Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo

List of dvd aspect ratios?


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#1 of 32 OFFLINE   Chris PC

Chris PC

    Producer



  • 3,994 posts
  • Join Date: May 12 2001

Posted September 26 2006 - 01:40 PM

Does anybody know if there is a list on the internet of dvd aspect ratios? I am mostly curious how many dvd's are out there that are between 1.78:1 and 2.35:1. There are some movies shot at 2.0:1 and 2.20:1 for instance, and other ratios. Just wondering because if there are enough like that, I am considering getting something to allow me to do custom aspect ratios in order to do a constant image height setup with a panamorph type lens.

thanx for any info,

Posted Image
Going from projector to flatscreen for a while.... :P

#2 of 32 OFFLINE   JohnRice

JohnRice

    Lead Actor



  • 8,589 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 20 2000
  • Real Name:John

Posted September 27 2006 - 05:29 AM

There is no comprehensive list, so far as I know. Such a thing would be virtually impossible to create and maintain. imdb.com does have all the info you are looking for though. Just look at the DVD details and shooting specs for any movie in the left column.

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#3 of 32 OFFLINE   Jack Theakston

Jack Theakston

    Supporting Actor



  • 854 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 03 2003

Posted September 27 2006 - 09:32 AM

IMDb's information in general can be often incorrect. Take it with a grain of salt.
-J. Theakston

#4 of 32 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

Stephen_J_H

    All Things Film Junkie



  • 4,182 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 30 2003
  • Real Name:Stephen J. Hill
  • LocationNorth of the 49th

Posted September 27 2006 - 10:06 AM

This is a good place to start for aspect ratios. It may not provide of a list of every film and every aspect ratio, but should help for maintaining constant vertical height.
http://www.widescree....spectratio.htm
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#5 of 32 OFFLINE   PaulP

PaulP

    Producer



  • 3,291 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 22 2001

Posted September 27 2006 - 10:28 AM

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Aspect_ratio

http://en.wikipedia....._aspect_ratios

#6 of 32 OFFLINE   mike kaminski

mike kaminski

    Second Unit



  • 262 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 11 2006

Posted September 27 2006 - 01:25 PM

There are standard aspect ratios but also custom aspect ratios can be made from film to film. David Fincher created his own aspect ratio system for his cameramen, for example. The main standard ones are 1.33 -- "full frame" or 4x3, developed during silent film for a square shaped frame 1.66 -- European Widescreen 1.79 -- High Definition Widescreen (16 x 9--created as a halfway between euro and american standard widescreen) 1.85 -- American Widescreen (commonly known as American Academy Standard) 2.35/2.39/2.40 -- "Scope" Widescreen. This is generally also called Anamorphic Widescreen but you can get this aspect ratio through matting as well. The scope title comes from "cinemascope" i believe, which was the first use of such a wide frame. Initially it was believed to be a 2.35 AR, but recently has been discovered to actually be 2.40, but also is sometimes referred to as 2.39 or 2.41. I'm not sure exactly what the deal is but they are all the same, regardless. There are other processes that are now outdated, for example Ben Hur used an aspect ratio that was wider than even 2.40, being roughly something like 2.70 and is equivalent to almost three tv screens wide. 2.21 is also the standard for 70mm i believe but has since been adopted as a matted ratio. As mentioned before, custom ratios are also common, such as 2:20, or a 2:01; for instance Vitorrio Storraro recently cropped Apocalypse Now for its video release to a 2:01 ratio.

