Criterion Cleavers Baby

7.17 Update: My assertion in this piece, which posted on Monday, 7.16, that a previous DVD of Rosemary’s Baby was issued at an aspect ratio of 1.66 to 1 is incorrect. The rest of this article is fine. I’ve addressed the wrongo in a piece that ran Tuesday, 7.17, called “Limited Mea Culpa.”

Original 7.16 article: Today the Criterion Collection announced that, as rumored, they’ll be releasing a new Bluray/DVD of Rosemary’s Baby (’68), based on a high-definition digital restoration approved by director Roman Polanski. And the aspect ratio — hold on to your hats — will be 1.85Jesus! I feel like I’m Rosemary Woodhouse on my bed with a scaly Satan lying on top of me, and I’m going “this isn’t a dream…this is really happening!”

The Rosemary’s Baby Bluray won’t be masked at 1.66, which has been the reigning aspect ratio for decades, certainly on the last DVD and on the laser disc before that. And not 1.78, which would perfectly fit the 16 x 9 screen. No — Criterion had to go full-fascist and adhere to the 1.85 aspect ratio that all films have been “officially” screened at commercially in the U.S. since April 1953.

If Rosemary’s Baby had been released in Great Britain, we would today be looking forward to a 1.66 version from Criterion next October. John Schlesinger‘s Sunday Bloody Sunday (’71) was also announced today as a Criterion Bluray release, and it will be masked at 1.66.

I’m horrified that Polanski, who shot 1965’s Repulsion at 1.66 (and was presented at that a.r on Criterion’s Bluray) and clearly shot Rosemary’s Baby with a 1.66 a.r. in mind — the DVD shows that each and every frame is exquisitely composed at that particular shape — has apparently approved the meat-cleavering of his own film! Criterion’s statement that he “approved” this new Bluray obviously indicates that Polanski has told Criterion “sure, go ahead, whack off the tops and bottoms…fine with me!”

I’m purple-faced with rage. I’ve got stomach acid. I’m spitting saliva on the rug. Why am I, sitting at a desk in West Hollywood, trying to protect and defend Rosemary’s Baby as it ought to be seen while its director sits in Paris, shrugging his shoulders and saying “whatever”?

On 3.21.12 I wrote that Polanski “is a European traditionalist at heart, and while he knew that the film would be projected at 1.85 by U.S. exhibitors, per the standard, I strongly suspect that he composed it for 1.66. Look at the 1.66 version of the film that William A. Fraker shot. There are no acres of space above anyone’e head. It’s perfect at 1.66. It’s just right.

It’s not just me claiming that 1.66 is the preferred aspect ratio, and that precedents have been established. 12 years ago DVD Talk‘s Geoffrey Kleinman noted that a 2000 DVD version presented the film at 1.66 to 1. Some wingnut at Turner Classic Movies declared a few years back that Rosemary’s Baby‘s aspect ratio is 1.66. And a commenter at Velocity Reviews asked a while back why Polanski’s film was completely occupying a 16 x 9 screen when a 1.66 a.r. would dictate windowbox bars on the side.

I know how this one is going to go. The fascists are going to carpet-bomb me with their usual goose-stepping crap and I’m going to respond with my usual counter-accusations, etc. It’s an old hymn. I’m no fan of Roman Polanski today, let me tell you. How could he do this to his own film?

The clip below is seemingly cropped at 1.85. It’s not catastrophic, but it’s obviously a bit too cramped. It doesn’t breathe. The framing feels confining.

  • cyanic

    Does the indifference surprise you? A better compromise is 1.75 for all 1.85 films.

  • Luke Y. Thompson

    This is the real reason he won’t come back to the U.S. – he knew this was coming and realized you’d take appropriate vengeance if he set foot in this town again.

  • BadHatHarry

    Anally rape a teenage girl? Meh.

    Disagree with my irrational bias about how YOUR OWN film should look? FEEL MY RAGE!!

    Priceless.

  • Glenn Kenny

    Tee-hee

  • Ghost of Kazan

    In his defense, the film is 44 years old. He did, however, have to give it champagne and quaaludes first.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    My objection to 1.85-ing >em>Rosemary’s Baby, BadHat Harry, is entirely rational and based on aesthetic balance and rightness.

    https://www.google.com/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=rosemary's+baby+at+1.66+to+1&oq=Rosemary's+Baby+1.66&gs_l=hp.1.0.0i8.18439.20342.1.22457.5.5.0.0.0.0.120.515.2j3.5.0.ciatsh..0.0…1.9RE8Gx-dc3Y&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=d5ae09417251956d&biw=1616&bih=933

  • Daniel Tayag

    Hmmm…I thought you would’ve been more angry about this. Seems composed compared to the Nolan fanatics saying that Christy Lemire should be raped because she gave TDKR a negative review.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    “Tee hee”? In other words, you’re utterly indifferent about the loss of top and bottom visual information that Criterion will be cleavering out of Rosemary’s Baby, perhaps due to a certain instinct to adhere to the Furmanek-driven fascist gang mentality that is sweeping across Blurayland? So you’re showing your colors them…right, Glenn?

