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What was the first wide-screen film in production? (1 Viewer)

Dharmesh C

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The Robe was the first to hit cinema screens in late 1953, but what was the first widescreen picture in production?

Thanks.
 

Paul Richardson

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The Big Trail came out in 1930, and that's 2.10:1 (70mm). Not sure if it was the first widescreen movie or not. They play it from time to time on AMC.
Abel Gance's Napoleon (1927) had some sequences that were 4.00:1 (!)
 

Dharmesh C

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Oops I meant to say in 1953, the beginning of the widescreen revolution. The Robe was going head to head with?
 

Ricardo C

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Paul: 4:1????? [Carson]That's weird, wild stuff[/Carson]

Is there any way to find this movie on a home video format? I'm very curious as to how that AR worked, and what sequences it was used in.
 

Paul Richardson

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I saw it on VHS years and years ago. Certain sequences were had a "split screen" where three things were happening at once...basically three 1.37:1 images right next to each other. When the film was screened originally, it required three projectors.
 

Patrick McCart

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Actually, Napoleon's finale is 3.99:1 :D
Many films made at the turn of the century used 70mm film. In fact, To Make A Fire (a lost film) was the first CinemaScope film. It was made in the 1920's using Henri Chriten's anamorphic lens. I think just a frame exists.
 

GerardoHP

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The Robe was going head to head with?
HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE and THE ROBE were shot at the same time and MILLIONAIRE was finished first but released second. THE ROBE wasn't really going head to head with any other film, since these and other early CinemaScope films were produced by the same studio, Fox, which owned the rights to the process and wouldn't license it out until about one year later.
 

Jeff Job

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Actually, "Shane" came out in a wider than Academy ratio of 1.66 on a larger screen (50ft by 30ft) before "The Robe" was released.

A great history on the 1950's widescreen revolution is in Ronald Haver's book on "A Star if Born".
 

Aaron Reynolds

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Haver's book is a magnificent read. I found it in a cutout bin and peripherally recognized his name (from some Criterion commentaries, it turns out), and WOW, I couldn't put it down.

Not what I expected from a book detailing the making, destruction and re-assembly of a film.
 

GerardoHP

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SHANE was one of the first films to be shot with the intention of being shown at 1.37:1 but released in widescreen 1.66:1 to compete for a piece of the market in those days.

Dharmesh, you may already know this but the first CinemaScope film shot in England was KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE, which was also MGM's first CinemaScope film, also in 1953. Like a few other early scope films, iwas filmed in 2 versions, anamorphic and flat for theaters that were not equipped to show CinemaScope. Each version contains slightly different performances, editing and, of course, compositions.
 

RolandL

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IL SACCO DI ROMA was released in 1923 using a 70mm film format that is identical to what is used today.
 

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