film degradation.

    This brings up another point. For virtually all of the seasons, some episodes will have brief moments of grainy film, surrounded by perfectly clear, beautiful images -- this seems especially pronounced in season 8, perhaps because it was never syndicated. Gee, some of the episodes on that disk have scenes that look spectacularly clear. Clearest seem to be some of the custom outdoor scenes -- same thing happens with all cameras, I guess, they need to use different film for indoor shots, however brightly they were lit. But, sometimes even the indoor shots have a lot of variance when the camera angle changes.

    In this episode, one tremendously clear scene is the one in Joe's office, where he confront Harry behind his desk -- a great scene, and I remember when I first watched it thinking that it was somehow bringing an earlier Joe back -- love that it is so clear.

    Back to the torture chamber.

    That yellowish color -- I just assumed it was a changing light indicating a prelude to the torture. They do show the lights in the ceiling shortly after that scene, even if they are not turned on yet -- but, I think we are supposed to assume they were already doing... something... to change the light to yellow. Towards that end, Joe seems to sort of recognize them up there, as if they were already doing something.

    Also notice in that scene where Joe touches the sink -- if you freeze the DVD, the white light happens a frame before MC actually get his hand in there, and, in that same scene, it looks like he really does not want to touch that sink! He, of course, knows what is going to happen -- and Mannix stunts were wonderfully realistic, even in season 8. Imagine an actor in a TV series sticking his and in here these days -- whatever they did to make those sparks and that pop. Those sparks -- they look like sparkler sparks, but they were much more rapid, and they sure looked real enough to me. I've seen it written elsewhere that Mannix stunts, perhaps not surprisingly, went bad at times -- and MC even discusses this some on the voiceover for the season 1 DVDs.

    Perhaps that is why they made the scene yellowish -- and foreshadowed the yellowish color as well as closed off that brief scene with it. The room was supposed to be bright white -- but you have to admit that those sparks would not have shown up nearly as well in a very bright room. I bet that is the reason -- to make the explosion/sparks that much more dramatic.

    This is not to diminish the lack of a toilet -- but, the key word there, especially for men, is makeshift -- making it believable enough.

    I did not go back to look at this, but I thought maybe there was some hint of a toilet for Peggy in "A Walk on the Blind Side." If so, that would be unusual -- because, while bathrooms were shown a lot, it was always just sinks and mirrors. I remember articles, back in the day, discussing how TV bathrooms tended to not show toilets.

    I screened Mission: Impossible awhile back, and don't remember the use of a chamber like that -- I do remember some episode where someone, I think it was Peter Lupus, was strapped down for pretty much the whole episode. But, it was a third world kind of setting.

    Since you are into the supporting cast, I thought you might mention Anthony Zerbe! He qualifies as a "Mannix player" due to his number of appearances over the years. If memory serves, he went directly to Harry O that same season, as a kind of mid-season replacement.

    The bells -- I think that is Pepperdine University. It's amazing how believable it is that someone would take someone to such a spot for torture -- to include the identifiable sights and sounds -- but, hey, the Zerbe character was supposed to be rich -- where else would he live!

    There was this strange quality to season 8, where it combined things -- in this case a Korean nutty buddy, Joe being tough/tortured, and Peggy being kidnapped. Heck, that was even combined with the syndicate! Not sure why they did that, but, you are right, the episode works.
     
  6. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, sort of screwed up there when I went to edit the previous post for a minor typo -- quoting myself and making a new post instead of getting back into the previous post.

    But, since I made the extra post, I'll add one thing.

    Re-visiting season 8, disk 4 made me discover some nude art in season 8! Not in "A Word Called Courage" but in an episode yet to come. Further, it is male nude art -- which has been in Mannix before, but is rarer than female nude art.

    Aficionados cam enjoy finding it -- like a game of Where's Waldo?
     
  7. Harry-N

    Harry-N Well-Known Member

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    I'll agree to disagree regarding the yellowish tint. I believe its due to that scene being removed and/or reinserted, and the film that was used to master this episode wasn't intact for some reason and had to be reconstructed. That's the way it looks to me.

    As for the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE comparison, I think it was from maybe fourth or fifth season with Leonard Nimoy. He had to get to a vault that had a sonic security device with these loudspeakers blaring at him as he traversed the corridor. It was the idea of sound being used to harm someone that made me think of that one.

