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MartinP.

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If I recall, isn't Jekyll pronounced Jeekyll in this version? And why do you suppose that is?
 

dpippel

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I hear if you follow one of the little people home, you may get more - if you're clever ;):emoji_shamrock:
That didn't work out too well for me the first time...

1665168210251.png
 

marcco00

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luv the english--- was watching a miniseries once where the leading man Ralph was pronounced Rafe by one of the other characters
 

Robert Harris

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Preordered this as soon as it went up on Amazon. I'm actually shocked to find out the camera negative had survived, even with the 1938 reissue cuts.
The OCN of the cut version survived. The additional footage is derived from a 35mm dupe, struck from a 1931 lavender, which is no longer extant.
 

B-ROLL

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luv the english--- was watching a miniseries once where the leading man Ralph was pronounced Rafe by one of the other characters
Depending on it's origin (I believe "Rafe" is the Welsh pronunciation)
Here are two examples
Ralph Vaughan Williams
1665173143124.png

And Ralph Fiennes
1665173668876.png

... and now back to our regularly scheduled programme ...
 

Jack Theakston

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We will agree to disagree. Paper often misrepresents reality, especially in a fast-changing situation.

From a purely logistical perspective, if Dr. J. was correctly 1.33, it would be s-o-d, akin to the studio’s earlier Marx Bros. (“The Boys”) productions.

Even if the OCN was originally exposed for s-o-d, and the un-matted image is 1.33 (silent aperture), the film was not released in that manner. I’m at a loss to figure out where the track might have gone, as these were pre-digital days.

If an optical track was printed to the film, it would have been just to the right of the perfs on the left side of the image. Since apertures were still exposing the vertical area of the silent frame (pre-Academy), 1.19 would be the only alternative.

The film was released very late (Christmas) of 1931, and generally opened in January of 1932, at which time s-o-f had taken over s-o-d.

Universal’s Dracula, which was essentially a late 1930 production, was released as both a silent version, for those theaters still not set for sound, as well ass the sound version. A year later this was no longer a viable situation. Things changed Very rapidly.

I’m in agreement with Warner Archive, that 1.19 / 1.20 is the correct aspect ratio for this particular film.

Bob, re-read my post.
 

Kent K H

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I'm completely unfamiliar with the film, and have never loved the story, but given the high praise being tossed around and it being from the director of Mark of Zorro, I find myself very intrigued.
 

JoeDoakes

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I’ve re-read. Are you not suggesting the film should be 1.33?
I understood Jack Theakston to say that Dr Jekyll would have been projected in 1.33, because that’s what theaters were doing at the time, whereas I understood Mr Harris to say that, if the sound was printed on film like with Mr Hyde, the aspect ratio had to be 1.19 to account for the sound track. Reports of 1:33 might have been continued projection of silent films. Fascinating question
 

Jack Theakston

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I’ve re-read. Are you not suggesting the film should be 1.33?

I think we're hitting a crossroads here that people are confusing my use of the aspect ratio 1.33-1 being a shorthand for SILENT APERTURE, which is indeed that aspect ratio. But you can have a plate that is SOUND APERTURE that is is 1.33-1 (cut at .800"x.600" on the plate, optical offset.)

Again, read the SMPTE article I linked to. All of this is spelled out to the letter. None of the studios, save for Fox, were using Movietone AR, even before the resolution in 1929. None of the parent theater chains were even coordinating with the studios for consistency. A resolution was passed that everyone in Hollywood, except for Fox, would retool their viewfinders (no matter what was being exposed on the camera negative) to compose for 1.33-1, optical offset.

Academy Ratio was a refinement of this, in 1931.
 

Robert Crawford

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I think we're hitting a crossroads here that people are confusing my use of the aspect ratio 1.33-1 being a shorthand for SILENT APERTURE, which is indeed that aspect ratio. But you can have a plate that is SOUND APERTURE that is is 1.33-1 (cut at .800"x.600" on the plate, optical offset.)

