Old 08-16-2012, 09:17 PM
What's up with Turner Classic Movies?

I've always appreciated the fact that TCM has always shown their movies in the proper aspect ratio; it's what separates them from other so-called movie channels. But lately, this hasn't been the case on a lot of films.

The other night, they showed the 1959 film "Journey To the Center of the Earth" starring James Mason and Pat Boone. It was shot in Cinemascope which of course is 2.35:1. Ben Mankiewicz even came out and did an introduction talking about how it was shot in Scope. During the opening credits, it was, in fact, in CS. I have a 36-inch Sony XBR tube TV, so I can easily see the letterboxing. But as soon as the first scene started after the credits ended, the image suddenly popped into a wider picture nearly filling up my screen. There were still black bars at the top and bottom, but it was not at all in Scope. I refused to watch it.

A few months ago, they showed the 1992 film "Howards End" which was shot 2.20:1. But I may as well have been watching it on VHS tape as it barely had any letterboxing at all.

Either TCM is cutting corners to save money and showing cheaper versions of the films, or they're slowing beginning to cater to the masses and turn into another American Mutilated Classics (AMC).

And no, my TV does not need adjusting. I can tell that TCM is doing this. Anyone else notice the inconsistencies? I wrote to TCM to ask them, but of course I never heard back.
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