A Tale of Two Cities(1958)

Garrett

Moderator
Does any one know the true aspect ratio of this film? I just took as it was on 35mmm film it would be W/S although seeing it many times and it always been in 4/3. Looking it the other day the titles and border seem perfect for 4/3.

Anyway what a brilliant film although I read it differs from the book I find it on successive watching enjoying it more especially looking into the psyche of Sidney Carton who I rate as one of fictions top heroes and brilliantly played by Dirk Bogarde. Some moan that it was not made in colour but I think it adds a sense of period and bleakness of the times.

The showing on the BBC the other day I spotted a few faults on the print alas as it was no biggy like Spartacus I cant see them cleaning it up but really love to see a restored version on Blu.


Info from IMDB on the film process if any one can enlighten me on what it means?


Film negative format (mm/video inches)
35 mm


Cinematographic process
Spherical


Printed film format
35 mm
 
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Mr Lime

Distinguished Member
From what I can find, it was shot on full frame 35mm but matted for theatrical presentation at a 1.75: 1 aspect ratio.

It was quite common for films to be shot in full frame 35mm, but composed in camera with a wide screen aspect ratio in mind. The cinema projectionists would then matte at the desired aspect ratio when projecting the film.

Here's the interesting case of 'On The Waterfront'. Criterion's Blu Ray release has the film available in three aspect ratios, because of some controversy over the originally intended aspect ratio.

 
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Garrett

Moderator
From what I can find, it was shot on full frame 35mm but matted for theatrical presentation at a 1.75: 1 aspect ratio.

It was quite common for films to be shot in full frame 35mm, but composed in camera with a wide screen aspect ratio in mind. The cinema projectionists would then matte at the desired aspect ratio when projecting the film.

Here's the interesting case of 'On The Waterfront'. Criterion's Blu Ray release has the film available in three aspect ratios, because of some controversy over the originally intended aspect ratio.

Thanks for that so I take what they show on TV is all that was on the film, but is also masked for 1:1.75.
 

Garrett

Moderator
I just looked at the opening credits and it looks like they were made to be matted although a little bit in the film looks like they could have done with a bit more room on the left where one of the is cropped and a partial bit of Sam Kidd is.
Full film here if anyone's interested.

 

Mr Lime

Distinguished Member
Thanks for that so I take what they show on TV is all that was on the film, but is also masked for 1:1.75.

Back in the days of 4:3 ratio TV screens, quite often all they did was show the full 35mm frame with the widescreen mattes at the top and bottom removed.

That's why back then you used to sometimes see microphone booms at the top of the frame, or in the case of the first TV showings of 'Dirty Dancing' you actually saw the sound man lying on his back in the bottom of frame during the log dancing scene, while the actors performed above him on the log.
 

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