The Ten Commandments isn't a widescreen film its not even 16:9, they had to crop it a bit to make it 16:9 for the DVD. ABC has never shown it in HD before, so of course they didn't do it this year either.
Originally posted by DonBerg The Ten Commandments isn't a widescreen film its not even 16:9, they had to crop it a bit to make it 16:9 for the DVD. ABC has never shown it in HD before, so of course they didn't do it this year either.
Please be more careful when you make up facts.
Ten Commandments was a widescreen film -- VistaVision, usually shown in 1.85:1. The DVD accurately portrays what theatergoers like me saw when the movie was first released, and we all eagerly await a re-released HD version.
RE: the aspect ratio... it is definitely widescreen, no matter what. Correct.
The following quote is from one web review of the DVD:
"There has been some small controversy regarding the "correct" aspect ratio this film should be presented in. Most technical sources state that the VistaVision format allowed for projection ratios from 1.66:1 to 2.0:1 with the most common ratio being 1.85:1. There was an ill-conceived 70mm reissue of The Ten Commandments in the late '80s where the image was grossly over-matted to a ratio of 2.20:1. Thankfully, that didn't happen here. The DVD transfer has an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the same as widescreen televisions. This framing looks fine with good compositional balance."
It is and always was intended to be in one of the various widescreen formats. It was shot in VistaVision. It was usually framed at slightly wider than a 16 X 9 set, and sometimes much wider. It was never framed at less than a 16 X 9 widescreen width, except for those pan and scan and cropped versions for showing on 4 X 3 TVs.
As stated earlier, the 2.20:1 was from excessive matting. I believe (though I could be wrong) that the 1.66:1 was the aspect ratio that was shown in the theaters. In this case, it would pretty much fill most of the 16x9 screen with some slight black bars on the sides, and maybe even depending on the set, might fill it up if the over-scan is bad enough.
The IMDB also lists the DVD as being 1.66:1. In that case, I believe that the OAR of this movie is 1.66:1...the way it was shown in most theaters.
If presented in HD and OAR, this movie would probably look really wonderful on a 16x9 screen, and mostly fill it up too...depending on the display (over-scan etc).
I think VistaVision was originally shot using a special 35mm camera rotated 90 degrees to get, effectively, a 70mm field running vertically along the film strip. I think anamorphic compression was used to transform the 2.25:1 vertical down to a (for the time) high definition 1.66:1 print that could withstand "blowing-up", cropping, etc., for a wide array of theaters exibiting the material in a wide variety of aspect ratios. (This is all from memory -- a bit of checking on the web will fact-check and/or correct this for anyone who is interested.)
I remember the Jimmy Stewart film "Strategic Air Command" was exibited in Chicago in the "original" 2.35:1 widescreen VistaVision format; I doubt the projector in the State Lake theater downtown was rotate 90 degrees for this showing, but I've always wondered.
Please, anyone who knows more than me about this correct anything I've missed.
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