DVDFile has just announced one of the truly great works of modern film for release in February as part of M-G-M's World Films line: http://www.dvdfile.com/software/dvd-...003/10_23.html The good news? A magnificent picture will soon have its day on disc. The bad news? A number of previous entries in the World Films line have shown up as 4x3 formatted widescreen. Two of the most egregious errors are Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring, which are 2.35:1 4x3 formatted widescreen (Technovision), and have never been corrected. As a result, I have yet to buy either, though they are both films I'd like to own. I hope and trust M-G-M understands the importance of offering Depardieu as his quintessential Cyrano in 16x9 formatted ("anamorphic") OAR. I'm of the personal opinion that this is the finest title yet offered in their World Films line. But ... there's a caveat. The IMDB lists its OAR as 1.66:1, and M-G-M notoriously refuses support for 16x9 formatting on 1.66:1 titles. This is a grave mistake. In addition to the resolution gains (it's a matter of pixels, and they don't lie), 16x9 formatting better ensures the buying public that they are investing in a product derived from a new master. They can enjoy greater confidence (there are exceptions, even from major studios -- for instance, The Big Country reportedly has a better laser transfer, though I haven't seen it; the DVD is nevertheless 16x9 -- so this is by no means fool-proof, but rather "a good indicator") that it's not money wasted when they already have the old laserdisc of the title at home. Six years and counting -- DVD has matured beyond the days in which product placed on disc from old composite D2 video masters could be forgiven; from anyone hoping to appeal to the community that gave DVD its first sea legs in the home video waters (those who value image and sound quality), a D2 will not do. Component D1 masters, 16x9 formatted when wide, or bust. Hi-Def masters downconverted to standard definition transfers are the ideal, but anything less than a component master, properly formatted, will rarely earn my purchasing dollar. Frankly, this film is so good ... so long as it's wide, and reviews suggest it's of a quality suggesting a new master, I'll probably buy it. It's just so very good. But if it's any wider than 1.66:1 (if the IMDB is mistaken) and it is not 16x9 formatted, I won't buy it. It's just that simple. And I strongly, strongly, passionately urge M-G-M to look at the lovely 16x9 1.66:1 product of competing studios (Anchor Bay, Disney, etc.) and reconsider their unfortunate policy. Perhaps M-G-M will revisit earlier titles in this series, as well. For now, I strongly urge them to do right by our tragic hero Cyrano -- the poor fellow has suffered enough as it is. I've admired much of the studio's DVD work (persistent and annoying and needless artifical edge enhancement notwithstanding; please do away with this, M-G-M -- your product is just too good to continue carrying this burden), and sincerely congratulate them on a number of outstanding discs and the exceptional value of their pricing structure, and will be first in line for this title if transferred correctly. I'm thrilled to hear it's forthcoming, and will post some of this in the Studio Feedback forum, as well, in the hopes M-G-M will see it and know both the anticipation for the title and the emphasis film lovers continue to place on the complete use of the DVD spec in bringing the best pictures in the best possible quality to their homes. I also hope the studio knows how much I (and many film lovers) appreciate their dedication to the format.