CinemaScope

CinemaScope is an anamorphic lens series used, from 1953 to 1967, and less often later, for shooting widescreen movies that, crucially, could be screened in theatres using existing equipment, albeit with a lens adapter. Its creation in 1953 by Spyros P. Skouras,[1] the president of 20th Century Fox, marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection.

The anamorphic lenses theoretically allowed the process to create an image of up to a 2.66:1 aspect ratio, almost twice as wide as the previously common Academy format's 1.37:1 ratio. Although the technology behind the CinemaScope lens system was made obsolete by later developments, primarily advanced by Panavision, CinemaScope's anamorphic format has continued to this day. In film-industry jargon, the shortened form, 'Scope, is still widely used by both filmmakers and projectionists, although today it generally refers to any 2.35:1, 2.39:1 or 2.40:1 presentation or, sometimes, the use of anamorphic lensing or projection in general. Bausch & Lomb won a 1954 Oscar for its development of the CinemaScope lens.

Origins

French inventor Henri Chrétien developed and patented a new film process that he called Anamorphoscope in 1926. It was this process that would later form the basis for CinemaScope. Chrétien's process was based on lenses that employed an optical trick which produced an image twice as wide as those that were being produced with conventional lenses; this was done using an optical system called Hypergonar, which was the process of compressing (at shoot time) and dilating (at projection time) the image laterally.[2] He attempted to interest the motion picture industry in his invention, but at that time the industry was not sufficiently impressed.

By 1950, however, cinema attendance seriously declined with the advent of a new competitive rival: television. Yet Cinerama and the early 3D films, both launched in 1952, succeeded at the box office in defying this trend, which in turn persuaded Spyros Skouras, the head of Twentieth Century-Fox, that technical innovation could help to meet the challenge.[3] Skouras tasked Earl Sponable, head of Fox's research department, with devising a new, impressive, projection system, but something that, unlike Cinerama, could be retrofitted to existing theatres at a relatively modest cost – and then Herbert Brag, Sponable's assistant, remembered Chrétien's "hypergonar" lens.[4]

The optical company Bausch & Lomb was asked to produce a prototype "anamorphoser" (later shortened to "anamorphic") lens. Meanwhile, Sponable tracked down Professor Chrétien, whose patent for the process had expired, so Fox purchased his existing Hypergonars from him and these lenses were flown to Fox's studios in Hollywood. Test footage shot with these lenses was screened for Skouras, who gave the go-ahead for development of a widescreen process based on Chrétien's invention, which was to be known as "CinemaScope".

Twentieth Century-Fox's pre-production of The Robe, originally committed to Technicolor Three-Strip origination, was halted so that the film could be changed to a CinemaScope production (using Eastmancolor, but processed by Technicolor). Two other CinemaScope productions were also planned: How to Marry a Millionaire and Beneath the Twelve-Mile Reef. So that production of these first CinemaScope films could proceed without delay, shooting started using the best three of Chrétien's Hypergonars while Bausch & Lomb continued working on their own versions. The introduction of CinemaScope enabled Fox and other studios to reassert its distinction from the new competitor, television.

Chrétien's Hypergonars proved to have significant optical and operational defects (primarily loss-of-squeeze at close camera-to-subject distances, plus the requirement of two camera assistants). Bausch & Lomb, Fox's prime contractor for the production of these lenses, initially produced an improved "Chrétien-formula" adapter lens design (CinemaScope Adapter Type I), and subsequently produced a dramatically improved and patented "Bausch & Lomb formula" adapter lens design (CinemaScope Adapter Type II).

Ultimately "Bausch & Lomb formula" "combined" lens designs incorporated both the "prime" lens and the anamorphic lens in one unit (initially in 35, 40, 50, 75, 100 and 152 mm focal lengths, and later including a 25 mm focal length). These "combined" lenses continue to be used to this day, particularly in special effects units. Other manufacturers' lenses are often preferred for so-called "production" applications that benefit from significantly lighter weight or lower distortion, or a combination of both characteristics.

Early implementation

CinemaScope was developed to use a separate film for sound (see Audio below), thus enabling the full "silent" 1.33:1 aperture to be available for the picture, with a 2:1 anamorphic squeeze applied that would allow an aspect ratio of 2.66:1. When, however, developers found that magnetic stripes could be added to the film to produce a composite picture/sound print, the ratio of the image was reduced to 2.55:1. This reduction was kept to a minimum by reducing the width of the normal KS perforations so that they were nearly square, but of DH height. This was the CinemaScope, or CS, perforation, known colloquially as "fox-holes". Later still an optical soundtrack was added, further reducing the aspect ratio to 2.35:1 (1678:715). This change also meant a shift in the optical center of the projected image. All of Fox's CinemaScope films were made using a silent/full aperture for the negatives, as was this studio's practice for all films, whether anamorphic or not.

