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Old 11-09-2015, 04:01 PM
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WS films NOT aired in OAR?

Was curious if others noticed this: often (maybe even more often recently), TCM has been airing the 4:3 versions of widescreen films, instead of the proper OAR versions. The one that I was especially disappointed to see was IT: TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE (which should only be 1.85, and which has been aired that way before.) Has anyone else noticed a trend on TCM AWAY from OAR films?
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Old 11-10-2015, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiernan View Post
Was curious if others noticed this: often (maybe even more often recently), TCM has been airing the 4:3 versions of widescreen films, instead of the proper OAR versions. The one that I was especially disappointed to see was IT: TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE (which should only be 1.85, and which has been aired that way before.) Has anyone else noticed a trend on TCM AWAY from OAR films?
IMDB and the TCM movie page indicate that the original theatrical aspect ratio was 1.37:1. Maybe it was subsequently reframed to make it look more "modern."
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by R. Aster View Post
IMDB and the TCM movie page indicate that the original theatrical aspect ratio was 1.37:1. Maybe it was subsequently reframed to make it look more "modern."
No way in 1958 would this movie have an OAR of 1.37:1. It would have been shot open matte but composed for 1.85 to be cropped when shown.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary16 View Post
No way in 1958 would this movie have an OAR of 1.37:1. It would have been shot open matte but composed for 1.85 to be cropped when shown.
Not so, at least according to IMDb. According to IMDb's technical specs page for It! The Terror From Beyond Space the film's "original ratio" was "1.37:1." Also recall that over the years TCM has been obsessive about retaining the OAR of films it showed. TCM was using OAR when virtually every other network cropped the films it showed to fill its screen.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by gwsat View Post
Not so, at least according to IMDb. According to IMDb's technical specs page for It! The Terror From Beyond Space the film's "original ratio" was "1.37:1." Also recall that over the years TCM has been obsessive about retaining the OAR of films it showed. TCM was using OAR when virtually every other network cropped the films it showed to fill its screen.
IMDb is often wrong and TCM has run many movies in the wrong aspect ratio. Granted they often get them that way from the distributors but they don't seem to go out of their way to correct it.
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary16 View Post
IMDb is often wrong and TCM has run many movies in the wrong aspect ratio. Granted they often get them that way from the distributors but they don't seem to go out of their way to correct it.
I saw this movie in 1958 at the Reseda, CA theater. The movie house was 1:37.1 only....
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:25 PM
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It's a widescreen film and 1.85:1 is the correct aspect ratio. TCM is airing an old, open-matte transfer.

More information on the transition to widescreen cinematography and exhibition in the summer of 1953 can be found here.

http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/home/wi...-documentation

http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/the-fir...-of-widescreen
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:37 PM
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TCM's web page cites an original aspect ratio of 1.37:1.

I suspect as was the case with The War of the Worlds, it was shot in 1.37:1 but was later matted to 1.85:1 when theaters went all-widescreen.
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:43 PM
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Please see post 1927. Movies went widescreen in 1953. Click the links for the full story from Bob who is THE expert on widescreen movies.
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:14 PM
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It doesn't really matter that theaters went wide-screen in 1958; it was an independent production and thus anything goes, and just because theaters were widescreen doesn't mean Academy Ratio films weren't screened just the way revival theaters today happily show Casablanca at its original aspect ratio.

Night of the Living Dead was shot in 1968 but was shot in 16mm in an aspect ratio of 1.37:1, though 35mm blow-up prints were made for theatrical distribution with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

Manos: The Hands of Fate was shot in 1967 and in an aspect ratio of 1.37:1.

What the original intended aspect ratio is, I suspect few outside the studios know; witness the brouhaha about Shane.

(To quote that article:

Quote:
“I have also spoken to respected archivist Bob Furmanek on this matter, and he agrees with me 100%. Although Shane was projected at the RCMH and other venues at 1.66, he said, ‘the filmmakers’ artistic intent MUST be respected and this film should only be seen in 1.37:1.’
)

I agree Bob is one of the best sources in the world so I will defer to him, though he also knows many films composed for 1.37:1 were shown at 1.66:1 or wider during those early widescreen years not for aesthetic but for commercial reasons.

Thus the question is more properly is which ratio did those who made the film intend?

Last edited by kucharsk; 11-10-2015 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Furmanek View Post
It's a widescreen film and 1.85:1 is the correct aspect ratio. TCM is airing an old, open-matte transfer.

More information on the transition to widescreen cinematography and exhibition in the summer of 1953 can be found here.

http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/home/wi...-documentation

http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/the-fir...-of-widescreen
Thank you Bob. This is fascinating. It had to take a lot of work to put it all together.

One question: I had always understood that RKO's Cimarron was filmed in a large format. Imdb shows it as using 35mm. Do you have any information on this?
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Old 11-11-2015, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharsk View Post
It doesn't really matter that theaters went wide-screen in 1958; it was an independent production and thus anything goes, and just because theaters were widescreen doesn't mean Academy Ratio films weren't screened just the way revival theaters today happily show Casablanca at its original aspect ratio.

Night of the Living Dead was shot in 1968 but was shot in 16mm in an aspect ratio of 1.37:1, though 35mm blow-up prints were made for theatrical distribution with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

Manos: The Hands of Fate was shot in 1967 and in an aspect ratio of 1.37:1.

