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When was the 1st time you actually saw a letterboxed movie on a 4x3 TV and---

When was the 1st time you actually saw a letterboxed movie on a 4x3 TV and---

 
Old 08-28-03, 05:30 PM
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When was the 1st time you actually saw a letterboxed movie on a 4x3 TV and---

wondered why it had black bars on the top and bottom. For me it was a movie that use to play on PBS called "Big Time" back in 1988 or 89. It starred Mia Sara and Adrian Pasdar. I think it was a 1.85:1 presentation if I remember correctly. I just thought it was odd that it had black bars. BTW, I thought the story was sort of boring and it was going for this Miami Vice look which I thought was already played out by the time this movie was released.
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Old 08-28-03, 05:35 PM
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The first time I'd ever been exposed to letterboxing was on the Innerspace VHS release. And right off the bat they had a "This is Letterbox" demo, showing scenes from the movie with and without. So from the get-go, I'd been educated properly.
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Old 08-28-03, 06:40 PM
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Siskel and Ebert exposed me to what letterbox and widescreen is as well as what pan & scan is. That was in the 80's. I've rarely bought VHS tapes as well as DVDs which aren't in their OAR since then. Luckily, I was informed what widescreen was before it was in vogue. Anyway, I noticed black bars in music videos in the 80's but dismissed it as a "style." Really what they were going for was a more theatrical look.
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Old 08-28-03, 06:43 PM
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I don't remember which film it was, but director Woody Allen would only allow CBS to air it widescreen. That was sometime in the mid '70s.
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Old 08-28-03, 06:47 PM
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Whenever someone is puzzled about the benefits of widescreen (and pay attention, this is how I converted my gf's parents), I pop in the 'widescreen vs. fullscreen demonstration' from the Die Hard 5 Star DVD.

It has the same scene side by side and the differences.
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Old 08-28-03, 06:56 PM
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Originally posted by Max Bottomtime
I don't remember which film it was, but director Woody Allen would only allow CBS to air it widescreen. That was sometime in the mid '70s.
manhatton, Allen refuses this movie to be aired in pan and scan, even if its not presented in its oar, it has to be in widescreen.
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Old 08-28-03, 07:02 PM
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I first became truely aware once i rented the Backdraft vhs in widescreen. All the other P&S versions were rented..so i just picked it up not knowing a thing about it. Watched the film with no problems.

It was when i then bought it on VHS soon after in P&S(all the stores had) that I realized just what i was missing.

Also before this. I always wondered why movies looked so horrible on video/tv. One huge head covering the entire screen,could never make out the others in the same shot,always seemed badly framed. Credits hung off screen,even background billboards ect that stood out saying something,could not be read etc etc.

Die Hard looked really horrible. Never bothered watching the Star Wars films until the original versions were aired on Sci-Fi in OAR before the SE releases! I really hate the SEs btw. Anyway i'm sure your all aware of the opening screen-titles that are unreadable as they are hacked off on the sides..& it's not until the words are near the horizion & barely readable that they all finally fit on the screen!


Alien also looked like crap in P&S. After finding out abit of what WS was. I really was itching to view all films in OAR. Yet it would not be until dvd. That i had that opportunity. I hate the WS tease on VHS where the credits are in OAR,then it goes to P&S afterwards.

I did satiate my WS urge with what little i could find on VHS in OAR. Stuff like the Die Hard films, Alien & other Fox WS series releases. That was about it. Then thank god for dvd!!!!

It seems so alien now seeing the 'modified to fit your screen' card before films,as i never watch films that way(on dvd) anymore,so i'm not used to seeing it(when i flip the stuff on tv).
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Old 08-28-03, 07:47 PM
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My first time was The Color Purple on VHS when I was in high school. I saw the black bars and thought "That's cool. It's the same shape as a theater screen." Then I proceded to enjoy the movie and within 5 minutes completely forgot about it being letterboxed. It wasn't till the very end that I noticed again and actually went back to see if it was just the opening and closing credit that were letterboxed or the entire movie.

I guess that's why I'm completely baffled when I hear someone complain about the 'black bars'. I saw them, understood them, ignored them and never though about it again. And that was on a small 19" TV in the middle of the day. They just seemed immediately obvious to me for some reason. Of course I majored in mathematics, excelled at geometry and understand the concept that a rectangle can't fit in a square unless you shrink it, so that might have something to do with it.
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Old 08-28-03, 08:38 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Tarantino
Whenever someone is puzzled about the benefits of widescreen (and pay attention, this is how I converted my gf's parents), I pop in the 'widescreen vs. fullscreen demonstration' from the Die Hard 5 Star DVD.

It has the same scene side by side and the differences.
[I d/QUOTE]


I don't even pop in anything I just change the format on the DVD player from 4:3 to letter box, or I will the same on Toshiba and zoom it up to full 16 X 9 coverage.
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Old 08-28-03, 09:26 PM
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I remember seeing Monty Python and the Holy Grail on Comedy Central. I thought the black bars were "cool" and loved it.

Ever since then, I went to widescreen tapes (and eventually OAR-only DVD) for home video. TCM also plays a big role in my movie watching.
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Old 08-28-03, 11:26 PM
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I think the first thing I ever saw in widescreen was Duran Duran's video Hungry Like The Wolf.

