Ship of Fools Aspect Ratio?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Roger Mathus, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

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    Ship of Fools has been announced for DVD by CTS. The release is listed at 1.33 Full Screen. As this was released in 1965, I thought that it should be some form of widescreen. Can anyone confirm the OAR for this film?
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I saw this in a theater back in the 60s, it was widescreen but I couldn't tell you the exact aspect ratio.
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Since this recent dvd release is in Full Screen can somebody confirmed whether this film's OAR was in a widescreen ratio or was it matted during it's theatrical run?




    Crawdaddy
     
  4. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

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    Robert, I went ahead and ordered Ship of Fools and it should arrive at my door this afternoon. I will post results.

    Good to see you active in HTF. I really enjoyed meeting you at the HTF meet three years ago. After 24 years in Japan and Korea, I now live in central Oregon.
     
  5. Greg Hoffman

    Greg Hoffman Auditioning

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    IMBd doesn't have an aspect ratio listed for this one,but it played on Turner Classic Movies very recently, and I believe was shown with a slight LBX [1.66:1?]
     
  6. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

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    DHL arrived and I checked out the DVD. The package says full frame 1.33. It appears that the 1.33 image of the film is indeed window boxed at 1.66.
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Roger,
    Good to hear from you, hope everything is well with you. Yes, we had a good time out in LA three years ago. How do you like Oregon? I'm thinking of moving to the Northwest in the next 5-10 years myself, when I retire.





    Crawdaddy
     
  8. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

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    Robert, central Oregon is fantastic. The area is just large enought to get the limited release movies and there is one 6 screen theater that specializes in indy and art films. Given this I saw Human Stain last week and we get previews of Cheaper By The Dozen and Last Samari this weekend. Weather in the high desert is super with sunshine almost every day but little rain.
     
  9. BruceKimmel

    BruceKimmel Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not sure what you mean, Robert. In the US the film was shown 1:85. That was what theaters projected in unless it was scope. So, when you say was it matted for projection, I'm not sure what you're getting at. All films that weren't scope were matted for 1:85. Very few prints had hard mattes printed on the film so it was up to the theater to mat the film. While Mr. Kramer may have liked 1:66 and while he and his cameraman may have protected anything above 1:85, he knew how the film would be projected and that is how he framed it.

    I'm also confused about what I'm hearing from the person who actually has the disc - are you saying the packaging says 1:33 but that the film is matted at 1:66, but not enhanced for widescreen TVs?
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    What I'm asking is what is the OAR of the film? If you're saying it's 1:85 than that's what I'm asking for.







    Crawdaddy
     
  11. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    It was projected at 1.85 in the U.S. The prints may very well have been hard matted to 1.66:1, I don't recall.

    Ted
     
  12. BruceKimmel

    BruceKimmel Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, 1:85. There were only two standard ratios in the sixties - 1:85 and scope. Very few theaters could even show Academy ratio by then. I remember taking my daughter to see Singin' in the Rain in 1974 at LA's Fine Arts theater. They couldn't show Academy (and this was a theater that showed nothing but "art" and foreign films) they only showed 1:85 and a not very wide scope. Well, as you can imagine, the feet of the dancers was missing in many shots - kind of ruined the experience.

    So, when Columbia does the occasional screw-up and releases a sixties film in pan and scan OR open matte, it's just baffling. Anatomy of a Murder is a perfect example - projected at 1:85 in the US, and framed that way by Mr. Preminger and his cameraman. Open matte transfer on DVD - but not in the UK where it is in its proper ratio on a Columbia DVD.
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Columbia did the same thing with "Cowboy" so we know of at least 3 films they released not in the proper aspect ratio on dvd. I'm sure there are others and this is starting to burn me.




    Crawdaddy
     
  14. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

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    Upon further review of the disc it is NOT window boxed at 1.66 as I previously reported. It is full frame and apparently open matte. I tried zoom to 1.78 and did fairly extensive sampling. It appears that it frames well at 1.78.