In order to better hide so-called "negative assembly" splices, the ratio of the image was later changed by others to 2.39:1 (1024:429) and, finally, to 2.40:1. All professional cameras are capable of shooting 2.55:1 (special 'Scope aperture plate) or 2.66:1 (standard "Full"/"Silent" aperture plate, preferred by many producers and all optical houses), and 2.35:1 or 2.39:1 or 2.40:1 is simply a hard-matted version of the others.

Robe-Cinemascope-Ad
A promotional poster advertising The Robe and CinemaScope. The small box in the center represents a regular-width screen. The curvature and width of the screen have been greatly exaggerated; it looks more like a Cinerama screen. Unlike Cinerama screens, CinemaScope screens were rectangular, and only 86% wider than standard ratio.

Fox selected The Robe as the first film to start production in CinemaScope, a project chosen because of its epic nature. During its production, How to Marry a Millionaire and Beneath the 12-Mile Reef also went into Cinemascope production. Millionaire finished production first, before The Robe, but because of its importance, The Robe was released first.

Fox used its influential people to promote CinemaScope. With the success of The Robe and How to Marry a Millionaire, the process enjoyed success in Hollywood. Fox licensed the process to many of the major film studios including Columbia, Warner Bros., Universal, MGM and Walt Disney Productions.

Walt Disney Productions was one of the first companies to license the CinemaScope process from Fox. Among the features and shorts they filmed with it, they created the live-action epic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, considered one of the best examples of early CinemaScope productions.[5] Walt Disney Productions' Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom, which won an Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons) in 1953, was the first cartoon produced in Cinemascope. The first animated feature film to use CinemaScope was Lady and the Tramp (1955), also from Walt Disney Productions.

Due to initial uncertainty about whether the process would be adopted widely, a number of films were shot simultaneously with anamorphic and regular lenses. Despite early success with the process, Fox did not shoot every production by this process. They reserved CinemaScope as a trade name for their "A" productions, while "B" productions in black and white were begun in 1956 at Fox under the trade name, "RegalScope." The latter used the very same optics as CinemaScope, but, usually, a different camera system (such as Mitchell BNCs at TCF-TV studios for RegalScope rather than Fox Studio Cameras at Fox Hills studios for CinemaScope).

Audio

Fox officials were keen that the sound of their new widescreen film format should be as impressive as the picture, and that meant it should include true stereophonic sound.

Previously, stereo sound in the commercial cinema had always employed separate sound films; Walt Disney's 1940 release Fantasia, the first film with stereophonic sound, had used Disney's Fantasound system, which utilized a three-channel soundtrack played from separate optical film. Early post-war stereo systems used with Cinerama and some 3-D films had used multichannel audio played from a separate magnetic film. Fox had initially intended to use 3-channel stereo from magnetic film for CinemaScope.

However, Hazard E. Reeves' sound company had devised a method of coating 35 mm stock with magnetic stripes and designed a 3-channel (left, center, right) system based on three 0.063-inch-wide (1.6 mm) stripes, one on each edge of the film outside the perforations, and one between the picture and the perforations in approximately the position of a standard optical soundtrack. Later it was found possible to add a narrower 0.029 in (0.74 mm) stripe between the picture and perforations on the other side of the film; this fourth track was used for a surround channel, also sometimes known at the time as an "effects" channel. In order to avoid hiss on the surround/effects channel from distracting the audience the surround speakers were switched on by a 12 kHz tone recorded on the surround track only while wanted surround program material was present.[6]

This 4-track magnetic sound system was also used for some non-CinemaScope films; for example Fantasia was re-released in 1956, 1963, and 1969 with the original Fantasound track transferred to 4-track magnetic.

Rival processes

CinemaScope itself was a response to early "realism" processes Cinerama and 3-D. Cinerama was relatively unaffected by CinemaScope, as it was a quality-controlled process that played in select venues, similar to the IMAX films of recent years. 3-D was hurt, however, by studio advertising surrounding CinemaScope's promise that it was the "miracle you see without glasses." Technical difficulties in presentation spelled the true end for 3-D, but studio hype was quick to hail it a "victory" for CinemaScope.

