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Three great films, I just wish they were formatted correctly!
on 22 March 2014
I have always loved Peter Sellers' early films, and these are three choice examples. At so cheap a price, this boxset set is an irresistible buy.
However, like other boxsets in this series - Terry Thomas, Leslie Phillips for example - the films have been "cropped and zoomed". In simple terms this means that instead of seeing the original 4:3 image as released in the cinema at the time, you see a widescreen version. That's okay if you think that's how it should be, but certainly not okay if you have any notion of the original cinematographer's visual concept - or even if it's how you're accustomed to seeing the films in question. The problem is that you are forever seeing the tops of heads sliced off, disappearing feet etc etc. AND it doesn't help definition - "Only Two Can Play" isn't a great image, and it would definitely have helped if it had been kept to 4:3.
It seems a shame to grumble when at least we can see these movies, but I'm dumbfounded why this keeps happening to old films. I don't expect every old film to be given the full Criterion treatment, but a bit of basic respect would be nice.
What next? Colourisation of these black and white gems? Just to keep a few wallies happy?