    I am surprised that CTS did not release this at the apparent intended 1.85.
     
  15. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Mr Kimmel and I have had this argument before. He is under the false impression that unless it was scope, it had to be 1:85. this is not true. Two studios regularly released films to be matted to 1:70 - Disney and Warner Brothers. These were mostly matted in the theater. Disney did not do a hard matte until Mary Poppins (1.85).
    Indeed, I have seen a 1.70 film on AMC that Warners mistakenly matted at 1.85 (Parrish) and everything is way too tight with tops of heads being clopped off throughout the entire film.
    When I worked at Pioneer, Paramount transferred The Ten Commandments at 1.85 - even thought there are specific instructions sent to projectionsis from Cecil B. Demille saying that the film was inteded to be 1.70!!
    Most Disney films of the fifties become way too tight at 1.70.
    When I worked at Pioneer laserdisc, we had a contract with Columbia and looked a lot of prints in their library and almost all of the fifties prints were har matted at 1.70 or 1.75.
     
  16. BruceKimmel

    BruceKimmel Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not arguing. I'm sure they hard-matted some prints to 1:70. If you read what I actually say I say they were projected at 1:85. Every director working in the US knew that's what the films would be projected at. If prints were hard-matted it was to protect the upper area of the frame from exposing mics and whatever. But, in theaters, it was 1:85. Also, frequently when people say tops of heads were cut off, that's the way it was projected (the camera, by the way, has 1:85 matte lines in the viewfinder) so that's either the way the cameraman and director framed the shot or they were inept. There are many films with closeups in which the tops of heads are cut off, thereby placing the eyes just above the center of the screen, their most commanding position according to photographers. You'll see it in Academy ratio films, too. So, it doesn't matter whether the films were hard-matted at 1:66 or 1:75, they weren't projected that way and the filmmakers could see right through the camera the way they WOULD be projected and that is how any sane person would have framed his film.
     
  17. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Having spent a great deal of time visiting projectinists in my home town of Elmira, N.Y> and neighboring cities of Ithaca, Syracuse, Rochestor and Binghamtom. again, it was NOT standar to project films in 1:85. Disney films and Warner films were invariably projected at 1:70.
    MGM films at 1:85 and Columbia were at 1:85 or 1>70 for the Ray Harryhausen stuff, mostly shot in europe with 1:66 projection in Europe in mind.
     
  18. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    Sorry Joe, I'm going to side with Bruce on this.

    I have been a professional projectionist since about 1962, grew up in a movie theaters that my Dad managed, (ran my first show at 10 years of age (supervised, of course) and worked as a projectionist in theaters in Honolulu HI, Lexington KY, San Jose CA, Denver and Boulder CO, Minneapolis-St Paul MN, and Dallas-Fort Worth TX. In addition, I have visited theaters in many other states.

    I was a member of the IATSE for many years, and in all my years of experience, I have never worked in a theater with more than one set of flat lenses. The most common flat AR by far was 1.85:1, but I have worked in theaters that were owned by Royal Amusements in Hawaii that projected EVERYTHING at 2.0:1. That's Scope, flat, everything. Royal had the exclusive contract with Paramount in Hawaii, and the 2.0:1 screens were installed with VistaVision in mind. When CinemaScope pictures were played, the 2.35:1 was cropped to 2.0:1.

    As far as a recommended 1.70:1, aperture plates were manufactured in standard flat ratios of: 1.33:1, 1.66:1, 1.75:1, 1.85:1, 2:1 (.412x.825) and the Scope ratios of 2.35:1 and 2.55:1 and 2.0:1 (.715x.715).

    BTW, This: http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/wide...rame_guide.htm is a description the guide marks that appear twice at the beginning of every reel of every VistaVision title, including "The Ten Commandments".

    There are no indexes for 1.70:1 or even 1.75:1.

    Also, I have projected many disney live action titles released prior to "Mary Poppins', and many, if not most of the titles were hard matted to 1.75:1.

    Just my $.02.

    Ted
     

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