For years I’ve been lamenting the “CinemaScope mumps” distortion syndrome — that face-broadening, weight-adding effect that resulted from the use of anamorphic CinemaScope lenses from ’53 through ’59 or ’60. It would be heaven if someone could figure a way to horizontally compress these films so that it would all look right. There’s a fundamental feeling of being cheated out of the correct proportions that were captured but not represented by those effing Bausch & Lomb Scope lenses.
William Holden’s face was never this wide, even after he’d gotten much older after decades of drinking.
I hate the “mumps” syndrome. It makes me grind my teeth. It angers me that no one else seems to care. Millions of moviegoers watched widescreen “mumps” films in the ’50s and didn’t notice or say anything, of course. It’s my cross to bear that I do notice this stuff and am one of the few people who complain.