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WB: Fix framing problem with BEN-HUR! (1 Viewer)

Patrick McCart

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ben-hur_with_dvd_overlay.jpg

Need I say more?
(The full color part is what the DVD looks like. The entire frame is what it's REALLY supposed to look like.)
CORRECTION:
The DVD should at least have the already existing picture, plus the full height. 2.55:1 would be just as good as 2.76:1. WB: This would be a great excuse to make a 2-disc SE from restored 70mm, plus a DTS soundtrack. I'll actually buy this one again for a true restoration.
 

Mark Anthony

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The DVD is in 2.70:1, but it was transferred from a 35mm source at around 2.3-2.5:1 (which was not in the original camera aspect ratio) and then further matted to achieve the 2.70:1 image, hence why (as the screen grab from the widescreen museum shows) there is image missing from all sides.

Ben Hur was photographed in MGM Camera 65 aka Ultra Panavision 70, which has a 65mm negative ratio of around 2.75:1, it was shown thetrically in 1959 both in this ratio and at a matted 2.55:1 due to the type of screen needed - the current dvd represents neither aspect ratio, and is matted.

MA
 

Rain

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Yeah, I was disappointed when I heard about this as well.

I'd rebuy if it was done right.

I think Warner's DVD of A Star is Born also has a similar problem. It is rather obviously overmatted.
 

Patrick McCart

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The DVD is in 2.70:1, but it was transferred from a 35mm source at around 2.3-2.5:1 (which was not in the original camera aspect ratio) and then further matted to achieve the 2.70:1 image, hence why (as the screen grab from the widescreen museum shows) there is image missing from all sides.
The print used was already missing the picture on the left and right sides of the image, but included the full height. www.widescreenmuseum.com has a picture of what the 35mm version looks like (2.55:1 and IB Technicolor :emoji_thumbsup: ) in the High-res Images section.
 

Rain

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The really early CinemaScope productions were filmed in an ultra-wide 2.55:1 aspect ratio. I'm pretty sure A Star Is Born is on DVD at 2.55:1.
You are correct on both counts. However, that doesn't mean that the visible image on the DVD is all of what is supposed to be seen. I think it is likely cropped on all sides.

If you look at the DVD presentation, it is obviously extremely tight framing, suggesting some cropping. Take a look. I think you would have a difficult time disagreeing. It just looks wrong.

If you are right that only 2.35:1 prints survived and they were cropped down to 2.55:1 for the DVD, I think that would explain what is going on.
 

Agee Bassett

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I am grateful for the existing DVD. However, I would like the original image, color, and sound as conceived by Messrs. Wyler, Surtees, and Milton. Consider this another sale if so released.
 

John Stockton

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Patrick
Thanks for posting that frame. When the DVD first came out I complained and complained about this very same issue but the general response in this forum was that the DVD framing looks good enough. :angry: :angry: :angry:
This film needs a proper presentantion utilizing the entire (%100) original 70 MM anamorphic frame. One of the reasons we get these cropped pictures with films shot in 65 MM, is because the studios are not willing to go to the original 65 MM elements , rather they merely take a shortcut and use a cropped 35 MM element. In the case of Ben-Hur, they further butcher the frame by cropping the top and bottom to fool us into thinking that we are getting the original 2.76 ratio when nothing could be further from the truth.
I am glad that other people such as yourself have realized the travesty commited to this film.
Warner Brothers if you are listnening Please use original 65 MM elements or equivlant to redo this DVD. Minus the overscan, the ENTIRE FRAME shown above, all the way to the edges, is what should be visible when seen on home monitors.
 

Patrick McCart

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No video release has correctly shown the correct 2.55:1 aspect ratio. All letterboxed versions were overmatted to be 2.76:1 from a 2.55:1 source.
Ironically...only the P&S version includes the full height of the frame!
MGM correctly presents their 35mm source for It's A Mad MAd Mad Mad World at 2.55:1 on their DVD. The extreme sides are cropped since it's 35mm, but the presentation is exactly how the reduction print should look... Of course, they just HAD to leave off the overture and desaturate all the color from the opening credits. :)
The Greatest Story Ever Told is 2.76:1 from 65mm and at least has ALL of the proper presentation. Ironically...the film isn't very good. (IMO...for a better Jesus bio-epic, see Jesus of Nazareth...which is fantastic.)
 

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