New Godfather DVD cropped?

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Rick Holland, May 26, 2004.

  1. Rick Holland

    Rick Holland Guest

    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
    Rick Holland, May 26, 2004
    #1
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  2. 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
    Douglas Bailey, May 26, 2004
    #2
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  3. Rick Holland

    Biz Guest

    "Rick Holland" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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?
    Biz, May 26, 2004
    #3
  4. Rick Holland

    djskyler Guest

    "Rick Holland" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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.
    djskyler, May 27, 2004
    #4
  5. Rick Holland

    Joe DiBasi Guest

    "djskyler" <> wrote in message news:<qqftc.73400$>...
    >
    > 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.
    Joe DiBasi, May 27, 2004
    #5
  6. Rick Holland

    Smaug69 Guest

    (Joe DiBasi) wrote in message news:<>...
    > "djskyler" <> wrote in message news:<qqftc.73400$>...
    > >
    > > 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
    Smaug69, Jun 1, 2004
    #6
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