In April 1953, a technique simply now known as "wide-screen" appeared and was soon adopted as a standard by all "flat" film productions in the US. In this process, a fully exposed 1.37:1 Academy ratio-area is cropped in the projector to a wide-screen aspect ratio by the use of an aperture plate, also known as a soft matte. Most films shot today use this technique, cropping the top and bottom of a 1.37:1 image to produce one at a ratio of 1.85:1.

Aware of Fox's upcoming CinemaScope productions, Paramount introduced this technique in March's release of Shane with the 1.66:1 aspect ratio, although the film was not shot with this ratio originally in mind. Universal-International followed suit in May with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio for Thunder Bay. By summer of 1953, Paramount, Universal, MGM, Columbia, and even Fox's B-unit contractors, under the banner of "Panoramic Productions" had switched from filming flat shows in a 1.37:1 format, and used variable flat wide-screen aspect ratios in their filming, which would become the standard of that time.

By this time Chrétien's 1926 patent on the Hypergonar lens had expired while the fundamental technique that CinemaScope utilised was not patentable because the anamorphoscope had been known for centuries. Anamorphosis had been used in visual media such as Hans Holbein's painting, The Ambassadors (1533). Some studios thus sought to develop their own systems rather than pay Fox.

In response to the demands for a higher visual resolution spherical widescreen process, Paramount created an optical process, VistaVision, which shot horizontally on the 35 mm film roll, and then printed down to standard 4-perf vertical 35 mm. Thus, a negative with a finer grain was created and release prints had less grain. The first Paramount film in VistaVision was White Christmas. VistaVision died out for feature production in the late 1950s with the introduction of faster film stocks, but was revived by Industrial Light & Magic in 1975 to create high quality visual effects for Star Wars and ILM's subsequent film projects.

RKO used the Superscope process in which the standard 35 mm image was cropped and then optically squeezed in post-production to create an anamorphic image on film. Today's Super 35 is a variation of this process.

Another process called Techniscope was developed by Technicolor Inc. in the early 1960s, using normal 35 mm cameras modified for two perforations per (half) frame instead of the regular four and later converted into an anamorphic print. Techniscope was mostly used in Europe, especially with low-budget films.

Many European countries and studios used the standard anamorphic process for their wide-screen films, identical in technical specifications to CinemaScope, and renamed to avoid the trademarks of Fox. Some of these include Euroscope, Franscope, and Naturama (the latter used by Republic Pictures). In 1953, Warner Bros. also planned to develop an identical anamorphic process called Warnerscope but, after the premiere of CinemaScope, Warner Bros. decided to license it from Fox instead.

Technical difficulties

Cinemascope 4 perf 35 mm film
A CinemaScope 35 mm film frame showing a circle. It has been squeezed by a ratio of 2:1 by an anamorphic camera lens. The anamorphic projection lens will stretch the image horizontally to show a normal round circle on the screen.

Although CinemaScope was capable of producing a 2.66:1 image, the addition of magnetic sound tracks for multi-channel sound reduced this to 2.55:1.

The fact that the image was expanded horizontally when projected meant that there could be visible graininess and brightness problems. To combat this, larger film formats were developed (initially a too-costly 55 mm for Carousel and The King and I) and then abandoned (both films were eventually reduction printed at 35 mm, although the aspect ratio was kept at 2.55:1). Later Fox re-released The King and I in the 65/70 mm format. The initial problems with grain and brightness were eventually reduced thanks to improvements in film stock and lenses.

The CinemaScope lenses were optically flawed, however, by the fixed anamorphic element, which caused the anamorphic effect to gradually drop off as objects approached closer to the lens. The effect was that close-ups would slightly overstretch an actor's face, a problem that was soon referred to as "the mumps". This problem was avoided at first by composing wider shots, but as anamorphic technology lost its novelty, directors and cinematographers sought compositional freedom from these limitations. Issues with the lenses also made it difficult to photograph animation using the CinemaScope process. Nevertheless, many animated short films and a few features were filmed in CinemaScope during the 1950s, including Walt Disney's Lady and the Tramp (1955).

CinemaScope 55

CinemaScope 55 was a large-format version of CinemaScope introduced by Twentieth Century Fox in 1955, which used a film width of 55.625 mm.[7]

Fox had introduced the original 35 mm version of CinemaScope in 1953 and it had proved to be commercially successful. But the additional image enlargement needed to fill the new wider screens, which had been installed in theatres for CinemaScope, resulted in visible film grain. A larger film was used to reduce the need for such enlargement.[8] CinemaScope 55 was developed to satisfy this need and was one of three "high-definition" film systems introduced in the mid-1950s, the other two being Paramount's VistaVision and the Todd-AO 70 mm film system.

