The good…okay, the interesting news is that Criterion will release a digitally restored Bluray based on a 4K harvest of John Frankenheimer‘s The Manchurian Candidate (’62) on 3.15.16. The bad news is that they’ve decided to chop the aspect ratio down to 1.75, which will deliver a bit less height than the 1.66 that’s been the home video standard for many years.
Would it do any good to say I’ve seen Candidate projected at 1.66:1 and that it looks beautiful that way? I can’t swear to it, but I recall that the MGM/UA laser disc of Candidate had a 1.66 a.r., and I know for an absolute damn fact that 1.66 was used for the MGM/UA laser disc of Frankenheimer’s The Train.
More height is always right. How does it add to The Manchurian Candidate‘s visual allure to slice off a portion of the top of the image? I’ve never understood this sick impulse and I don’t want to understand it. Perverse and inexplicable.
Yes, I might buy the Criterion version but only because I love the design of the cover jacket. Is there really going to be a substantive image-quality difference between the ’04 Bluray and the Criterion? Maybe if you have an 80″ or 100″ screen but I wonder if I’m really going to see a whopping difference on my 60″ Samsung.