  • Username Schmoozername

    Bad Hat Harry FTW.

    First Matthew McConaughey redeems himself, then Joss Whedon says something our host can support, then Roman Polanski demonstrates questionable judgment! Has the whole world gone topsy turvy?

  • Ray

    “First Matthew McConaughey redeems himself, then Joss Whedon says something our host can support, then Roman Polanski demonstrates questionable judgment! Has the whole world gone topsy turvy?”

    CATS AND DOGS, LIVING TOGETHER, MASS HYSTERIA!!!!

  • Bob Violence

    12 years ago DVD Talk’s Geoffrey Kleinman noted that a 2000 DVD version presented the film at 1.66 to 1.

    he was wrong, that DVD is 1.85:1

  • Gaydos

    Why is Jeff Wells the only person on the planet who thinks the home entertainment version of a film should match the creative work as it was originally made and pressented?

    Why is this pov controversial???? Jeff, pass the crazy pills. This world doesn’t make sense.

    You say a lot of stuff I don’t buy, understand or agree with, but on this one I don’t understand HOW ANYBODY WOULD DISAGREE!

    You don’t reframe the Mona Lisa in a different size and shape.

    Why would you do that to ANY WORK OF ART??????

    So, please, for Godsakes, I’m serious, please explain the contrary rationale cos I’m seriously not getting it. Skip the jokes and tell me why why why.

  • Ghost of Kazan

    “Why is Jeff Wells the only person on the planet who thinks the home entertainment version of a film should match the creative work as it was originally made and pressented?”

    That isn’t the basis of Jeff’s argument.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Why would anyone approve chopping visual material off the top and bottom of a film? Fuck the theatrical presentation bullshit of 1.85. The 1.66 version makes it it CRYSTAL CLEAR that this film was preferentially framed at that a.r.

  • Glenn Kenny

    I repeat: Tee-hee.

    Derp, derp, derp, lemme just interrupt my viewing of Hellman’s “Road To Nowhere” and pop in the aforementioned 2000 DVD of “Rosemary’s Baby,” cited as proof of a 1.66 standard or whatever…derp derp derp…and yep, there it is, 1.85 and looking pretty fine. And that’s my true colors:this Kleinman guy is simply wrong about the existence of the 1.66 DVD. Your other sources will go down in a similar if not necessarily as spectacular a fashion. Because they’re wrong too. Good luck with the stomach acid, I’m going back to “Road To Nowhere,” and tee-hee, one more time.

  • qdpsteve

    Yeah Jeff, whatever, you keep on keepin’ on. Meanwhile, I think I’ll save my righteous anger for something worthwhile.

    http://filmdrunk.uproxx.com/2012/07/westboro-baptist-to-picket-sage-stallones-funeral

  • Username Schmoozername

    Glenn and Bob Violence are correct. I popped in my own copy of the 2000 DVD to confirm, and 1.85 it is.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Hey, liars…nice Winston Smith brain-police move, but while you’re at it could you please discredit ALL of the people who are / were under the impression that the film was presented at 1.66 on previous DVDs and laser discs and whatnot? There are quite a few. Glenn? I’m sure you can take care of this between your Monte Hellman chapters.

    https://www.google.com/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=rosemary's+baby+at+1.66+to+1&oq=Rosemary's+Baby+1.66&gs_l=hp.1.0.0i8.18439.20342.1.22457.5.5.0.0.0.0.120.515.2j3.5.0.ciatsh..0.0…1.9RE8Gx-dc3Y&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=d5ae09417251956d&biw=1616&bih=933

  • Pete Apruzzese

    http://cdn.hometheaterforum.com/b/b6/b63835b4_RosemarysBaby.jpeg

    Boxoffice Magazine review, aspect ratio 1.85.