    Since you mentioned "The Tower", I believe you were referring to "The Empty Tower" (8.18). Curious, I skipped ahead today to watch this one. The brief description intrigued me - I like stories about people in empty buildings for some reason, so I thought I'd jump the gun and check it out.

    Good episode. This was another that Bill Bixby directed (and he co-stars in this one). MANNIX does DIE HARD - and long before DIE HARD did it. I love that Joe is an expert in safe technology, knowing enough about them to know the difference between model numbers. I guess that kind of info comes in handy in his profession, so it's a good hobby to have - along with fishing and golf.

    A scene early on in the bar with Bill Bixby has a curious change in the looping dialog. You can clearly hear Bill Bixby's voice change its presence and pitch as he sets the date and time with Joe. His lips clearly say "Friday", but his looped dialog says "Saturday". This must have been a change necessitated by the fact that the building had to be basically empty, which it would be on a Saturday. It;s curious as to why Bixby would have said "Friday" - unless it was a mistake. Still you'd think the star and director being one and the same could have looped that line a little better.

    I never saw the ending coming, so it came as a surprise. Loved the little touch of the new coffee pot and Peggy's note.

    Harry
     
  8. Harry-N

    Harry-N Well-Known Member

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    Oh and one more thing - wasn't the war associate/wacko in "A Word Called Courage" named Harry Elliott? And Bill Bixby's name in this one, just five episodes later, is Tony Elliott? Someone like that name or something...?

    Harry
     
  9. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Well-Known Member

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    Harry,

    OK, I think I mis-read your previous post -- this one, which I failed to quote before anyway, so I'll just do it here:


    When you said excised, I assumed you meant colored darker -- like some sort of a tax on it -- in order to hide the fact that it was a sink, and possibly suggestive of more than just a sink. But, I can see now that you meant that the scene had been removed, so that its re-inclusion left it in less good shape than the surrounding scenes, thus making it yellow.

    And, I am starting to buy that argument.

    I guess that could also account for the somewhat yellowish, albeit much shorter, frames that surround it -- maybe those were removed for time? Certainly that particular scene has some other markings that indicate it is not in the best of shape -- scratches, and such -- compared to the others.

    And, let me make another correction in this post -- I was wrong in my previous post where I said the scene went yellow in order to facilitate showing the sparks. In fact, the yellowish scene happens when Joe goes to turn on the water -- and the water actually runs (so no sparks yet).

    Now, Joe has been seen in a bathroom before, although not very often. He was shaving in a hotel bathroom in season 2's "Death Run" -- but, alas, he uses an electric shaver and would not have used water.

    Is there something about running water in a bathroom-style sink that is suggestive of something? If so, maybe it was edited out for that reason -- because it does kind of make what happens later more interesting.

    But, that begs the question -- for what airing was the editing done? We had a discussion on this thread awhile back, and I know of no place season 8 of Mannix was ever shown prior to its restoration for the Australian releases, sometime around early 2011 (or perhaps late 2010). And those were intact, unedited (albeit time compressed).

    And, I am 100% certain that scene was shown in the original airings -- when I saw it, all these years later, I knew I had seen it before -- knew the entire drama about the sink.

    But, I am buying into the notion that, for some reason I cannot comprehend, it was cut, and put back. The only thing I can't come up with is -- what version -- for what purpose? The CBS syndication bible, for all these years, said that season 8 was not in the syndication package! And, no bootleg copies were around, even in other countries (once again, this discussion took place about a year ago on this thread).

    But, if that is, indeed, the case, then I must commend CBS/P for bothering to put the original scene back -- really. It confirms the notion that they didn't cut anything out of any of these episodes, and did their best to get it all in there.

    On the other hand -- gee, each an every imperfection in Mannix just gets to me!

    OK, back to torture.

    I sort of remember the Mission: Impossible episode with Leonard Nimoy -- but, I don't think it comes close to "A Word Called Courage." Sure, sound was used as torture -- but, Joe's little high-tech chamber of horrors well surpassed that. It was actually kind of a shocking episode when it first ran -- really kind of creepy to see that happening to a character you followed each week. I'm trying to think of another series that did anything like that before -- and I can't!

