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Aspect Ratio Documentation


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#2061 of 5367 John Hodson

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Posted March 24 2013 - 12:46 AM

What perturbs me is that reframing Shane on a shot by shot basis means that what we're going to get on BD is a version that we've never seen and that neither the director, nor cinematographer intended to be seen.

 

What we should be getting is the film framed as Loyal Griggs shot it, and also the film as released, the one that won an Oscar for cinematography and which paved the way for the widescreen revolution. In an ideal world...


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#2062 of 5367 Robert Crawford

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Posted March 25 2013 - 02:35 AM

I have moved many of the "Shane" posts to the "Shane" thread linked below so that Warner/Paramount can see how upset some of us are regarding this upcoming BD release. 

 

 

http://www.hometheat...blu-ray-in-166/


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#2063 of 5367 HDvision

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Posted March 25 2013 - 03:04 AM

Good idea Robert :)



#2064 of 5367 Keith Cobby

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Posted March 28 2013 - 09:22 AM

I watched the Warner Archive release of While the City Sleeps today, one of my favourite Fritz Lang films, and the presentation was widescreen (1.78:1 I think). I also have the UK release which is 1.33:1 which looks much better. The Warner print looks very 'tight' in some scenes. The region 2 release has some good special features (galleries, press book etc) and I recommend it. This is one I would like on Blu-ray but I am not very optimistic.



#2065 of 5367 Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 28 2013 - 09:29 AM

This was shot in June/July 1955 and was certainly composed for widescreen. I just watched a clip on the TCM site and there's no question as to the intended widescreen composition.


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#2066 of 5367 Keith Cobby

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Posted March 28 2013 - 10:35 AM

Bob, thanks for your comments. When I have seen it on television in the UK it has been shown at 1.33:1. Presumably it could have been shown theatrically in either aspect.



#2067 of 5367 Moe Dickstein

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Posted March 28 2013 - 11:08 AM

By mid-55 just about every theater would have been at least 1.66 widescreen if not full 1.85
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#2068 of 5367 Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 28 2013 - 11:08 AM

Perhaps it was shown in different ratios, but Lang's composition is for widescreen.

 

Camera movement in the opening shot of John Drew Barrymore in the apartment hallway shows great care to keep his head at the top of the frame in widescreen. http://www.tcm.com/m...ty-Tonight.html


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#2069 of 5367 Keith Cobby

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Posted March 28 2013 - 11:24 AM

This would have been in the dying days of RKO and I guess not all of the films they distributed around this time would have SuperScope in the titles.

 

As you say much care has been taken with framing but I prefer the 1.33:1 on balance, just a personal preference because until I watched the Warner Archive DVD this is how I had always seen the film. Thanks again.



#2070 of 5367 Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 28 2013 - 12:11 PM

You're very welcome, Keith.

 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Superscope conversion was announced on April 12, 1956 and was only applied to foreign distribution of the film.

 

Here's a poster from Belgium: 

 

While-the-City-Sleeps-Super.gif


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#2071 of 5367 Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 28 2013 - 02:07 PM

Production began on June 3, 1955 at California Studios under the title "News is Made at Night."

 

It was originally produced for United Artists distribution but was sold to RKO on November 18, 1955.

 

Bert.JPG


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#2072 of 5367 Robert Harris

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Posted March 28 2013 - 03:43 PM

What perturbs me is that reframing Shane on a shot by shot basis means that what we're going to get on BD is a version that we've never seen and that neither the director, nor cinematographer intended to be seen.
 
What we should be getting is the film framed as Loyal Griggs shot it, and also the film as released, the one that won an Oscar for cinematography and which paved the way for the widescreen revolution. In an ideal world...


One more question is the aspect ratio seen by Academy members in 1953. It may well have been 1.66 C.

RAH

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#2073 of 5367 Charles Smith

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Posted March 28 2013 - 03:49 PM

Archers missing.  Very unsettling..



#2074 of 5367 John Hodson

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Posted March 28 2013 - 04:07 PM

One more question is the aspect ratio seen by Academy members in 1953. It may well have been 1.66 C.

RAH

 

That's precisely what I'm alluding to.


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#2075 of 5367 Yorkshire

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Posted March 29 2013 - 02:12 AM

Perhaps it was shown in different ratios, but Lang's composition is for widescreen.

 

Camera movement in the opening shot of John Drew Barrymore in the apartment hallway shows great care to keep his head at the top of the frame in widescreen. http://www.tcm.com/m...ty-Tonight.html

 

Any yet check out the top of the two doors 50 seconds in - very, very typical Lang framing of a frame within a frame within a frame, which is completely lost once cropped.

 

Also, the establishing shot 5 seconds in - crop it centrally you lose half the car, which is very carefully kept fully in frame at the bottom, and half the windows and doors kept carefully in frame at the top.

 

Other shots, I agree, have lots of head room.

 

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Edited by Yorkshire, March 29 2013 - 02:16 AM.

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#2076 of 5367 HDvision

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Posted March 29 2013 - 02:29 AM

The shots you mention are probably zoomboxed? I would need to check on both DVD versions.


Edited by HDvision, March 30 2013 - 01:31 AM.


#2077 of 5367 JohnWeller

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Posted March 29 2013 - 06:06 AM

Was Ed Wood's Jail Bait a widescreen film - released '54, shot mid to late 1953.



#2078 of 5367 Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 29 2013 - 02:23 PM

JAIL BAIT was shot in July 1953 but is 1.37. Wood's first widescreen film is BRIDE OF THE MONSTER which began filming late October, 1954.

 

I’ve just finished doing some research in Variety and have some interesting notes to share.

 

UPDATE: After posting the information here, I've decided to write an article that will be expanded with images and posted on our website.

 

I'll let you know when it's on-line.


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#2079 of 5367 John Hodson

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Posted March 29 2013 - 02:43 PM

Stevens also said he was in complete disagreement with statements that elimination of close-ups in CinemaScope filming would be beneficial, and a cost-saving factor to boot. “It’s ridiculous to think that, with a big screen, you won’t edit and dramatize,” he said. “I am sure that CinemaScope will not result in a series of static shots. If they leave out cuts, the motion pictures’ great heritage will be transferred to TV.”

 

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So many films, so little time...
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Lt. Col. Thursday: Beaufort; no preliminary nonsense with him, no ceremonial phrasing. Straight from the shoulder as I tell you, do you hear me? They're recalcitrant swine and they must feel it...


#2080 of 5367 John Hodson

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Posted March 29 2013 - 02:45 PM

/15/53: Review excerpt: For the record, “Shane” was previewed in a process stage on Paramount’s experimental wide-screen, to an audience perched on makeshift seating. Despite these abnormal viewing conditions, the picture’s worth was not lessened, and the widescreen projection did contribute, in some measure, to a sense of bigness, although, again for the record, “Shane” would be a “big” picture on any size screen. Theaters equipped for widescreen showings should find the extra ballyhoo angle of this gimmick adding to the dollars taken in at the boxoffice.

 

Plus ca change...


So many films, so little time...
Film Journal Blog
Lt. Col. Thursday: Beaufort; no preliminary nonsense with him, no ceremonial phrasing. Straight from the shoulder as I tell you, do you hear me? They're recalcitrant swine and they must feel it...





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