Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
Cinemascope

Non-anamorphic version of "7 brides for 7 brothers"

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

Has anyone here looked recently at the non-anamorphic version of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

 

Yes, I'm talking about a non-anamorphic version originally shot by director Stanley Donen at the same time as the regular Cinemascope version, since MGM wanted to hedge its bets on the adoption of Cinemascope in theaters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The two-disk DVD edition has two versions -- both 16x9, but one is 2.55 and the other is in "Flat" 1.77. I own this, so if there's anything you'd like me to check for you -- fire away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's exactly what I meant.

 

I was just curious if someone's recently seen both versions and if so, is the Cinemascope version much better?

 

They just had the TCM tribute of course and I don't recall Stanley having a chance to express a preferrence for either one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I've seen both and there are distinctions to note. First, the Cinemascope version was shot on Ansco color film stock - the flat version in Technicolor. Ansco stock is less steadfast against color fading than Technicolor. However, Technicolor (particularly 3 strip) cost much more than Ansco - a dye transfer process. In the cost cutting 1950s, Ansco was utilized an awful lot with awful results. Many films of this vintage began to fade even as their first run in theatres was nearing its end. Since Warner Home Video has issued the film as is - with minimal restoration work - you will definitely notice that the color scheme on the Cinemascope version is less vibrant than on the 'flat' version.

 

Also, Cinemascope - while presenting an infinitely wider movie going experience - came with a litany of shortcomings - particularly early to mid-scope productions of which '7 Brides...' is. Transitions, fades, disolves and soforth are quite grainy. There's also the issue of the image becoming somewhat soft or slightly out of focus the further away from center frame you get. Finally, Cinemascope's anamorphic process tends to 'bend' vertical lines inward - hence any building, tree or person standing too far off to the left or right of center screen gets an unhealthy looking kink and lanky-ness.

 

Doing a side by side comparison of the performances in both versions - I find that the acting is virtually identical. Presumably, the film was shot using both cameras at the same time - unlike Brigadoon which was shot using two separate camera set ups. This means that unlike Gene Kelly (who had to act a scene twice for the benefit of Brigadoon's shoot) Howard Keel probably only acted the scene once and it was recorded twice at the same instance by the Cinemascope and flat version cameras.

 

Hope this was useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting stuff indeed, NZ.

 

I still wonder if they could really have filmed both versions at the same time, however, I can't imagine how you'd block a scene so it can be shot simultaneously in Cinemascope and "flat" formats.

 

From comparative screenshots, it looks like some care went into the framing of the picture on both formats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
×
×
  • Create New...