    And, the fact that it happened in season 8 just confirms that this series never stopped trying new things.

    Which brings us to my third correction in this one thread -- you are right, of course, the episode I referred to is titled "The Empty Tower," not, "The Tower" -- thanks for the correction!

    That is yet another innovative episode in this same year, and only a few episodes later. Maybe Die Hard did copy this episode. And sure, Mannix copied from some movies (as we previously discussed). But, then it went on to innovate quite a few things that others copied -- not to mention the entire personalized, heroic PI genre on TV.

    The opening scene with Peggy and the coffee pot -- ah, so bittersweet. I just loved seeing those two play those roles, and after seeing the evolution all those years, oh how I wanted to see more. That was a Joe and Peggy scene without Peggy even having to be in it, in the same way so many other Joe and Peggy scenes did not have Joe in them! The characters were so well defined, they could play off of each other without needing to even be in the same scene.

    No question, Bill Bixby's loop of Saturday morning for Friday morning is real easy to spot -- and one can only guess that he either screwed up his own line, or the inconsistency of the script wasn't found out until much later. But, it was clear the rest of the script required it to be Saturday in order to make sense at all.

    Perhaps no surprise, I've found other such things in the episodes. Once, Joe is referring to some other character by name -- when he actually uses the name of the person he is talking with at the time!

    At least Peggy got Joe's new license plate right in this episode! But, alas, is this the episode where she gets his car phone number wrong -- or am I mixing that up with another? There is one episode of Mannix where she does not say KG62114 -- but some other number -- one used only once (and clearly wrong). Probably the writer just put in a bunch of numbers -- and no one ever went in to fix them to be Joe's, so Peggy just says them. Heck, even she answers the car phone as KG42114 in s2's "Last Rites For Miss Emma" -- and Joe gets the right call anyway.
     
  10. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Well-Known Member

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    Harry,

    You'd think it might have something to do with Bill Bixby, since he directed both episodes!

    Alas, I searched for "Bill Bixby Elliot" -- and only "The Empty Tower" comes up.

    I have read where the names of characters were sometimes picked to match the names of the kids of behind the scenes people -- but that mostly refers to first names.

    Elliot is not the only recurring last name -- Endicott appears in both s8's "A Small Favor for an Old Friend" (Harry Endicott) and also in s4's "A Ticket to the Eclipse" (Ray Endicott). Curiously, each episode features a Korean nutty-buddy, but not each nutty-buddy is named Endicott.

    There may be others -- but, you are right, these Elliot's occur pretty close together.
     
  11. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Well-Known Member

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    Harry,

    So, last night I watched "A Word Called Courage" from beginning to end. Previously, I had just spot-checked it -- and did a poor job of it, at that. A few more things came to mind.

    First, Mannix episodes really should be viewed from beginning to end. The editing was masterful. No sooner do you have a scene in mind -- in part of your mind -- than you are already in the next scene, realizing all of the implications. And, of course, Mannix was masterful in the innocuous set-up scene -- the scene you almost overlook that later either has meaning, or enhances the meaning of something. Brilliant. And, in order for all of that to be carried off so well, the subtleties of the acting had to be there -- no telegraphing, but making you want to pay attention.

    BTW, so much of the character of Joe Mannix is revealed in just one brief moment, right after he runs the water in the sink, where he looks up at the ceiling, sees those lights and the glass with Zerbe looking down on him, and sort of just takes a step while leaning on the wall -- notice the expression, in both face and body movement. He expresses a combination of things -- those great Mannix combinations -- curiosity, resignation to the situation, some recognition for what is going on, disdain for the whole thing (I'm probably missing some) -- but not a hint of false bravado while also not revealing a hint of panic!

    Learn how to get that into your bones -- and respond that way to all sorts of thing that are parallel to that in our real lives -- and you have a lot.

    Brilliant!

    Try to put that kind of reaction in a screen direction in a script -- or even in words on the page of a book -- it's practically impossible.

    But, that is just the reason you watch Mannix -- that kind of subtle thing, that subtly affects you when you can appreciate and see its value. It is right there, in the relationship between character and viewer.

    Next, I had forgotten that the red phone us used in this episode! Not only that, but it is used in such a way so as to set-up Peggy's entering the scene later on.

