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ANY MOVIE MUST BE RESPECTED

Sweeney Todd
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Sweeney Todd
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June 10th, 2012, 8:57 pm #1

Old films are generally "full-frame" as were our old TV sets, but in spite of that, an awful lot of these old movies were simply massacred by zooming, and generally the cropped part of the image was the above part, with the result that some of the characters were scalped or even decapitated. And unfortunately, it's now the same thing on some DVDs. Below are caps from two "legitimate" DVDs. On the left, the US edition, NOT the Alpha release as you could imagine, but the supposedly "superior" Johnny Legend release of "Murder in the Red Barn" (1935, with Tod Slaughter). On the right, the British release by Odeon. Is any comment really necessary?

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John K
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June 10th, 2012, 11:23 pm #2

Since when has a Johnny Legend release ever been superior?

Yes, this pisses me off too. Just as bad as side cropping in the old days.
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Sweeney Todd
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June 11th, 2012, 4:46 am #3

John K wrote: Since when has a Johnny Legend release ever been superior?

Yes, this pisses me off too. Just as bad as side cropping in the old days.
In fact, some reviewers wrote that the Johnny Legend edition was "superior" just because it wasn't cut, when the earlier Alpha was missing some 10 minutes - a considerable amount of footage for a 67mns movie...
In spite of that, both editions (Alpha & Johnny Legend) have hideous partially remade credits at the beginning, when Odeon in UK has of course the original title credits.

However, nobody's perfect: the British edition is missing two shots at the beginning of the second visit of Maria Marten (Sophie Stewart) at the mansion of Squire Corder (Tod Slaughter). This being certainly due to a little damage in the 35mm British print, as it was the same when the movie was shown, several times, decades ago on Channel 4.

And the first Odeon edition had a little technical defect, a flash of colored pixellisation appearing near the end of a shot, approximatively at the 57th minute.
Odeon promised to "correct the defect" and replace the disc to every person having bought the first edition.
They didn't. Not only nobody to my knowledge has the disc replaced, but the second edition was even worse: they only CUT OFF the defectuous image AND THE REST OF THE SHOT.
This, and probably worse, are the methods of these video companies whose only interest is to gain money, not the respect due to movies as works of art. :angry:
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bdc
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June 11th, 2012, 7:33 am #4

I've noticed a lot of cut off heads on dvd,was surprised even Ilsa She-Wolf suffered from it...
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Jack J
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June 11th, 2012, 10:03 am #5

bdc wrote: I've noticed a lot of cut off heads on dvd,was surprised even Ilsa She-Wolf suffered from it...
Which ILSA dvd was that? I have the Danish release (they were selling the complete box with all three films at 7 dollars at one internet shop here).

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bdc
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June 11th, 2012, 11:25 am #6

The Dutch dvd,there's a scene where the female guards stand at the back with no heads if I remember correctly?

I guess The AB one must have it also then?
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Inspector Tanzi
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June 20th, 2012, 8:17 pm #7

bdc wrote: I've noticed a lot of cut off heads on dvd,was surprised even Ilsa She-Wolf suffered from it...
Could it have been shot matted?
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bdc
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June 21st, 2012, 7:30 pm #8

I don't think so as the composition of those shots looks really weird...I'll have to check to be certain but I remember the rest of the cinematography being surprisingly good.
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Bill Knight
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June 24th, 2012, 3:14 pm #9

This "cropping" of the picture became rampant on Dvd when the 16x9 Hi Definition sets were released. Imagine taking the proper image and stretching it to fit 16X9 - everything would look squished and people look 30 pounds heavier and much shorter. So they have to crop the top and bottom (or zoom if you will) the image to make it look normal on a 16x9 set. It's fine if the film was shot at a 1.85 or higher ratio but lesser ratios lose picture info when this is done.

There are an extraordinary number of examples of this since the 16x9 set was introduced. Many of these films, in my opinion, just as might as well be cut since so much important picture info is missing.

This did not happen all that much in the laserdisc days.

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Sweeney Todd
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June 24th, 2012, 9:29 pm #10

The invasion of wide-screen TV sets is a reality but certainly not an excuse. Any 1.33 or 1.37 movie can be seen on these sets, the only condition, if you don't want to squeeze or cut the image, is to accept two black bars on the left and right sides. This is the normal way to watch an old movie on a widescreen TV set. And idiots who want have the total surface of their screens occupied by image can squeeze or cut this image themselves - many people do that. So, as I said, the format of the screen is certainly not an excuse for the avalanche of criminally cropped old movies available on DVD.
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