GREAT ESCAPE - weird cropping ?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Deepak Shenoy, Oct 1, 2001.

  1. Deepak Shenoy

    Deepak Shenoy Supporting Actor

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    I know the unusual aspect ratio on the MGM release of The Great Escape has been brought up several times. I have seen some reviews incorrectly listing it as 2.35:1 and some said it was 2.70:1. Guess what ? I just popped the DVD into my DVD-ROM for an accurate measurement (without overscan) and the aspect ratio is more like 3.0:1 ! That has to be the widest aspect ratio I have seen (even wider than that of Ben-Hur). Anyone know what the OAR is ? If it is 2.35:1, how did so much of the picture (about 22.5% - that's almost like pan-and-scan) get cropped ? Did the LD have the correct aspect ratio ?
    MGM is supposed to be coming out with a special edition of this title in May 2002. Hopefully they will fix the aspect ratio problem and give us a brand new anamorphic transfer.
    [Edited last by Deepak Shenoy on October 01, 2001 at 10:07 PM]
     
  2. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I sure hope you're right! The current transfer is quite poor.
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  3. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I have the Criterion Laserdisc of this film. I don't know if the aspect ratio is right, I assume if it's a Criterion release, it is. One thing I noticed on the current MGM DVD is in the scene when Steve McQueen is throwing his baseball against the wall in the cooler, you'll see the edge of the set. In the LD, you cannot.
    That LD is pretty cool because there is a director commentary and lots of suppliments. I thought the Sturges commentary very insightful about the production and the efforts to make it as authentic as possible plus the effort just to get the project green lighted.
    Nelson
     
  4. Roland Wandinger

    Roland Wandinger Stunt Coordinator

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    I had the R2 once and compared it to the R1 and the R2 is framed at about 2.35 but there is a section missing on the left side?
     
  5. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    The only version that is framed correctly is the Criterion. All others, as noted, including the MGM widescreen LD, are cropped far too much.
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