Fox determined that a system that produced a frame area approximately 4 times that of the 35mm CinemaScope frame would be the optimal trade-off between performance and cost, and it chose the 55.625 mm film width as satisfying that. Camera negative film had larger grain than the film stocks used for prints, so there was a consistent approach in using a larger frame on the film negative than on prints. Since the image area of a print has to allow for a soundtrack, a camera negative does not. CinemaScope 55 had different frame dimensions for the camera negative and struck prints.

The negative film had the perforations (of the CS "Fox-hole" type) close to the edge of the film and the camera aperture was 1.824" by 1.430" (approx. 46 mm x 36 mm), giving an image area of 2.61 sq. inch. This compares to the 0.866" by 0.732" (approx. 22 mm x 18.6 mm) frame of a modern anamorphic 35 mm negative, which provides a frame area of 0.64 sq. inch. On the print film, however, there was a smaller frame size of approximately 1.34" x 1.06" (34 mm x 27 mm) to allow space for the 6 magnetic soundtracks. Four of these soundtracks (two each side) were outside the perforations, which were further from the edges of the print film than in the negative film; the other two soundtracks were between the perforations and the image. The pull-down for the negative was 8 perforations, while for the smaller frame on the print film, it was 6 perforations. In both cases, however, the frame had an aspect ratio of 1.275:1, which when expanded by a 2:1 anamorphic lens resulted in an image of 2.55:1.

A camera originally built for the obsolete Fox 70 mm "Grandeur" film format more than 20 years before was modified to work with the new 55 mm film. Bausch & Lomb, the firm that created the original anamorphic CinemaScope lenses, was contracted by Fox to build new "Super CinemaScope" lenses that could cover the larger film frame.

Fox shot two of their Rodgers and Hammerstein musical series in CinemaScope 55: Carousel, and The King and I. But it did not make 55 mm release prints for either film; both were released in conventional 35 mm CinemaScope with a limited release of The King and I being shown in 70 mm.

Fox soon discontinued this process, as it was too impractical for theaters to re-equip for 55 mm prints. The company substituted Todd-AO for its wide-gauge production process, having acquired a financial interest in the process from the Mike Todd estate.[9]

Subsequent to the abandonment of CinemaScope 55, Century, which had made the 55/35mm dual-gauge projector for Fox (50 sets were delivered), redesigned this projector head into the present day 70/35mm Model JJ, and Ampex, which had made the 55/35mm dual gauge "penthouse" magnetic sound reproducer head specifically for CinemaScope 55, abandoned this product (but six-channel Ampex theater systems persisted, these being re-purposed from 55/35mm to 70mm Todd-AO/35mm CinemaScope).

Although commercial 55 mm prints were not made, some 55 mm prints were produced. Samples of these prints reside in the Earl I. Sponable Collection at Columbia University. Several 55/35mm projectors and at least one 55/35mm reproducer are in the hands of collectors.

Cinemascope 55 was originally intended to have a six-track stereo soundtrack. The premiere engagement of Carousel in New York did use one, recorded on magnetic film interlocked with the visual image, as with Cinerama. This proved too impractical, and all other engagements of Carousel had the standard four-track stereo soundtrack ("sounded" on the actual film) as was then used in all CinemaScope releases.

In 2005 both CinemaScope 55 films were restored from the original 55 mm negatives.[10][11]

Decline

Lens manufacturer Panavision was initially founded in late 1953 as a manufacturer of anamorphic lens adapters for movie projectors screening CinemaScope films, capitalizing on the success of the new anamorphic format and filling in the gap created by Bausch and Lomb's inability to mass-produce the needed adapters for movie theaters fast enough. Looking to expand beyond projector lenses, Panavision founder Robert Gottschalk soon improved upon the anamorphic camera lenses by creating a new lens set that included dual rotating anamorphic elements which were interlocked with the lens focus gearing. This innovation allowed the Panavision lenses to keep the plane of focus at a constant anamorphic ratio of 2x, thus avoiding the horizontally-overstretched "mumps" effect that afflicted many CinemaScope films. After screening a demo reel comparing the two systems, many U.S. studios adopted the Panavision anamorphic lenses. The Panavision technique was also considered more attractive to the industry because it was more affordable than CinemaScope and was not owned or licensed-out by a rival studio. Confusingly, some studios, particularly MGM, continued to use the CinemaScope credit even though they had switched to Panavision lenses. Virtually all MGM "CinemaScope" films after 1958 are actually in Panavision.