  • Glenn Kenny

    Yeah, seriously. Wells writes: “The 1.66 version makes it it CRYSTAL CLEAR that this film was preferentially framed at that a.r.” And the question then, given that the 2000 DVD is indubitably presented in 1.85, becomes “WHAT 1.66 version?” Something Wells remembers being screened at 1.66? Because memory’s a funny thing. The Paramount DVD, which elicited ZERO protests on its 2000 release, is a 1.85 presentation. 1.85 presentations were the Hollywood studio norm for non-anamorphic widescreen films at the time. I.66 was largely European, and as many projectionists of my acquaintance who were actually active at the time will tell you (and this plays directly into Kubrick’s wishes with respect to “Barry Lyndon”), the odds that a non-arthouse American theater would actually be even EQUIPPED with a 1.66 aperture plate would be relatively slim. The evidence available strongly suggests that Polanski approved a 1.85 presentation because it is the correct one.

  • Username Schmoozername

    I don’t have to discredit others. I have a piece of Paramount-manufactured evidence in my house.

    I’m pretty sure that someone who uploaded a clip to YouTube has one of these discs too. Or do you think they got access to an HD master in 1.66 and then cropped it, as part of their brain-police duties?

  • Glenn Kenny

    “A movie like Rosemary’s baby would have been photographed with the intention of playing in Europe at 1.66:1 and in America at 1.85:1, and should have been protected for both ratios. A 16:9 transfer splits the
    difference. You’re not missing anything that was seen in American theaters.”

    Damn, Jeff, you’re right. What absolutely DAMNING evidence in favor of your “cleaver” argument. You linked to that. Nice going, Einstein.

  • Bob Furmanek

    Congratulations to the good folks at Criterion for presenting ROSEMARY’S BABY on Blu-ray in the correct and director-intended aspect ratio.

    There was no response to my post on this other issue, so please read comment # 11 for my answer to your bogus charges as well as some documentation. http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2012/07/johnny_is_boxy.php

  • MickTravisMcGee

    qdpsteve, if you’re really mad at a church that protests inappropriately, you know the best thing to do?

    Don’t post links to stories about them. Don’t spread the word. That’s all they really want. Why give it to them?

  • Ballsworth

    Cul-de-Sac CRITERION aspect ratio: 1.66:1.

    Repulsion CRITERION aspect ratio: 1.66:1.

    Winner? Wells by a fucking landslide.

  • Thom Phoolery

    1.85? Bert Schneider would have never let this happen.

  • Ghost of Kazan

    Gee what a great argument. Here’s another based on Wells’ own methodology:

    google “rosemary’s baby at 1.66 to 1″ = 78,000 results
    google “rosemary’s baby at 1.85 to 1″ = 213,000 results

    google “barry lyndon at 1.66 to 1″ = 266,000 results
    google “barry lyndon at 1.85 to 1″ = 192,000 results

    Well I’m glad that’s settled.

  • berg

    the Criterion METROPOLITAN that comes out next week is 1.66:1

  • Pete Apruzzese

    Re: Ballsworth:

    Fearless Vampire Killers- Panavision
    Macbeth – Panavision

    Polanski approving 1.85 for Rosemary for the win.

  • Ghost of Kazan

    The fact that Criterion released other Polanski titles in 1.66 to 1 is evidence against Jeff’s position, not in favor of it.

  • Glenn Kenny

    Whit Stillman. What an odd guy.

    Also:

    CRITERION “Vivre sa vie:” 1.33

    CRITERION “Pierrot le fou:” 2.35

    CRITERION “Tout va bien:” 1.66

    Winner: Wells will tell you him, in a landslide, ’cause he ain’t never watched them stupid French movies and he never will.

  • Ghost of Kazan

    Check back in four hours for the thread count to see if Jeff is a winner. I suspect he will be.

  • Bob Violence

    Cul-de-Sac CRITERION aspect ratio: 1.66:1.

    Repulsion CRITERION aspect ratio: 1.66:1.

    1) UK productions, made at a time when 1.66:1 was the standard flat widescreen AR in that country

    2) The very fact these two were released at 1.66 kinda gives the lie to the idea that Criterion somehow browbeat Polanski (a total milquetoast, as we all know) into accepting 1.85 for Rosemary

  • Pete Apruzzese

    Re: Ghost:

    Adblock for the win.

  • Bob Furmanek

    Regarding 1.66:1 as the UK standard, I present the following data from aspect ratio expert, Jack Theakston:

    There are a lot of variables in British films. When a large investment of American money was involved, the “compose for 1.85, protect for 1.66″ rule almost always applied. This is mentioned numerously in BKSTS journals of the period. It is easier to compose for a wider ratio and protect all the way down to 1.37 (so that all that you add is a little head room).