Again, read the SMPTE article I linked to. All of this is spelled out to the letter. None of the studios, save for Fox, were using Movietone AR, even before the resolution in 1929. None of the parent theater chains were even coordinating with the studios for consistency. A resolution was passed that everyone in Hollywood, except for Fox, would retool their viewfinders (no matter what was being exposed on the camera negative) to compose for 1.33-1, optical offset.

Academy Ratio was a refinement of this, in 1931.
So you're saying the aspect ratio should be 1.33.
 

Robert Harris

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I understood Jack Theakston to say that Dr Jekyll would have been projected in 1.33, because that’s what theaters were doing at the time, whereas I understood Mr Harris to say that, if the sound was printed on film like with Mr Hyde, the aspect ratio had to be 1.19 to account for the sound track. Reports of 1:33 might have been continued projection of silent films. Fascinating question
There was, at the time of conversion, a percentage of theaters that rather than changing screen size further cropped the image at the top and bottom of the already cropped screen - soundtrack real estate now gone - to perpetuate their long-standing 1.33:1 AR.

The change from silent to sound was an expensive endeavor, more so for small independent venues.

To achieve 1.33, a theater would have to cut new plates for the gate, and use a slightly shorter lens - but fill the same screen size and shape. This was beneficial if the theater didn’t have movable markings.

In order to run 1.19, they’d still need new plates - not a big deal - but also side markings.

Basically, along with the cost of sound equipment, things were a bit of a mess, and some theaters held out as long as they could before adopting new technology. Hence the silent version of Dracula in 1931.

Reality is that Dr. J. was a film that would have been run both ways - 1.19 as well as 1.33 - theater dependent. And it works both ways.

I often return to the wise phrase attributed to Phil Feiner:

”Film doesn’t lie.”

In the case of Dr. J., viewing in both ratios, I far prefer the slightly more open 1.19. The POV opening sequence shot with a matte box/vignette works better as the top and bottom are not knife-edged, but rather work nicely with the sides.

One of the more interesting shots in which Mr. March and Ms Hopkins meet, works far better at 1.19, as the height is extremely helpful in setting the scene.

At 1.19 some wider shots appear a bit open at the top, which seems to offer the concept that if Mr. Struss was protecting for 1.19, while balancing for 1.33, he was setting the bottom of the frame for .33, which in some shots too closely trims the top of the frame, and would set some things off balance, inclusive of the MT sequence.

If projecting at 1.33, any projectionist worth his union card would start out framing center, and then ride the framing knob throughout.

Transitions were never easy.

Another fun era was the change from optical sound to magnetic. Not for the theaters, but in post, where certain portions of a track could be optically derived, while others were magnetic - all joining at the opt trk neg stage.
 

Jack Theakston

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What theaters were doing is immaterial.

What the studios did was pertinent and explained in the article. Paramount was never shooting for Movietone even before the mandate and did NOT protect for that ratio as I've already said.
 

Robert Harris

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What theaters were doing is immaterial.

What the studios did was pertinent and explained in the article. Paramount was never shooting for Movietone even before the mandate and did NOT protect for that ratio as I've already said.
Everything that the studios do is immaterial, if what they create doesn't end up on theater screens.

I’ve read, and I’ve heard. Studios are run by people.

People sometimes make odd decisions, and then they move on to another job.

Those decisions sometimes make it to print - internal studio memos, trade publications, et al.

The article, which is a nice bit of projection history during the turmoil, does not represent the exigencies of the real world.

If I were to take the article and the facts that you’re offering all at face value, I’d come away believing that Karl Struss wasn’t much of a cinematographer, for if he set the film only to be viewed at 1.33, he needed to go back to the AFI, take more courses or possibly reconsider his vocation.

We’ll just think of him as a Paramount hack, who somehow landed in the camera dept.
 
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