By 1967, even Fox had begun to abandon CinemaScope for Panavision (famously at the demand of Frank Sinatra for Von Ryan's Express), although a significant amount of the principal photography was actually filmed using CinemaScope lenses. Fox eventually capitulated completely to third-party lenses. In Like Flint with James Coburn and Caprice with Doris Day, were Fox's final films in CinemaScope.

Fox originally intended CinemaScope films to use magnetic stereo sound only, and although in certain areas, such as Los Angeles and New York City, the vast majority of theaters were equipped for 4-track magnetic sound (4-track magnetic sound achieving nearly 90 percent penetration of theaters in the greater Los Angeles area) the owners of many smaller theaters were dissatisfied with contractually having to install expensive three- or four-track magnetic stereo, and because of the technical nature of sound installations, drive-in theaters had trouble presenting stereophonic sound at all. Due to these conflicts, and because other studios were starting to release anamorphic prints with standard optical soundtracks, Fox revoked their policy of stereo-only presentations in 1957, and added a half-width optical soundtrack, while keeping the magnetic tracks for those theaters that were able to present their films with stereophonic sound. These so-called "mag-optical" prints provided a somewhat sub-standard optical sound and were also expensive to produce. It made little economic sense to supply those theaters which had only mono sound systems with an expensive striped print. Eventually Fox, and others, elected to supply the majority of their prints in standard mono optical sound form, with magnetic striped prints reserved for those theaters capable of playing them.

Magnetic-striped prints were expensive to produce; each print cost at least twice as much as a print with a standard optical soundtrack only. Furthermore, these striped prints wore out faster than optical prints and caused more problems in use, such as flakes of oxide clogging the replay heads. Due to these problems, and also because many cinemas never installed the necessary playback equipment, magnetic-sound prints started to be made in small quantities for "roadshow" screenings only, with the main release using standard mono optical-sound prints. As time went by roadshow screenings were increasingly made using 70 mm film, and the use of striped 35 mm prints declined further. Many CinemaScope films from the 1960s and 1970s were never released in stereo at all. Finally, the 1976 introduction of Dolby Stereo – which provided similar performance to striped magnetic prints albeit more reliable and at a far lower cost – caused the 4-track magnetic system to become totally obsolete.

Modern references

The song "Stereophonic Sound" written by Cole Porter for the 1955 Broadway musical Silk Stockings mentions CinemaScope in the lyrics. The first verse is: "Today to get the public to attend the picture show/ It’s not enough to advertise a famous star they know/ If you wanna get the crowds to come around/ You gotta have glorious Technicolor/ Breathtaking CinemaScope and stereophonic sound." The musical was adapted for film in 1957 and was indeed filmed in CinemaScope. (Although the song refers to Technicolor, the film was actually made in Metrocolor.)

While the lens system has been retired for decades, Fox has used the trademark in recent years on at least three films: Down with Love, which was shot with Panavision optics but used the credit as a throwback to the films it references, and the Don Bluth films Anastasia and Titan A.E. at Bluth's insistence. Nonetheless, these films are not true CinemaScope as they use modern lenses. CinemaScope's association with anamorphic projection is still so embedded in mass consciousness that all anamorphic prints are now referred to generically as "'Scope" prints.

Similarly, the 2016 release La La Land was shot on film (not digitally) with Panavision equipment in a 2.55:1 widescreen format, but not true CinemaScope.[12][13][14][15] However, the film's opening credits do say "Presented in CinemaScope" ("presented," not "shot") as a tribute to 1950s musicals in that format. This credit appears initially in black-and-white and in a narrow format. It then widens to widescreen and dissolves to the old-fashioned CinemaScope logo, in color.

In the 1963 Jean-Luc Godard film Contempt (Le Mepris), filmmaker Fritz Lang makes a disparaging comment about CinemaScope: "Oh, it wasn't meant for human beings. Just for snakes – and funerals." Ironically, Contempt was shot in Franscope, a process with a similar format to CinemaScope.

During the production of 1999's The Iron Giant, director Brad Bird wanted to use CinemaScope on the film's promotion, but Fox disapproved of this, so it was not used. The joke was later realized during the end credits of the 2015 "Signature Edition" re-release.

