Bob is correct. Many years ago I saw a "restored" version of Le Million in
which the nearly square Movietone image was printed inside a standard
Academy (1.33 or 1.37:1) rectangle. Had this not been done, most theaters -
even most revival houses - would have cut off the top and bottom of the
image when the film was shown. This effect may have given rise to the
legend that Le Million was shot in a process that created an image more than
four perfs tall.
Senior Administrator, Planning and Special Projects
UCLA Film and Television Archive
1015 No. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood CA 90038
[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
From: Association of Moving Image Archivists
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Bob Birchard
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2003 12:36 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [AMIA-L] Le Million aspect ratio / film format?
"E. Summer" wrote:
> Some years ago a knowledgeable friend mentioned to me in passing that Rene
> Clair's Le Million was shot using a peculiar French process that had
> more than 4 perforations tall. This came up in conversation recently and
> I've been trying to track down what this might be.
> Does anyone have any information on such a format? It would imply that the
> image was projected on a special screen that was slightly taller than it
> was wide (such a thing was demonstrated by the National Film Board of
> Canada at the Montreal World's fair utilizing a 70mm frame taken and
> projected sideways).
This is doubtful. As a pre-1931 film it was undoubtedly shot in what has
to be known as "Movietone" ratio, which uses the silent full frame top to
bottom (with thin frame lines) and lops off the left side of the frame to
accommodate the sound track.
"Movietone" ratio is best accomplished today by using a "Scope" aperture
with a "flat" lens.
[log in to unmask]