It's one thing to have doubts regarding a small budget, hugely independent project; you could even be uncertain about a movie that comes from a larger commercial studio during the very early period of transition.
But a film from a larger commercial studio like Hammer several years into the widescreen era? Not a chance; CoF was shot wide.
As for LoTF, my initial thoughts were that, made on a shoestring, with a largely rookie crew, and no great hopes of commercial success (indeed he told investors that it was unlikely they'd get their money back), it's possible that Brook shot it full frame. It still is possible, but I'm swaying towards the position that it's unlikely that he didn't at least pay lip service to widescreen projection. It may look better full frame, it might be how the film makers involved now prefer it to be seen - but that's a whole different kettle of fish.
John, I think it's pretty clear from an article Bob has published regarding UK films that all directors and cinematographers were told to frame their films so that no vital action took place outside the 1.85:1 area, even if they were shooting for 1.37:1.
How much they listened is open to conjecture, but I doubt anyone would film with portions deliberately in the potentially cropped area knowing that it would almost certainly be cropped.
I think pretty much anything filmed from '53 onwards - including titles filmed best at 1.37:1 - will still look acceptable cropped to 1.85:1. But that's not to say that's how they should be shown, of course.
Interestingly, another article Bob uncovered said that all UK widescreen films should ensure their titles are all uncropped at 2.00:1, which is most certainly not the case with CoF. But that's another film for another thread.
Edited by Yorkshire, April 22 2013 - 04:04 AM.