21 May 2009 | tonstant viewer
Nice enough content RUINED by letterboxing!
Yes, it's nice to trot this material around one more time, and there are anecdotes here that may or may not be new to you.
But Buster Keaton said that comedy is in long shot, and these boneheaded producers chose to zoom in for widescreen and hack off the top and bottom in their clips of both movies and TV.
You can't show physical comedians cut off at the knees. These are full-body performers. You lose the feet, legs and space that contains the action, as well as the location information at the top of the screen. In the scene from "Animal Crackers" where policeman Basil Ruysdael pumps Harpo Marx's arm and several hundred knives fall out of his other sleeve, you can hardly see the knives appearing and the entire gag is killed stone dead.
To show the entire frame would have entailed black bars at the sides, but that would have been a lot better than destroying the visuals of Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Fields, Caesar, Ball and just about everybody else who worked in standard format rather than widescreen.
An absolute waste of time. Don't bother.