    Also, British cinemas were not relegated to 1.66 as is most commonly thought. Some chains, such as ABC, had 1.75-1 screens as their house flat ratio, but mask to 1.85-1 or even 2-1. Many of the Hammer films of the ’60s bounce between 1.66 (Odeon/Rank’s house ratio) to 1.75 (ABC’s house ratio) or 1.85-1 (particularly the Universal’s for American sale).

  • Glenn Kenny

    It’s almost like dominoes falling, really…

  • criterion10

    I always do my best to remain diplomatic whenever commenting, but after Jeff’s repeated ignorance in regards to aspect ratios, I don’t know how I can even attempt to be such.

    Mr. Wells, your arguments are so beyond ration it is ridiculous. First, let’s just adress the description of the package, where the transfer is described as “Director Approved”. This right here is enough evidence to support that the aspect ratio is indeed 1.85:1. CASE CLOSED. Polanski was clearly involved in this release, as he was in all other films that Criterion put out of his. He supports the original aspect ratio his film was shot in and is presented on this edition.

    Second, let’s say the aspect ratio was indeed 1.66:1. Criterion is known for releasing all of their films in their intended aspect ratios, whether it be 1.33:1, 1.66:1, 1:85:1, etc. Repulsion and Cul-De-Sac, two other Polanski films with Director Approved transfers, were presented in 1.66:1, the aspect ratio you claim Rosemary’s Baby was intended for. Therefore, why on Earth would a company that has NEVER have cropped a film or not presented a film in its wrong aspect ratio decide not to release it in its original aspect ratio?

  • Gaydos

    “I feel stupid and contagious.”

    Seriously, I’ve read what seemed to me to be clear-cut rants AGAINST changing aspect ratios from what the filmmaker originally designed here (Hitchcock) but this discussion, if I’m following it (HELP!) isn’t about THAT but about what the eff ratio the film was originally presented in?

    Unfortunately, VARIETY didn’t provide that info back then. I went into the archives and looked.

    Sheesh.

    I’m golng back to sorting out Mitt’s overseas accounts now.

  • Bob Furmanek

    Gaydos: Variety began supplying aspect ratio data to exhibitors on March 24, 1954. What ratios are you looking for?

  • C.C. Baxter

    Geoffrey Kleinman was simply wrong in saying that the previous DVD was 1.66. The data entry monkey at TCM clearly made a mistake too, since Paramount hasn’t supplied them with a 1.66 master. It’s not up for debate. Both the UK and US Paramount DVDs are 1.85. You can see and measure the caps at DVD Beaver. They are both exactly 1.85.

    http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReviews16/rosemarys_baby_dvd_review.htm

    Outside of perhaps a few early European screenings, it’s always been 1.85. That’s still the way Polanski wants it framed. As I said the previous time this non-issue came up, “Criterion has a very close long-term relationship with Roman Polanski. If they do release Rosemary’s Baby, it will be in whatever ratio he damn well tells them to, without any regard to the thoughts or feelings of Jeff Wells.”

  • Redbeard

    Gaydos – “Why is Jeff Wells the only person on the planet who thinks the home entertainment version of a film should match the creative work as it was originally made and pressented? ”

    Are you fucking kidding???? Maybe, in this case, he has a point, but then – no one is really arguing the film should be at 1:85. But Wells has gone on many screeds against the filmmaker’s own preferred aspect ratio – because it doesn’t fit what he’s used to seeing on TV.

  • C.C. Baxter

    “no one is really arguing the film should be at 1:85″

    Oh, I am. So is Roman Polanski.

  • Luke Y. Thompson

    I guarantee you Sage Stallone would be PROUD of Fred Phelps protesting his funeral. This is a guy whose recent career was dedicated to reviving hard-R cannibal and zombie flicks.

    Phelps is a sad case, but this news actually made me happy. As I think it would Sage, if he could appreciate it.

  • Gaydos

    Redbeard: I’m going to assume you are right and I’m wrong. I may have read my OWN private belief that films should be seen the way the filmmakers intended, ie how they were shown as preferred by the artist himself. That’s not automatically controversial, but there’s so much crap and then there’s so much debate that I am declaring victory and getting out of Saigon.

    I know this is a sticky wicket but I also know Criterion has been awfully fastidious about collaborating with the auteurs to the outer limits of reality sometimes, but that’s why I love them.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    The fascist bullies on this thread don’t want to consider, much less answer, why so many writers & reviewers on so many sites have contended that once upon a time, “Rosemary’s Baby” was masked at 1.66 to 1…or was believed to be the same.

