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 Post subject: When did Laserdisc movies started being in widescreen
PostPosted: 10 Feb 2018, 22:19 
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When did they started becomeing common?
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 Post subject: Re: When did Laserdisc movies started being in widescreen
PostPosted: 12 Feb 2018, 17:38 
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I'm pretty sure "Manhattan" was the first widescreen film on LaserDisc, which was issued in 1985. There were a handful of titles issued in 1986 and 1987, but 1988 is when the real Widescreen craze on LaserDisc hit.
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 Post subject: Re: When did Laserdisc movies started being in widescreen
PostPosted: 14 Feb 2018, 08:32 
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Actually the database shows that things really started around 1986.

These are the 142 titles released prior to 1986 for which we know at least the year of release and removing LDs used for game machines.

http://www.lddb.com/search.php?adv_search=*&format=ld&release_op=before&release=1986&no_category=18&picture=2&format=ld&sort=date,asc

Assuming the information is accurate, it looks like Germany got a batch of LBX releases in 1981, then Japan started issuing some in 1983 and the first 1984~5 titles for USA looks like:

Out-of-Towners, The (1970) [LV6914]
Manhattan (1979) [ML100469]

By 1985, Japan is in full swing and UK finally joins the game:

Fame (1980) [UMLV 10027]
Monty Python: The Meaning of Life (1983) [LVG 1093]
Educating Rita (1983) [LVRK 0206]

Then in 1986 Criterion shows the way to the US market:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Special Edition #8 (1956) [CC1108L]
Lola Montès #12 (1955) [CC2001L]
+
Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) [8258-90001-6]


So really the common idea that "Manhattan was the first LBX release" only works from a US point of view, Japan was -- as usual -- ahead of the curve!

UK extract
+--------------+-------+
| Release year | Count |
+--------------+-------+
| 1984         |     1 |
| 1985         |     2 |
| 1986         |     1 |
| 1987         |     1 |
| 1992         |    33 |
| 1993         |    19 |
| 1994         |    47 |
| 1995         |    32 |
| 1996         |    58 |
| 1997         |    43 |
| 1998         |    24 |
| 1999         |     5 |
+--------------+-------+


USA extract
+--------------+-------+
| Release year | Count |
+--------------+-------+
| 1983         |     2 |
| 1984         |     1 |
| 1985         |     1 |
| 1986         |     4 |
| 1987         |     4 |
| 1988         |    19 |
| 1989         |    66 |
| 1990         |   109 |
| 1991         |   226 |
| 1992         |   255 |
| 1993         |   311 |
| 1994         |   359 |
| 1995         |   366 |
| 1996         |   432 |
| 1997         |   590 |
| 1998         |   502 |
| 1999         |   186 |
| 2000         |    14 |
+--------------+-------+


Japan extract
+--------------+-------+
| Release year | Count |
+--------------+-------+
| 1982         |     3 |
| 1983         |     6 |
| 1984         |    23 |
| 1985         |    93 |
| 1986         |   119 |
| 1987         |   105 |
| 1988         |    75 |
| 1989         |    53 |
| 1990         |   114 |
| 1991         |   189 |
| 1992         |   137 |
| 1993         |   305 |
| 1994         |   239 |
| 1995         |   290 |
| 1996         |   245 |
| 1997         |   230 |
| 1998         |   232 |
| 1999         |   171 |
| 2000         |    70 |
| 2001         |    10 |
+--------------+-------+


Julien
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 Post subject: Re: When did Laserdisc movies started being in widescreen
PostPosted: 14 Feb 2018, 17:13 
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I'm almost positive the Paramount release of "The Out-of-Towners" LV6914 is NOT widescreen.
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 Post subject: Re: When did Laserdisc movies started being in widescreen
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2018, 05:18 
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blam1 wrote:
I'm almost positive the Paramount release of "The Out-of-Towners" LV6914 is NOT widescreen.


That's why I put a big "Assuming the information is accurate" disclaimer first :-)

Maybe just the opening/closing credits are LBX and the rest of the movie is P&S as it was commonly done to avoid cropped names?

Can someone double-check to give back to Manhattan the crown of the first USA LD LBX release?

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 Post subject: Re: When did Laserdisc movies started being in widescreen
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2018, 17:12 
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Besides the earliest widescreen LDs, to answer the question as to when they became more common, I would probably say after the Criterion Collection started taking off. While their earliest letterbox release (at least according to the database), Invasion of the Body Snatchers was released in 1987, it was their output that made other LD distributors take notice and start taking advantages of the format. Then did letterbox LDs become more prevalent in the very late 80s and early 90s.

Unless you're talking about the Japanese market. It seems letterboxing LDs were more prevalent earlier than that as Julien points out.

The earliest released Letterboxed Japan LDs I have in my collection are Halloween II and Terror in the Aisles. Unfortunately, neither of those have a listed release date in the database. Though you can tell they are somewhat early releases since they only have analog audio.
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 Post subject: Re: When did Laserdisc movies started being in widescreen
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2018, 17:20 
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Thanks for laying that all out like that, Julien. LDDB was able to really illustrate something with its data here.
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 Post subject: Re: When did Laserdisc movies started being in widescreen
PostPosted: 16 Feb 2018, 05:46 
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elahrairrah wrote:
The earliest released Letterboxed Japan LDs I have in my collection are Halloween II and Terror in the Aisles. Unfortunately, neither of those have a listed release date in the database.


Halloween II being sequentially listed between 2 1986 releases, circa 1986 sounds safe to assume.

https://www.lddb.com/search.php?reference=88C59-614%2A&discard=false&sort=ref

Same analysis on Terror in the Aisles should give us 1985:

https://www.lddb.com/search.php?reference=SF___-506*&discard=false&sort=ref

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 Post subject: Re: When did Laserdisc movies started being in widescreen
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2018, 19:03 
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admin wrote:
elahrairrah wrote:
The earliest released Letterboxed Japan LDs I have in my collection are Halloween II and Terror in the Aisles. Unfortunately, neither of those have a listed release date in the database.


Halloween II being sequentially listed between 2 1986 releases, circa 1986 sounds safe to assume.

https://www.lddb.com/search.php?reference=88C59-614%2A&discard=false&sort=ref

Same analysis on Terror in the Aisles should give us 1985:

https://www.lddb.com/search.php?reference=SF___-506*&discard=false&sort=ref

Julien

Thanks Julien!
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