Oklahoma!: Aspect Ratio Question.

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by One-Shot Scot, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. I watched the special features of _Oklahoma!_ which told of the
    ultra-widescreen, Todd-AO (30 fps) (70 mm version) and how it was designed
    to compete with Cinerama. But, because very few theaters had the extra-wide
    screens and special projectors needed for Todd-AO, a CinemaScope (24 fps)
    (35 mm version) was concurrently produced.

    What I don't understand is why the DVD versions are as follows:

    2.20 : 1 (70 mm version) Todd-AO
    2.55 : 1 (35 mm version) CinemaScope

    It seems that the Todd-AO version would be the wider of the two, but it
    isn't. While the Todd-AO version has more headroom, the CinemaScope
    version shows a lot more picture information on the sides. I would expect
    the opposite to be the case.

    The Todd-AO picture is not nearly as clear as that of the CinemaScope
    version. I have been watching the two versions simultaneously with the PIP
    feature and switching between them. There are obvious and not so obvious
    differences between the two versions. Sometimes, the entire set is
    different, but usually, the gestures and mannerisms of the actors are a
    little different.

    While the CinemaScope version is easier on the eyes, due to its much better
    clarity, the Todd-AO version is my favorite due to its spontaneity. And even
    though the Todd-AO version was filmed at 30 frames per second, the picture
    has noticeable flicker. (I believe that the Todd-AO version was filmed first
    followed by the CinemaScope version.)

    There are two key scenes in the Kansas City number which indicate the
    spontaneity of the first-filmed Todd-AO version:

    In the Todd-AO version, Will Parker jumps onto the wooden box and when
    it collapses, he nearly falls over. The girl standing next to him
    reaches out to catch him. In the CinemaScope version, Will Parker does
    not lose his balance.

    In the Todd-AO version, as Will Parker is dancing on the top of the
    train, he calls for his horse who is being held by a man in the
    background. Apparently, the horse jumped his queue and as he gallops off
    toward the train, the man holding him is spun around and falls to the
    ground. In the CinemaScope version, the man does not fall down.

    http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0048445/technical
     
    One-Shot Scot, Nov 18, 2005
    #1
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  2. One-Shot Scot

    P Pron Guest

    One-Shot Scot wrote:
    || I watched the special features of _Oklahoma!_ which told of the
    || ultra-widescreen, Todd-AO (30 fps) (70 mm version) and how it was
    || designed to compete with Cinerama. But, because very few theaters
    || had the extra-wide screens and special projectors needed for
    || Todd-AO, a CinemaScope (24 fps) (35 mm version) was concurrently
    || produced.
    ||
    || What I don't understand is why the DVD versions are as follows:
    ||
    || 2.20 : 1 (70 mm version) Todd-AO
    || 2.55 : 1 (35 mm version) CinemaScope
    ||
    || It seems that the Todd-AO version would be the wider of the two, but
    || it isn't. While the Todd-AO version has more headroom, the
    || CinemaScope
    || version shows a lot more picture information on the sides. I would
    || expect the opposite to be the case.

    I was surprised by this as well, when I first saw the Todd-AO version on
    laserdisc - excellent, incidentally.

    I think the point was that the use of 70mm film meant that the whole thing
    could be bigger and sharper (rather than just wider) without loss of
    definition - which makes it ironic that the DVD issue is so
    disappointing.... I haven't got the DVD yet, and am in no particular hurry
    now, having seen so many adverse reports. I think I'll wait for a sale, and
    buy it for the extras idc.

    If you haven't already, you might like to plough through
    http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/wingto2.htm which is a lengthy
    article about Todd-AO. I think I saw in one of the reviews that the
    "curator" of the website participates in one of the docus on the new DVD

    paul
     
    P Pron, Nov 18, 2005
    #2
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  3. One-Shot Scot

    Alpha Guest

    Please see a website on aspect ratios. You have the issue backwards.
     
    Alpha, Nov 18, 2005
    #3
  4. "P Pron" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > One-Shot Scot wrote:
    > || I watched the special features of _Oklahoma!_ which told of the
    > || ultra-widescreen, Todd-AO (30 fps) (70 mm version) and how it was
    > || designed to compete with Cinerama. But, because very few theaters
    > || had the extra-wide screens and special projectors needed for
    > || Todd-AO, a CinemaScope (24 fps) (35 mm version) was concurrently
    > || produced.
    > ||
    > || What I don't understand is why the DVD versions are as follows:
    > ||
    > || 2.20 : 1 (70 mm version) Todd-AO
    > || 2.55 : 1 (35 mm version) CinemaScope
    > ||
    > || It seems that the Todd-AO version would be the wider of the two, but
    > || it isn't. While the Todd-AO version has more headroom, the
    > || CinemaScope
    > || version shows a lot more picture information on the sides. I would
    > || expect the opposite to be the case.
    >
    > I was surprised by this as well, when I first saw the Todd-AO version on
    > laserdisc - excellent, incidentally.
    >
    > I think the point was that the use of 70mm film meant that the whole thing
    > could be bigger and sharper (rather than just wider) without loss of
    > definition - which makes it ironic that the DVD issue is so
    > disappointing.... I haven't got the DVD yet, and am in no particular hurry
    > now, having seen so many adverse reports. I think I'll wait for a sale,

    and
    > buy it for the extras idc.
    >
    > If you haven't already, you might like to plough through
    > http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/wingto2.htm which is a lengthy
    > article about Todd-AO. I think I saw in one of the reviews that the
    > "curator" of the website participates in one of the docus on the new DVD
    >
    > paul



    If you really like _Oklahoma!_, you might want to reconsider your decision
    not to buy this new DVD set, particularly when it is currently on sale for
    less than $20.