    They don’t want to know about a 10.1.00 review of the “Rosemary’s Baby” DVD by DVD Talk’s Geoffrey Kleinman that reported that the aspect ratio is 1.66 to 1. Was Kleinman on drugs? Was he drunk? We he being controlled by aspect-ratio Scientologist mind-melders?

    http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/1104/rosemarys-baby/

    They don’t want to know about a review of the same DVD by DVD Launch’s “Anthony D” It also mysteriously claimed at the aspect ratio is 1.66 to 1. Perhaps the same mind-control agents who went to work on Kleinman also got to Mr. D? What do you think, Mr. Kenny? Do you smell a conspiracy?

    http://www.dvdlaunch.com/rosemarysbaby.html

    And they don’t want to hear about a 12 year-old Google chat posting by Jeremy Bond Shepherd (still a resident of San Francisco) that claimed that “the original video master of ROSEMARY’S BABY was pan-and- scanned from a 1.66:1 hard-matted IP. But there is definitely more information on the new letterboxed transfer.”

    These are only three — there are many, many others who once labored under the belief that “Rosemary’s Baby” was composed at 1.66 and protected for 1.85, which is what I believe. What is the fascist scenario that explains why so many people got the idea that “Rosemary’s Baby” was a 1.66 film? I was kidding about the drug and alcohol problems and the Scientology thugs. Seriously, what happened?

    I believe that the fascists are basically about wanting to fall into line. They want to believe what they want to believe because 1.85 is the safe haven now. If for some perverse reason in an alternate universe high-def flat screens were NOT uniformly manufactured with a 16 x 9 aspect ratio but instead something like 1.66 to 1, each and every 1.85 fascist on this thread would be contorting himself whatever pretzel-logic patterns he/she could dream up so they could justify Criterion putting out a “Rosemary’s Baby” Bluray at 1.66…BELIEVE ME.

    You can listen to these bully boy fascists if you want, or you can listen to the many voices of the past who disagree with them (there are dozens and dozens), or you can listen to the voice of one who cries out in the wilderness. BELIEVE ME when I say I will return tomorrow and lay waste to their deliberate attempts to generate ass-smoke. If possible I will find an actual print of a 1.66 to 1 hard-matted print of “Rosemary’s Baby” and cut out a frame and blow it up and scan it and post it on the site. For the proverbial 1.85 aspect ratio fascist is a liar, and the father of it. This film was composed for 1.85 but protected for 1.66, and it looks a lot better in the latter aspect ratio, and I’m right and they’re wrong. We will see what we shall soon see.

  • Krillian

    Westboro is about as much as a church as the Nazis were a party. A party implies cake and presents.

  • C.C. Baxter

    “This film was shot for 1.85 but protected for 1.66″

    I think everyone is well aware of that, Jeff. You said it yourself — “this film was shot for 1.85.” If that’s what is was shot for, that’s the way it should be displayed. It’s the director’s intent.

  • MarkJ

    “This film was composed for 1.85″

    Here endeth the lesson.

  • fitz-hume

    Love the fact that the Blu-Ray has the original poster design on the cover. I can only assume that Polanski himself pushed for this and I salute him for doing so.

  • http://verkooptrainingen.org chrizz

    I’ve seen the preview,but I think its gonna take a while before this movie is gonna roll in Europe. Especailly in Holland

  • VicLaz2

    Global Warming is a hoax and conspiracy among academia to take away our freedoms.

    Evolution is a hoax and conspiracy to make us godless.

    Obama is a Kenyan and his birth certificate was faked.

    Rosemary’s Baby is supposed to presented in 1:66:1

    Any evidence contrary to any of the above FACTS should be discarded because they come from STUPID or BIASED sources.

  • Glenn Kenny

    Wells asks: “They don’t want to know about a 10.1.00 review of the “Rosemary’s Baby” DVD by DVD Talk’s Geoffrey Kleinman that reported that the aspect ratio is 1.66 to 1. Was Kleinman on drugs? Was he drunk? We he being controlled by aspect-ratio Scientologist mind-melders?

    They don’t want to know about a review of the same DVD by DVD Launch’s “Anthony D” It also mysteriously claimed at the aspect ratio is 1.66 to 1. Perhaps the same mind-control agents who went to work on Kleinman also got to Mr. D? What do you think, Mr. Kenny? Do you smell a conspiracy?”

