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PHE Press Release: Hondo (Blu-ray)


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#21 of 68 OFFLINE   jim_falconer

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Posted March 07 2012 - 05:13 AM



Originally Posted by Bob Furmanek 


By May of 1953, all the Hollywood studios had switched to widescreen cinematography. In the summer of that year, most major theaters had installed new widescreens.
HONDO was released in late November so most of the major theaters were equipped to run it in the recommended ratio of 1.85.
However, it was also protected for 1.37 so that theaters not yet converted could show it in the standard academy ratio. That's how it's been shown ever since.
Bob


That's interesting.  Seeing as the framing has always looked correct on video and DVD, I wonder if Hondo was shot like Rio Bravo.  That is, standard 4:3 aspect lens with an open frame, and then matted to 1.75:1 when shown in theaters.



#22 of 68 OFFLINE   Peter Apruzzese

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Posted March 07 2012 - 05:22 AM

That's interesting.  Seeing as the framing has always looked correct on video and DVD, I wonder if Hondo was shot like Rio Bravo.  That is, standard 4:3 aspect lens with an open frame, and then matted to 1.75:1 when shown in theaters.  

That's how nearly all non-'scope widescreen films are shot.
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#23 of 68 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted March 07 2012 - 06:15 AM

Wouldn't an aspect ratio 1.33 have higher resolution in this case?

#24 of 68 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted March 07 2012 - 06:27 AM

Wouldn't an aspect ratio 1.33 have higher resolution in this case?

Why? The film was shot and designed to be shown in 1.85. 90% of 1.85 movies were and are shot open matte - it does not mean they should be shown that way, as it is a subversion of the artist's intentions. Why this is so hard to understand, I know not. :)

#25 of 68 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted March 07 2012 - 06:33 AM

At least Paramount gets the color right. Posted Image

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Posted March 07 2012 - 07:22 AM

Wouldn't an aspect ratio 1.33 have higher resolution in this case?

On a screen with the same height, the 1.33 (1.37) will appear sharper with finer grain, because there is less magnification. As has been said, however, after the widescreen era began most spherical films were meant to be shown at 1.85.

#27 of 68 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 07 2012 - 07:24 AM

And remember: the widescreen era began months before THE ROBE premiered in September, 1953. But 1.85 did not become the standard for several years. Each studio had their own house ratio. Paramount: 1.66 MGM: 1.75 Columbia: 1.85 Universal: 1.85 and 2.1 Warner Bros: 1.66, 1.75 and 1.85 20th Century Fox: 1.66 RKO: 1.75 and 1.85 In documenting this often mis-understood period of technical change, it's important to establish when each studio converted to widescreen cinematography. By going through the trades and studio files from 1953-1955 in my 3-D research, I've been able to document these early widescreen productions as well. Many theaters around the country began installing widescreens in the summer of 1953 and that's why quite a few academy ratio titles (Shane, War of the Worlds, etc) were shown wide although not composed for that ratio. In determining which is correct, it's most important to document the dates of principal photography in relation to the studio policy. Case in point, the 3 Stooges short GOOF ON THE ROOF. Although filmed November 17-20, 1952 and meant for 1.37, it sat on the shelf until December 3, 1953 and was then shown 1.85 which is not correct.

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#28 of 68 OFFLINE   jim_falconer

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Posted March 07 2012 - 08:19 AM



Originally Posted by Bob Furmanek 

In determining which is correct, it's most important to document the dates of principal photography in relation to the studio policy. Case in point, the 3 Stooges short GOOF ON THE ROOF. Although filmed November 17-20, 1952 and meant for 1.37, it sat on the shelf until December 3, 1953 and was then shown 1.85 which is not correct.


Again, very interesting.  I believe they made this very same mistake with John Wayne's 'Jet Pilot'.  It was filmed in 1949 using 1:37, but sat on the shelf till 1957.  When finally shown in theaters, it was matted to 1.85:1, which obviously cut off the top and bottom of the image.  Unfortunately, this is also how Universal has the current release on DVD looking.  Hopefully if it ever comes out on Bluray, that mistake will be corrected.




#29 of 68 OFFLINE   RolandL

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Posted March 07 2012 - 11:12 AM

No 3-D, no sale. They spent all this time and money to restore it digitially for 3-D and release it flat. I don't care about the aspect ratio. Some of these 3D films from the 1950's look better in 1.33:1 as you can see more information in the foreground which enhances the 3-D.

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#30 of 68 OFFLINE   Mark-P

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Posted March 07 2012 - 12:02 PM

 I believe they made this very same mistake with John Wayne's 'Jet Pilot'.  It was filmed in 1949 using 1:37, but sat on the shelf till 1957.  When finally shown in theaters, it was matted to 1.85:1, which obviously cut off the top and bottom of the image.