I then remember seeing Roger Ebert discuss widescreen on AMC I believe, when I realized what it was all about.
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Old 08-28-03, 11:29 PM
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I'm not sure if this would count, but there were several music videos on MTV that had the "black bars" back in 1983 or so. I found them highly annoying at the time...
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Old 08-28-03, 11:46 PM
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First one I saw was Always, the Ron Howard (I think) film about the airplane pilot that comes back as a ghost. I rented it whenever it first came out on VHS. I brought it home and popped it in and then said, "What the #%$& are those stupid black bars?!?" I watched the whole thing and about halfway through it, they ceased to bother me. I still didn't really know what the point was.

Several years later I grew a brain.
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Old 08-29-03, 12:31 AM
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Interestingly, I don't think I ever "noticed" them! I didn't realize that until I thought about it.
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Old 08-29-03, 12:32 AM
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It would have been something on laserdisc, but I honestly can't remember what the movie would have been. I had read about the difference between Pan & Scan and Letterbox somewhere, so I had a pretty good idea what was going on.
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Old 08-29-03, 12:59 AM
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I think it was when I went to preorder Letal Weapon 3 on VHS when it first came out. ( I was about 15 )

The guy at Suncoast asked what version I wanted and I was stunned there was more than 1 version. I asked him the difference and from then on I knew what I wanted.

I don't think a Suncoast employee has been helpful since then. Oh well.
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Old 08-29-03, 02:57 AM
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First time was in the late 1980s watching a film (can't remember which one) on a UK channel which is big on broadcasting stuff in widescreen - Channel 4. I remember not enjoying the experience too much because the letterboxed image was too small on my 21" TV.

Some years later they broadcast Reservoir Dogs in widescreen and, despite still owning a 21" set, I realised how much I was missing out on with P&S. From that point on, I put up with the smaller image and started buying all VHS titles in widescreen, when available.

Now I have a widescreen set, I won't be seen dead with a P&S release at all
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Old 08-29-03, 03:02 AM
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Last of the Mohicans on VHS.
I thought it was awesome that "black bars could make my TV rectangular like a movie screen!" and have loved letterbox ever since. The cinematography of that movie alone (and why it shouldn't be P&S'd) made me an instant convert.

'Course now my TV is "rectangular like a movie screen!" too
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Old 08-29-03, 09:46 AM
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I rented a laser disc machine with some Jackie Chan classics and saw the LIGHT!!!
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Old 08-29-03, 10:00 AM
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Yeah, I remember seeing the "Siskel & Ebert" widescreen discussion. Nice demo and I'm sure opened the eyes of true movie lovers.

I can't remember if Always or The Color Purple were the first VHS movies I got. The bars never bothered me. I would seek out widescreen VHS movies (yay Fox).... and then there was laserdisc.
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Old 08-29-03, 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by Julie Walker
*snip*Also before this. I always wondered why movies looked so horrible on video/tv. One huge head covering the entire screen,could never make out the others in the same shot,always seemed badly framed. Credits hung off screen,even background billboards ect that stood out saying something,could not be read etc etc.

Die Hard looked really horrible. Never bothered watching the Star Wars films until the original versions were aired on Sci-Fi in OAR before the SE releases! I really hate the SEs btw. Anyway i'm sure your all aware of the opening screen-titles that are unreadable as they are hacked off on the sides..& it's not until the words are near the horizion & barely readable that they all finally fit on the screen!
These little things annoy the heck out of me. I caught the last ten minutes of A Few Good Men on TBS or TNT a while back. Pan and scan the entire way. Until the credits came on, they OAR for that. I guess P&S's the credits on some movies would make it too obvious, if anyone even watches them. But that doesn't even matter anymore, because now the networks play stupid commercials during the credits....

That Siskel and Ebert episode way back when was excellent. I think they should replay it, or update it, now that OAR is more easily found via DVD. I especially liked the way they showed examples from the big action flicks, and some not-so-'exciting' films [The Graduate, I think.] A lot of people think Oh, it's only a dumb comedy, why do I need WS?
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Old 08-29-03, 11:11 AM
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which scene did they show for the graduate? if seduction line, it looks like they squeezed the image to get all the info on the screen.
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Old 08-29-03, 11:17 AM
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Local TV-stations showed several Westerns letterboxed back in early-mid 80s and that was about the time i realized that so many other movies were clipped, or Pan&Scanned and i got furious!
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Old 08-29-03, 11:20 AM
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When the dark crystal was on tv the opening scene was hard to pan and scan so they letterboxed it and put some weird pattern top and bottom. I remember thinking it would be annoying if it was like that all the way through.

I remember being the first to show people widescreen and everyone thought they must be missing some of the picture. Strange, that never even occured to me.
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Old 08-29-03, 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by Rypro 525
which scene did they show for the graduate? if seduction line, it looks like they squeezed the image to get all the info on the screen.
I think it was that scene...the sample P&S they had showed Hoffman standing by a closet, looking sort of in shock out toward the camera. The widescreen version showed him, viewed through Mrs R's legs, with her showing off her gams. Maybe they re-panned it later on, but when S&E showed it, you couldn't even see what Hoffman was looking at.
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