The Prince and the Showgirl... What Gives?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eric Huffstutler, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 1999
    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Real Name:
    Eric Huffstutler
    I just received my copy of Warner brothers The Prince and the Showgirl (Marilyn Monroe / Laurence Olivier) and was shocked that this visual movie came out as "STANDARD" instead of its original Widescreen.
    What Gives? Itisn't a "family" movie per se!
     
  2. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    www.imdb.com gives no technical specs, but considering it came out in 1957, it is possible that the OAR is 1.37:1 (as was Paths of Glory from the same year).
    One thing is for certain, it was not filmed utilizing any special widescreen process, so the OAR could be, at most, 1.66:1 or maybe 1.85:1.
    Don't know if that helps, but that's about all I know about the matter. [​IMG]
     
  3. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 1999
    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Real Name:
    Eric Huffstutler
    I also checked the Imdb and AllMovie and found no technical information for the film. Even looked through a few of my Marilyn Monroe books and nothing.
    I have the VHS version which also came out in the Full Screen format and see nothing about Cinemascope or the like attached to the credits.
    The only kicker is that there is a newsreel on the movie's premier on the disc and mentions another Warner movie in production at the same time The Spirt of St. Louis and it was filmed with 35mm at 2:35 : 1 ratio.
    The DVD version is a better copy than the tape but still varies from scene to scene. Some look restored while others look like untouched stock footage. Some are sharp and vibrant while othes soft and washed out.
    I am just glad to have the movie to add to my Marilyn collection and know there are a few more out there that independent companies owned... but doesn't Warner also own Republic films? If so, Clash By Night is another Marilyn movie that they should put out!
    Columbia should have Ladies of the Chorus stashed away somewhere?
    And Fox... if you are listening??? When will we see Niagra, River of No Return and a few others from the Marilyn collection?
     
  4. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2001
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    This title was soft matted in theaters to 1.85:1. The print was 1.33:1.

    Ted
     
  5. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 1999
    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Real Name:
    Eric Huffstutler
    Ted

    The cover and an intro states the film has been reformatted from its original version to fit a TV screen.

    Usually that means Pan & Scam.
     
  6. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 1999
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    0
    Steven, even if the cover art states that, it doesn't necessarily mean that is the case. Warner Bros. seems to be the most egregious offender of this as their DVDs of Singin' in the Rain and Strangers on a Train both state this incorrectly.
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,555
    Likes Received:
    186
    Location:
    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    Paramount owns Republic.
    Note how WB has not released any films owned by Republic on DVD. [​IMG]
     
  8. William Miller

    William Miller Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2000
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    3
    Artisan owns most of the Republic titles.
     
  9. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,555
    Likes Received:
    186
    Location:
    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    I think Artisan only distributes Republic's films.

    On the back of my It's A Wonderful Life DVD, it says "Distributed by Artisan Entertainment" and has (c) 1947 Republic Entertainment Inc.

    Republic's VHS tapes are released by Republic (They surely have enough catalog to be able to release their own DVD's!)
     
  10. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    4,300
    Likes Received:
    40
    Republic is owned by Spelling Entertainment. Both it and Paramount are owned by Viacom. The Republic Pictures catalog was licensed on a long term deal to Artisan for DVD. So Artisan, not Paramount, is the entity to bug about this one.

    Note that the same issue applies somewhat to Twin Peaks; the season 1 pilot is now owned by Paramount (after having been controlled by Warner for years), but since it's not part of the Republic Pictures package, Artisan has no rights to it.
     
  11. Peter Rohlfs

    Peter Rohlfs Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 1998
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    1
    I was wondering about the aspect ratio myself. Nothing in the film seems to be a P&S move and the credits (if the original, and I don't know that they aren't) fit well in the frame.

    I was very disappointed by the transfer. Very grainy and doesn't look much better than the VHS release.

    Ladies of the Chorus was released by Columbia on VHS and is an excellent MM film. Hopefully there will be a DVD release.

    Peter
     
  12. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  13. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2001
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Myself, I was there, I inspected it, I threaded each and every reel, I projected it. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    BTW, IIRC, it was grainy then, too.
    Ted
     
  14. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  15. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,969
    Likes Received:
    701
    I doubt that Warner Bros would even remove

    the soft mattes from this film, if it ever had them,

    for a DVD release. MM and LO are in deeply in the

    "Film Buff" camp, and not light "family fare."

    Also, any time Warners has released a film with

    the soft mattes removed, thus being called

    "open matte," they still put the note, "This

    film has been modified...to fit this screen."

    at the intro to the film.

    Pan and scan, open matte, or a combination

    (which many films with special effects are),

    they are all "modified" and labed as such.

    Modified does not denote "pan-and scan."

    Having said this, OAR is still the only

    way to watch films.

    Mark
     
  16. Marty Neudel

    Marty Neudel Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    0
    >>I threaded each and every reel, I projected it.No offence, but if you are remembering from 1957, you'll forgive me if I don't take it as definite fact. Besides which, perhaps you projected it incorrectly.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it is 1.37:1 OAR, just that it's possible considering the age. Plus, it doesn't really make much sense to release this one in a "formatted" DVD.<

    Gee, let's see. We have one guy who is a professional telling us about his EXPERIENCE in the field. Then we have another guy who has an opinion. Which one to trust?

    Marty
     
  17. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2001
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Obviously you missed my first statement "I inspected it".
    This means going through each and every reel on a rewind, where you get to look at the actual film, including the frame lines and the format, scope, flat soft matte, flat hard matte, optical sound, magnetic sound, standard sprocket holes, special (foxhole) magnetic sprocket holes etc.
    Back before platters and automation and multi screen theater complexes, no film was ever put through a projector without checking for torn sprockets, weak splices and other damage.
    Back then, all splices were done with film cement, which could and did tend to come apart when not done correctly.
    People at the film exchange also inspected the print before it was sent out to the next theater, and if the film condition wasn't substantially consistent with the last inspection, the theater was sent a bill for the damages.
    Now obviously this all happened a lot of years ago, but I can still tell you that Disney hard matted many of their flat prints at 1.75:1, the print of Gigi that we received was optical, rather than Magoptical (bummer [​IMG]) and many other stories from my days as a projectionist.
    Ted
     
  18. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 1999
    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Real Name:
    Eric Huffstutler
    Thanks TedD.
    I will take your experience as being correct which makes me feel a little better that Warner didn't botch up this movie. Just wished they would have restored it first [​IMG]
    Still confuses me why they would put a disclaimer on screen as well as on the box that the film has been modified?
    Could the "modified" version have been reformatted to 1:33 from a matted print - meaning more was cut off? But I also agree with others that it doesn't look like it.
     
  19. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  20. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,976
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    Perusing the new DVD's at my local DVD store, the 1957 Marilyn Monroe/Laurence Olivier release states on the back of the cover that it's been modified to fit your TV.
    No, it's not a high profile flick like Cats And Dogs or Willy Wonka but it is a once in a lifetime collaboration between Monroe and Olivier and in 1957 films were no longer projected at the old Academy ratio. Is it because it's not in Dolby 5.1, DTS or are aspect ratios not important to older catalogue films?
     

Share This Page