Believe it or not the 1957 release of "Jet Pilot" was actually presented in SuperScope with an aspect ratio of 2.00:1. The DVD is a compromise between its filmed-ratio and its theatrical ratio.

#31 of 68 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted March 08 2012 - 12:04 AM



Originally Posted by Mark-P 


Believe it or not the 1957 release of "Jet Pilot" was actually presented in SuperScope with an aspect ratio of 2.00:1. The DVD is a compromise between its filmed-ratio and its theatrical ratio.



The film should be 1.37.  Add to this odd bit of history, and wide-screen modification, that the film was directed by Sternberg, whose earlier works include some of the most sumptuous and beautiful set-pieces on film.


RAH


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#32 of 68 OFFLINE   Peter Apruzzese

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Posted March 08 2012 - 01:43 AM

The film should be 1.37.  Add to this odd bit of history, and wide-screen modification, that the film was directed by Sternberg, whose earlier works include some of the most sumptuous and beautiful set-pieces on film. RAH

Do you think that the original elements survive which would allow an eventual 1.37 release?
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#33 of 68 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted March 08 2012 - 03:05 AM

I know you're not asking me, but yes, the elements survive in excellent if not near-perfect condition. Hondo has been projected for industry screenings, at the Academy and at the Director's Guild, and again more recently. It could be re-released theatrically today, either on 35mm or on digital, and it would look better than every new film playing. The flat scenes add up to a matter of seconds -- perhaps less than a minute in total -- and few people notice them. The Wayne family placed Michael's widow Gretchen Wayne in charge of Hondo. She wanted a theatrical re-release in 2007.

#34 of 68 OFFLINE   Peter Apruzzese

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Posted March 08 2012 - 04:07 AM

Actually, I was asking about Jet Pilot's elements since they came up in the discussion . I know Hondo survives as I tried - unsuccessfully - to book it in 35mm and 3-D a few years ago.
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#35 of 68 OFFLINE   jim_falconer

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Posted March 08 2012 - 06:18 AM



Originally Posted by Peter Apruzzese 

Actually, I was asking about Jet Pilot's elements since they came up in the discussion . I know Hondo survives as I tried - unsuccessfully - to book it in 35mm and 3-D a few years ago.



I can't say for sure, but Universal released a beautiful 1.37:1 version onto laserdisc back in the 1990s.  Hopefully they still have those same elements, if they ever decide to do a bluray release.



#36 of 68 OFFLINE   SAM33

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Posted March 09 2012 - 08:24 AM

Ditto for me - NO 3D, NO SALE. SAM33

#37 of 68 OFFLINE   Rick Thompson

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Posted March 09 2012 - 09:04 AM

For me, no 3-D is no problem. Never liked it. Thought it was just a gimmick that added nothing to, and in fact subtracted from, the movie experience. But, to each his own.

#38 of 68 OFFLINE   cafink

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Posted March 09 2012 - 09:13 AM

I agree that in many cases, 3D is a worthless gimmick. I haven't seen Hondo, and so I don't have any opinion on whether it in particular would benefit from a 3D presentation. But it was originally shot and released in 3D, so why isn't it being released that way on Blu-ray? Why arbitrarily leave off a part of the movie, when the Blu-ray format is perfectly capable of reproducing it? I'm more bothered by the fact that the studio doesn't see 3D as a necessary part of the Blu-ray release of a 3D film than by the actual effect of its omission.
 

 


#39 of 68 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted March 09 2012 - 09:58 AM



Originally Posted by cafink 

I agree that in many cases, 3D is a worthless gimmick. I haven't seen Hondo, and so I don't have any opinion on whether it in particular would benefit from a 3D presentation. But it was originally shot and released in 3D, so why isn't it being released that way on Blu-ray? Why arbitrarily leave off a part of the movie, when the Blu-ray format is perfectly capable of reproducing it?
I'm more bothered by the fact that the studio doesn't see 3D as a necessary part of the Blu-ray release of a 3D film than by the actual effect of its omission.


3D is a gimmick only in the hands of unimaginative or hack filmmakers (or studios who want to squeeze the last drop of revenue out of a title by applying it after the fact). When one sees something as expertly made as Hugo in 3D, the 2D version is just an adequate substitute but a different and, I think, a lesser experience.


Still, I applaud your argument about Hondo. It was made for 3D presentation and deserves to be seen that way since it can be presented that way with no compromises to the original intentions.




#40 of 68 OFFLINE   RolandL

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Posted March 09 2012 - 10:01 AM

Paramount has released Hugo, Puss in Boots, Thor, Transformers, etc. in 3D so they know how to do it. Don't know why they decided to skip 3D for Hondo.

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