    Towards that end, it occurred to me why Mannix was able to include all sorts of things in single episodes in season 8 -- combining the syndicate, nutty buddies from Korea, Peggy being kidnapped, Joe being in physical peril, and having it all work out. Notice how much stuff happens in this episode! They were masters as leveraging knowledge of the characters, those innocuous set-up scenes, and the editing of pretty much everything else. It made the story telling extremely efficient. For example, I would have thought the torture scene might have lasted a lot longer than it did -- but it left the impression that it did. So, far from this episode being only about the little torture room, it has a lot of stuff that surrounds that story -- but the centerpiece is the torture, and it leaves an impact.

    Try to imagine them doing that episode in week's time -- Mike Connors said that towards the end of Mannix they were doing complete episodes in 6.5 days of time (which were working days, of course). Go back at that episode -- and look at all of those scenes, their depth and breadth -- and location shooting is on top of all of it.

    But, they never had to do much to re-establish the relationship the viewers had with the characters -- in fact, they leveraged that, always played to their loyal audience, gave them some credit. I just loved that about the show. Words can't describe how much I expected that as a matter of course, just came to expect it and look forward to it -- and like no other show.

    Since this well into season 8, it brought back to mind what it was like to experience the end of the first run of Mannix -- and people these days will never know what that was like.

    If someone loves a show these days they can tape it, immediately re-watch it a gazillion times, and then buy the DVDs only a few months after the end of any given season! When Mannix ended, aside from late-night re-runs I was uncertain I would even be able to watch (was supposed to be asleep, still in high school -- even though I did spend one particularly sleepy year since I had a B&W TV that I kept on with the sound very low.... one year we were on "slit session" due to bulging class sizes that did not fit our high school, so I had an obscenely early start time -- and I watched those late night re-runs anyway... dunno how I graduated).

    But, beyond that, the relationship ended. Something about series TV in those days was so unique in that regard, perhaps because there were no DVDs to fall back on -- it made things more exciting, somehow -- and, of course, fans of those days would say that the relationships were more worthwhile, and I tend to agree.

    Another thing I noticed about "A Word Called Courage" -- and this continues to confound me -- the rest of the episode seems to be in very good shape, aside from those few yellow-ish frames in the torture chamber, pretty much surrounding the sink. Some of it is extremely clear. So, if that episode was, indeed, cut for some purpose -- they why isn't there more evidence of it being cut, elsewhere?

    So, if that yellow-ish scene was edited out, why -- and for what purpose (what type of syndication)? You gave your reason why -- but, at least the US viewing public was ready for water running in a sink in 1975. And, I thought of another scene that had Joe running water in a bathroom sink -- he puts water on a towel in s6's "A Puzzle for One" after being hit on the head. He is in a bathroom, but, admittedly, the door to the bathroom is open. He also uses a sink to clean blood off of his hand in s3's "One Upon A Saturday" but (without re-watching the episode) that sink isn't entirely private either (the door is open or something).

    Ah well, nothing like a good mystery in Mannix.

    I also noticed -- and this is something I remember noticing first-run -- that with Peggy kidnapped, Joe takes the time to shave, presumably shower, and change his clothes.

    OK, admittedly, he has nothing to investigate at that point -- he's been told the name of the informer -- but he still has to find Peggy, and she's just there, presumably being held in that chamber, with no discernible toilet and glass for a ceiling, since that is where we next see them together. But, this was 1975, and it could be said that one's ability to move around freely was more strongly affected by one's appearance, so there might have been a practical element to that. Still, I was always more of a fan of a scruffy-looking Joe, so was sorry to see it go away after the office scene with Harry.

    Finally, back to the sink -- the real centerpiece of this episode.

    Fast forward to where the water runs in the sink for the second time -- when Joe is cleaning off his hands and the woman helps him turn on the sink. Look at the left of the screen.

    Oops.

    You can see some 2x4, on the very left -- revealing the back of the set. That shouldn't be there -- the room should have been solid tile, four walls worth of it.

    Curiously, I bet that was never seen in the original run -- but I would have not noticed that anyway. I read another interesting thread here on aspect ratios -- because Mannix was originally shown in standard definition, and yet it looks fine on a high-def screen. It does not appear to be simply stretched out -- although some scenes appear as if they might have some of that. The tops and bottoms seem likely cut-off at times, and probably more of the sides are revealed. It may well be a combination of these things -- perhaps someone more savvy could do some comparisons and enlighten me.

