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Aspect Ratio Documentation


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#21 of 5509 OFFLINE   RolandL

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Posted March 22 2012 - 03:53 AM

I find that list so interesting and informative, and it's especially galling to see some of this information since we've never gotten a home video release of Calamity Jane, Hondo, Them!, or Dial 'M' for Murder that was framed properly.

Odd that the Dial M for Murder Warner DVD PAL version was framed properly but not the NSTC http://www.dvdbeaver...lmformurder.htm

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#22 of 5509 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 22 2012 - 04:50 AM

DIAL M FOR MURDER was Hitchcock's first film composed for widescreen. Seeing it in open matte 1.37 wreaks havoc with the intended compositions. I saw many revival theater presentations of this film in 3-D between 1980 and 2006. Every single one showed it in 1.37. So much for repertory accuracy! Bob

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#23 of 5509 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 22 2012 - 07:08 AM

I find that list so interesting and informative, and it's especially galling to see some of this information since we've never gotten a home video release of Calamity Jane, Hondo, Them!, or Dial 'M' for Murder that was framed properly.

The list also illustrates why additional research is vital to determining the proper ratio. Some of those films (Island in the Sky, The Moonlighter) were filmed before WB went 100% widescreen on May 7, 1953. By the end of 1953, 58% of all theaters in the U.S. had gone widescreen. That number would be much higher by the summer of 1954. That's why all the studios were composing wide but still protecting for 1.37 and shooting open matte. Bob

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#24 of 5509 OFFLINE   Mark-P

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Posted March 22 2012 - 07:17 AM

According to that exhibitor listing, Calamity Jane and Island in the Sky originally had Stereophonic Sound. I wonder what happened with the DVD releases. I'm guessing the stereo tracks didn't survive.

#25 of 5509 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 22 2012 - 07:23 AM

BLOWING WILD too, and I'm pretty sure all the Cinemascope titles were stereo as well. Unfortunately, they were not very careful in saving their original stereo tracks. Bob

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#26 of 5509 OFFLINE   Derek Miner

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Posted March 22 2012 - 09:39 AM

In the 1960's, some titles (such as A HARD DAYS NIGHT) had the correct AR printed on the original leader.

And yet Beatles fans still debate the aspect ratio of the film. Any suggestions where one could find evidence of the intended aspect ratio of "Yellow Submarine" considering the upcoming Blu-ray issue? I'm already seeing people complain that 1.66 is a cropped aspect ratio.
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#27 of 5509 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 22 2012 - 10:02 AM

It might be printed on the leader as well but I don't have access to a print. The leader for HDN lists 1.75 as the correct ratio. Bob

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#28 of 5509 OFFLINE   RolandL

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Posted March 22 2012 - 10:12 AM

According to that exhibitor listing, Calamity Jane and Island in the Sky originally had Stereophonic Sound. I wonder what happened with the DVD releases. I'm guessing the stereo tracks didn't survive.

Many of those titles had Perspecta sound - http://widescreenmus...en/perspec1.htm which I'm guessing most of the tracks are lost or can't be reproduced and were not real stereo anyhow.

BLOWING WILD too, and I'm pretty sure all the Cinemascope titles were stereo as well. Unfortunately, they were not very careful in saving their original stereo tracks. Bob

Not all CinemaScope films had stereo soundtracks. "From 1954 through 1957 many M-G-M, Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros. film used Perspecta optical directional sound (it's an out and out lie to call it stereophonic)" from http://www.widescree...een/wingcs5.htm

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#29 of 5509 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 22 2012 - 10:44 AM

