Murder She Wrote: any more Jessica Fletcher coming?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Matt Hough, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I know there was a thread on the Murder, She Wrote TV-movies that Angela Lansbury did after wrapping up the series, but I can't find it to post in so I'm using this thread.

    I, of course, bought the recently released compilation for the four Murder, She Wrote TV movies to complete my complete collection of the show.

    However, a week or so ago when Hallmark HD was running one of their countless marathons, they aired the final two TV-movies, and I was astonished to see them being broadcast in 16:9 instead of the 4:3 we got on the DVD release. Were these movies shot in widescreen? They certainly looked more movie-like shown that way. If these widescreen version versions were available, I certainly wish Universal had done anamorphic widescreen transfers for them on the DVD.
     
  2. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    This issue, I think, came up in a HTF thread on the last collection of Columbo tv movies, which was released in widescreen. Apparently, in the 1990s, Universal saw the coming of widescreen and started shooting shows like this in a manner that allowed both full screen (traditional tv aspect ratio) and widescreen transfers. The fullscreen transfer would cut off some information on the side of the frame, and the widescreen transfer would cut off some information on the top and bottom of the frame. Someone had some screen caps of the British Columbo complete series set (released in fullscreen) and the difference between the two transfers was shown by comparing them to the U.S. release. IMO, in the case of Columbo screen caps I saw, the widescreen transfer was more likely to cut off relevant information. The image cut off on the fullscreen transfer tended to contain empty space. I do not know for sure if the same would apply with Murder She Wrote. Assuming this dual widescreen/fullscreen process was used on the Murder She Wrote tv movies, I don't think it's a big deal as you lose something with either transfer. If you are manic to remove black bars on your widescreen tv, you may feel differently.
     
  3. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Well, I know from watching old bonus features on TV box sets that the camera viewer often had blocked off 4:3 and 16:9 configurations (I guess some still do block for both ratios since some folks are still using 4:3 sets). I just didn't realize Murder, She Wrote had that kind of coverage. I would rather have had those movies in 16:9 if they were available.

    I wonder who makes those decisions?
     
  4. WaveCrest

    WaveCrest Producer

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    The Region 2 Universal Playback set of the four post-series TV movies, has South by Southwest, A Story to Die For and The Last Free Man presented in fullscreen, with The Celtic Riddle presented in widescreen.
     
  5. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    GRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!
     
  6. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Any word on if Universal will issue a complete series set? This was never a "grail" show and I passed on buying these in the early years because of the infamous flippers and the bulky packaging. I much prefer the CBS/P packaging which holds half a dozen discs in a single sized package. If Uni repackaged these on single sided discs with compact packaging I might very well go for it.
     
  7. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I agree with you. Those boxes take up a lot of shelf space.
     

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