Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

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Raigmore
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Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

Post by Raigmore »

I wonder if there is a list of older Made for TV Movies that were originally shot in the standard 4:3 aspect ratio that were released on BD (or even DVD) in the 1.85:1 (or thereabouts) Widescreen format?

I know of just 3:
1. DUEL (Universal)
2. The Day After (Kino Lorber)
3. Escape From Sobibor (Network)

In addition, there is a Spanish release (with English audio) of the 1983 TVM Starflight One but only on DVD as far as I know. Code Red were going to release it on BD but I think the company went bust.

Are there any others?
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

Post by cliff homewood »

Salems Lot?

Aspect Ratio 1.33 : 1 (television ratio)
1.85 : 1 (theatrical ratio)

However the miniseries is better than the film, don't know if the 1:85 is just for the TV movie version. Talking 1979 series/film obviously
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

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You're right, thanks. The Region B release of Salem's Lot by Warner is 1.85:1 and is avaiable at a reasonable price.

There is a feature film version being released next year. It's directed by Gary Dauberman, the guy who wrote the script for many horror films, including all the Annabelle series movies. But his only previous directorial effort was with Annabelle Comes Home.
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

Post by cliff homewood »

Ooh thanks Didn't know that. Saw the last remake, it was alright and different (definitely a lot better than Salems Lot 2 which was hideous). What I want is the same story told well as the original is a bit dated now. However I believe the remake was a fresh interpretation of the book, which I am all for.

Did wonder about things like V, Lifes and Loves of a She Devil and Shogun but they were all mini-series as opposed to movies.
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

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I just discovered that the 1979 version of All Quiet On the Western Front, essentially a TV film originally released in the standard 4:3 aspect ratio, is now available in its German release (Concorde Home Entertainment - has both the original longer TV version in 4:3 and the widescreen theater release plus lossless audio including English) and the US release (Shout! Factory). The UK's ITV release remains in the Open Matte 4:3 aspect ratio only.

I think I'll get the German release. The film is not comparable to the original 1930 classic but good enough on its own merit.
Last edited by Raigmore on Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

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Another possible one, the 1970's Spider-man series featuring Nicholas Hammond in the role, know they released a couple of 2 part stories in the cinemas in the UK. Battlestar galactica also had its pilot released theatrically and Buck Rogers had a slightly different cut in the cinema to the toned down TV version, don't know about the aspect ratios on any of these but all possiblities
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

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cliff homewood wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:16 pm Another possible one, the 1970's Spider-man series featuring Nicholas Hammond in the role, know they released a couple of 2 part stories in the cinemas in the UK. Battlestar galactica also had its pilot released theatrically and Buck Rogers had a slightly different cut in the cinema to the toned down TV version, don't know about the aspect ratios on any of these but all possiblities
Thanks. Not particuly interested in that Spider Man release, but your information is useful for my list. But tell me, wasn't that the sane Nicholas Hammond who acted as the older of the two sons in the classic film The Sound of Music?

I have that pilot episode of Battlestar Galactica (the widescreen version) saved on Amazon Prime if you meant that one. It was made in 2003-4 and my then most TV movies had gone widescreen. That's the series with the extremely irritating bad actress Katee Sackoff (some friends call her Katee F***off) as 'Starbuck'. You can see her now in the space drama Another Life, looking and acting as bad as ever.

Unless you meant the 1978-9 series with Lorne Greene and Dirk Benedict. That was good.
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

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I meant the 1978 series as remember seeing the pilot movie in the cinema, which was two eps mashed together the same as Spider-man I believe. And yeah it was the same Nicholas Hammond from SOund of Music, and it looks quite dreadful now as he shoots rope from his wrist. I wasn't impressed with it as a kid as he rarely did any spidey stunts and the bad guys were generally boring for some reason they wanted 'realistic' and not spidey baddies, when he is only second to Batman in his villains gallery. The two movies I thought were good though as a kid, the pilot and the dragons challenge, do0nt think I'll revisit though as what was good then is not necessarily good now.

It seemed a thing in the 70s, putting a couple of eps of US television together into a movie and releasing theatrically.

We also had our own version of The Godfather, where they mixed Godfather I & II together and showed the events chronologically as a mini-series, which is how I first saw The Godfather.
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

Post by cliff homewood »

Another of possibilities have just occurred.