#7 of 32 OFFLINE   Chris PC

Chris PC

    Producer



  • 3,994 posts
  • Join Date: May 12 2001

Posted September 27 2006 - 01:45 PM

thanx for the info,

Posted Image
Going from projector to flatscreen for a while.... :P

#8 of 32 OFFLINE   Mark Pytel

Mark Pytel

    Second Unit



  • 256 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 20 2003

Posted September 27 2006 - 01:48 PM

I am a widescreen/ aspect ratio junkie...I have done some research into aspect ratios so perhaps I can shed some light onto the various ones that exist. A list of what movies are what is way too much to ask as there are a numerous amount of dvd's out there. Anyway here it goes, I hope I have all the info correct. The one original aspect ratio is 1:33:1. This is the academy aspect ratio. It is the standard frame size for 35 milimeter film. Even widescreen films are shot on the full 1:33: frame but they are either matted later, or shot with a special widescreen lens that compresses the image. This is known as an anamorphic lens, which makes what is today known as the scope aspect ratio 2:35:1. The 1:33:1 ratio is also known as 4x3 as it is the ratio of a standard TV. This ratio was used for motion picture theater screenings from the beginning all the way up to the early 1950's. Most films of today are projected in the widescreen format however some movies are still shot and projected in full frame. 1:85:1 This is the American theatrical standard projection ratio also known as the "flat" ratio. This is the ratio where the film is usally filmed with the full academy frame, and then it is matted off during projection. The movie is filmed with this aspect ratio in mind so if the film was shown full frame, one would most likely have off compositions or even worse visable crew or equipment. This ratio was developed in the '50's as a way to compete with TV broadcasting and other booming widescreen formats. It was also known as Vista Vision in the 50's with one of the first Paramount titles being White Christmas. The ratio was actually varied over the years with it being somewhere inbetween 1:75:1 all the way to 1:90:1 which was the way that many VistaVision films were projected. This method was cheaper and easier to use as the film was still shot full frame then changed later. There was no need for large housings or expensive new lenses. 1:66:1 This is the European theatrical standard aspect ratio. It is not as wide as the American aspect ratio. I once knew the story about this ratio but alas it is all but forgotten. 2:35:1 As mentioned above, this is known as the scope aspect ratio. It is filmed using a special anamorphic lens. This format came about in the late 50's. The format was originally slightly wider with a ratio of 2:55:1 but it was narrowed around 1956/1957 when part of the frame was used to place an audio track. Any scope film from 1952-1956 should the dvd shown at 2:55:1 which is its proper ratio. Many different companies had their own scope lenses but it was bouch and lomb who came up with the winner in 1952. They gave the lens to fox who labeled the process cinemascope with their first title being The Robe. It was shot simultaneously in both the full frame format and cinemascope just incase the format failed or if not enough theaters could project it. 1:78:1 This is the 16:9 Widescreen TV ratio. Most modern TV shows are filmed in this format, as are films shot in HD. Many flat dvd's are slightly opened up so that they are 1:78:1 and therefore fill the full tv frame of a widescreen TV. This rarely hurts the composition as with TV overscan the minimal percent lost would be lost anyway. And know for the obscure/ lesser used formats/ratios 2:55:1 See above description of 2:35:1 2:20 This is the format for 65mm film. It is also known as Todd AO as that was the name of the process. Many of the big musicals of the day were filmed using this format...as were the huge spectacles and epics of the day. Some examples are Spartacus and Oaklahoma. Interestingly enough the Todd AO version of Oaklahoma was filmed with 30FPS wheras all other films were filmed with 24FPS. 2:75:1 2:76:1 These are the two ultrawide formats known as UltraPanavision. They were filmed with monsterously sized cameras and were very expensive. Very few films were made in this superwide format. It was used in the '60's. All of them were either roadshow pictures, epics or spectacles. Some examples would be Battle of the Bulge, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and Ben-Hur 1:20:1 This format was used for sound movies from 1927-1933. It was slightly narrower than a normal aspect ratio due to the fact that the soundtrack was placed right on the right side of the film frame. Very few dvd companies are releasing these films in their proper aspect ratio however fox is one of the few companies that is doing so. Some examples are Soup to Nuts and In Old Arizona. 1:17:1 This is the German equivalent to the early American sound film format. Once again the image is narrowed due to the soundtrack actually being on the frame. Examples would be M and Dr. Mabuse. Criterion has released both these films properly on dvd. 2:10:1 This was an early widescreen format called Grandeur developed in the late 20's early 30's. It was a very rarely used format and it did not suceed. The Big Trail (1930) is an example of that type of format. 2:00:1 This is a projection style that Vittorio Storaro likes to use on the dvd's of films that he shot. Some examples would be Apocalypse Now, and Exorcist the Beginning. It is also a framing style that was used by Hammer films as some of their dvd's have this unusual framing ratio. It was also used by another competing Widescreen format of the 30's. The one film that I know of shot in that ratio would the The Bat Whispers of 1930. That is all that I can think of off the top of my head. If anyone has any corrections or additions. Please let me know.