    I don’t know why Kleinman and Anthony D were wrong, and I don’t particularly care. The point is, I HAVE the DVD they reviewed, I looked at it, and it’s 1.85. I’ve been wrong myself, because of having my monitor in an incorrect setting, or some other such snafu (I fucked up big time in the early stages of the whole “Barry Lyndon” a.r. controversy). But in this case I’m not incorrect. The Paramount DVD from 2000 IS a 1.85 presentation, plain and simple. Why don’t YOU have the Paramount DVD is my question to you, since the film is apparently so Holy-Grail important to you?

  • http://www.coastbuy.com coastbuy

    do you like buy things in China Store

  • Pete Apruzzese
  • JLC

    Polanski + A/R kerfluffle = HE (and comedy) GOLD!

  • Rael

    Officially gave up on ALL physical media earlier this summer. Haven’t bought a CD or paid for music in over10 yrs now and it was time to do the same for movies and TV. Sold my Blu Ray collection which was the hardest thing and sold my home theater but it was worth it. No more clutter. Only way to live.

  • Glenn Kenny

    “If possible I will find an actual print of a 1.66 to 1 hard-matted print of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and cut out a frame and blow it up and scan it and post it on the site. For the proverbial 1.85 aspect ratio fascist is a liar, and the father of it. This film was composed for 1.85 but protected for 1.66, and it looks a lot better in the latter aspect ratio, and I’m right and they’re wrong. We will see what we shall soon see.”

    This project should keep you busy for some time. After which you might be able to find Amelia Earhart too. WE SHALL SOON SEE.

  • Glenn Kenny
  • Bob Furmanek

    I don’t have a copy handy but if the original Variety review does not list the ratio for this film, that’s because 1.85:1 had become the accepted standard for non-anamorphic widescreen in the U.S. by September, 1956.

    RB was previewed and reviewed in the trades circa June 3, 1968. Variety started including aspect ratio data on March 24, 1954 but would have stopped listing ratios a long time before June 1968 because of the 1.85:1 standard.

  • Floyd Thursby

    Not too late to ask Barry (or Michelle) to add this issue to the platform.

  • cyanic

    Officially gave up on ALL physical media earlier this summer. Haven’t bought a CD or paid for music in over10 yrs now and it was time to do the same for movies and TV. Sold my Blu Ray collection which was the hardest thing and sold my home theater but it was worth it. No more clutter. Only way to live.

    Do you live in a tiny apartment?

  • http://www.highdefdigest.com/blog Josh Z

    Ironically, everyone here is wrong about the DVD release from 2000, which is neither 1.66:1 nor 1.85:1. That disc is in fact transferred at 1.78:1. It’s Paramount’s policy to open the mattes on all 1.85:1 movies up to full-screen 16:9.

    Here’s a web page with screen captures:

    http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare11/rosemarys_baby_dvd_review.htm

    You’ll note that (despite what the text of the review says about them being 1.85:1) both the PAL and NTSC DVD editions compared there are identically framed at 1.78:1. Neither is 1.66:1.

    I can also confirm that the letterboxed Laserdisc release from 1998 was the same framing. Earlier Laserdiscs (and VHS) were “full frame” 1.33:1.

    To my knowledge, no video edition of the movie was ever framed at 1.66:1, which would necessitate pillarbox bars on the sides of the image. That being the case, I have to ask what alleged 1.66:1 source did Jeff watch when he wrote the following line?

    “Look at the 1.66 version of the film that William A. Fraker shot. There are no acres of space above anyone’e head. It’s perfect at 1.66. It’s just right.”

    Which 1.66:1 version of the movie are you looking at to make this judgment, and that you expect us to watch to agree with your assessment, being that no 1.66:1 version of the movie has ever been released?

    As for that DVDTalk review. I know Geoff Kleinman and previously worked with him at DVDTalk. Geoff was the site owner at the time (he is not now), not a regular disc reviewer. He rarely wrote disc reviews himself unless no one else was available to cover a certain title. You’ll note that his review is pretty light on technical information compared to most on that site. Given that this was 12 years ago, it’s very likely that Geoff was watching on a TV with overscan and simply mis-estimated the aspect ratio, or made a typo.

    Having worked in this field for many years, I’ll tell you that very few DVD or disc reviewers go to the trouble of precisely measuring the aspect ratio of the image. If it seems to fill their screen without major letterboxing, it gets noted as “1.85:1,” because that’s the closest theatrical aspect ratio. That DVDBeaver page I linked above makes this mistake, even though the same page provides visual proof that the image was in fact 1.78:1.

    The reality of the situation is more complex. As a matter of policy, both Paramount and Warner Bros. open the mattes on all 1.85:1 movies to 16:9. This is the case virtually 100% of the time with those studios. Other major studios such as Sony, Fox, etc. usually maintain the original 1.85:1 with slight letterboxing. Smaller studios like Lionsgate or indie distributors can be hit-or-miss on what they’ll do with any given title.