Recently, the two 2018 blockbuster films Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Deadpool 2 were shot in CinemaScope.[16]

See also

References

  1. ^ "CinemaScope: Selected Documents from the Spyros P. Skouras Archive | ILIAS CHRISSOCHOIDIS". Academia.edu. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  2. ^ Peter Gray - Director of Photography. "History of CinemaScope". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2006-04-10. Retrieved 2016-09-01.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "Spyros P. Skouras, Memoirs (1893-1953) | ILIAS CHRISSOCHOIDIS". Academia.edu. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  4. ^ "out of the Lens Cupboard – Anamorphosis part two, the coming of Cinemascope" Grant Lobban, Cinema Technology Vol 7 No.3 April 1994
  5. ^ "CinemaScope at the Widescreen Museum". Widescreenmuseum.com. 1953-09-24. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  6. ^ "Four-track Magnetic Theater Sound Reproducer for Composite Films" by Athey, Borberg, and White. Journal of the SMPTE March 1954 Vol 62
  7. ^ "Widescreen Museum - The CinemaScope Wing 6 - CinemaScope 55". www.widescreenmuseum.com.
  8. ^ "Why Wide Film" by Earl I. Sponable, Journal of the SMPTE Vol 65 February 56
  9. ^ [1], Wide Screen Museum website
  10. ^ "American Cinematographer: June 2005". www.theasc.com.
  11. ^ "Restoring Cinemascope 55". www.in70mm.com.
  12. ^ "Shot in CinemaScope, La La Land vibrantly romances the olden days of Hollywood," http://motion.kodak.com/kodakgcg/us/en/motion/blog/blog_post/?contentid=4295000679#, January 10, 2017.
  13. ^ "Review: La La Land". 14 December 2016.
  14. ^ Desowitz, Bill (10 November 2016). "Oscars 2017: Why Cinematographers for Scorsese, Chazelle and More Shot on Film".
  15. ^ La La Land (Damien Chazelle, US) — Special Presentations - Cinema Scope
  16. ^ Sciretta, Peter (April 24, 2018). "'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Director J.A. Bayona on Bringing Suspense Back to the Franchise [Set Visit Interview] (page 2 of 3)". /Film. Retrieved April 25, 2018.

External links

Beneath the 12-Mile Reef

Beneath the 12-Mile Reef is a 1953 American Technicolor adventure film directed by Robert D. Webb. The screenplay by A. I. Bezzerides was inspired by Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The film was the third motion picture made in CinemaScope, coming after The Robe and How to Marry a Millionaire.

Blue Cat Blues

Blue Cat Blues is a 1956 one-reel animated Tom and Jerry cartoon directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with music by Scott Bradley. It was released on November 16, 1956 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was also produced in CinemaScope.

Carmen Jones (film)

Carmen Jones is a 1954 American musical film starring Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte, produced and directed by Otto Preminger. The screenplay by Harry Kleiner is based on the lyrics and book by Oscar Hammerstein II, from the 1943 stage musical of the same name, set to the music of Georges Bizet's 1875 opera Carmen. The opera was an adaptation of the 1845 Prosper Mérimée novella Carmen by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy.

Carmen Jones was a CinemaScope motion picture that had begun shooting within the first 12 months of Twentieth Century Fox's venture in 1953 to CinemaScope Technicolor as its main production mode. Carmen Jones was released in October 1954, exactly one year and one month after Fox's first CinemaScope venture, the Biblical epic The Robe, had opened in theatres.

In 1992, Carmen Jones was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Feedin' the Kiddie

Feedin' the Kiddie is a one-reel animated Tom and Jerry short, created in 1957, directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with music by Scott Bradley. It is a CinemaScope remake of 1948's Academy Award-winning cartoon, The Little Orphan, save for the character Nibbles being named Tuffy to match the character in the comics, and was the last CinemaScope remake of a Tom and Jerry cartoon. It was released to theaters on June 7, 1957 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, a month after the MGM cartoon studio shut down.

Grand Canyonscope

Grand Canyonscope is a Donald Duck animated short released in 1954. It was Disney's second cartoon filmed in CinemaScope (following Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom), and was produced to accompany Disney's first CinemaScope film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. (One joke has J. Audubon Woodlore breaking the fourth wall stating to the tourists, "Uh, spread out, folks, this is CinemaScope.")

It is available on The Chronological Donald, Volume Four, as well as an extra on the DVD release of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

How to Marry a Millionaire

How to Marry a Millionaire is a 1953 American romantic comedy film directed by Jean Negulesco and written and produced by Nunnally Johnson. The screenplay was based on the plays The Greeks Had a Word for It by Zoë Akins and Loco by Dale Eunson and Katherine Albert.

The film stars Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe, and Lauren Bacall as three gold diggers, along with William Powell, David Wayne, Rory Calhoun, and Cameron Mitchell. Although Grable received top billing in the screen credits, Monroe's name was listed first in all advertising, including the trailer.

Made by 20th Century Fox, How to Marry a Millionaire was the first film ever to be filmed in the new CinemaScope wide-screen process, although it was the second CinemaScope film released by Fox after the biblical epic film The Robe (also 1953).