#9 of 32 OFFLINE   george kaplan

george kaplan

    Executive Producer



  • 13,064 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 14 2001

Posted September 27 2006 - 10:32 PM

I have this capability, and while it's not as useful as it used to be (it's most useful for widescreen non-anamorphic discs, of which thankfully there are fewer and fewer), the ability to delete overscan is a great benefit on all titles.
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#10 of 32 OFFLINE   Roger_R

Roger_R

    Second Unit



  • 372 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 06 2003

Posted September 28 2006 - 01:04 AM



#11 of 32 OFFLINE   Jack Theakston

Jack Theakston

    Supporting Actor



  • 854 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 03 2003

Posted September 28 2006 - 01:20 AM

Actually, all scope films ARE shot 2.35. The extra .04-.05 is a product of the aperture plate being slightly thicker in order to mask splices on the framelines. Previously, that information was being projected full height. It is so miniscule that most overlook it. This revision was actually made in the '50s, not the '70s.
-J. Theakston

#12 of 32 OFFLINE   David Allum

David Allum

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 79 posts
  • Join Date: May 28 2000

Posted September 28 2006 - 03:16 AM

The downloadable lists at http://www.hometheat...com/dvdlist.htm list the aspect ratios.

#13 of 32 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

Robert Harris

    Archivist



  • 7,880 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 08 1999
  • Real Name:Robert Harris

Posted September 28 2006 - 05:07 AM

The 2.21:1 ratio of 65mm spherical is matted to cover mag stripes. DVDs based upon recent transfers can be slightly wider, as My Fair Lady, which exposes the image usually hidden beneach mag. Super and Ultra Panavision, used the same cameras with different optics. Camera 65 is equal to UltraPan, with an aspect ratio of 2.76:1. RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#14 of 32 OFFLINE   Bill Burns

