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List of 35mm features released in 1.37 after 1953
A guide to 35mm features released in the 1.37:1 aspect ratio after 1953, the year widescreen formats became the industry standard in Hollywood. This list is not comprehensive, but is intended to help familiarize projectionists with the kinds of 'exceptions to the rule' they should be looking for.
Rules of thumb
- The big one: Soft-matted widescreen is easily mistaken for full-frame 1.37 - don't be fooled!
- Don't doubt your eyes. The best test of an aspect ratio theory is how it looks on screen (or, in a pinch, on the bench). Test a reel while switching up on aperture plates & lenses. The opening credits and title card are often the best frames to eyeball.
- Films originally released for TV exhibition or on 16mm are more likely than others to be natively 1.37
- With very few exceptions, Hollywood films made after 1953 are intended to be projected in widescreen aspect ratios
- With very few exceptions, Japanese films made before the late 1970s are either 1.37 or 'scope
- Beware of IMDb. It's sometimes right about aspect ratios, but it's sometimes wrong.
List of films
|The Artist||Michel Hazanavicius||2011||Windowboxed||France|
|Paranoid Park||Gus Van Sant||2007||Full-frame||United States|
|Last Days||Gus Van Sant||2005||Full-frame||United States|
|Elephant||Gus Van Sant||2003||Full-frame||United States|
|One from the Heart||Francis Ford Coppola||1982||Full-frame||United States|
|My Winnipeg||Guy Maddin||2008||Windowboxed||Canada|
|Fish Tank||Andrea Arnold||2009||Windowboxed||United Kingdom|
|A Summer's Tale||Eric Rohmer||1996||Full-frame||France|
|Wild Style||Charlie Ahearn||1983||Full-frame||United States|
|The Good German||Steven Soderbergh||2006||United States|
|Celine and Julie Go Boating||Jacques Rivette||1974||France|
|Le Pont du Nord||Jacques Rivette||1982||France|
|Post Tenebras Lux||Carlos Reygadas||2012||Mexico|
|Parsifal||Hans-Jürgen Syberberg||1982||Full-frame||West Germany|
|Prénom Carmen||Jean-Luc Godard||1983||France|
|Hail Mary||Jean-Luc Godard||1985||France|
|For Ever Mozart||Jean-Luc Godard||1996||France|
|Notre musique||Jean-Luc Godard||2004||France|
|Hélas pour moi||Jean-Luc Godard||1993||France|
|Vivre Sa Vie||Jean-Luc Godard||1962||Full-frame||France|
|Le Petit Soldat||Jean-Luc Godard||1960||Full-frame||France|
|Band of Outsiders||Jean-Luc Godard||1964||Full-frame||France|
|Masculin Féminin||Jean-Luc Godard||1966||Full-frame||France|
|Meek's Cutoff||Kelly Reichardt||2010||Full-frame||United States|
|The Decalogue||Krzysztof Kieślowski||1989||Full-frame||Poland|
|Ivan's Childhood||Andrei Tarkovsky||1962||Full-frame||USSR|
|The Mirror||Andrei Tarkovsky||1975||Full-frame||USSR|
|Slacker||Richard Linklater||1991||Full-frame||United States|
|The Devil Probably||Robert Bresson||1977||Full-frame||France|
|Wuthering Heights||Andrea Arnold||2011||United Kingdom|
|La Chinoise||Jean-Luc Godard||1967||Full-frame||France|
|Keep Your Right Up||Jean-Luc Godard||1987||Full-frame||France|
|La Collectionneuse||Eric Rohmer||1967||Full-frame||France|
|My Night at Maud's||Eric Rohmer||1969||Full-frame||France|
|Claire's Knee||Eric Rohmer||1970||Full-frame||France|
|Chloe In The Afternoon||Eric Rohmer||1972||Full-frame||France|
|Full Moon in Paris||Eric Rohmer||1984||Full-frame||France|
|Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle||Eric Rohmer||1987||Full-frame||France|
|Boyfriends and Girlfriends||Eric Rohmer||1987||Full-frame||France|
|An Autumn Tale||Eric Rohmer||1998||Full-frame||France|
|Triple Agent||Eric Rohmer||2004||Full-frame||France|
|Romance of Astree and Celadon||Eric Rohmer||2007||Full-frame||France|
|King Lear||Jean-Luc Godard||1987||Full-Frame||United States|
|Northern Lights||John Hanson & Rob Nilsson||1978||Full-frame||United States|
|Son of Saul||Lazlo Nemes||2015||Full-frame||Hungary|
|The Grand Bizarre||Jodie Mack||2018||Full-frame||United States|
Notes on tricky cases
- Prints of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels (1971) are printed full frame. Some scenes (in particular the "Dental Hygiene Dilemma" animated sequence) look as if they were intended to be projected full-frame. Other scenes - particularly the scene described under the 'Aspect Ratio' heading in this DVD review - are clearly framed for 1.66. In this case, this projectionist screened the film in 1.66, because it seemed likely that that's the ratio theatrical audiences in 1971 would have seen it in. 1.37 would have been an equally valid choice.
Note on Hollywood films from the 1950s
Some Hollywood films made in the late 1950s, after the rise of widescreen, can be played in either 1.37 or widescreen without suffering. In most cases there is an obvious correct choice. Nonetheless, there is much lively debate among cinephiles about the "correct" aspect ratio of many Hollywood films from this period. We recommend that projectionists steer clear of these discussions!
Instead, focus on the print in front of you (especially any references to aspect ratio written on or printed into the leader) and on primary sources (such as interviews with the filmmaker or historical promotions material).
- David Bordwell: "Godard comes in many shapes and sizes" (2007, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
- Joe Beres: "Paranoid Park’s aspect ratio conundrum" (2008, Walker Art Center)
- Bob Furmanek: "The New Era of Screen Dimensions" and "The First Year of Widescreen Production"
- Kyle Westphal: "Invasion of the aspect ratios" (2012, Northwest Chicago Film Society)