OAR of Anatomy of a Murder?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rain, Apr 8, 2002.

  1. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Alright, I'm a bit puzzled by this one.
    IMDB lists the OAR as 1.85:1.
    Most other internet sources, including some threads on HTF, indicate that the 1.33:1 DVD is NOT OAR.
    Interestingly, the DVD packaging itself notes that the film is presented in 1.33:1 "preserving the aspect ratio of its original theatrical exhibition."
    I can think of at least one American film as late as 1957 that has a 1.37:1 OAR (mind you, it's a Kubrick film, so that may be a different animal altogether), but I can't think of any as late as 1959. However, I suppose it's possible.
    Is there anyone who has actually seen the disc who may be able to comment as to whether it looks right or not (should be pretty obvious, I would think)? Or can someone supply a more reliable source as to the correct aspect ratio for this film?
    I rather suspect that IMDB is right in this case and the packaging is mislabeled. But mid-late fifties are iffy, so I thought I'd throw it out on the table for discussion.
    (Interestingly, it's a Columbia/Tristar DVD [​IMG] )
     
  2. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    While there are films from the 50s through even the early 60s that should be 1.33:1, in the case of "Anatomy of a Murder" Columbia has released it in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen in other countries. Here is the back cover art from the German edition:
    [​IMG]
    Regards,
     
  3. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Thanks, Ken.
    That would seem to clinch it then. Evidently, the R1 Columbia DVD is mislabeled. If they aren't going to release it OAR, they could have at least corrected the information on the packaging. Shame on you again, Columbia/Tristar. [​IMG]
     
  4. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    So is the R1 version P&S or open matte? If the latter, I can just zoom it up at some loss of picture quality, but there's nothing to be done about P&S.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    The OAR is still something of a mystery, but I'd be very surprised if the R1 version was cropped. The composition looks excellent, even on Saul Bass's opening titles. If you zoom it to fit a 1.78:1 screen, the image fits OK, but the composition becomes very tight at the top and bottom.

    Incidentally, the shots from the back of the German edition look like production stills, not screen captures. The composition is subtly different from the scenes in the film (e.g., the angle on Lee Remick and George C. Scott).

    M.
     
  6. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Michael,

    Is there any chance you could post some screen shots?...this is getting more and more interesting.

    I'd certainly like to buy it if the DVD is OAR after all...
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Anatomy Of A Murder is probably meant for at the widest, 1.66:1, since it was filmed at 1.33:1 with possible 1.66:1 matting in theaters.

    1.33:1 is just as fine and doesn't compromise the composition of the image. 1.85:1, like it has been said, may be a little tight for the image.

    Most 1.66:1 films filmed on plain 35mm can be viewed at 1.33:1 just as fine. The best explaination is that Columbia's DVD department (US division) viewed the film at 1.85:1 and thought it was way too cramped, thus kept it without mattes.

    Columbia has yet to do anamorphic 1.66:1 (Only Anchor Bay, Disney, Universal, and Criterion do this) so keeping the film matte-free at 1.33:1 would have been a better compositional choice than overmatting the image to 1.85:1(Although, why doesn't Columbia do 1.78:1?)
     
  8. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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  9. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  10. Mick Wright

    Mick Wright Second Unit

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    TCM shows Anatomy in 1.85:1 lbx in what looks to me like a recent transfer.
     
  11. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    It's quite possible that the 1.33 transfer is itself tight, which would explain why it appears too tight on the top when using the zoom mode of a 16X9 TV. The fact that it's open matte does not mean you're looking at the entire exposure made on the original 35mm negative.

    Also, this film was shot at a time when widescreen movies were standard and, even if intended for 1.66:1 exhibition, it's likely that it was composed both for that and 1.85:1.
     
  12. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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  13. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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  14. Gabe D

    Gabe D Cinematographer

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    I compared the DVD to a tape of the letterboxed TCM broadcast. The DVD is open matte, however, there is also slightly less information on the sides.

    The 1.85:1 definitely looks better, and it's especially obvious during the opening titles. You can see that the art was composed for the wider aspect ratio. Pieces that should extend beyond the edge of the screen (as they do on the letterboxed version) end abruptly right where the image should be matted.

    Since the image is slightly zoomed and not the complete frame, it's not really a good case where you can just zoom your widescreen TV.

    If you ask me, this is really more upsetting than higher profile MAR titles like Willy Wonka, if only because the package explicitly states that 1.33:1 is the OAR. I wouldn't have bought it if I had realized what I'd be getting. Now to put it back on my "sell on eBay" stack...
     
  15. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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  16. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    In the past, 4:3 transfers were often cropped on all sides to hide damage to the elements used for transfer which was normally most noticeable around the edges of the frame.

    Regards,
     

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