Bill Burns

    Supporting Actor



  • 747 posts
  • Join Date: May 12 2003

Posted September 28 2006 - 07:35 AM

We might be a little off track for Chris' initial query, which was about DVDs alone, but, from the above comments, it should be emphasized (Mark covers some of this in his post) that CinemaScope was originally designed as a true anamorphic full aperture system (full aperture is both the silent and Super35 standard at 1.33:1, a larger aperture than Academy's 1.37:1), with a soundtrack to be issued separately from the film itself. This was changed before the first feature, The Robe, was released (update: I thought it was, but see further posts below), and with either an optical or a magnetic track (but not both), what would have been a 2.66:1 ratio was reduced to 2.55:1*. It remained 2.55:1, I believe, until sometime in 1956, when the projection aperture was reduced to 2.39:1 (while aperture adjustments were made for numbers of reasons, including the splice line troubles Jack mentions, I think The Widescreen Museum identifies the widespread adoption of magnetic-optical combo tracks as the reason for the width reduction ... but if anyone would like to confirm that, I haven't read through the site recently). Was it ever truly 2.35:1? Even James Cameron calls it 2.35:1 in his commentary on the two-disc Aliens, but by the time he was shooting Aliens in spherical, anamorphic prints for contemporary films would have been 2.39:1 (I think it's just a matter of casual, rather than precise, reference: you'll see many modern productions cited on DVD cases as 2.35:1 and many others as 2.40:1, and they're all anamorphic Panavision made in recent years, and thus would have been projected through the same standardized aperture, at least in American theatres: the aperture numbers crunch out to 2.39:1, which, if you wish to round off, must be cited as 2.4:1 to be mathematically valid, not 2.35:1 ... but perhaps, as Jack suggests above, there was some brief time when CinemaScope, having adjusted their projection aperture down from its original frame of 2.55:1, went to 2.35:1 before the final 2.39:1 was standardized?). My only detailed reference for this information (all information above related to CinemaScope) is The Widescreen Museum, linked earlier by others, where actual camera and projection apertures are given for various camera systems. I crunched the aperture numbers provided on that site years ago (rather than going by the ratio citations alone) and, I think, came up with 2.39:1 for CinemaScope after its first few years at 2.55:1, and onward into modern Panavision, but that's strictly my crusty memory speaking, not fresh math or recent reference. Further revisions, if any, to the aperture didn't seem to alter the ratio. If anyone would like to re-evaluate those numbers, I'd be interested in seeing the results -- perhaps there have been updates, perhaps my memory is crustier than I'd like to confess, or there may be other available resources to consider of which I'm unaware (goodness knows, there are citations aplenty, in books, on laserdiscs and DVDs, in documentaries ... but the actual aperture height and width measurements, with the double-width manipulation of anamorphic photography taken into account, are the way to get at a fresh, and hopefully reliable, number). * Perhaps back on track for Chris, a couple of beautiful 2.55:1 transfers on DVD are WB's reissue of Brigadoon (I never saw the original M-G-M DVD, but WB's transfer is a beautiful one, "a revelation," as they say, after years of watching the laserdisc) and Fox's Daddy Long-Legs (the Fred Astaire film of that title). Original elements have a worn history for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, per reports, but the CinemaScope version of that picture is correctly presented at about 2.55:1 on DVD as well. Other pictures that should be 2.55:1, but the DVDs of which I haven't seen, include It's Always Fair Weather, Fox's Soldier of Fortune and The Tall Men, available in their three movie Clark Gable Collection, Demetrius and the Gladiators, Three Coins in the Fountain, the CinemaScope version of Oklahoma! on Fox's two-disc DVD, and then Love is a Many-Splendored Thing and, of course, The Robe, both of which I watched years ago on DVD but can't now recall the transfers, and others I'm sure I'm forgetting just now. ----- P.S. Exact measurements for DVD ratios are often given, pixel for pixel, by those whose players can measure such things, a few notches afield of the specification for the film's projection aperture -- perhaps 2.51:1 instead of 2.55:1, minute differences one can excuse knowing that they often see a slight margin of projected image murkily hitting the first fold of the curtains (hopefully only a slight margin -- I trust some of your theatrical experiences have not been as poor as mine!). I believe Robert Harris has given the usual margin of error for theatrical projection as something like 5%, but of course he can correct that if I've misremembered his figure. I do not believe that this should be considered an excuse to disregard a respect for full and uncompromised projection apertures, but most of our set top DVD players clip pixels (mine clips up to about 2 1/2% on each side!), and typical televisions, of course, have some overscan -- one mustn't worry too much about a hairline of difference, though naturally all such troubles compound (a slight bit of missing image is compounded by either pixel clipping or overscan, whichever is present in one's home theatre or, if both are present, whichever is greater ...). Robert Harris has, elsewhere, cautioned against too great a faith in aspect ratio listings, as they don't indicate whether an image is itself that which was represented on the original release print (you can zoom into an image, you can reposition an image within the negative camera aperture, etc., all without changing ratio). Allow me to offer my view: if the aspect ratio listing is itself correct (correctly cited, and accurately represents the transfer on the disc), you know you're on the right track -- at least the box copy is right, suggesting that an effort has been made to respect the theatrical presentation aperture of the film. If the ratio listing is itself incorrect (see the currently active thread for Universal's Classic SciFi Ultimate Collection, a collection I happily bought, but with presentation format caveats), you know something's most likely afowl. A correct ratio suggests you have a fighting chance for a correctly framed transfer -- an incorrect ratio tells you that either the box copy is careless (that happens, but not so often that I don't typically take the box at its word) or that the transfer has been reformatted (in further examples, Apocalypse Now, mentioned by others earlier on this thread, or Roger Donaldson's The Recruit and Nicholas Meyer's Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: I've seen none of these on DVD, but take it from interviews and reviews that they've all been reformatted from their theatrical presentation ... I can confirm that The Recruit was 2.39:1 in theatres, as I saw it when it was released, but the DVD lists a new ratio for the home, around 1.78:1**; both The Recruit and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country are Super35 productions, and thus expose a large 1.33:1 negative aperture before a wider frame from within that image is chosen for theatrical printing and then, later, home video). Too much information? Yes! I think so. It's a detailed and convoluted field, particularly when one looks at home video, rather than strict negative and projection aperture sizes. This may give an idea why the matter is not easily consolidated into list form -- the appendixes of caveats and important additional notes might fill up a full page for some individual listings! ** The Recruit's DVD case states "Director's Original 1.77:1 Aspect Ratio Shows More Of The Film Than Was Presented In Theatres." This refers to its Super35 origins, as indicated above. The film was shown in theatres at 2.39:1, a frame I liked very much. I haven't seen the DVD.
“That line was screwy.”