Dr WHos 50th, the Day of the Doctor I think, was released in cinemas, may have just been IMAX though as that's where I went to see it.

Do you know about Babylon 5? It was shot in widescreen to be future proof although shown in 4:3, however Warner Bros weren't willing to pay the extra cash to get the CGI people the larger monitors so the CGI was done in 4:3. This is relevant as they've rereleased B5 in widescreen recently, not sure if they've done the pilot TV movie yet though.
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

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cliff homewood wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:28 pm Do you know about Babylon 5? It was shot in widescreen to be future proof although shown in 4:3, however Warner Bros weren't willing to pay the extra cash to get the CGI people the larger monitors so the CGI was done in 4:3. This is relevant as they've rereleased B5 in widescreen recently, not sure if they've done the pilot TV movie yet though.
I have had all the seasons and all standalone (well, sort of standalone) movies of Babylon 5 on DVD for over a decade. I like the series for the most part but not enough to pay for a BD upgrade.

With my set, only the feature length The Gathering is in 4:3. All other movies - In The Beginning, Thirdspace, The River of Souls and A Call to Arms, as well as all episodes of all 5 seasons are in 1.85:1 widescreen.

I have mixed feelings about B5. Great premise but the series was marred by some poor episodes and stating from the final episode of Season 4, faded away badly.

My faviorite episode of them all is S4 Ep15 "No Surrender, No Retreat".
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

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B5 is possibly my fave series and I disagree about S5, thought the fall of Centauri Prime storyline was superb.

My fave is S2 ep The Coming of Shadows with G'kar staring at his hand having just made friends with Londo and then finding out the truth...
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

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I was looking at my standard 4:3 DVD of By Dawn's Early Light (1990 TVM) and wondered if that could be letterboxed to 16:9. But I don't think it will be possible because a lot of the shots are within planes' interiors with limited headroom; they'd be lopping off tops of heads if they tried to make it widescreen.
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

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Sounds like watching a pirate dvd, not that I ever have obviously...
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

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I have often wondered about Sewers Of Gold (1979), also known as The Great Riviera Bank Robbery. It has never been designated as a TV Movie as such but was shown on some TV channel back then and the only media release available anywhere AFAIK is the Network DVD in 4:3 Fullscreen. But there is a lot of 'headroom' in that release in most of the scenes and I am certain that they can do a letterboxed 1.78:1 or something for a future blu-ray release. That's what Network did for a genuine TV film Escape From Sobibor.

Another possibility is The Langoliers.
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

Post by cliff homewood »

Not seen Escape from Sorbibor even though I remember buying it from DVDSoon back in the day, sounds like I should get around to it?

Got curious:

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls000757081/

A user list and rubbish I've decided as Salem's Lot not in the Top 40.


But then its not in Rotten Tomatoes either:

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/top/best ... on_movies/

even though its 88% on RT and listed as 1hr 52m sounds like movie not mini-series

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/salems_lot_the_movie

You maybe able to tell big fan of Salem's Lot growing up
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Re: Widescreen BD releases of older TV Movies

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My Blu-ray of Escape From Sobibor arrived a few hours ago. It is the Network release and has both the 4:3 TV version and the "new" 1.78:1 international widescreen version on it.

It is a very good film, based on a true story of course. Alan Arkin, Rutger Hauer and Joanna Pacula are very good, as are most of the German actors playing the Nazi guards. Certainly one for the keeps.

I have seen the TV release of Salem's Lot. I am not normally a James Mason fan but he is very good in this one. I love his somehow menacing references to his partner Mr Barlow....even before we find out who (or what) "Mr Barlow" relally is.

I think you are right. Many longer TV movies like Salem's Lot, The Langoliers etc are designated as "mini-series" for some reason. I suppose it might have something to do with licencing if the story runs over a single showing time.

Another very good TV movie - a bone fide TVM in this case - is A Cold Night's Death (aka The Chill Factor) with Eli Wallach and Robert Culp. Very well acted and eerily atmospheric despite the rather far-fetched plot....or is it? ;) . AFAIK there are no official physical media releases but I have a good enough DVD from the "public domain".
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