1:66 on A Hard Days Night

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Peter Neski, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Supporting Actor

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    Someone pionted out that a Hard Days Night is 1:66 on the
    DVD,But this is only if you turn the 16x9 mode on your
    DVD Player,The 16x9 version looks great,but also is
    cropped off the top and Bottom,Couldn't they make the
    16x9 version have black bars on the side?? Have they
    Ever done this? Because I ratter turn the 16x9 Mode
    off and watch a smaller ,but corect image
    Peter
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    A Hard Day's Night (Miramax edition) is 1.66:1 within a 1.78:1 frame:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    The correct aspect ratio of A HARD DAYS NIGHT (as printed in the leader) 1.75:1.
     
  4. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    As I never grow tired of pointing out, the Miramax DVD is overmatted. A good example for a screen capture (if anyone could do it; I can't) is when Ringo goes into a used clothing shop with a sign on the door reading:

    WE
    BUY
    ANYTHING

    The "We" is sliced in half.
     
  5. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Well, how do we know "we" is supposed to be fully visible?
     
  6. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    I'd like to point out that the aspect ratio is simply the mathematical relationship between the width and the height of the image. In other words, the correct aspect ratio is no guarantee that the film is matted correctly. The old BEN HUR and RAN discs were in the correct AR, yet they were overmatted on all 4 sides. I suspect the same is true of AHDN.
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I'd imagine the 1.66:1 framing is correct...

    [​IMG]

    Just from comparing the MPI and Miramax DVD's, it really looks like they used standard 1.66:1 framing.

    Marty Hart's website has a list of framing charts: http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/wide...spectratio.htm

    If one were to overlay 1.66:1 over a combination of the two, the Miramax DVD crops a tiny bit from the bottom (the Miramax is 1.67:1, to be more exact).
     
  8. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    But you're forgetting that the original 35mm 1964 release prints - made directly from the camera negative - are very cleared marked to be shown 1.75.
     
  9. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Because in the scene, the whole point of it is that Ringo is being chased by some girls and spots the sign on the door. He decides to rush in on a whim and change clothes. There's a difference between the store making the offer: "We Buy Anything!" and just telling you to "Buy Anything".

    Besides, on the shot, the word WE is still sort of there -- but just sliced in half across the middle. It's obvious when you see the shot that it was intended to be read fully.

    Patrick, since you're able to post these screen shots, would you mind using the one I mentioned?
     
  10. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Please correct me if I'm wrong (and I probably am) but doesn't he go into the store so that he can buy close to lose the girls?
     
  11. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    The crazy thing is, the whole "correct AR" thing is really something the director would have to comment on, I think. The film may have been filmed best for 1.33 (which I think suits it best) and then even though it's shown on theater screens at 1.75, it wouldn't have been the director's ideal preference when shooting it. Just because a movie was originally projected as this-or-that in theaters doesn't necessarily mean it's the "ratio of choice" from the director, does it, really?
     
  12. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    In 1964, a film made for theaters like AHDN would be made for at least 1.66:1 projection. 1.75:1 is correct in this instance since it was technically an American-funded production (Walter Shenson Productions/UA).

    In the early 1950's, you could have films cropped without intent like Shane (1.66:1 was an afterthought) or Invasion of the Body Snatchers (per Walter Wanger, though, I'm wondering if it was for 1.75:1, too). But that's pretty much over with by the end of the 1950's. Basically, if there's documenting on what correct ratios are or if documents exist that the film is supposed to be a different ratio (like Walter Wanger's complaint mentioned in American Cinematographer).

    I'll post a shot later when I get home (The comparison is from DVDBeaver's shots, the first from my laptop's screenshot folder).
     
  13. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Well, this here is just an opinion. If it can't be seen in the 1.66 version just imagine the (correct?) 1.75.
     
  14. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I really think the sometimes tight framing has more to do with the "documentary" style of the film. Much of it with handheld cameras and in cramped spaces.

    Here's the shot mentioned before:

    [​IMG]

    I don't see why the sign would be needed in full view, though. It's obvious it's a thrift store and probably more obvious to British audiences.

    Also, 1.75:1 framing would only crop a little bit more on the bottom.

    However.... if there's one indication built-into the film... The end title is hard-matted to 1.80:1

    Criterion's F for Fake is 1.66:1 and clearly crops a lot of the image... but it's intentional, despite the use of 1.33:1 footage like the de Hory/Irving interviews.
     
  15. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Well, it all depends on what view you choose to take for any given case. In this case, one may say "it's not that big a deal, it's obvious it's a thrift store". But you could say the same thing for almost ANY scene where something is missing. Very rarely will the "overmatted" missing info on the top "change a scene", and we still know generally what's supposed to be taking place. If someone's hair is cut off, I still know it's his head. If the crucifix atop a cathedral is missing, we still can see it's a church. But it's still probable the director meant it to be something specific and in the shot much of the time.
    ESPECIALLY in the case above.

    In the picture above, it's not just a matter of showing a shop or a door; there is a specific sign with wording we are meant to read. It would be like the sides of a newspaper headline cut off in an old movie that would need to be windowboxed. I believe Richard Lester meant us to be able to read the three words on that door quite clearly.

    The bottom line for me is, I made a grave error in selling my original MPI disc of A HARD DAY'S NIGHT before seeing what was going to be done to it by Miramax (same goes for the audio, but that's another story). It's a mistake I'll never make again.


    Only the director knows. Maybe he figured, "yes, this film will be shown on theater screens for a while but its legacy will probably be from people seeing it on TV more often". I'm not saying most directors do this, but we don't know what Lester was thinking here.
     
  16. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I don't think the MPI is very useful, either. It crops a lot of picture on the sides. I guess it's a matter of vertical picture or horizontal picture being more important. I'd also like to add that when the jump cut occurs, you can see a white line on the left creep in for about a second (possibly part of the frameline?)

    I really doubt Lester would film for Academy, anyways. The rest of his 1960s films were all shot at 1.66:1 (or higher). I don't know how TV would figure into it, anyways. It didn't make its television debut until 1970 (on BBC1).

    One shot doesn't necessarily mean the framing is wrong (besides that it should be 1.75:1 instead), though. Here's a shot from North by Northwest:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    With A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, it was more that struck me as tight on it beside the shot I mentioned... but I figured it was the easiest to convey here.
     
  18. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    You'll have to explain this to me then. You said earlier than he doesn't buy anything from the store nor does the store sell him anything. He goes in to make a swap so that he can hide from the girls.

    So, what difference does the WE Buy Anything compared to Buy Anything? How is "we" being cut off hurting the scene or taking away something we need to know about the scene?
     
  19. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I've explained it thoroughly, Michael. You just didn't understand it. Maybe it would help if you re-read post #11.

    I will continue to prefer the more properly framed version that was released by MPI.
     
  20. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    You might prefer the open matte version but wouldn't you say it's not really fair to call it the "more properly framed" version since:

    1. It's apparently missing footage on the sides.
    2. The film was meant to be projected at 1.75, not 4:3.

    I don't think anyone has said you shouldn't prefer the open matte version but it's a fact, and rather clear, that this was released wide and that is what's on the DVD.
     

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