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Aspect Ratio Documentation (2 Viewers)

Douglas R

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I finally got around to watching tonight the DVD from the special edition box set I acquired long ago, which includes a separate Marilyn Monroe documentary, booklet, reproduction one sheet, and actual 35mm cel plastic encased on a card stock sheet. I’d been anticipating finally seeing it in widescreen, since the credits sheet under the shrink wrap listed 1.85:1. Alas, the movie was in a snapper case and on the back said 1.33:1. The film began with the typical disclaimed that it had been “modified to fit your screen,” and in fact it was Academy ratio. The title music sound started out thin and shaky but audio was somewhat improved in the dialogue scenes; the picture quality was okay but both sound and picture could use skillful restoration. There was generous headroom in most scenes, but I’m not so sure the best framing wouldn’t be 1.66:1. The IMDb detail simply states 1.37:1, but that’s the way it was filmed, not necessarily projected. As was the case with Criterion’s Summertime (1955), which they stood firm insisting on 1.37:1, I see the interim ratio of 1.66:1 as the most aesthetically pleasing, but suspect the erroneous 1.85:1 listed on the outer package may have been what audiences saw in 1957.
Contemporaneous copies of the UK trade paper Kine Weekly only provided detailed aspect ratios for films which began shooting from October 1, 1956. "The Prince and the Showgirl" started production at Pinewood before that date but films shot at the studio from that date (other than CInemaScope) were shot for 1.75:1 so it's reasonable to assume that British viewers saw the film at that ratio (I saw the film on first release but obviously don't recall the aspect ratio!). The Warner Bros DVD is a botched job, saying 1.85:1 on the box but which is full frame. No doubt it would have been shown 1.85:1 in the U.S.
 
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uncledougie

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I agree US audiences would likely have seen it at 1.85, as I said, but the 1.75 you mention may have been correct for UK release, and would’ve been preferable considering what picture information would be presented. The 1.37 on the DVD has too much headroom obvious in many scenes. It was actually my first time to see The Prince and the Showgirl from start to finish. Olivier looked a little uncomfortable, but Monroe was entirely charming, and it was a rare opportunity to see Sybil Thorndike.
 
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Bob Furmanek

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Jack Arnold’s THE GLASS WEB Is coming to Blu-ray in 2023 from our good friends at Kino Lorber, presented in the miracle of black and white widescreen third-dimension!

0BD24DC5-89ED-4CEA-BB76-36E0275C9B6C.jpeg
 

RolandL

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Just to keep the documents in one place, these were recently posted in other threads.

The OAR for the early Allied Artists widescreen films is 1.66:1 and the Universal-International's are 2:1. AA changed to 1.85:1 in mid-September 1953. Their first for 1.85:1 was ARROW IN THE DUST.

Also, in case you missed my new article on the history and preservation of a lost 3-D film: http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/home/dragonfly-squadron

View attachment 12280

View attachment 12281


Arrow in the Dust is on TCMHD On Demand but, it's not cropped to 1.85.

Looks a lot better than the picture taken by the iPhone
IMG_1892.JPG



YouTube maybe from the DVD?
arrow.jpg
 
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RolandL

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OK. Sorry if this might be off-topic but, I'm watching The Chosen One on Netflix and the image is 1.33. First time I have seen a TV show on Netflix that's not 1.77 or 2.0 or other widescreen AR.
 
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Worth

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OK. Sorry if this might be off-topic but, I'm watching The Chosen One on Netflix and the image is 1.33. First time I have seen a TV show on Netflix that's not 1.77 or 2.0 or other widescreen AR.
Yup, the Academy ratio is back in style.
 

JoshZ

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OK. Sorry if this might be off-topic but, I'm watching The Chosen One on Netflix and the image is 1.33. First time I have seen a TV show on Netflix that's not 1.77 or 2.0 or other widescreen AR.

That series actually has a variable ratio. Some scenes 4:3, others a super-wide 2.75:1.
 

JoshZ

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Must be in the last episode (unless I didn't notice them) as I didn't see anything but 4:3 in the first five.

I'm going by the trailer. It has footage in both ratios. Is the actual show not that way?



Edit: I just pulled it up on Netflix. This is literally the first shot of the first episode, about 12 seconds in.

chosen-one.jpg


The whole first scene is letterboxed. It doesn't switch to 4:3 until the credits about 5 minutes in.

That said, it looks like the rest of the episode is 4:3.
 
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Bob Furmanek

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Seventy years ago, the first film composed for 1.85:1 during principal photography was coming soon from Universal-International.

Within a few short years, that aspect ratio would become the accepted non-anamorphic standard for widescreen production and exhibition in the US.


Wings-two-page.jpg



Wings1.jpg
 
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Gary Couzens

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Yup, the Academy ratio is back in style.
Presumably digital projection being all but ubiquitous has enabled this? As everything is projected in 1.85:1 or 16:9 with black bars at the sides or top and bottom as appropriate, all manner of non-standard ratios are possible. And a good few films in the last decade or so have been in Academy. I saw one at Frightfest this weekend (Raging Grace). Andrea Arnold has used Academy for all her dramatic features except the first, Red Road.

Going back to the previous changeover of aspect ratios (the early talkie era), the old Movietone ratio of 1.19:1 was used for The Lighthouse (shot in 35mm but as far as I'm aware only shown via DCP). When I first saw it, in a cinema in Melbourne, there was a caption beforehand advising that the non-standard ratio was not a mistake and a creative choice by the filmmakers.
 

Bob Furmanek

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Don’t miss the gala New York premiere for this rare widescreen stereoscopic gem. Masterfully photographed with the brilliant and technically complex Spacemaster camera rig, it is truly one of the finest three-dimensional motion pictures from the Golden Age!

 

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