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North by Northwest (1959)


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#1 Bruce Southerland

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:37 PM

I'm watching the 50th anniversary Ed. DVD, and it is playing in the 1.85 aspect ratio.
NBNW was shot in VistaVision-- is 1.85 the ratio it was originally released in?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:45 PM

I'm watching the 50th anniversary Ed. DVD, and it is playing in the 1.85 aspect ratio.
NBNW was shot in VistaVision-- is 1.85 the ratio it was originally released in?


Yes, probably. Full-frame VistaVision negative is 1.50 : 1 but almost all VistaVision productions were released in 4-perf 35mm prints and masked during projection. Robert Harris said that if you look at the full-frame area of "The Searchers" you can see the top of the sky backing painting on the soundstage sets so clearly the movie was composed from cropping during projection.
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#3 Bruce Southerland

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:48 PM

Thanks David.
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#4 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:13 PM

Robert Harris said that if you look at the full-frame area of "The Searchers" you can see the top of the sky backing painting on the soundstage sets so clearly the movie was composed from cropping during projection.


Oh, yeah. My full frame VHS tape of 'The Searchers' clearly shows that.

from the WidescreenMuseum:

VistaVision's Aspect Ratio
Let's Kill The Fallacy
You can read all over the Internet, in magazines, and even on the backs of DVD cases that VistaVision's aspect ratio was 1.66:1. Well, it ain't so.

Prior to the introduction of VistaVision, Paramount Pictures promoted the 1.66:1 aspect ratio as THE ideal shape for movies. But when VistaVision came into being they quickly changed their tune and strongly supported a ratio of 1.85:1. Their framing guide, (see bottom of this page), made provision for showing films at 1.66:1, 1.85:1 and 2:1. For struggling theatres Paramount felt that they could use 1.66:1 and not need to spend a huge amount of money installing a new screen and having major achitectural changes to their prosceniums. For theatres that had put in big screens for CinemaScope, Paramount felt that the Technicolor print could hold up to being cropped to an aspect ratio of 2:1, though it was not a recommendation. It was good old 1.85:1, the same shape that the other studios were quickly adopting for their cropped wide screen films that Paramount recommended for VistaVision. And compared to your run of the mill cropped wide screen image, VistaVision just blew them away. In Europe, where 1.66:1 was a much more commonly used ratio for cropped wide screen, VistaVision was still recommended to be shown at 1.85:1. The Rank Organisation, the Eastern hemisphere's promoter of VV, even developed an anamorphic print that had a 1.85:1 ratio.

So don't go believing the junk on the back of those DVD boxes.


http://www.widescree...een/wingvv1.htm

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