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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok. I've seen this many times. Like, why Cinerama movies are released on DVD in 2.35:1 and such? Last night, I was watching The Racers on Fox Movie Channel. Then at the end, the black bars were bigger for the end titles. And I'm like WTF? I just watched something that's NOT in OAR!!! So, I was pretty disappointed. I just watched part of a movie that has the OAR of 2.55:1, but was cropped to 2.35:1! Now what the heck is up with that? Why are some movies being cropped like that? I watched It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World on TCM in it's OAR. But, the DVD is in 2.35:1. Now this is rediculous. If you're gonna go watch or buy an old movie on DVD, you better make damn sure that aspect ratio that's listed on there IS the OAR and not some cropped garbage.
 

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I really do agree with you that even movies that are wider than 2.35:1 should be released in their OAR.


But since you really didn't notice it until the end, it seems that the DVD wasn't complete garbage.


Considering that masking in theaters has usually been inconsistent from theater to theater and over time, movies are often not shown exactly in their proper ratios during their run at the theater. A director knows that there is some leeway in the edges of the picture and will make allowances for it to some degree when framing his shots.


So while I probably sound like I'm defending the practice of changing the OAR, I'm really not. Guess I'm just trying to soften the impact somewhat. This kind of change, while surely undesirable, is not nearly as bad as a fullframe conversion.


-- Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hopefully, they'll remaster all of the Cinerama Titles in a SmileBox format. That would be nice. I don't plan on buying ONE Cinerama DVD until that's done. And I won't buy any movies VERY WIDE movies that were cropped to 2.35:1. Luckily, Ben Hur, on DVD is in it's 2.76:1 OAR.
 

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Ken, nothing is as it seems.


Ben-Hur's original roadshow AR was 2.76:1, but very few places could actually exhibit the full width. When it was downprinted to 35mm, it was hardmatted to 2.5:1, which was a safety created by the filmmakers -- basically, no information was lost at this narrower size. 2.5:1 is the AR most people agree is the proper aspect ratio for this movie.


The irony here is, when the DVD was made, it was transferred from one of these 35mm prints, and then actually CROPPED top and bottom, to conform to some purist's idea of what the OAR should be, appearing as 2.76:1.


Needless to say, with Ben-Hur, you're not getting the whole picture, as it were.
 
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