    The new Todd-AO _Oklahoma!_ DVD is a mixed blessing. While the new
    anamorphic version is certainly a step up from the non-anamorphic DVD from a
    few years ago, it has always had a blurry quality to it, even on LaserDisc.
    My guess is that the Todd-AO version is in need of restoration, but I am
    beginning to think that it is in such bad shape that the focus may be
    impossible to restore. On the other hand, the CinemaScope DVD is vastly
    superior to the pan and scan LaserDisc for which I once paid $35.00.

    I am in total agreement with this review:

    Video:
    Talk about expense: Fox actually filmed "Oklahoma!" twice, in 70 mm Todd-AO
    for its roadshow release in 1955 and also in 35 mm CinemaScope for its
    regular theatrical run in 1956. In a theater the Todd-AO would have shown up
    at a 2.20:1 ratio and the CinemaScope at 2.55:1, but it was the Todd-AO that
    would have had the sharper, clearer image, thanks to its larger, 70 mm film
    stock. Very generously, the Fox studios provide both versions in this set,
    one movie on each of two discs, for comparison purposes.

    Viewers will make up their own minds about which version of the film they
    prefer. The differences include not only the inevitable variations in
    picture quality but some variations in the opening titles, the opening
    scene, the performances, and a good number of peripheral details. The thing
    that interested me, though, was that I preferred the CinemaScope transfer
    best. The colors seemed more vivid and vibrant. In Todd-AO the colors are
    slightly more subdued and the overall definition a little softer, at times
    seeming more blurred. I suppose you could say the Todd-AO rendition is more
    natural in its way, less glorified and more realistic; but with a big
    splashy musical like "Oklahoma!" I favored the showier, more outgoing hues
    of the CinemaScope presentation.

    Fox engineers have transferred both versions of the movie to disc at a high
    bit rate in anamorphic widescreen, the CinemaScope measuring across my
    television at about 2.30:1 and the Todd-AO at a little over 2:1. The
    CinemaScope presentation has a total running time of 140 minutes; the
    Todd-AO presentation has a running time of 147 minutes. The music for an
    overture, an intermission, and an exit would appear to account for the
    additional Todd-AO minutes.

    http://www.dvdtown.com/review/oklahoma!50thanniversarytwo-di/16710/3253/
     
    One-Shot Scot, Nov 18, 2005
    #4
  5. One-Shot Scot

    Mutley Guest

    "One-Shot Scot" <> wrote:


    >
    >If you really like _Oklahoma!_, you might want to reconsider your decision
    >not to buy this new DVD set, particularly when it is currently on sale for
    >less than $20.
    >
    >The new Todd-AO _Oklahoma!_ DVD is a mixed blessing. While the new
    >anamorphic version is certainly a step up from the non-anamorphic DVD from a
    >few years ago, it has always had a blurry quality to it, even on LaserDisc.
    >My guess is that the Todd-AO version is in need of restoration, but I am
    >beginning to think that it is in such bad shape that the focus may be
    >impossible to restore. On the other hand, the CinemaScope DVD is vastly
    >superior to the pan and scan LaserDisc for which I once paid $35.00.
    >
    >I am in total agreement with this review:
    >
    >Video:
    >Talk about expense: Fox actually filmed "Oklahoma!" twice, in 70 mm Todd-AO
    >for its roadshow release in 1955 and also in 35 mm CinemaScope for its
    >regular theatrical run in 1956. In a theater the Todd-AO would have shown up
    >at a 2.20:1 ratio and the CinemaScope at 2.55:1, but it was the Todd-AO that
    >would have had the sharper, clearer image, thanks to its larger, 70 mm film
    >stock. Very generously, the Fox studios provide both versions in this set,
    >one movie on each of two discs, for comparison purposes.
    >
    >Viewers will make up their own minds about which version of the film they
    >prefer. The differences include not only the inevitable variations in
    >picture quality but some variations in the opening titles, the opening
    >scene, the performances, and a good number of peripheral details. The thing
    >that interested me, though, was that I preferred the CinemaScope transfer
    >best. The colors seemed more vivid and vibrant. In Todd-AO the colors are
    >slightly more subdued and the overall definition a little softer, at times
    >seeming more blurred. I suppose you could say the Todd-AO rendition is more
    >natural in its way, less glorified and more realistic; but with a big
    >splashy musical like "Oklahoma!" I favored the showier, more outgoing hues
    >of the CinemaScope presentation.
    >
    >Fox engineers have transferred both versions of the movie to disc at a high
    >bit rate in anamorphic widescreen, the CinemaScope measuring across my
    >television at about 2.30:1 and the Todd-AO at a little over 2:1. The
    >CinemaScope presentation has a total running time of 140 minutes; the
    >Todd-AO presentation has a running time of 147 minutes. The music for an
    >overture, an intermission, and an exit would appear to account for the
    >additional Todd-AO minutes.
    >
    >http://www.dvdtown.com/review/oklahoma!50thanniversarytwo-di/16710/3253/
    >
    >

    From reading some of the US news groups there is a push to get Fox to
    remaster the Todd-AO version and recall the old disks as they did with
    Cleopatra when it was first released..

    See comparisons
    http://hometheaterforum.com/htforum/showthread.php?postid=2848920#post2848920
     
    Mutley, Nov 19, 2005
    #5
  6. "Mutley" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > From reading some of the US news groups there is a push to get Fox to
    > remaster the Todd-AO version and recall the old disks as they did with
    > Cleopatra when it was first released..
    >
    > See comparisons
    >

    http://hometheaterforum.com/htforum/showthread.php?postid=2848920#post2848920


    Thanks for the reference. It was very interesting.

    I'm not the only one totally disappointed with the new Todd-AO version of
    _Oklahoma!_.
     
    One-Shot Scot, Nov 19, 2005
    #6
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