    All told though, those DVDs -- now that we have them all -- are simply tremendous.

    I still watch the end of season 8 with some sadness -- combined with appreciation for it still being so good in that season -- but, in the same vein in which Mannix has the power to take me back, now all I need to do is pop in an episode from an earlier season -- and I am right back there again.

    It's all good, everything -- and the bathroom sink.
     
  12. Harry-N

    Harry-N Well-Known Member

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    Some illustrations of what's being discussed here:

    vlcsnap-2013-08-25-14h26m17s223.jpg
    Joe is about to test the faucet button. Note the white walls.

    vlcsnap-2013-08-25-14h27m50s191.jpg
    A frame or so later, Joe has depressed the button and the walls now have a yellowish appearance. This section of film is dirtier - grittier.

    vlcsnap-2013-08-25-14h28m20s236.jpg
    Joe has left the sink and is about to examine the speaker grille. The walls are still yellowish looking in this section of the film.

    vlcsnap-2013-08-25-14h28m30s78.jpg
    As Joe begins to examine the grille, the walls return to a more whitish appearance.

    vlcsnap-2013-08-25-14h24m21s33.jpg
    Joe is being aided by the woman in the operation of the sink. Note the unfinished 2x4 stud showing to the left.

    That stud (not Joe, the one made of wood :) ) would not have been visible on TVs of the '70s. There's an area that directors film that falls WITHIN the total exposed film frame known as the "safe area". That't the part of a frame that TV viewers could actually see on their TVs due to a thing called overscan. Every TV was made to exclude a small portion of the televised frame so as to fill up the screen area and not have any visible lines or other unwanted objects showing. So, often a piece of the set, or a boom mike would find its way into a frame but still be outside that "safe area". This is one of those cases.

    TVs today can now show a whole frame, and DVDs are manufactured to usually show the whole filmed frame. Many TVs today can also be set to slightly overscan in the event of some unwanted lines or borders showing up.

    MANNIX was made in the era of 4:3 television screens. That means that the width is four units wide to the height of three units. To properly view MANNIX on today's 16:9 TVs, one should set the aspect ratio so that there are black borders on either side and a 4:3 picture in the middle of the screen. I've detected no "stretching" or "squeezing" of any images in any of CBS Paramount's television series of the day. They are all correctly made to display at 4:3.

    Now, there are some people out there with plasma displays. Those have, over various years and models, had problems with image-retention - or burn-in. That is, if you display a lot of 4:3 material with black bars, then when switching to a full-width movie, you might experience those black bars still being visible on the screen, making that part of the picture darker or lighter than the middle. In those cases, there's little to do but to stretch MANNIX out in one zoom mode or the other to protect the screen. LCDs, LEDs, etc. don't have that problem and for proper viewing should be set to whatever mode give the proper 4:3 picture.

    Harry
     
  13. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Well-Known Member

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    Harry,

    I love the images -- and the stud line! :)

    You know, the difference in color is not quite as dramatic, even in your pictures, as it is on the DVDs -- not sure why, but it must have to do with my having a crappy computer.

    So, I guess I've been mis-reading the aspect ratio thread. Because, I swear they were talking about the way TV shows were translated to DVD -- and that the aspect ratio of the 35mm film did not perfectly match the 4:3 aspect ratio anyway, so some cropping was done, on the tops and bottoms -- beyond the "safe area." My final analysis was that the high-def aspect ratio was achieved by a combination of re-framing the 35mm images, plus some stretching.

    So, if the DVDs are meant to be in standard definition, then why do they come up on my TV as filling out the screen -- when I have my TV set up to project 4:3 with the black boxes (it does this correctly for SD cable channels)?

    I know I see some stretching in what I'm seeing on those DVDs, but it does not seem to be nearly as dramatic as when conventional 4:3 is stretched out to the high-def aspect ratio.

    But, let's suppose I am wrong about this -- a safe enough assumption.

    My penalty is that I am going to have to go back to re-watch the entire series again, from beginning to end, in the correct aspect ratio.

    What punishment.

    What other mistakes can I make that will result in such punishment?
     