- Outtake
Warner Bros.' Breakdowns of 1938

#15 of 32 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

Robert Harris

    Archivist



  • 7,880 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 08 1999
  • Real Name:Robert Harris

Posted September 28 2006 - 09:21 AM

The early scope productions, as well as some later, inclusive of Bridge on the River Kwai were shot 2.66, or full aperture anamorphic. This includes The Robe, which I saw projected in 2.66 not long ago in double system with the original stereo tracks. Quite an experience. RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#16 of 32 OFFLINE   john a hunter

john a hunter

    Supporting Actor



  • 669 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 11 2005

Posted September 28 2006 - 10:52 AM

Mr Harris,I, like many, I'm sure, are envious indeed of your recent viewing of "The Robe". I don't want to wander too far from the subject of this thread , but I have raised under the "Kismet 1955" thread,the question relating to the use of surround (of course, then called "audience participation"tracks) in that period. I believe that most DVD transfers of early Scopes don't reflect how they were actually used in the 50's. How did those original Robe tracks sound and what use was made of the 4th surround track?

#17 of 32 OFFLINE   Bill Burns

Bill Burns

    Supporting Actor



  • 747 posts
  • Join Date: May 12 2003

Posted September 28 2006 - 11:47 AM

I can only imagine. I'd love to see it that way, as John says above. Perhaps Fox will revisit original negative elements for a Blu-Ray release at full (original intent?) projection aperture. I hope they consider it. Were these early CinemaScope productions historically engaged at any theatres in prints without composited soundtracks? (Double system: image and sound presented from separate sources) Or is their theatrical presentation in prints absent soundtracks (the magnetic tracks presented on separate film) a specialty engagement, then and now? There's a notation on the IMDb, for instance, that Carousel* premiered in double system, but they cite it as a 2.55:1 35mm reduction (from CinemaScope 55) and six track sound. This is an old question here at HTF, asked by others, but I'd really like to know which of the films with a full negative aperture of 2.66:1 were blocked exclusively for 2.55:1 composite print presentations (picture + sound), and which gave consideration to CinemaScope's at least conceptual specification of separating picture and sound for presentation. The answers there will, of course, speak to the value of advocating 2.66:1 home video presentations. I love early CinemaScope on DVD, I think the wide field of view is gorgeous even on a small home theatre screen, "anamorphic mumps" from its first lenses rarely more than a small downside, but the theatrical expectations of the cinematographer and director would predict what will look best as one returns to original elements. Now what can we do about advocating new roadshow engagements of these pictures? On another thread there's a gentleman who has written of the way the uncertain quality of modern films have driven him from movie theatres and made of him an enduring advocate for the Turner Classic Movies channel (TCM) at home. I still enjoy and frequent the local cineplexes, but I do know well the frustration of which he speaks! Much of the most rewarding theatre-going of my life has been as an audience for presentations of classic films projected off of 35mm (Giant, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz) and 70mm (particularly Vertigo in your restoration with Mr. Katz, and Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet). I've never seen a 2.55:1 picture theatrically, much less in double system at 2.66:1. CinemaScope deserves its second wind. * That's an upcoming special edition DVD from Fox I'm mighty eager to see -- it's one of my favorite pictures.
“That line was screwy.”

