Some new information.
Bob has provided a clipping of the Variety production listing for the film
, published after the shoot had begun.
has seemingly had confirmation from WB that the film will be presented 16x9 on the new Blu-ray.
Jeffrey Wells is responding as expected
, which I guess can be counted as additional confirmation.
Are no "Academicians" here at least interested to see how the film plays as the director intended? Doesn't that trump even decades of personal history with the film? If you don't like it, you can still believe that Wilder somehow fluked a better version in 1.37:1, and swap it for the Region B version instead.
I'm not averse to seeing this in a wide format, although I would like to think Warner may have also done more cleanup on the transfer than the earlier Pararmount BDs - as you know some reels look better than others, and there is some distinct variability in PQ, probably source based which is not attributable to DVNR or denoising/degraining issues.
But watching early WS Charles Lang for me is as clumsy as watching early widescreen Russell Metty (never mind the directors.) In the case of Sabrina the first 15 minutes is so largely shot in shadow something like, for instance, the very high headroom in the scenes in the indoor tennis court at the party alwyas feels necessary to the feeling and meaning of the shots at these points in the film. Anyway this gives us a choice. Down to a choice I would almost certainly take Academy here.
I think WBHV was right to make the 1.75 mask decision in something like Torch Song which was always previously released in open matte. As well as being an entry well into 1954 it's painfully obvious in comparing WS and 1.33 the high headroom was left for protection, especially in the show numbers including the notorious "Two Faced Woman". So Bob Furmanek's persistence in that was dead right. I also agree with him on the 1.78 for Dial M which I think enlivens the image very greatly in tandem with the 3D.