Slip of The Tongue

In his review of the French Bluray of Pork Chop Hill (’59) DVD Beaver’s Gary W. Tooze has shown his 1.85 fascist colors by writing that the disc’s aspect ratio “is a surprising 1.66 where I believe the original film would have been 1.85:1.”

Actually, a 1.66 aspect ratio, despite what the fascists will tell you about everything being shown at 1.85 starting in 1954 or ’55 or thereabouts, is completely in keeping with the general aesthetic of the late Eisenhower years. But Tooze doesn’t want to hear it. To paraphrase Gen. Jack D. Ripper, “This is how your hardcore 1.85 commie fascist thinks.”

  • Redbeard

    This post couldn’t be better timed, having just read the QT comments, and the spot-on “5 Wells Topics” post…

  • T. J. Kong

    Or maybe he’s just wrong? Or maybe he’s right? Either way, there’s no inference of “1:85 fascism.” And no “late Eisenhower years aesthetic” either.

  • Travis Actiontree

    Mmmmm. Pork chops.

  • Super Soul

    “But Tooze doesn’t want to hear it.”

    Telepathy is overrated.

  • Captain EO

    I’d like to see a “Saving Private Ryan” caliber (no pun intended) Korean War movie. My dad fought there as a 17-year-old, so a well-made flick and/or mini-series about this somewhat forgotten conflict is long overdue.

  • Jericho Cane

    TAEGUKGI: THE BROTHERHOOD OF WAR is probably the closest thing we have to what you’re looking for, Captain EO. Personally I don’t think it’s anywhere near as great as THE STEEL HELMET, but pickings are slim as far as Korean War movies are concerned. Which is a shame because I totally agree with you about it being an underrepresented period of history. I had a few relatives who served there (most were KIA) and the only surviving one is pretty tight-lipped about his experiences. Your father must also have some interesting stories to tell.

  • Captain EO

    The only time my dad ever talked about it was in a letter to me when I was in the Marines during the 1st Gulf War. He was trying to prepare me for the experience of combat, but I didn’t deploy, and of course it ended quite quickly so I never saw the elephant.

    I got Taegukgi on DVD at a Hollywood Video fire sale with a ton of other videos awhile back, but I haven’t watched it yet. I’ll put it on my to-see stack – thanks for the recommendation!

  • lazarus

    DVDBeaver is the best site of its kind. I check in there almost every day for new announcements and reviews.

    A shame to see Tooze slapped around like this.

  • Glenn Kenny

    I concur with Lazarus. Tooze is a smart, dedicated hobbyist who runs the site for love, not money, and he hasn’t done anything to warrant getting pissed on by Wells, a professional who carries more perceived weight. Really very “refined” of you, Jeff.

  • Pete Apruzzese

    I’ve been assisting with some research on the dawn of the widescreen era (1953-1955) and, contrary to Jeff’s assumption, the change to widescreen was quick and dramatic. By the end of 1953 (only 3 months after the opening of The Robe), 58% of all US theatres had converted to widescreen presentations. All of the studios began adopting a wide ratio when shooting beginning at different points in the spring and early summer of 1953 (for non-scope films it was either 1.66, 1.75, 1.85, or 2.0 depending on the studio). By 1956, 1.85 was pretty much standardized for all US productions across the board.

  • lazarus

    Apruzzese is one of THEM! Purge the 1.85 fascist infidel! Release the hounds!

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Wells to Appruzzee: Fascist lies! Far too many exceptions to your history and research. Dozens & dozens of exceptions. I will go to my death defending the Alamo on this one. 1.66 forever & as long as possible into the ’60s. Death to the 1.85 fascist insect that prays upon the people.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Wells to Appruzzee: Fascist lies! Far too many exceptions to your history and research. Dozens & dozens of exceptions. I will go to my death defending the Alamo on this one. 1.66 forever & as long as possible into the ’60s. Death to the 1.85 fascist insect that prays upon the people.

  • Pete Apruzzese

    You’ll note I said “research”, which means fact-based conclusions will be drawn. If research shows exceptions, they will be noted. Is the fascist the guy who presents unbiased answers or the guy who shuts his mind screaming “I know better!!!!” over and over and over again, no matter how many times he’s proven wrong.

    It doesn’t matter, you won’t accept the results anyway. I’ve never handled a 35mm of Pork Chop Hill, so I draw no conclusions yet on the new release. You haven’t handled one either. You can’t base your argument on older video transfers as the vast majority of them are zoomed in slightly.

    Wait until Warner releases the Blu-ray later this year of Dial M for Murder not only at 1.85 (or more likely at 1.78 per home video policy) but in 3-D. You’ll LOVE it!

    Did you ever get the calibration Blu I recommended? You’ll see a better picture after using it.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    “Dial M for Murder” 3D has always been shown at 1.33. If it’s going to be presented in a 1.78 a.r. on Bluray, it’s because the 1.85 and 1.78 fascist gang has muscled the home video community into thinking this way. Congrats on mauling another 1.33 film for no good reason other than arrogance.

  • Pete Apruzzese

    That’s factually incorrect, Jeff. Did you know that Warner shut down their lot for 2 months in the Spring of 1953 so that they could finish work on their all-media camera rig? One camera, designed to shoot in widescreen and either black & white, color, 2-D or 3-D.

