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The Lady from Shanghai (1947) Funhouse AR


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I'm a big fan of Orson Welles' work and I was wondering if anyone could tell me what exactly happens with the aspect ratio in the Funhouse of "The Lady from Shanghai". Yesterday I re-watched this wonderful film and again that sequence caught my attention.

We are talking about a 1947 film and it wasn't until 1953 when the new ratio change appeared. However, the top and bottom of the image as well as the sides appear cropped at times. Some people say it is because the film is damaged in that sequence, others that it is an effect desired by Welles. I think it's due to the latter, but I don't know.

Edited by Frank Olean
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It is unusual.

It's a very soft edge on top and bottom.  You can even see through it at times, almost like thin fabric strips were placed in the gate (or perhaps a homemade painted gradient filter).  It also completely opens up to full aspect ratio in one shot and then closes back down.

I know that it was heavily cut against his wishes.  Maybe just a bungling editor and rushed cut.

I'm sure someone else here will have some insight.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 4/17/2022 at 8:56 PM, Malcolm Ian Vu said:

It is unusual.

It's a very soft edge on top and bottom.  You can even see through it at times, almost like thin fabric strips were placed in the gate (or perhaps a homemade painted gradient filter).  It also completely opens up to full aspect ratio in one shot and then closes back down.

I know that it was heavily cut against his wishes.  Maybe just a bungling editor and rushed cut.

I'm sure someone else here will have some insight.

 

 

Thank you very much. I'm pretty sure it's something Welles wanted. It's present in all the prints I've seen.

Edited by Frank Olean
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