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Aspect Ratio Documentation


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#5481 of 5494 OFFLINE   Vic Pardo

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Posted Yesterday, 01:54 PM

A friend of mine who's old enough to remember once asserted that, for a time, Cinemascope and color were synonymous. I thought about that today and it got me to wondering what the first black-and-white feature to be released in Cinemascope was.

 

Anyone?

 

Thanks.



#5482 of 5494 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted Yesterday, 02:45 PM

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The first black and white film composed for widescreen was MGM's CREST OF THE WAVE which rolled on May 4, 1953 and was composed for 1.75:1.

 

The first VistaVision film in black and white was THE DESPERATE HOURS which began production on October 19, 1954. When reviewed in September 1955, the recommended aspect ratio was 2:1.

 

REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE began filming in black and white CinemaScope on March 30, 1955 but switched to Warnercolor on April 4.

 

On April 11, 1955, Zanuck insisted that CinemaScope productions must be in color.

 

Cinemascope-bw-41156_zps5f66c07c.gif

 

On April 9, 1956, MGM began filming THE POWER AND THE PRIZE in black and white 2.35:1 CinemaScope. It was released on September 26, 1956.

 

The first Fox CinemaScope film in black and white was TEENAGE REBEL. Originally planned for color, the plans were dropped when filming began on June 21, 1956.


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#5483 of 5494 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted Yesterday, 03:07 PM

The first black and white film composed for widescreen was MGM's CREST OF THE WAVE which rolled on May 4, 1953 and was composed for 1.75:1.

 

The first VistaVision film in black and white was THE DESPERATE HOURS which began production on October 19, 1954. When reviewed in September 1955, the recommended aspect ratio was 2:1.

 

On April 11, 1955, Zanuck insisted that CinemaScope productions must be in color.

 

Cinemascope-bw-41156_zps5f66c07c.gif

 

On April 9, 1956, MGM began filming THE POWER AND THE PRIZE in black and white 2.35:1 CinemaScope. It was released on September 26, 1956.

 

The first Fox CinemaScope film in black and white was TEENAGE REBEL. Originally planned for color, the plans were dropped when filming began on June 21, 1956.

 

I wonder if Zanuck remembered this when he produced and released The Longest Day in black and white and CInemaScope!


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#5484 of 5494 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted Yesterday, 03:25 PM

REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE began filming in black and white CinemaScope on March 30, 1955 but switched to Warnercolor on April 4.


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#5485 of 5494 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted Yesterday, 05:17 PM

Another one that began filming in CinemaScope black and white was TRIAL at MGM on April 2, 1955. I don't know how much was actually shot in 2.35:1 before it was changed to non-anamorphic widescreen. Probably just a few days.


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#5486 of 5494 OFFLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted Yesterday, 05:50 PM

REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE began filming in black and white CinemaScope on March 30, 1955 but switched to Warnercolor on April 4.

 

 

Another one that began filming in CinemaScope black and white was TRIAL at MGM on April 2, 1955. I don't know how much was actually shot in 2.35:1 before it was changed to non-anamorphic widescreen. Probably just a few days.

 

I had no idea, those are fascinating tidbits.  I can imagine that there wasn't anything Warner could do with the B&W Rebel footage, but what about MGM with the scope Trial footage?  Did they crop it to match the non-anamorphic widescreen they used for the rest of the film, or did they just reshoot it?

 

Was switching formats a budgetary move or an artistic one?



#5487 of 5494 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted Yesterday, 07:04 PM

If I remember correctly from Ron Haver's book, the 1954 A Star Is Born was begun in nonanamorphic widescreen and switched to CinemaScope after a few days of shooting.



#5488 of 5494 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted Yesterday, 07:22 PM

If I remember correctly from Ron Haver's book, the 1954 A Star Is Born was begun in nonanamorphic widescreen and switched to CinemaScope after a few days of shooting.



I think they started in Warnerscope but Zanuck talked Jack Warner into changing to Cinemascope. I'm sure there was an under the table deal made.
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#5489 of 5494 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted Yesterday, 08:09 PM

I had no idea, those are fascinating tidbits.  I can imagine that there wasn't anything Warner could do with the B&W Rebel footage, but what about MGM with the scope Trial footage?  Did they crop it to match the non-anamorphic widescreen they used for the rest of the film, or did they just reshoot it?

 

Was switching formats a budgetary move or an artistic one?

 

I suspect Zanuck got on the phone with Mayer and Warner and reminded them of the color requirement in the contracts.


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#5490 of 5494 OFFLINE   HDvision

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Posted Today, 01:28 AM

Did the BW footage of Rebel ever surface (as a bonus, or anything else)? I had no idea either.

 

EDIT I see some of this is part of the making of, I need to catch up on the new Blu-ray.


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#5491 of 5494 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted Today, 01:30 AM

If DFZ and Fox were so opposed to Cinemascope films being in black and white, how come The Three Faces of Eve, The Young Lions and The Wayward Bus are black-and-white movies?



#5492 of 5494 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted Today, 05:37 AM

If DFZ and Fox were so opposed to Cinemascope films being in black and white, how come The Three Faces of Eve, The Young Lions and The Wayward Bus are black-and-white movies?

 

But those were all produced after Zanuck stepped down as studio head and became an independent producer. Likely the new Fox regime didn't care as long as CinemaScope continued to flourish as the widescreen format of choice.


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#5493 of 5494 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted Today, 09:33 AM

Zanuck left Fox in March of 1956 and that's when the policy changed.

 

There was also an increase in black and white productions that year. Here's an August 1956 article from International Projectionist:

 

CS-bw-IP-856_zps02180955.gif


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#5494 of 5494 OFFLINE   JoelA

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Posted Today, 10:57 AM

I suspect Zanuck got on the phone with Mayer and Warner and reminded them of the color requirement in the contracts.

 

I believe Mayer was no longer at MGM or had much presence in the business at this time, having been relinquished of his duties in 1951 by Nicholas Schenck.






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