20th Century Fox's CinemaScope films

Douglas R

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I‘m sure the Todd Ao screen in London wasn’t curved. Don’t recall any of the 70mm movie presentations being on a curved screen, giant one yes, but only Cinerama screen was curved.
I’m sure that all the Todd AO films I saw in the U.K. were shown on slightly curved screens, including the Dominion in London. It was surely part of the specification for the format. Nothing like Cinerama of course.
 

Billy Batson

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Still waiting for WB to release....Land of the Pharaohs & Helen of Troy ! I guess they need a lot of Work in Re$toration. View attachment 79319 View attachment 79320
Yup, those two are at the top of my CinemaScope wants list. I'm not sure that they need any major restoration, I think the only hold-up is the massive amount of films that Warner have awaiting release. In fact nearly all the CinemaScope films I want are controlled by Warner (I do love a list):

Knights of the Round Table
King Richard and the Crusaders
The Silver Chalice
Land of the Pharaohs
Many Rivers to Cross
Mister Roberts
Quentin Durward
Helen of Troy
The Teahouse Of the August Moon.
 
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Matt Hough

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These pictures of the Rivoli bring back such vivid, vivid memories. Saw The Sound Of Music there, and I would have seen Star! there if it had run longer.
 

cinemel1

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These pictures of the Rivoli bring back such vivid, vivid memories. Saw The Sound Of Music there, and I would have seen Star! there if it had run longer.
I guess Star didn’t do well because audiences were expecting something as uplifting as The Sound of Music. I saw it at the Rivoli and was revolted when I heard 20th was cutting it back by about an hour giving it a general release under another title, Those Were the Happy Times. It didn’t help. A few years ago The Museum of the Moving Image had a 70mm film series where they showed Star! There was a nice turnout and the film looked terrific in 70mm.
 

David_B_K

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So you have never seen it in Todd Ao on a giant screen? If true you’ve never seen it in all it’s glory.
No, I was too young when it came out. I did see it in a theater it a few years ago during one of those Fathom showings.
 

john a hunter

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Hi Robin, there were two cuts of Cleopatra released theatrically... the 243 minute roadshow cut, as well as a truncated 192 minute version. It was this shorter version that Elizabeth Taylor saw when she was forced to attend the premiere in London after skipping out on the one in New York. She felt that Burton's performance, and anything good about the film, had been destroyed.
Sorry to contradict Andrew, but there were 3 cuts of Cleo.
The original 4 hour one that opened in the early U.S roadshow releases, a 3hour 40 min version for London's Dominion and the severely cut 192 min version that opened in Paris. That I think is the version Liz saw and which became "the " version both in 70 and 35.

Everyone seems to have forgotten the Dominion version even in the excellent doco on the BD.

The main deletions from the 4 hr version I recall were in the first half which is strange given that it is the strongest part of the film.
The scene of Caesar and Cleo before the tomb of Alexander was gone and the part played by the blind singer(John Carney)was greatly reduced.

It did look fabulous at the Dominion although the screen there never had a deep curve, even when South Pacific opened there as the first
T-AO in April 1958.
 
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PODER

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Just a little reminder that the only DVD available for THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE is
that disgraceful pan-and-scan mess put out as part of Fox's super embarrassing Cinema
Archives line.
 

Andrew Budgell

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Sorry to contradict Andrew, but there were 3 cuts of Cleo.
The original 4 hour one that opened in the early U.S roadshow releases, a 3hour 40 min version for London's Dominion and the severely cut 192 min version that opened in Paris. That I think is the version Liz saw and which became "the " version both in 70 and 35.
Thanks, John, but the showing Elizabeth attended was at the Dominion, so it must have been the 3 hour 40 minute version she saw. It was a benefit for the Bolshoi Ballet (photo below). She later viewed the film with her children, and her opinion of it changed. Richard recorded her reaction in his diary: "E saw Cleopatra last night with all the kids. I popped in at one point for about ten seconds and went away and slept for another couple of hours. No reflection on the film! As a matter of fact E said this morning that the film is not at all bad – marvellous spectacle and all that."

1601417139131.png
 

john a hunter

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Yes that was a charity show she attended and was said to leave part way through.
I heard that it was the dubbing of her voice which she took exception too.
Did she attend the Paris opening?
It may be that cut she took a dislike too.
Did she ever comment on the first 4hr cut especially?
 

Matt Hough

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I guess Star didn’t do well because audiences were expecting something as uplifting as The Sound of Music. I saw it at the Rivoli and was revolted when I heard 20th was cutting it back by about an hour giving it a general release under another title, Those Were the Happy Times. It didn’t help. A few years ago The Museum of the Moving Image had a 70mm film series where they showed Star! There was a nice turnout and the film looked terrific in 70mm.
I've repeated this story several times here, but I did see Star! in 70mm at Charlotte's Carolina Theater (the city's lone Cinerama screen though, of course, it was a Todd-AO film) on its opening night in December 1968. Even though it had been playing in London since the summer and in NYC for a couple of months, by the time it got to Charlotte, two songs had already been lifted out: "Someday I'll Find You" and "My Ship." Having been playing the soundtrack album for months, I was heartsick at these deletions. I never saw the complete roadshow edition until AMC played it in widescreen one early morning. Sometime later, I bought the laserdisc which is still my goto for the movie.