    A link to read (it’s a scan, not text):

    “All Media Camera Perfected by Warner”:

    http://cdn.hometheaterforum.com/2/29/600x641px-LL-297369bd_BOXOFFICE_052353.jpeg

  • Pete Apruzzese

    Here’s an interesting quote from Merle Chamberlin, chief of projection at MGM, speaking to IATSE’s convention: “Widescreen is leveling off at 1.85…I will admit that not all is being projected at 1.85, but widescreen product is being photographically composed at that ratio…non anamorphic widescreen pictures can be tied off at 1.85″ – August 25, 1956

  • Floyd Thursby

    Pete: Your unwinnable struggle with our host reminds me of a famous line from a Rob Reiner movie.

  • JLC

    @Pete- see: “Django Flavorings” comment #26. I wasn’t joking.

  • bluefugue

    I actually like these aspect-ratio-fascism threads because I learn things from the people who come in and actually know what they’re talking about.

  • Pete Apruzzese

    JLC – agreed.
    —-

    It’s OT to Pork Chop Hill, but since our genial host has brought up Dial M for Murder – Hitchcock’s first film composed for widescreen – here’s some more info:

    It began filming on August 5, 1953, 3 months *after* Warner announced all future productions would be widescreen. See this story from Box Office magazine, 8/1/1953:

    http://i448.photobucket.com/albums/qq203/Lafayettetheatre/AR%20Research%20Scans/August11953.jpg

    Then, there’s this review from Variety – the Bible of the Motion Picture Industry, dated 4/25/1954 – which specifies the aspect ratio as 1.85:1 :

    http://i448.photobucket.com/albums/qq203/Lafayettetheatre/AR%20Research%20Scans/DialMVariety428541.jpg

    And, another review (it’s a big file, sorry) from Motion Picture Exhibitor – a renowned trade of the day – dated 5/5/54 – also specifying aspect ratio as 1.85 (in MPE’s parlance “maximum aspect ratio”):
    http://i448.photobucket.com/albums/qq203/Lafayettetheatre/AR%20Research%20Scans/DialmMotionPictureExhibitor5554.jpg

    Dial M for Murder was composed, shot, and designed for exhibition in 3-D and 1.85 aspect ratio.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    I’ve been watching ” Dial M for Murder” all my life at 1.33 or 1.37, you WELL-RESEARCHED, FACTUALLY-SUPPORTED BUT AT THE SAME TIME CLUELESS BROWNSHIRT THUG. I saw it in 1.33 or 1.37 3D at the Eighth Street Playhouse in the West Village in the early ’80s. And the compositions and framings were & are entirely satusfactory and didn’t need to have their tops and buttons CHOPPED OFF WITH A MEAT CLEAVER. “Murder” may have been composed so that 1.85 projections would look presentable, but that doesn’t mean they look better than the basic and very pleasing boxy proportion.

    If a 1.78 or 1.85 a.r, is being favored on an upcoming Warner Home Video Bluray, it’s because of one reason only — because this a.r. conforms to the 16 x 9 aspect ratio of high-def flat panels. The people making this call, if in fact they’ve made such a call, are nothing but a FASCIST REVISIONIST GANG. “We have a vision,” their manifesto reads. “A vision of all films shot from the early ’50s to mid ’60s with their tops and bottoms CHOPPED OFF, and we will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. Because of 16 x 9 high-def screens, we are committed to killing visual information. And we will succeed because we have the factual data and research to back up the assertion that these films were shot to be shown at 1.85, but could also be shown at 1.33 or 1.37 for purist film buff screenings and for television airings and VHS and DVD versions.”

    These films look completely fine and have much more breathing space at 1.33 or 1.37 and in fact are VISUALLY PREFERRED this way by the Movie Godz and all good men of taste and conscience.

    I feel like Gregory Peck‘s Captain Ahab at the end of Mpby Dick. “Oh, damn thee, 1.85 aspect-ratio fascists! To the last I grapple with thee. From hell’s heart I stab at thee. For hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee!”

  • Pete Apruzzese

    Well, that’s a start. At least you’re finally acknowledging that the film was intended and designed for 1.85. Your ‘preference’ for the incorrect composition of the 1.37 version is noted.

    Would Ahab enjoy the film? Somebody resurrect Melville and ask him, please.

  • Bob Furmanek

    DIAL M was composed for 1.85:1.

    Please see my post in this discussion for more info: http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2012/04/dial_m_mauled_b.php

  • Tas Laptop

    It doesn’t matter, you won’t accept the results anyway. I’ve never handled a 35mm of Pork Chop Hill, so I draw no conclusions yet on the new release. You haven’t handled one either. You can’t base your argument on older video transfers as the vast majority of them are zoomed in slightly.

  • back rib pain

    I had a few relatives who served there (most were KIA) and the only surviving one is pretty tight-lipped about his experiences.

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  • celana legging

    Personally I don’t think it’s anywhere near as great as THE STEEL HELMET, but pickings are slim as far as Korean War movies are concerned.

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  • Paulo

    Here’s an interesting quote from Merle Chamberlin, chief of projection at MGM, speaking to IATSE’s convention: “Widescreen is leveling off at 1.85…I will admit that not all is being projected at 1.85, but widescreen product is being photographically composed at that ratio…non anamorphic widescreen pictures can be tied off at 1.85″ – August 25, 1956 Muscle Training | 2seatersofareviews.com

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