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Widest ever? ever ever?

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9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted July 18 2005 - 03:52 AM

Pulled out my LD of Ben Hur over the weekend which I had not watched in forever plus a day.

Taken back by the size of the screen I was getting, I looked on the box.. 2.76:1 preserved in OAR....

Wowsers... I found I really liked the field of view and the director really seem to use every bit of it often.

So any others in this ratio? Any others any wider?

Just curious.

#2 of 10 OFFLINE   TommyT


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Posted July 18 2005 - 04:17 AM

Looks like that might be the only one. I checked BH's tech specs in the IMDB & clicked on the entry for 2.76 & it was the only one listed.

Funny thing is that BH seems to have 2 other ratios: 2.20 & 2.35. Tell you what, take a look here.
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#3 of 10 OFFLINE   SteveJKo


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Posted July 18 2005 - 04:34 AM


Only two films that I'm aware of were filmed in the process named MGM Camera 65, and they were Ben-Hur and Raintree County.

Now this same process was also known as Ultra Panavision 70, and the following films were shot with it:
Mutiny On The Bounty(1962)
It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World(1963)
The Fall Of The Roman Empire(1964)
Battle Of The Bulge(1965)
The Greatest Story Ever Told(1965)

Some sources claim The Big Fishermanfrom 1959 is also anamorphic 70mm, but others say no, that it was actually Super Panavision 70 just like West Side Story and Lawrence Of Arabia.

I totally agree with your comment about the cinematography of [b]Ben-Hur
, and I wish the wide frame was used as creatively today.
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#4 of 10 OFFLINE   Holadem


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Posted July 18 2005 - 04:36 AM

Pulled out my LD of Ben Hur over the weekend which I had not watched in forever plus a day.
I did the same over the weekend with the DVD.

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#5 of 10 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted July 18 2005 - 05:47 AM

Wider than even Ben Hur (2.76:1) is the Cinerama process (THIS IS CINERAMA (1952), SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD (1956), SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE (1958)) which were 2.77:1.

But the widest scope film ever was Abel Gance's Napoleon (1927) which used 3 cameras to film and 3 projectors to display, achieving a 3.66:1 aspect ratio. This process, called "Polyvision", was only used for the battle scenes. The film reverted to 1 projector 1.33:1 for non-battle sequences.

#6 of 10 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted July 18 2005 - 07:37 AM

Thanks.. I will have to seek out this other material.

Really neat when the director actually uses the real estate.

1927 Napoleon.. Sounds like it would be a great score if ever released. I wouldn't doubt it was released LD at some point.

I will have to look at my DVD of Mad Mad Mad World. I had not remembered it seeming extra wide, but that doesn't mean it isn't as I didn't remember this one being so wide either.

Shoot every one of those on the Ultra Panavision 70 list, are titles I want to own. I actually think I have one or two of those as well.

#7 of 10 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted July 18 2005 - 10:06 AM

I'm pretty sure It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is as wide, or nearly so, as Ben-Hur. But it may not be that way on the dvd, which is cut, and if I'm recalling correctly, misframed.
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#8 of 10 OFFLINE   Paul Linfesty

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Posted July 18 2005 - 12:07 PM

2.76:1 preserved in OAR....

Not in this case. While an Ultra-Panavision print would be correctly presented at 2.76, and the LD (as well as a VHS and DVD version) is also 2.76, a UP70 source was not used for the transfer. They actually used 35mm elements and cropped the top and bottom to "re-ceate" the 2.76 OAR, so the image is incorrect.

This is supposedly being correcetd for the upcoming DVD edition, which has gone back to 65mm elements.

AFAIK, Greatest Story Ever Told is correct on the DVD, having used 65mm elements. And IAMMMMW was recently re-released to theatres in the original UP70 ratio.

#9 of 10 OFFLINE   Shawn_KE



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Posted July 18 2005 - 04:04 PM

The Good The Bad and the Ugly is also pretty damn wide.

#10 of 10 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted July 19 2005 - 01:33 AM

So much information.
Thanks everybody!

Ever notice that when you watch a ton of widescreen material in a row, when you come across 4:3 (1.33:1) it just looks funny?

Thanks again for the lesson in film aspect ratio history.