The Robe
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5 items from 2009

Topics/Questions/Exercises Of The Week—13 November 2009

13 November 2009 8:45 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

On The Evolution Of CinemaScope: Or, of you're going to be a stickler about names of formats and such, "The 2.35:1 Or So Aspect Ratio."

Above: The Robe (Henry Koster, 1953).

Above: Bonjour Tristesse (Otto Preminger, 1958).

Above: Le Mepris (Contempt) (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963).

When CinemaScope was introduced in 1953, the first film in the widescreen format was in the then au-courant sand-and-sandals quasi-Biblical-epic genre. The Robe still plays, in its silly way, as a study in gargantuan production value. And the gargantuan dimensions of the CinemaScope screen were seen as something of a novelty, a piece of showmanship rather than cinema per se, Zanuck's would-be blowback at television in an attempt to shore up the notion that movies were still going to be your best entertainment value.

What, though, had 'Scope to do with the art of cinema? And/or what director was going to be able to use 'Scope artistically? The answer came reasonably quickly, »

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Halfway House: Donkey

24 June 2009 9:40 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

When a movie doesn't work for my first and last series -- sometimes the movie star's mug will be the first thing you see or the last (or both) -- I'm gonna use it elsewhere when it's amusing. Spinoff Series Alert!

Screenshots from halfway through the movie in question. We're about sixty-six minutes in for this one.

Look, he's my donkey! This made me guffaw when I jumped to the halfway point of the DVD. See, Jesus cured this little crippled boy but he seems more excited about that ass than his newly working legs. Regardless, Richard Burton is so impressed you can totally tell he's going to convert to Christianity even though it will cost him his life. At the end of The Robe [*Spoiler*] Burton will walk up into heaven while a chorus sings "Hallelujah".


Richard Burton and Jean Simmons ascending



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DVD Playhouse: April 2009

11 April 2009 11:58 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Interview | See recent The Hollywood Interview news »

DVD Playhouse—April 2009


Allen Gardner

Milk (Universal) Sean Penn deservedly captured his second Best Actor Oscar (and Dustin Lance Black a statuette for his original screenplay) in director Gus Van Sant’s portrait of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to hold public office in the U.S. Alternately heartbreaking, infuriating and very funny, a film that both captures a bygone era and is still very timely. Fine support from Josh Brolin, Victor Garber, James Franco and Emile Hirsch. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Three featurettes. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS 5.1 surround.

Slumdog Millionaire (20th Century Fox) The Best Picture of 2008 is a kinetic, clever audience-pleaser about a determined lad (Dev Patel) from the slums of Mumbai, who has his chance at literal and financial redemption as a contestant on India’s version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Best Director Danny Boyle dazzles »

- The Hollywood

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This Week On DVD and Blu-ray: March 17, 2009

17 March 2009 2:38 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

DVD Links: DVD News | Release Dates | New Dvds | Reviews | RSS Feed Before we get into the new releases for the week there is a Blu-ray deal some of you may be interested in as Paramount is offering double packs at a discounted price of $24.99 with the following titles up for grabs: Clear and Present Danger and The Hunt for Red October Sweeney Todd and Sleepy Hollow Top Gun and Days of Thunder Mission: Impossible and Mission: Impossible 2 Sahara and Failure to Launch Hustle and Flow and Black Snake Moan You can browse the options at Amazon by clicking here. And now for this week's releases and latest release date announcements... Twilight (2-Disc Special Edition) Today I was asked at the last minute if I wanted to review this DVD. While reviewing the DVD would certainly account for a few additional page views I just couldn't do it since I didn't »

- Brad Brevet

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Restored 'Robe' Blows Screen Wide Open

16 March 2009 12:43 AM, PDT | | See recent New York Post news »

Cinemascope, which offered movies nearly three times as wide as they were high, was one of the more successful gimmicks Hollywood introduced in the early '50s to compete with TV.

Special lenses were used to squeeze wide-screen images onto standard 35mm film, with corresponding lenses attached to theater projectors to show movies that dazzled audiences accustomed to watching TV-like square screens.

The romantic comedy "How To Marry a Millionaire" was the first movie made in the process by 20th Century Fox, but the studio decided a biblical spectacular it was already filming in the standard format would be a better »


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