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New Godfather DVD cropped?

 
 
Rick Holland
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      05-26-2004
One of the things that's annoyed me about the boxed-set's transfer of
"The Godfather" is that the original image was cropped. This is
especially noticeable in the cemetery scene when Vito is buried.

In the original version (still seen recently on cable), there are 2
red & white checkered gas towers in the background of several of the
cemetery shots, but on the old DVD their tops are chopped off by
superfluous letterboxing.

Can anyone tell me if there's been any change on the new single-disc
release?

Cheers,

Rick
 
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Douglas Bailey
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      05-26-2004
Rick Holland wrote:
> One of the things that's annoyed me about the boxed-set's transfer of
> "The Godfather" is that the original image was cropped.... in the
> original version (still seen recently on cable)...


The DVD is not significantly cropped: it presents _The Godfather_ in its
original theatrical framing of 1.85:1, matted down from the 1.33:1
negative. That's how the filmmakers composed the film during shooting and
how they intended it to be seen.

Now, I haven't seen the film on cable, but from what you describe...

> ... there are 2 red & white checkered gas towers in the background of
> several of the cemetery shots, but on the old DVD their tops are chopped
> off by superfluous letterboxing.


....it sounds like the cable version has had the mattes opened to fill the
image out to the 1.33:1 aspect ratio of most televisions. This sort of
"open-matte" presentation is unfortunately common on TV showings of
soft-matted films.

If that's the case, you're seeing more image above and below the theatrical
framing when you watch the cable presentation, but you're not seeing
anything added that's *important*. (The tops of the gas towers, for
example, are not significant parts of the cemetery scenes.)

And the film's framing and composition are diluted in the process: a shot
that's meant to be tight on a character's face may feel loose when shown
with extra headroom introduced by removal of the upper matte. It changes
the feel of the film.


> Can anyone tell me if there's been any change on the new single-disc
> release?


To the best of my knowledge, the single-disc release is the exact same
master as the disc from the boxed set. The only difference that I'm aware
of is the different packaging and insert.

doug

--
"Does the pain remain when the head is turned and the body walks away?"
--Wire
 
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Biz
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      05-26-2004

"Rick Holland" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) m...
> One of the things that's annoyed me about the boxed-set's transfer of
> "The Godfather" is that the original image was cropped. This is
> especially noticeable in the cemetery scene when Vito is buried.
>
> In the original version (still seen recently on cable),


I would never put any stock into the aspect ratio or cropping of anything on
cable, perhaps they incorrectly opened up the matte for tv viewing?


 
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djskyler
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      05-27-2004
"Rick Holland" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) m...
> One of the things that's annoyed me about the boxed-set's transfer of
> "The Godfather" is that the original image was cropped. This is
> especially noticeable in the cemetery scene when Vito is buried.
>
> In the original version (still seen recently on cable), there are 2
> red & white checkered gas towers in the background of several of the
> cemetery shots, but on the old DVD their tops are chopped off by
> superfluous letterboxing.


Yes, the new DVDs are matted from the original 4:3 camera negative. DVD
fans get grumpy if they feel they are not getting the "original theatrical
presentation" these days, even if that means cropping available image
information. The more practical argument is that if you have a widescreen
TV, it sucks to watch an unmatted film as now you lose screen size to let in
unnecessary information.

I would be interested in knowing what FF Coppola's stance is on proper or
improper exhibition on the films, particulary since his re-edited "Godfather
Saga," by the same argument of original presentation means that the
uncropped 4:3 image of the same footage would be correct as it was cut for
TV.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technicolor

The above page points out that Godfather II was the last true technicolor
film made with the special technicolor cameras. Assuming the same process
was also used for Godfather I, I also wonder if Coppola shot full-frame so
as to not further complicate the Technicolor process.

Full-frame or matted, its still one of the greatest films ever made.


 
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Joe DiBasi
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      05-27-2004
"djskyler" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<qqftc.73400$(E-Mail Removed) .com>...
>
> Yes, the new DVDs are matted from the original 4:3 camera negative. DVD
> fans get grumpy if they feel they are not getting the "original theatrical
> presentation" these days, even if that means cropping available image
> information. The more practical argument is that if you have a widescreen
> TV, it sucks to watch an unmatted film as now you lose screen size to let in
> unnecessary information.
>


Actually, according to an past interview with the cinematographer, it
was shot for 1.66:1 and is presented that way on the THX laserdisc,
fortunately.
 
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Smaug69
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      06-01-2004
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Joe DiBasi) wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed). com>...
> "djskyler" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<qqftc.73400$(E-Mail Removed) .com>...
> >
> > Yes, the new DVDs are matted from the original 4:3 camera negative. DVD
> > fans get grumpy if they feel they are not getting the "original theatrical
> > presentation" these days, even if that means cropping available image
> > information. The more practical argument is that if you have a widescreen
> > TV, it sucks to watch an unmatted film as now you lose screen size to let in
> > unnecessary information.
> >

>
> Actually, according to an past interview with the cinematographer, it
> was shot for 1.66:1 and is presented that way on the THX laserdisc,
> fortunately.


Uh, the THX Laserdisc is in 1.85:1 so I don't know what you're talking
about. Do you have a link to the interview?

Smaug69
 
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