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t1g3r5fan

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Jul 1, 2012
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Mychal Bowden
One of the most successful writers of television’s first Golden Age, Paddy Chayefsky had a knack for intimate realism as well as satire that was perfect for the burgeoning medium. That quality also transferred well into Hollywood, looking to keep pace with the format in the 1950’s, and made the leap successfully, earning three Oscars over the years for his scripts like The Hospital (1971) and Network (1976); his first Oscar win came for a film he first scripted for an episode of The Philco Television Playhouse, Marty. One of the first Blu-rays Kino released as part of their Studio Classics line, they have revisited the movie for a brand new release.



Marty (1955)



Released: 10 Jun 1955
Rated: Not Rated
Runtime: 90 min




Director: Delbert Mann
Genre: Drama, Romance



Cast: Ernest...

Continue reading...
 
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lark144

Senior HTF Member
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Feb 22, 2012
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2,103
Real Name
mark gross
As always, Mychal, an engaging and commendable review. Based on your recommendation, I would rush right out and buy it, except I already have it. I wanted to comment a bit on the image quality of the 1:85:1 version. I haven't watched the 1:35:1 iteration as I always thought that framing, with its figures lost in immense headroom, made Joseph La Shelle, one of the greatest DPs in Hollywood history, look like a rank amateur, as if the film was shot on the fly in Super 8. Now, in the 1:85:1 framing, the compositions have a sensitivity and intimacy that matches that of the performances. But the main reason I double-dipped was the image looked so fuzzy on the first release of the Blu-Ray, especially the scene at the dance in which the ballroom itself was flat and very soft, with no depth of field and in the master shots, you couldn't make out people's faces. That's been fixed now, and I find it much better, and well worth the upgrade for me. It's not perfect however. As Mr. Harris mentions in his "few words", there is a heavier than usual grain field, and in certain scenes, for instance, the aforementioned dance, there is some loss of shadow detail on the faces. If you compare that same scene with the one on the trailer, you can see the difference. However, for me, these defects are slight and and hardly noticiable and don't interfere with my pleasure in viewing the film.
 

Frankie_A

Agent
Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Messages
44
A word about the 1.37:1 vs 1.85:1 aspect ratio framing -- this film was shot in 1955, a period when Hollywood was transitioning from the Academy ratio (the near-square screen image) to wide screen. Once those theatre owners paid the big bucks to put in CinemaScope screens for THE ROBE, there was no way they were going to waste half that wide screen showing non-CinemaScope films dwarfed on it in the "square" Academy frame. After the public saw CinemaScope, the Academy AR was gone forever.

Theatre owners and projectionists found that they could simply crop the 35mm frame to whatever aspect ratio they wanted simply by cutting new aperture plates to mask the top and bottom of the image in the projector as the film with its 1.37:1 frame area was projected. Then using a lens of higher magnification, the image would be blow up on the screen to meet the top and bottom of the screen which of course resulted in a wider image. Thing is, this "spherical wide-screen" was not standardized; in fact, it was all over the place with some theatres using 1.66, some 1.75, 1.85 and some even 2:1 (idiots) and in some theatres, depending on what spare lenses they had laying around in storage, anything in between. Even after the industry pretty much standardized cropping to 1.85, Disney stuck with 1.75:1 saying the extra magnification to get to 1.85 was simply to detrimental to the image quality in terms of image brightness, increased grain size, and contrast, especially in the large theatres that were common in those years. The Rodent was right. European productions, even to this day, for the most part have stuck with 1.66 for that same reasoning.

In order to avoid a studio's release that was composed for 1.85 from being presented with frame lines on top and bottom showing by theatres not cropping out to 1.85, the cinematographer almost always shot "wide open," in other words, exposing the full 1.37 aperture on the film and that full frame was usually left on the release print or hard masked as 1.66, the assumption being that the theatre itself would crop to the intended 1.85:1. For theatres that were cropping to only 1.75 or 1.66, they had that extra bit of image or "protection" so black frame lines wouldn't show on the screen. Back then, if frames lines were visible on the screen, it was considered unacceptable presentation; audiences would think there was something wrong. Today we just are so used to letterboxing on TV that no one would have any trouble with it if frame lines were visible in a theatre presentation.

So here's the thing with MARTY -- the studio, the director and the cinematographer all intended the 35mm release prints to be projected with a 1.85:1 aperture plate, even though the image filled the entire 1.37:1 35mm film frame. The trailer shows that the Original Negative was indeed shot "wide open," but this certainly doesn't mean that was how it was intended to be shown in theatres. If there is a DVD or VHS out there of the feature that shows that full, 1.37:1 image, it is VIDEO DONE WRONG! Of course with VHS transfere, video done wrong was the rule of thumb -- can anyone say, pan and scan transfers? I rest my case. VHS aside, there is no excuse for any DVD of this film to be incorrectly transferred with an unmasked 1.37:1 image.
 

usrunnr

Writer
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,004
Real Name
usrunnr
So here's the thing with MARTY -- the studio, the director and the cinematographer all intended the 35mm release prints to be projected with a 1.85:1 aperture plate, even though the image filled the entire 1.37:1 35mm film frame. The trailer shows that the Original Negative was indeed shot "wide open," but this certainly doesn't mean that was how it was intended to be shown in theatres. If there is a DVD or VHS out there of the feature that shows that full, 1.37:1 image, it is VIDEO DONE WRONG! Of course with VHS transfere, video done wrong was the rule of thumb -- can anyone say, pan and scan transfers? I rest my case. VHS aside, there is no excuse for any DVD of this film to be incorrectly transferred with an unmasked 1.37:1 image.

I agree. Is this not true also of "Summertime" the current Criterion blu ray release?
 

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