What the original intended aspect ratio is, I suspect few outside the studios know...
It's further complicated by 3D productions from the 60's, which were not widescreen at that time. That's why "Dial M for Murder" is Academy aspect instead of wide screen.

The same goes for black and white, which is still being used even today, though it's usually created in post, not during shooting. As far as I know, just about all "black and white" films since the 80's (Schindler's List being one exception) have been shot in color and either printed or digitally converted to black and white.
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Old 11-11-2015, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d3193 View Post
Thank you Bob. This is fascinating. It had to take a lot of work to put it all together.

One question: I had always understood that RKO's Cimarron was filmed in a large format. Imdb shows it as using 35mm. Do you have any information on this?
Thank you, it's a pleasure.

No, CIMARRON was not a large format production. The only ones produced at that time are mentioned in the article.
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Old 11-11-2015, 05:07 PM
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Thank you EVERYONE for the discussion on this apparently murky topic. Unfortunately, it still leaves me questioning whether or not I'm seeing "IT" (as shown by TCM) as it was intended to be seen. I'm tempted to think that, as a modestly (perhaps LOW) budgets B-picture, filmed over such a short period of time (only 2 weeks, according to TCM), it seems more likely that 1.37:1 would be the less-expensive aspect ratio to have filmed it in. Any dissenters?
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Old 11-11-2015, 06:07 PM
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Tiernan, please read my articles which are based on primary source documents. The aspect ratio data from this period - on both TCM and IMDB - is riddled with errors.

1.37:1 as a compositional ratio was dead by the summer of 1953.

By 1955, the only theaters still running full-frame were in VERY small towns.

IT is a widescreen film and was composed and intended for 1.85:1.
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Old 11-11-2015, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Furmanek View Post
It's a widescreen film and 1.85:1 is the correct aspect ratio. TCM is airing an old, open-matte transfer.

More information on the transition to widescreen cinematography and exhibition in the summer of 1953 can be found here.

http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/home/wi...-documentation

http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/the-fir...-of-widescreen

Thanks so much for the links. I hadn't seen your site before. It's awesome.
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Old 11-12-2015, 02:04 AM
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Thank you, Nathan. If you want to see IT in widescreen as the filmmakers intended, don't go by an old pan and scan standard definition transfer from the 1990's. Get the Olive Blu-ray. http://www.amazon.com/Terror-Beyond-...+space+blu+ray

The important fact to remember is that by the summer of 1953, no one in Hollywood was composing for the standard ratio any longer. By the fall of 1956, 1.85:1 had become the domestic non-anamorphic widescreen standard ratio for both production and exhibition.

This is not opinion; it is factual data based on documentation from primary source materials.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:01 AM
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Thanks for the bluray link.

I have to admit: I have a couple of shelves of film noir DVDs I collected during the DVD era and that will probably be the last time I do an extensive collecting of physical media.

But I like to make sure when I find stuff to rent or watch online, it is as close as possible to the intended original theatrical presentation.

Although I must admit, it took me a long time to accept the 1.85:1 version of Touch Of Evil after having lived with the open matte 1.37:1 version for so long. I really got the impression that while it might have been show in theaters as 1.85:1, they filmed it to work VERY WELL in 1.37:1 too, and I got used to see it that way. Other Welles films from the 60's still leave me feeling that way:

Arkadin, and Chimes at Midnight, in particular both feel right at 1.37:1. The Trial less so.

I'm intending to update my projector to a 3D capable one for the first time in the next few months. I suspect I'll have to pick up some choice items on physical media due to lack of availability any other way. First in the queue is Dial M For Murder.

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Old 11-26-2015, 12:38 AM
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Is it just me or is the audio slightly out of sync? Never had this problem before. I'm on Comcast.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:07 AM
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Is it just me or is the audio slightly out of sync? Never had this problem before. I'm on Comcast.
Very noticeable lip sync issue watching Lost Horizon last night.
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post

Although I must admit, it took me a long time to accept the 1.85:1 version of Touch Of Evil after having lived with the open matte 1.37:1 version for so long. I really got the impression that while it might have been show in theaters as 1.85:1, they filmed it to work VERY WELL in 1.37:1 too, and I got used to see it that way.
Indeed. In the 1950's during the widescreen film craze Touch of Evil was projected in some theaters in 1:85:1 in spite of Orson Welles' wishes. Anyone who has seen both versions knows that Welles' original 1:37:1 screen composition is the preferred version.

I recently watched the streaming version of Touch of Evil on VUDU. It offered yet another aspect ratio 1:77:1 (16:9).

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Old 11-29-2015, 12:40 PM
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Very noticeable lip sync issue watching Lost Horizon last night.
Are you on Comcast too or something else?
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Old 11-29-2015, 01:28 PM
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Very noticeable lip sync issue watching Lost Horizon last night.
No lip sync issues watching via DirecTV.
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Old 11-29-2015, 03:34 PM
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Recorded a few movies, in the past week, with no sync issues via Directv.
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Old 11-29-2015, 03:54 PM
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Sounds like a problem with Comcast's CMC.
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Old 11-29-2015, 04:51 PM
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Are you on Comcast too or something else?
Century Link in Denver. I think it's their issue.
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