How to Marry a Millionaire was also the first 1950s color and CinemaScope film ever to be shown on prime-time network television, though panned-and-scanned, when it was presented as the first film on NBC Saturday Night at the Movies on September 23, 1961.The soundtrack to How to Marry a Millionaire was released on CD by Film Score Monthly on March 15, 2001.

Jubal (film)

Jubal is a 1956 American CinemaScope Technicolor Drama Western film directed by Delmer Daves and starring Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger.

Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp is a 1955 American animated musical romance film produced by Walt Disney and released to theaters on June 22, 1955 by Buena Vista Distribution. The 15th Disney animated feature film, it was the first animated feature filmed in the CinemaScope widescreen film process. Based on "Happy Dan, The Cynical Dog," by Ward Greene, Lady and the Tramp tells the story of a female American Cocker Spaniel named Lady who lives with a refined, upper-middle-class family, and a male stray mixed-breed dog called the Tramp. When the two dogs meet, they embark on many romantic adventures and fall in love.

A direct-to-video sequel, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, was released in 2001. An upcoming live-action remake of the film is in active development for Disney's planned streaming service Disney+.

Panavision

Panavision is an American motion picture equipment company specializing in cameras and lenses, based in Woodland Hills, California. Formed by Robert Gottschalk as a small partnership to create anamorphic projection lenses during the widescreen boom in the 1950s, Panavision expanded its product lines to meet the demands of modern filmmakers. The company introduced its first products in 1954. Originally a provider of CinemaScope accessories, the company's line of anamorphic widescreen lenses soon became the industry leader. In 1972, Panavision helped revolutionize filmmaking with the lightweight Panaflex 35 mm movie camera. The company has introduced other groundbreaking cameras such as the Millennium XL (1999) and the digital video Genesis (2004).

Panavision operates exclusively as a rental facility—the company owns its entire inventory, unlike most of its competitors.

Pet Peeve (1954 film)

The Pet Peeve is the 88th one-reel animated Tom and Jerry short, directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and produced by Fred Quimby with music by Scott Bradley. The cartoon was animated by Kenneth Muse Ed Barge and Irven Spence, with backgrounds by Robert Gentle. It was released on November 20, 1954 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

This was the first Tom and Jerry cartoon to be released in CinemaScope and the second to be produced in the format (the first was Touché, Pussy Cat!, released a month later), which widened the cinema screen to a more expansive aspect ratio to compete against the growing popularity of television. The CinemaScope process required thicker and more defined ink lines around the characters, giving them a slightly more "modern" and less detailed appearance.

The cartoon is also the first to feature their new owner of the house, a white married couple, who replaced Mammy Two Shoes, the African-American maid voiced by Lillian Randolph from the first cartoon Puss Gets the Boot (1940) up to and including 1952's Push-Button Kitty.

Royal Cat Nap

Royal Cat Nap is the 111th one-reel animated Tom and Jerry released cartoon, created in 1958 directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with music by Scott Bradley. The animation was credited to Carlo Vinci, Lewis Marshall and Kenneth Muse, with backgrounds by Robert Gentle and layouts by Richard Bickenbach. It was the last of four Mouseketeer shorts and also the only Mouseketeer short not produced by Fred Quimby, which were a send-up of the famous Three Musketeers novel and film(s), beginning with the Academy Award-winning short The Two Mouseketeers in 1952. It was released on March 7, 1958 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and is also one of the very last Tom and Jerry shorts in the Hanna-Barbera era.

Silk Stockings (film)

Silk Stockings is a 1957 Metrocolor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer CinemaScope musical film adaptation of the 1955 stage musical of the same name, which itself was an adaptation of the film Ninotchka (1939). Silk Stockings was directed by Rouben Mamoulian, produced by Arthur Freed, and starred Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. The supporting cast includes Janis Paige, Peter Lorre, Jules Munshin, and George Tobias repeating his Broadway role. It was choreographed by Eugene Loring and Hermes Pan.

It received Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Film and Best Actress (Charisse) in the Comedy/Musical category.The score was embellished with the new song "The Ritz Roll and Rock", a parody of the then-emerging rock and roll genre. The number ends with Astaire symbolically smashing his top hat, considered one of his trademarks, signaling his retirement from movie musicals, which he announced following the film's release.

