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Douglas R

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It was shot and composed at 1.37:1- the screen caps don’t lie. Otherwise why should anyone use an open matte?
That proves nothing. As had often been said in this forum, the vast majority of films are shot open matte i.e. 1.37:1

 

andersmo

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Anders M Olsson
Because they ALL converted to widescreen and didn't have the ability show an Academy ratio film on a WIDE screen without it being windowboxed in the center of a 1.85 frame. I know you want to be hard-headed about this, which is fine, but you're quite wrong. By 1955, no one was shooting Academy ratio films in the US because - wait for it - they knew they could not be shown in that ratio. And our UK friends have already informed you that the UK made the switchover relatively quickly. But if you can look at the caps from this film, with all that ridiculous head room and think that's the way any competent director or cameraman would frame a shot, then I'm afraid you have a few things to learn about filmmaking, my friend.
I completely agree that the headroom clearly reveals that this film was intended to be projected in widescreen. Also that the switchover to wider formats was pretty swift in the 1950's.

However, I'm not so sure that the theaters in general threw out every ability to run 1.37:1 in the process. Why would they? It seems stupid to ignore the large base of existing films in academy ratio.

In the 1970s and 80s, I worked as a projectionist at several older houses. Most of them hadn't been upgraded technically since the conversion to widescreen in the 1950's. They still had the ability to run 1.37:1, and did so occasionally, in particular for Sunday matinees for kids, running Laurel & Hardy, the Marx Brothers etc.

There was no "windowboxing" or "pillarboxing", since the screen size could be changed by motorized masks with stops for academy, widescreen and scope. True, the picture would be smaller than for the wider sizes, but that was how it was intended.

I have only worked at one theater with no ability whatsoever to run 1.37:1. That was a triplex, built new in 1979, where the owner tried to cut every corner, and omit the lenses and aperture plates needed for the academy ratio. When we ran The Public Enemy (1931) on the existing equipment, it was a disaster, and the audience complained.
 

Matt Hough

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IIRC the master they used on Last Emperor was created primarily for DVD and used Storaro's modus opperendii for standard def formats:
Correct, and it was carried over when the film was released on Blu-ray. I reviewed both the DVD and Blu-ray sets months apart.
 

PMF

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Well, I’ll ask no questions about the theatrical presentations of The Lighthouse, but I’m glad to read that these discussions are making some important inroads for all.

Indeed, at HTF, a seemingly simple release announcement can quickly evolve into a comprehensive history and education on the singular topic of Aspect Ratios. Not bad. Not bad at all.:thumbs-up-smiley:
 
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darkrock17

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Indeed, at HTF, a seemingly simple release announcement can quickly evolve into a comprehensive history and education on the singular topic of Aspect Ratios. Not bad. Not bad at all.:thumbs-up-smiley:

This must be a first as the topic hasn't gotten off not even once so far in these 18 pages of replies. Usually by the 4th or 5th page on a thread it will develop Charlene Syndrome.

 

noel aguirre

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Because they ALL converted to widescreen and didn't have the ability show an Academy ratio film on a WIDE screen without it being windowboxed in the center of a 1.85 frame. I know you want to be hard-headed about this, which is fine, but you're quite wrong. By 1955, no one was shooting Academy ratio films in the US because - wait for it - they knew they could not be shown in that ratio. And our UK friends have already informed you that the UK made the switchover relatively quickly. But if you can look at the caps from this film, with all that ridiculous head room and think that's the way any competent director or cameraman would frame a shot, then I'm afraid you have a few things to learn about filmmaking, my friend.
You aren't making sense, my friend, as Summertime most likely was shot Summertime 1954. It premiered May 1955 (Italy) and June 1955( USA) and is not titled Springtime nor Wintertime! Again 1.66 yes 1.85 never as the credits caps clearly show. And FYI most cinemas had an invention called a curtain so nothing needed to be ever shown windowboxed. And if I recall you think the teal Fox releases are perfectly OK as is and you're lecturing me about filmmaking? Rich.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Okay, I have been reading exchanges in this thread over the past 24 hours and I am noticing a level of hostile, snarky remarks that I am uncomfortable with being posted on this forum.

We strive for our members to be polite to each other. If you can't debate politely and feel the need to continue to insert snarky remarks, then I would back out of this discussion thread before you are removed.
 

PMF

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Philip
I’m hoping Summertime Is an indication of Criterion releasing more of their prior DVDs of David Lean onto BD. Actually, I’ll take any and all, old or new.
 
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RICK BOND

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I got my custom cover made already ! :D I do Not like Criterion's cover. :(
IMG_20220429_181144248.jpg
IMG_20220429_181058644.jpg
 

Thomas T

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First time I saw Citizen Kane in 35mm, it was run 1.85 for that reason.
The first time I ever saw Gone With The Wind was in 1967 when the 1.37 film was reformatted for a 70 millimeter blow up for roadshow engagements. The movie was a hit all over again but boy, did it look hideous. Fortunately, no one attempted to release that version in any physical media format.
 

lark144

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mark gross
The obvious solution is for Criterion to call on Dave Strohmaier to convert Summertime into a 3-panel Cinerama presentation; and then to summon the good folk at the 3D Film Archive to do a 3D conversion. Those Venetian vistas would look awesome. We would lose the framing of the human drama (probably what attracted the director to the material). But who cares about the drama when Venice looks so beautiful?
The "human drama", compared to the play, is fairly uneventful, from my perspective. I like it because of Venice.
 

lark144

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mark gross
Exactly. Just like when I took my daughter to see Singin' in the Rain in the 1970s at the Fine Arts Theater - 1.85 - no feet, which is amusing for a dance film.
Yup. I saw "Singin' in the Rain" there too, and I remember the feet being cut off as well. Someone must have complained about that during the show I was at, for at one point, the frame was raised so you could see the feet, but then they didn't have any heads, so it went back to the way it was.
 

bujaki

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The "human drama", compared to the play, is fairly uneventful, from my perspective. I like it because of Venice.
The play is harsh, very harsh. Leona is not too likeable. But the human drama is still set in Venice, and no Broadway production could replicate Venice. So one can read (or watch) the play, or watch the film and be wholly satisfied by combining both experiences.
 

Mark-P

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Because they ALL converted to widescreen and didn't have the ability show an Academy ratio film on a WIDE screen without it being windowboxed in the center of a 1.85 frame. I know you want to be hard-headed about this, which is fine, but you're quite wrong. By 1955, no one was shooting Academy ratio films in the US because - wait for it - they knew they could not be shown in that ratio. And our UK friends have already informed you that the UK made the switchover relatively quickly. But if you can look at the caps from this film, with all that ridiculous head room and think that's the way any competent director or cameraman would frame a shot, then I'm afraid you have a few things to learn about filmmaking, my friend.
I think most of us are in agreement with you that first-run cinemas didn't have the ability to project Academy anymore at that time which is why Academy films got butchered. But the reason wouldn't have been because they would have been windowboxed (you actually meant pillarboxed). It's because they discarded the Academy projection plates and lenses. Even with the correct plate, using the same lens would mean the 1.37:1 image have the same width but spill over the top and bottom of the screen, so they would need a lens with longer throw to make the image smaller. It wasn't like it is today with projectors that have incredible amounts of zoom and lens shifting capabilities.
 

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