Not Formatted to Fit Your TV Screen

As part of his "See What You've Been Missing" campaign, Martin Scorsese has compiled a list of what he considers the Top 10 Movies Best Viewed in Widescreen Format (the preffered format of AADL DVDs): 2001: A Space Odyssey, Ben-Hur (1958), Blade Runner, East of Eden, High and Low, Lawrence of Arabia, Lola Montes (on order), Once Upon a Time in the West, Some Came Running (not yet available on DVD), and Zulu. For more on widescreen vs. fullscreen click Read More, below.

Others I'd definitely add to this list are: West Side Story, The Searchers, Aguirre, the Wrath of God, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In order to reformat these films to "fit your TV screen" they must be cropped along the edges, resulting in the loss of content and ultimately the director's original intent. A film aficionado's worst nightmare is a widescreen film that's cropped using the pan-and-scan technique that boxes off a portion of the original screen and moves it from side to side to capture the action and inserts cuts that aren't part of the original film. Click here for more on these and other films.


I've gotten hooked on Widescreen Format movies. It's my favorite format when renting or borrowing DVDs. After years of only having access to pan-and-scan/"fit your TV screen" stuff it's great to see the whole movie. I just wish the Japanese Godzilla movies were Widescreen.