Months later when the film returned in 35mm as Those Were the Happy Times, I returned (hoping against hope that those two deleted songs had been somehow worked back in. They weren't, of course, and a some others were also gone including one of the film's best numbers "Limehouse Blues").
 

ptb2020

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The Big Gamble had a showing on UK tv last night. Unfortunately it wasn’t a Cinemascope print and not a very good transfer. One of Zanuck’s vehicles to make a star of Juliette Greco his mistress and protégée at the time, 1960. I adored her and she passed this week at the ripe old age of 98! Would have been nice to see a better tribute in terms of quality of print. Another movie partly shot in Africa as was Zanuck’s other Greco vehicle The Roots of Heaven a rather good Blu Ray of which I have. While a Fox movie and shot in Cinemascope it doesn’t carry the Fox ident with the Cinemascope picture add on.
 

Robin9

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The Big Gamble had a showing on UK tv last night. Unfortunately it wasn’t a Cinemascope print and not a very good transfer. One of Zanuck’s vehicles to make a star of Juliette Greco his mistress and protégée at the time, 1960. I adored her and she passed this week at the ripe old age of 98! Would have been nice to see a better tribute in terms of quality of print. Another movie partly shot in Africa as was Zanuck’s other Greco vehicle The Roots of Heaven a rather good Blu Ray of which I have. While a Fox movie and shot in Cinemascope it doesn’t carry the Fox ident with the Cinemascope picture add on.
I saw The Big Gamble when it first came out and again several years later on TV. I like the film and would love to have a good disc of it. It was directed by Richard Fleischer.

I didn't know Juliette Greco had died. I'll upload a photo of her into the Brunettes thread.
 

ptb2017fr

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I saw The Big Gamble when it first came out and again several years later on TV. I like the film and would love to have a good disc of it. It was directed by Richard Fleischer.

I didn't know Juliette Greco had died. I'll upload a photo of her into the Brunettes thread.
Yes as I said at the age of 98! French tv showed a 90 minute documentary about her that included an interview she gave a few years ago in which she spoke candidly about her life and loves, and was particularly honest about the controlling Zanuck! Some great clips of her singing were also included amongst them the song that caused a sensation and made her notorious for a while Deshabillez moi (Undress me)!
Elmo Williams is credited as directing the African sequences on Big Gamble. I too would love to see a decent transfer. An entertaining movie with those exotic African locations along with Greco and Boyd to enjoy.
 

AnthonyClarke

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Re Todd-AO.
As far as I can remember, here in Melbourne the original format Todd-AO was projected on a huge curved screen. That's how I saw 'Oklahoma' and 'South Pacific'. I remember 'South Pacific' in its initial release particularly well as I was 15 when I saw it -- seven times in a fortnight! That was back when I was younger than springtime.....
 

avroman

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Re Todd-AO.
As far as I can remember, here in Melbourne the original format Todd-AO was projected on a huge curved screen. That's how I saw 'Oklahoma' and 'South Pacific'. I remember 'South Pacific' in its initial release particularly well as I was 15 when I saw it -- seven times in a fortnight! That was back when I was younger than springtime.....
I don't think "Oklalhoma" had a screening in Oz in 70. It was distributed by RKO in Australia, and was released before any theatres were equipped.
The first 70mm release here was "South Pacific" in 1958.
I was running my own cinema in Brisbane, and was a huge fan of 70mm, which I finally installed in 1968.
 

AnthonyClarke

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Maybe my memory's playing tricks with 'Oklahoma'. Maybe I saw the Cinemascope version in the '50s, not the Todd-AO. It was the version, I think, which started with the image of Gordon riding through the tall corn. But I am certain about 'South Pacific'. What a stunning experience that was.
And I'm surprised at how well served 'South Pacific' has been served, by its incarnations on both DVD and Blu ray. Wonderful transfers for both release formats, with no criticism about picture quality, especially re colour tonings.
 

ptb2020

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Oklahoma was nearly made in Cinemascope 55, the strange format used for Carousel and The King and I then abandoned. It was the first film shot using Todd AO but few theatres were set up to show movies using the format so they filmed it in 35mm at the same time. There was a film Sinatra started then walked off because he soon got fed up doing the same scene twice for the two formats. Don’t recall which movie it was now though.
The Blu Ray release is really good with transfers of both versions.
Ive always hated the colour wash on sequences in South Pacific and still don’t understand why they chose to do it. It ruins some sequences for me, especially Bali Hai. The islands look stunning without being coloured pink or whatever!
 
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ptb2020

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Just taken delivery of Night People. Superb transfer though again I’m always disappointed by a Cinemascope film that doesn’t use the Newman extension music on the Fox logo. The film is really slow with the action taking place chiefly inside if action is the right word as it’s a very talky movie. Broderick Crawford doeshis usual barking tough guy number, while Gregory Peck is his usual dignified self and the underused by Hollywood Rita Gam is always good to see. I think she’s still going strong. Did a documentary back in the 00s about Grace Kelly whose best friend she was and she looked terrific when interviewed and charming.
 
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ptb2020

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Can someone tell me why Disney felt they had to remove the name Fox from the company name? Officially it was “because the name Fox has become toxic because of Murdoch,“ but that surely shouldn’t kill the reputation of a wonderful and long standing studio. What’s next? Disney buying Miramax so they remove Harvey Weinstein’s name from everything? Doesn’t seem to be any rush for that!
 
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DVBRD

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Can someone tell me why Disney felt they had to remove the name Fox from the company name? Officially it was “because the name Fox has become toxic because of Murdoch,“ but that surely shouldn’t kill the reputation of a wonderful and long standing studio. What’s next? Disney buying Miramax so they remove Harvey Weinstein’s name from everything? Doesn’t seem to be any rush for that!
Disney was contractually obligated to scrub the "Fox" brand from 20th because Murdoch wanted to retain ownership of said brand.
 

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