  14. Harry-N

    Harry-N Well-Known Member

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    It's possibly a setting on your player that's causing it to stretch to fill your 16:9 screen. Check through the settings menus on your player. There's probably a default aspect ratio or a setting to tell it what to do with 4:3 material. It possibly is set to automatically stretch it to wide. All of the MANNIX DVDs should have the boxy squarish picture with bars on the sides. That way you're seeing the whole thing the way it was meant to be seen.

    Harry
     
  15. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Well-Known Member

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    Harry,I'm going to look into this -- thanks.In a way, it's good to know that they don't crop anything out of the image -- especially since those close-ups that already cut off the tops of heads could suggest that there was some top and bottom cropping!I wondered about this for awhile -- but managed to convince myself that since the masters were digitally restored, they may have done some kind of pan and scan at the same time. Still, certain things made it clear that there was at least some stretching going on.Strangely, it really does not look too bad stretched out.But, alas, you can't have everything -- the full-featured editor in this forum just disappeared again...
     
  16. Harry-N

    Harry-N Well-Known Member

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    A lot of people have unfortunately gotten used to watching their widescreen TVs with stretched-out images, It's a personal pet-peeve of mine, especially when in a hotel and I find that the TV's stretch mode can't be changed. Those 4:3 shows and movies were made to be viewed in that aspect ratio, and that's the way we should watch them.

    Harry
     
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  17. Harry-N

    Harry-N Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes descriptions can leave people confused, so I've prepared a little graphical tutorial on the subject.

    Here is the way MANNIX is supposed to look on DVD with the correct aspect ratio of 4:3. Note the black bars on the two sides, and that the vertical parts of the letters all have the same width. Joe's head is completely visible in the toaster picture in the upper right, and you can see the car's ventilator grill in the lower left:
    Title4x3.jpg

    A popular setting on TVs is called usually "Wide Zoom" or on the TV I took the pictures from, "Waterglass". This setting stretches the picture to the full width of a 16:9 screen, but stretches more on the sides than in the center. Note that the letters on the left and right are much wider than the letters in the center. And Joe's head is slightly chopped on the upper right, and the grille is gone in the lower left. The two center pictures look fairly normal (a little cropped top and bottom), and the left/right pictures are skewed horizontally making Joe look fat.
    TitleWaterglass.jpg

    A typical setting on all TVs is the full wide setting. This one stretches the image fully horizontally and equally in all parts of the picture. In this one, Joe's head is fully in the picture, his car's grille is back, but he's fat in all of the pictures. The letters are all the same width, and fatter than they should be.
    TitleWide.jpg

    Another typical setting on TVs is usually called "Zoom". The function of this one is to zoom the picture to the full width of the TV while chopping off a chunk of the picture top and bottom. All of the pictures here are the correct aspect ratio (Joe is not fat nor skinny), but there's a good bit of croppping going on. In the toaster picture, we cannot see anything above his nose.
    TitleZoom.jpg

    Those are the typical settings you'll find on most TVs. Now, there are other factors involved, mainly the settings that are internally used on your DVD/Blu-ray player. There is typically a setting to tell the player what to do with 4:3 content. On the Sony DVD player below, the choices are Normal and Full. Normal is what leaves 4:3 as 4:3. Note that the TV Type is set to 16:9, since that's the size of my screen.
    TitleDVDSettings.jpg

    I hope this is helpful to anyone who might be confused about why their TV or player does what it does. And when you throw in various cable-company/content providers' boxes into the mix, it gets even more confusing.

    Harry
     
  18. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Well-Known Member

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    Harry,

    Well, I might tend to agree with you -- but, my BD player is not cooperating. I do plan to look into this more (when I have more time) -- to see if I can force the issue with my TV remote (wherever that is).
     
  19. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Well-Known Member

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    Harry,

    Yep, this is a great post -- and I can't think of a better example of illustration than the Mannix grid!

    So, what's going to happen is that I'm going to find a way to get the 4:3 aspect ratio... then my 3 month old TV will look too small again.

    Could anyone have come up with a better example to convince me I'm not seeing Mannix the way it should be seen than the threat of Joe losing his head or getting fat?
     
  20. younger1968

    younger1968 Well-Known Member

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    I watched S1 episode last night with Grace Whitney in it. The episode was great as it was all about a package and who wanted to ge their hands on the package!!
     

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