- Outtake
Warner Bros.' Breakdowns of 1938

#18 of 32 OFFLINE   Jack Theakston

Jack Theakston

    Supporting Actor



  • 854 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 03 2003

Posted September 28 2006 - 01:33 PM

The 2.66 productions all (by nature) were double system sound with the sound on an interlocked magnetic fullcoat 35mm. Most theaters were already set up for this from when they played 3-D films, many of which introduced stereo sound to the general public. In fact, it's safe to say that HOUSE OF WAX was the first time that many people in the US heard stereophonic sound in a theater.
-J. Theakston

#19 of 32 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

Robert Harris

    Archivist



  • 7,880 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 08 1999
  • Real Name:Robert Harris

Posted September 28 2006 - 02:08 PM

I honestly don't recall track four in Robe. Whether it was used as an effects track or not can certainly be ascertained. Most were triggered by a 12k tone, which switched the rears off and on. Although the trigger should be removed, in many mags, it has bled through to the adjacent track, and can still be heard on DVDs. 2.66 was certainly out there in the major markets. RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#20 of 32 OFFLINE   Bill Burns

Bill Burns

    Supporting Actor



  • 747 posts
  • Join Date: May 12 2003

Posted September 28 2006 - 05:51 PM


Thank you, gentlemen. This is very interesting.

I've bitten the bullet and looked through those Widescreen Museum listings again (a site that I greatly respect for its efforts at thoroughness -- whether or not anything is in error, I've enjoyed and valued the site in years past, and find it now no less engaging, overflowing with fascinating and worthy information, posters, promotional items, pictures of camera systems themselves and their lenses, etc.: an excellent site, and one I believe Robert Harris has recommended in the past). At this link, the author of that site states that composite CinemaScope prints were "perfected" before the release of The Robe, which I understand to be the first CinemaScope feature:

http://www.widescree...een/wingcs1.htm

The key statement there is that the CinemaScope system "was altered to include the sound on the picture film," again before the release of The Robe. On the third page, he explains that this process reduces the necessary ratio from 2.66:1 to 2.55:1:

http://www.widescree...een/wingcs3.htm

Is that in error (perhaps I'm reading a little too much into it -- altered systems and accomodated prints doesn't necessarily preclude some double system presentations)? The Robe and subsequent 2.66:1 negative aperture productions did go out unaltered to at least some theatres? I'm wondering if Jack is right, and all 2.66:1 negative aperture productions played that way (is that what you were saying, Jack?), or if perhaps premieres and big city first run houses were the primary forum for the double system presentations, with second and third run houses taking advantage of composite prints and the reduced ratio? Is everyone right, have I missed the common bridge between what everyone is saying (highly probable), or is there error in here somewhere?

Checking the aperture listings on that site, I only find the later projection standard, no height and width measurements for early CinemaScope. Have I overlooked them somewhere, or need I a print reference to find those? Most likely, most likely.

