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Are the DVD releases cropped inappropriately? (original title of review: Beware - False Advertising - Video is Cropped)
, February 16, 2009
This review is from: The Mel Brooks Collection (Blazing Saddles / Young Frankenstein / Silent Movie / Robin Hood: Men in Tights / To Be or Not to Be / History of the World, Part 1 / The Twelve Chairs / High Anxiety) (DVD)
DISCLAIMER: Other than changing the title of this review, I am leaving the text exactly as written in the original publication. However, I must now preface the original review with the following disclaimer: I did check all the DVDs in this box against my old VHS tapes, and the results are exactly as stated below. However, it appears likely that my conclusions may be wrong. For an interesting and informative discussion on different ways movies may be cropped for theatrical, VHS, and DVD releases, read my original review, but also read the comments which follow it. - D.Auer, original reviewer, 11/9/12. ORIGINAL REVIEW FOLLOWS:
Fox should be ashamed of what it has done to these movies! All eight of these movies are presented as being "wide screen". However, for most of them this is achieved by removing the top and bottom of the old full screen image.
I compared all eight of these DVDs to the VHS releases, and found that five of the movies have been cropped to make them appear "widescreen". The VHS formats are in a 16 x 12 ratio (the proportaions of the old-fashioned standard US TV screen). Fox has removed the top eighth and bottom eighth of each movie to make them fill the new 16 x 9 ratio widescreen TVs. The following five movies in this set have been cropped: Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, Silent Movie, To Be or Not To Be, Robin Hood. The DVDs in this set present only 3/4 of the image that was shown on the old VHS releases.
The other three (Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, History of the World, Part 1) appear to be true wide-screen releases. The DVDs show the full picture from the VHS releases, but wider.
When will studios understand that what most buyers want is the full image of the original movie, regardless of its proportions? Cutting part of the image to make it appear to fit your TV screen is butchering the original product. Please do not promote this practice with the purchase of this set; wait for a proper release.
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