    “Scope” movies are not immune to this either. The actual aspect ratio for theatrical projection is 2.39:1 (the number is frequently rounded up to 2.40:1). Disc transfers for these movies could come out as anywhere from a mathematical 2.35:1 to 2.40:1 depending on the calibration of the specific telecine machine used for the film-to-video transfer. It’s a crapshoot as to what you’ll get, even for titles within one studio. The specs listed on the back of a disc’s packaging are written by the marketing department and are rarely accurate.

  • Pete Apruzzese

    Josh – I just took one of the DVDBeaver caps and trimmed off the black bars on all sides as close as possible to image – the ratio measures 1.85.

  • Glenn Kenny

    What Pete says: On my display, and uncropped in the screen captures, the image has bars on all sides, and does NOT fill up the entire display. 1.85, not 1.78. If Josh has the actual discs he can see for himself.

  • roland1824

    In light of the new (old) shit that has come to light, a retraction and mea culpa seems in order. Cary Grant would have done so.

    Or at the very least, adjust your headline to not spread misinformation about Criterion.

  • JD

    The infuriating thing about this never-ending conversation is that Jeff refuses to do research, make phone calls, put old DVDs in his player, etc. Big question for Jeff: what is the conspiracy theory here? Why would Criterion wants to incorrectly release films in 1.85:1 instead of 1.66:1? Given their history of releasing so many films in 1.66:1, it makes no sense.

  • Krazy Eyes

    You’re all wrong. I saw this movie on TV once and it was definitely 1.33:1.

  • Glenn Kenny

    “Jesus! I feel like I’m Rosemary Woodhouse on my bed with a scaly Satan lying on top of me, and I’m going ‘this isn’t a dream…this is really happening!'”

    “I’m purple-faced with rage. I’ve got stomach acid. I’m spitting saliva on the rug.”

    Just reliving the awesome drama-queen highlights here.

  • Cadavra

    Here’s a list of all the major-Hollywood-studio pictures made after 1958 that were intended to be shown at 1.66:1.

    1.

  • http://www.highdefdigest.com/blog Josh Z

    I should have known better than to trust DVDBeaver. The site usually crops letterbox/pillarbox bars from the screencaps, so I just looked at the measurements of the image as a whole.

    I’m at work at the moment and can’t pull the disc out for myself. I will trust that Glenn’s description is accurate. If the DVD is windowboxed with bars on all four sides, that would probably account for why Geoff Kleinman mistakenly thought it was 1.66:1 without doing the actual math.

    Regardless, what we should all be able to agree on here is that Jeff is wrong.

  • roland1824

    Speaking of CC… Most around these parts probably know this but the semi-annual B&N 50% off all CC titles sale is going on now through 7/30.

    Seeing as how Criterion is probably going to pull you off their promo list you should load up now, Jeff. Tons of good stuff at the Grove B&N.

  • Ray

    EVERYONE BACK OFF.

    Jeff has an ornate yarn-thread diagram mazed across his living room with screencap printouts showing that 1.66 is the One True Answer.

    As soon as his cat stops fucking with the yarn, YOU WILL SEE WHAT YOU SHALL SOON SEE.

  • wester

    That’s a good one, Cadavra!

  • Heinz, the Baron Krauss von Espy

    Wells grabs the little man by the shoulders and draws him close.

    WELLS: I’m gonna ask you one more time, kitty cat, what’s the aspect ratio?

    POLANSKI (flatly): 1.85.

    Wells strikes the director across the face…hard. He’s got his attention now.

    WELLS: Stop lying to me, pally. What’s the aspect ratio?

    POLANSKI: 1.66.

    Crack! Wells slaps the man across the other cheek. Polanski stumbles backward, eyes wide with terror. The man is capable of anything.

    POLANSKI: 1.85.

    Another blow to the face. The words start to tumble out of Polanski’s mouth in an effort to placate the deranged blogger.

    POLANSKI: 1.66! (smack) 1.85!! (smack) One…(smack, smack, smack)

    Wells shakes the pederast furiously, consumed with rage. Polanski’s babbles uncontrollably, but manages to blurt out the truth.

    POLANSKI: IT WAS COMPOSED FOR 1.85 AND PROTECTED FOR 1.66!!

    A stunned Wells releases the director, sickened by his very touch. Polanski crumples to the ground in a heap and sobs uncontrollably.