The negative aperture for CinemaScope 55, however (the favorite I mentioned earlier, Carousel, and also The King and I) crunches out to a negative ratio of only 2.54:1, though of course a reduction to 35mm could, presumably, reframe that to whatever aperture was indicated for 35mm CinemaScope at the time (I've had to figure that by hand, having no calculator at the ready, so if my math is off ... I never said it, I swear):

http://www.widescree....scopespecs.htm

I think the "standardized" CinemaScope specification actually works out to 2.34:1, which is identified as the projector specification (projection aperture). That might be true for CinemaScope after the adoption of magnetic-optical combination tracks, but what then of crediting it to later Panavision, as well? I think this is working toward that 1970 change mentioned in an earlier post.

One last link. In this ratio guide, which I think may be new since my last visit to that reference site several years ago, the site author (curator Martin Hart?) again indicates that by the time The Robe premiered, 2.55:1 was the accepted release ratio, despite initial filming in the larger negative aperture at 2.66:1:

http://www.widescree....ascope_oar.htm.

I haven't his reference volumes in my library, so I can't readily examine the degree to which this information is supported within them, including aperture listings.

That site's comments (and comments in the penultimate link above) do support Jack's earlier post concerning early 2.35:1, but places the change at 1970 (this is in keeping with the earlier Wikipedia quote). What to make of that? I can't say, but I'd like to get to the bottom of all of this. Prior to this thread, I was confident that 2.39:1 dated to the 50's, as Jack has said. Apart from his comments, I haven't any idea where I've read that, however. Why does the year 1959 keep coming to mind? Was there a significant change to CinemaScope in that year, perhaps the aperture reduction Jack has mentioned (and are these references to 1970 wrong, in that case? Was a change made to the SMPTE standard in that year, but the actual 2.39:1 ratio predates it?). I'm not at all sure (hey, at least we all seem to agree that it's right at 2.39:1 today!).

Barring further information, with both of you gentlemen in agreement ... well, there remains a puzzle. Double system presentations are obviously supported in some revivals, per Robert's experiences, and that weights the matter toward double system presentations during release, as well, but studios continue to support 2.55:1 as the preferred early CinemaScope ratio, and then there's the above-cited information to consider and address.

One last question to all reading: has anyone found a 2.66:1 DVD transfer? I've never seen one cited, but perhaps I've overlooked one.

Well ... as I began, very interesting. If either Jack or Robert can offer further illumination on this matter, it would be greatly appreciated. I always seek to advocate correct aperture transfers for home video, and if features shot in CinemaScope (a process I very much admire and enjoy) were routinely released in double system presentations through at least '57 (The Bridge on the River Kwai)*, I'll have to re-evaluate the accuracy of all 2.55:1 home video transfers (and plug 2.66:1 in future comments). Have the studios addressed the matter themselves? Have they contextualized 2.66:1 presentations such that their 2.55:1 transfers can be most accurately understood? I want to give them the benefit of the doubt (their DVDs of these pictures look so durn good), and will gladly do so, but hard historical fact is best of all. Warner is supporting 2.55:1 on these early releases, which again include such films as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Brigadoon, and it appears Fox continues to as well. Were Columbia's Picnic and, for that matter, The Bridge on the River Kwai, 2.55:1, or were they wider and I failed to notice it when I last watched those discs? And here I thought we'd made such progress, avoiding reduced aperture 2.39:1 presentations of these early films on home video! Thanks once again.

* Update: I see upon careful reading that Robert Harris says Kwai was shot at 2.66:1, which would be like The Robe before it, but doesn't broach presentation -- I think his answer to a question I pose a few posts down indicates it was shown at 2.35:1, but perhaps I'm wrong. Whatever its presentation ratio with sound on film, I may be over-reaching to then assume that it has ever been presented in a double system fashion. If it hasn't, I apologize for the error.
“That line was screwy.”

- Outtake
Warner Bros.' Breakdowns of 1938




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users