A friend of mine got an advanced copy of the upcoming Thoroughly Modern Millie blu ray and gave me his thoughts to post here:

“The transfer looks very sharp, the colors are very good and it’s very bright. But at 1.85 they are cutting picture at top and bottom. In fact just before intermission and at the end when the heart animation circles Millie & Jimmy’s kiss before the bouncing Meers head, they slide into to correct ratio so the full picture can be seen – with black borders on the sides. At the end, it remains that way at 1.66 until the exit music starts over black. So Universal should understand that the movie was not intended for 1.85, and even though it could be shown that way if it had to be, it wasn’t the creator’s choice. During Jazz Baby, for instance, Channing’s hands sometimes go out of frame at the top.

Two guys do the commentary, one a film scholar and one an art scholar (?). They often go on about unrelated topics just to keep filling the time. Sometimes their comments are good and well timed, but other times, important things go right by and they don’t mention them, or they mention them well after the fact. The seem to keep filling the time any way they can – naming Julie’s other films, talking about other musicals of the 1960s, and bringing up the movie of Mame again and again for some reason. I found myself often tuning them out, even though the movie audio is rarely heard during the commentary.

The trailers are the same Popular Prices one – used twice here in 2 different formats. One if the same from the DVD in 4×3, and then it has been scanned again HD and is cropped 1.85. So much for bonus material extras.

The sound seems great and the Overture, Intermission and Exit Music are intact.”
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Rob_Ray

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warnerbro

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Hopefully INDICATOR will do their own release like they did with Sweet Charity and do it right. It does seem the film should be in1.66:1, but the Universal DVD was 1.85:1 as well as when they show it on TCM. The Kino commentaries have been getting very hard to listen to. Except for David Del Valle. He is excellent. The others talk about everything but the film they are representing.
 

roxy1927

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What is Indicator and how can I get their Sweet Charity? I did not get the Kino and I'll avoid this TMM. How does such an esteemed experienced company make these kind of mistakes?
 

dukiejosh54

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What is Indicator and how can I get their Sweet Charity? I did not get the Kino and I'll avoid this TMM. How does such an esteemed experienced company make these kind of mistakes?
Indicator's Sweet Charity Is about the same as Kino's I believe. It's the same transfer, I own Kino's and I think it looks and sounds great. If Universal are the ones that cropped Millie to 1.85 then there is a possibility Indicator's would be the same.
 
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Thomas T

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Is there any factual evidence that Thoroughly Modern Millie was actually shown in 1.66 during its original release? Why is it assumed that the 1.85 ratio is incorrect? For Universal to release a big budget Roadshow musical in 1.66 seems highly unlikely. Perhaps Mr. Furmanek can weigh in.
 

dukiejosh54

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IMDB has Millie''s original aspect ratio listed as 1.85. They are not always a reliable source though.
 
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Will Krupp

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Repeat after me :

1:66 WAS NOT USED AS A THEATRICAL ASPECT RATIO IN NORTH AMERICAN THEATRES IN 1966 AS ANYONE IN THE THEATRE BUSINESS WILL TELL YOU.

Period.

Bruce, we need you.....

Thank you! That needed to be said.

I think, if the framing IS incorrect, (and I haven't seen it so I have no actual idea and probably wouldn't know anyway) it's much more likely a case of the extracted area being taken from too low in the frame and not a result of the wrong aspect ratio.
 
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roxy1927

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Was though TMM planned as a road show from the very beginning? I understand George Roy Hill and Andrews fought against the idea of marketing it as such. Wouldn't they know going in it was going to be marketed that way? I think Hill wanted the wedding scene cut but it was left in for length and to appeal to the Jewish theater party ladies. Supposedly he was furious at the way the studio handled the film and buzzed the Universal tower.
 

Rob_Ray

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I wouldn't obsess about aspect ratios on this title. I was only 11 when this played theatrically, so my memory is hazy. But the roadshow print in Houston was 70mm and obviously hard-matted on the sides to whatever specification Universal wanted. When it played wide in 35mm, the aspect ratio would have been 1.85:1 unless they printed black bars on the sides and I can't imagine them going to the trouble to do that.

I personally am satisfied when what my friend indicated and am looking forward to getting my copy. I wish there had been more in the way of bonus materials, but the vintage featurettes are available on Youtube. The movie is complete, the picture is bright and colorful, the sound is great. I'm good.
 

usrunnr

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I saw "Thoroughly Modern Millie" at time of first release, probably first weekend, at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. It had a pre-show music, intermission, and exit music. It was beautiful. The aspect ratio was ---- big.

All I remember. I loved it.

It would be nice if a CD was issued of the soundtrack that included ALL of the music in the film. Probably not much chance of that though.

Edit: I believe my memory has failed me. According to IMBD, the Hollywood engagement began at the WARNER HOLLYWOOD THEATER. Apologies.

Anyone who has more information, please add. Thanks.
 
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John Skoda

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Was though TMM planned as a road show from the very beginning? I understand George Roy Hill and Andrews fought against the idea of marketing it as such.

That's my understanding too. They had in mind a quick, cute little 20's comedy, not an expanded road show with intermission.
 

Vern Dias

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I wouldn't obsess about aspect ratios on this title. I was only 11 when this played theatrically, so my memory is hazy. But the roadshow print in Houston was 70mm and obviously hard-matted on the sides to whatever specification Universal wanted. When it played wide in 35mm, the aspect ratio would have been 1.85:1 unless they printed black bars on the sides and I can't imagine them going to the trouble to do that.

I personally am satisfied when what my friend indicated and am looking forward to getting my copy. I wish there had been more in the way of bonus materials, but the vintage featurettes are available on Youtube. The movie is complete, the picture is bright and colorful, the sound is great. I'm good.
I'll gladly be the authoritative projectionist here as I ran TMM at the Kaimuki theatre http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/13346 during it's original release. It was never shown as a reserved seat road show in Hawaii.

It was a 35mm optical print, but if I recall correctly (it was over half a century ago :eek:) it was the road show version, intact with the Overture, Intermission, and exit music.

It was projected at the standard flat 35mm aspect ratio at 1.85:1.

If the BD framing is tight on the top, it's because whoever supervised the transfer from the film to the video master didn't do what any self-respecting projectionist would do to ameliorate the tight top framing of an open matte print (no I don't remember if it was or not): cheat the framing adjustment a bit to slightly lower the image on the screen.
 
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Chelsearicky

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Was though TMM planned as a road show from the very beginning? I understand George Roy Hill and Andrews fought against the idea of marketing it as such. Wouldn't they know going in it was going to be marketed that way? I think Hill wanted the wedding scene cut but it was left in for length and to appeal to the Jewish theater party ladies. Supposedly he was furious at the way the studio handled the film and buzzed the Universal tower.
'Furious' is a bit of an overstatement. He did envision a smaller film, but from the 'get go' it was planned to be somewhat special....sepia color palette, less lush orchestrations of the music etc., essentially it would have the 'look' and sound of a 20's production to make it unique. But Roy-Hill was a realist, so he accepted the changes Universal demanded, and in the end was proud of what he created.
 

murrayThompson

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This wont stop me buying it as it certainly looks like the image and sound is a big improvement to my DVD. The original NZ release was screened in 1.85. I was a projectionist for over 35+ years in Auckland and Sydney and in all those years years from the early 60s major city theatres only had lenses (or used) for 1.85 and scope. If any heads were ever cropped slightly it was a simple fix for the projectionist to lower the framing a touch, problem solved and fixed!