Somebody asked about these three titles on that Exhibitor list. THUNDER OVER THE PLAINS was filmed August/September 1952. CRIME WAVE was filmed in November/December 1952. RIDING SHOTGUN was filmed in March 1953. Warner Bros. switched to widescreen cinematography on May 7, 1953 so all three films were certainly composed for 1.37. At another studio, THUNDER BAY was U-I's first film to be shown widescreen in theaters. It premiered in 1.85 on May 19, 1953 at Loew’s State in New York on a 24x46 screen. However it was filmed September to November 1952 and is composed for 1.37. The DVD release is 1.85 which is wrong. This illustrates the importance of researching the date of production and what the studio policy was at that time. By December 1953, 58% of all U.S. theaters had installed widescreens. That number would be much higher by the summer of 1954. When faced with a back catalog of academy ratio titles, the studios screened each film on the lot to determine the best recommended ratio. Bob

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#30 of 5509 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted March 22 2012 - 01:18 PM

"Open matte" transfers still tend to crop the image to fit 4x3. No idea why this happened with Touch of Evil since both versions were HD sourced. Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image (Source images taken from DVD Beaver and Blu-Ray.com) Of course, these are only comparisons based on single frames.
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Posted March 22 2012 - 01:44 PM

The new Casablanca shows more on all four sides of the frame.



#32 of 5509 OFFLINE   Jack Theakston

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Posted March 23 2012 - 02:18 AM

Re: A HARD DAY'S NIGHT http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/
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#33 of 5509 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 23 2012 - 06:41 AM

And yet Beatles fans still debate the aspect ratio of the film. Any suggestions where one could find evidence of the intended aspect ratio of "Yellow Submarine" considering the upcoming Blu-ray issue? I'm already seeing people complain that 1.66 is a cropped aspect ratio.

Considering that AHDN was intended for 1.75, I suspect the same is true for YELLOW SUBMARINE. Thanks for posting that frame scan, Jack. Do you know when the UK standard changed from 1.66? Bob

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#34 of 5509 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted March 23 2012 - 10:19 AM

Well they were still shooting the Bond pictures for 1.66 around 1964.



#35 of 5509 OFFLINE   Worth

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Posted March 23 2012 - 11:04 AM

I've heard conflicting things about the early Bonds - some sources say they were framed for 1.66, others argue they were shot for 1.75. The Criterion laserdiscs were 1.75, but all subsequent MGM releases have been 1.66.
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#36 of 5509 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted March 23 2012 - 11:12 AM

Actually only the most recent MGM releases have been 1.66. The old transfer used for the 1997 and 1999 dvds was at about 1.77.



#37 of 5509 OFFLINE   Jack Theakston

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Posted March 23 2012 - 03:54 PM

The deciding factor in the '60s seemed to be who was putting up the money. The transition to 1.85 in the UK came from many US-financed films (where the US market would make the most financial impact.). Universal Pictures, for example, seemed to demand it. Within British films, both 1.66 and 1.75 formats were used based on what company was shooting the film and what theaters they were going to be shown in
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#38 of 5509 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted March 23 2012 - 08:01 PM

Considering that AHDN was intended for 1.75, I suspect the same is true for YELLOW SUBMARINE. Thanks for posting that frame scan, Jack. Do you know when the UK standard changed from 1.66? Bob

Wasn't Yellow Submarine originally started as a Television Special? Its likely that the original photography was intended for 1.33. Doug
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#39 of 5509 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted March 23 2012 - 08:26 PM

Bob, I'm still confused about the aspect ratio for "It Came From Outer Space". I know the advertising states "widescreen", but it seems like it would be pretty tight if you cropped it. Was this one of those films on which widescreen was an after thought? Doug
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#40 of 5509 OFFLINE   Jack Theakston

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Posted March 24 2012 - 03:26 AM

Wasn't Yellow Submarine originally started as a Television Special? Its likely that the original photography was intended for 1.33.

I've never heard that, and in fact, I thought the whole point of the film was that the Beatles could get out of their UA contract. Most of the artwork in the film doesn't even reach the edge of a 1.37 frame, so I doubt running it that way is correct.

I'm still confused about the aspect ratio for "It Came From Outer Space". I know the advertising states "widescreen", but it seems like it would be pretty tight if you cropped it. Was this one of those films on which widescreen was an after thought?

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