The Egg and Jerry

The Egg and Jerry is a 1956 one reel animated short, directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with music by Scott Bradley. It is a CinemaScope remake of 1949's Hatch Up Your Troubles, and the first of the CinemaScope remakes of a few cartoons. The only aspects of the cartoon that differ from the original are that it is in a Widescreen format, the ink lines around the characters are thicker, and the backgrounds are more stylised. Also, the egg is white instead of pink, and Tom is missing the white fur stripe between his eyes, typical of the time period. The cartoon's title is a play-on-words of the novel and film The Egg and I. It is the first cartoon that has in the bottom right corner, "In CinemaScope" (with some cartoons it is elsewhere).

It is the 99th Tom and Jerry cartoon ever released.

The Egyptian (film)

The Egyptian is a 1954 American epic drama film made by 20th Century Fox. Filmed in CinemaScope with color by DeLuxe, it was directed by Michael Curtiz and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. It is based on Mika Waltari's novel of the same name and the screenplay was adapted by Philip Dunne and Casey Robinson. Leading roles were played by Edmund Purdom, Bella Darvi, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Gene Tierney, Peter Ustinov, and Michael Wilding. Cinematographer Leon Shamroy was nominated for an Academy Award in 1955.

The Flying Sorceress

The Flying Sorceress is a 1956 one reel animated Tom and Jerry short directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with music by Scott Bradley. The cartoon was animated by Kenneth Muse, Ed Barge, Irven Spence and Lewis Marshall, with backgrounds by Robert Gentle and layouts by Richard Bickenbach. It was produced in CinemaScope and released to theatres on January 27, 1956 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. Unlike other shorts, this one focuses mainly on Tom while Jerry has a minor role.

The Robe (film)

The Robe is a 1953 American Biblical epic film that tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that is responsible for the Crucifixion of Jesus. The film was released by 20th Century Fox and was the first film released in the widescreen process CinemaScope. Like other early CinemaScope films, The Robe was shot with Henri Chrétien's original Hypergonar anamorphic lenses.

The film was directed by Henry Koster and produced by Frank Ross. The screenplay was adapted by Gina Kaus, Albert Maltz, and Philip Dunne from Lloyd C. Douglas' eponymous 1942 novel. The score was composed by Alfred Newman, and the cinematography was by Leon Shamroy.

The film stars Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, and Michael Rennie and co-stars Dean Jagger, Jay Robinson, Richard Boone, and Jeff Morrow. The Robe had a 1954 sequel Demetrius and the Gladiators.

Tom and Chérie

Tom and Chérie is a 1955 one reel animated Tom and Jerry short directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and produced by Fred Quimby with music by Scott Bradley. It was the third (of four) cartoons in the Mouseketeer series of cartoons to take place in France, the first of which, The Two Mouseketeers (1952) won an Academy Award, and the second, Touché, Pussy Cat! (1954) received an Academy Award nomination. Chérie is not only a word play of Jerry in Tom and Jerry but also means "sweetheart" in French.

The animation was done by Irven Spence, Kenneth Muse, Ed Barge, and Lewis Marshall, this being Marshall's first Tom and Jerry cartoon for which he received an animation credit (replacing Ray Patterson who had left). The backgrounds were designed by Robert Gentle and the layouts by Richard Bickenbach. The cartoon was produced in CinemaScope, a form of Widescreen, and released to theatres on September 9, 1955 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer.

Tom and Jerry filmography

This is a complete list of the 164 shorts in the Tom and Jerry series produced and released between 1940 and 2014. Of these, 163 are theatrical shorts, two are made-for-TV shorts and one is a 2-minute sketch shown as part of a telethon.

Touché, Pussy Cat!

Touché, Pussy Cat! is a 1954 one-reel animated Tom and Jerry short, directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with production by Fred Quimby and music by Scott Bradley. It was nominated for an Academy Award in 1954, the series' final Oscar nomination, while Johann Mouse won the last award for the series a year before.

Touché, Pussy Cat! is a follow-up to the 1952 cartoon The Two Mouseketeers, which won the 1951 Academy Award. The title is also Tuffy's catchphrase in the "Mouseketeer" shorts. The cartoon was animated by Kenneth Muse, Ed Barge and Irven Spence, with backgrounds by Robert Gentle. It was released in theaters by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on December 18, 1954.

It was the first of the Tom and Jerry shorts to be produced in the widescreen CinemaScope format, but was the second CinemaScope-produced short to be released (after Pet Peeve, released the previous month; Touché, Pussy Cat! has an earlier MPAA certificate number). The cartoon also exists in a non-Cinemascope format. Touché, Pussy Cat! spawned two further entries in the "Mouseketeer" series of Tom and Jerry cartoons, namely Tom and Chérie in 1955, and Royal Cat Nap in 1958.

Motion picture film formats
Film gauges
Film formats
Aspect ratio standards
Video framing

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.