  • bluefugue

    >No more clutter. Only way to live.

    While I agree it’s nice to reduce clutter, my entire blu-ray collection (over 100 discs) takes up fewer than three shelves on one of my bookcases. We’re not talking Hoarders here…

  • T. J. Kong

    “what is the conspiracy theory here? Why would Criterion wants to incorrectly release films in 1.85:1 instead of 1.66:1? Given their history of releasing so many films in 1.66:1, it makes no sense.”

    Don’t you UNDERSTAND???? It’s just like OBAMA — he pretends like he’s not going to take our guns away so that he can get re-elected and then TAKE THEM ALL in his second term!!!!

    Same with Criterion — they lull us in to complacency with CUL-DE-SAC and REPULSION at 1.66, and the WHAM!!! 1.85 FASCISM for ROSEMARY!!!!

    DON’T TREAD ON ME, CRITERION!!!!

  • RRTPolanski

    A colleague has made me aware of the discussion under way here, and while it amuses me beyond measure, I feel under the obligation to scholars and in defence of my magnificent friends at Criterion to set the matters aright. “Rosemary’s Baby” is being released by Criterion in 1.85:1 because that is the aspect ratio I directed the film to have, because that is the aspect ratio that I prefer, and because that is the aspect ratio I insisted upon. While there was protection in the filming for the possibility of inadvertent projection at 1.66:1, it was never my intention to allow such projection if I could maintain control of the circumstance of projection. This film is and will always be properly framed at 1.85:1.

    And Mr. Wells, while I admire your sense of righteous fury, let me say to you that I know a little bit about fascism, and disagreeing with you is not the hallmark. However, your response to disagreement looks familiar.

    Polanski

  • md’a

    And scene.

  • http://xamthonelife.com/ xamthone
  • Jaket Kulit
  • http://mastersadap.com/ ganksier

    Given the dirt (old) that came to light, Meah culpa revocation and seems in order. Cary Grant had to do it.

    Or at least, to adjust the title does not spread misinformation about the criteria.

  • yoemark
  • eti

    Very useful, not to mention interesting. A much more useful approach I hadn’t thought about it exactly like that before but can see that it would be helpful.
    Cerita Lucu menghilangkan jerawatVideo Lucu cara membuat twitter

  • http://www.chinamadejerseys.com/ qwindy

    a wide range of replacement technique of cheap nfl jerseys. Your shirt textiles is pretty safe and sound at the time you dress in , various sorts and the gown can be found designed pleasant . At the same time, the costs is plausible. Feasible you can check regarding our internet decisions, really do not skip beneficial financial likelihood at a discount.

  • Sepeda Motor Bebek Injeksi Kencang Dan Irit Jupiter Z1

    Not too late to ask Barry (or Michelle) to add this issue to the platform.

  • http://indosoftwareonline.com/software-toko software toko

    Great info and entertaining here
    software bengkel

  • http://www.chordkunci.com/ ihsan

    mampir disini thanks
    chord gitar terbaru

  • jordan11sale


    jordan shoes retro 11

    black and white paragraph complex engraving” (Air Jordan and Retro Concord) 23 all over America set limit to launch, and, behold, it was in dozens of cities attract Jordan shoes fan snapping up, even evolved into a wide variety of violence,

    there are people down store door, someone fight was knife stabbed, there are still many people who shoot, in Washington suburb of Seattle, the police were

    forced to offering a pepper spray to dispel the masses.

    Retro jordan 11 shoes:

    Jordan 11 Concords Black



    Jordan 11 Space Jams



    Jordan 11 Black Red



    Jordan 11 Cool Grey


    michael jordan 11 shoes

    in the early 1980 s listed, they cause American teenagers obsessed, when teenagers because wear Jordan basketball shoes and were robbed of news and anesthesia, and therefore was killed; Over the past few years the company introduced Nike Jordan shoes complex engraving, so welcome, but this time triggered panic buying upsurge, a think back to the grand occasion of 20 years ago, more than the Thanksgiving Day “black Friday” is no less.

  • sarijadi
  • benoit

    Voici les meilleur videos d’humour du web .
    jeux gratuits

  • Shiloh C
  • http://fiets101.org/hoe-je-het-beste-fietsenwinkel-te-vinden/ Miro123

    fietsenwinkel amsterdam fietsenwinkel antwerpen fietsenwinkel rotterdam fietsenwinkel fiets101.org fietsenwinkel gent fietsenwinkel den haag fietsenwinkel breda fietsenwinkel eindhoven fietsenwinkel utrecht fietsenwinkel groningen