Hi. I've attached a frame from the the 1971 movie Up Pompeii. One is from a 16:9 DVD and the other from a 4:3 DVD. The 4:3 DVD was a giveaway with a newspaper, in case you were thinking that it was a copy of the film made for ye olde tellys.
I always assumed that 'films for TV' were the cinema versions with cropped sides but examining these stills has made me think. The 4:3 can't be a cropped version of the 16:9 because the 4:3 extends higher and lower than the 16:9. Similarly, the 16:9 can't have been 'made' from the 4:3 because the 16:9 has more to the left and right.
The movie was filmed just the once so all I can think is that the original is as wide as the 16:9 and as high as the 4:3. Is that possible? If so, would such a version ever have been shown anywhere?
I'm just curious... Thank you.
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It was very common to shoot 35mm film full aperture with the intention of soft-matting the frame in the projector for theatrical screening. The ground glass in the camera viewfinder would be marked to show the crew what would appear. The full 4:3 frame was frequently used for television broadcast. Often you can see boom mics and other junk in the full frame version.
James Cameron, among others used to shoot film full aperture and use different matting for different versions -- that's why the 3D, TV and theatrical versions of Titanic are all different.
Now folks basically never use the full recorded sensor, it's always masked and reframed in different ways for different venues.
back when i used to have a tube tv, and a movie would come on, a message would come up
before the start of the film saying that this movie has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for time.
here's more info about up Pompeii - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_Pompeii! and https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067916/
If the imdb specs are correct, then neither image is totally accurate.
I own both dvd's - the 4:3 from a double release and the later 16:9. The two attached images barr a pixel or two reflect how they are displayed in vlc - note the slight side bars to create the true 4:3 (768*576) and 16:9 (1024*576).
The 16:9 was distributed at 1.77:1. Yet even removing the side bars you do not get back to 1.66:1
So both have undergone some cropping. But the 4:3 is probably more accurate in the height.
This is a perfect example to why 16:9 was created, It was just a compromise TV aspect ratio, It represents better old 4:3 films and widescreen films with minimal cropping, This is the best video you want to watch that explains all this from day one to today of the aspect ratio history and the technicality behind it.
I used to own a super8 sound print of this, I wish I still had it. Great movie.
I also think that the two versions were created by different methods - telecine for one, scanning for the other.
Mathematically, removing the side bars from the 16:9 version one is left with 996 pixels. If 1.66:1 is accurate (or is it an approximation ?) one would find 600 vertical pixels. Or 24 more than we currently have. But I do believe there are more than 24 pixels difference. For me hard to determine since there, to my eyes, appears a slight vertical 'squashing' in the bottom image when compared with the top image which itself could be down to the transfer method.
Oh. And the 16:9 version runs for 17 seconds longer than the 4:3
Fusing the two frames together with minimal adjustment, this is what the original aspect ratio might have looked like:
Great stuff, thanks for all your replies.