70 Years of Cinemascope
18 Film on Screen
The moviegoing experience changed in 1953 with the release of the first films shot in Cinemascope. Almost doubling the width of the conventional cinema image, filmmakers could now challenge the ubiquity of television with images that far exceeded those audiences could get at home. Made possible by lenses designed and manufactured by Bausch & Lomb, studios could use standard film stock to achieve these visual marvels through a process that captured a wider space on-set using an anamorphic lens to “squeeze” the images onto the film and a similar lens on the projector to bring them to the audience on a wider screen. The Cinemascope process was so successful that it spurred other studios to attempt their own widescreen techniques and imitators. The true Cinemascope process was in use for fifteen years in the 1950s and 1960s for a variety of films, from musicals to westerns, from science fiction to animation and dramas. From January to June this year, the Dryden Theatre will bring you eighteen examples of this wonderful widescreen process before looking at some of the other competitors and the legacy that Cinemascope has left on motion picture history.
Dates and Titles:
January 6: How to Marry a Millionaire (Jean Negulesco, 1953)
January 11: There’s No Business Like Show Business (Walter Lang, 1954)
January 25: River of No Return (Otto Preminger, 1954)
February 1: The Seven Year Itch (Billy Wilder, 1955)
February 8: The King and I (Walter Lang, 1956)
March 2: Track of the Cat (William A. Wellman, 1954, 102 min.)
March 10: Lady and the Tramp (Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, 1955, 76 min.)
March 16: East of Eden (Elia Kazan, 1955, 118 min.)
March 24: Carmen Jones (Otto Preminger, 1954, 106 min.)
April 6: The Man From Laramie (Anthony Mann, 1955, 103 min.)
April 15: The Diary of Anne Frank (George Stevens, 1959, 180 min.)
April 27: Lola Montes (Max Ophüls, 1955, 116 min.)
May 4: Bigger Than Life (Nicholas Ray, 1956)
June 23: Forbidden Planet (Fred M. Wilcox, 1956, 98 min.)
June 27: Ride Lonesome (Budd Boetticher, 1959)
June 28: The Girl Can’t Help It (Frank Tashlin, 1956)
July 11: Some Came Running (Vincente Minnelli, 1958)
July 18: The Guns of Navarone (J. Lee Thompson, 1961)
Events in this Series
70 Years of Cinemascope In this loose sci-fi retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Prospero becomes Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), who rules the planet Altair IV along with his daughter, Altaira (Anne Francis), and their mechanical Caliban, Robby the Robot.
70 Years of Cinemascope Randolph Scott is bounty hunter Ben Brigade, escorting Billy John (James Best) to town to be tried for murder, but taking his time. What he really wants is for Billy John’s brother, Frank (Lee Van Cleef) to catch up to them so that he can seek revenge for his wife’s murder.
The Girl Can't Help It
70 Years of Cinemascope Press agent Tom Miller (Tom Ewell) is hurting from his break-up with former girlfriend and client Julie London (playing herself) and finds solace in the bottom of a bottle when gangster “Fats” Murdock (Edmond O’Brien) enlists him to promote his lover, Jerri Jordan (Jayne Mansfield), to a pop star in just six weeks.