Destroyed Last Emperor
Thanks for everyone's input on the Nutty Professor aspect ratio. And you are right! both the 50th Anniversary Blu Ray and Paramounts "Enhanced for Wide Screen TV" DVD from 2000 are in fact the incorrect 1.78 to 1 ratio. But here's where it gets interesting, the change in aspect ratios is not the reason Mr Lewis stand-in is briefly revealed and goes back to Mr. Harris original post on aspect ratio vs framing choices. It appears that the opticals for the title sequence have been redone prior to or specifically for the 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray. Unfortuneltly my IPad does not seem to allow me include photos of the screen shots I took so I will do my best to explain the differences. When you compare the location of the students in relation to the titles they are different. Look at all 4 edges of the frame. Very different. Much more information on the top and right on the Blu Ray. Compare the size of the title opticals, larger on the Blu Ray, smaller on the DVD. Optical of titles are also shifted up and to the left on the Blu Ray. Note Mr. Lewis stand-in has a black shirt, no bow tie, no glasses. Clearly not professor Julius Kelp (AKA Jerry Lewis). On the Paramount DVD the framing never goes higher than chest height on the stand-in. The other major difference on the title sequence is Warner's penchant for Picture-Boxing title sequences. The wonderful title sequence is much more dynamic on the 2000 DVD when those bold technicolor hues fill the entire frame. The DVD of the film, included in the Warner deluxe box set has different label graphics but it is exactly the same transfer used on the 2000 Paramount DVD. The title sequence mistakes on the Warner Blu Ray aside, they did a superb job on the packaging of the deluxe set. I own the deluxe set and the 2000 DVD. I saw the movie in the theatre in 63 and 64 and again in the late 70's at a repertory theatre where to my displeasure it was shown open matt.I know changing the aspect ratio from 1.85 to 1.78 can seem insignificant but it can wreck a scene. Case in point the Jerry Lewis film The Nutty Professor. When Warner Brothers released the Blu ray the aspect ratio changed from the original 1.85 to 1.78 which revealed Mr Lewis stand in during the title sequence before the laboratory explodes. The real Jerry Lewis is discovered in the next shot in the rubble of his chemistry class. If the film was masked properly you would not see the stand ins face at the top of the frame. The original Paramount Anamorphic DVD was masked correctly at 1.85 to 1. The stand ins face was not revealed. It's not just the aspect ratio as Mr Harris has pointed out but the safety around the rectangle in the camera view finder that took into account projector gates and screen masking.
Yeah this sounds like a simple production gaffe, not a case like A Fish Called Wanda where the 1.33:1 open matte ruins a joke.
I know that this isn't the scene mentioned in the example, but I've taken a couple of screenshots from the Nutty Professor Blu-ray (lifted from here) and added 1.85:1 letterbox bars to them. I made it a point to pick shots with people's faces near the extreme top edge. There's simply no way that this smidge of letterboxing could be enough to hide a production flub as big as the wrong actor's face appearing on screen.
The stand-in reveal shot is when he throws a match to light a Bunsen Burner. Note his shirt is black, no tie, no glasses. Professor is wearing a white shirt and polka dot bow tie and black reading glasses when discovered in the aftermath of of lab explosion. See above for analyses of what t think went wrong.Yeah. I just checked the Blu-Ray credit sequence as well. There is one long shot where the professor looks possibly a bit taller than Jerry Lewis, but you can only see his mouth and chin, and it's only on the screen for maybe 15 seconds.I just checked out the entire opening credit sequence of The Nutty Professor and the professor's face is nowhere in the frame at all. You are obviously confusing this with a 1.33:1 open matte version of the film as the 1.78:1 version reveals nothing that wasn't meant to be seen.
Last night I watched Forrest Gump. It was letter boxed, so I felt like I was at least seeing the full top and bottom of the frame. Today I am watching The Silence of the Lambs (Criterion Collection BD) and it coincidentally fits my 16x9 TV like it was shot for it.
Why can't I shake the feeling that the image was either reshaped for my TV or cropped?