E-mail to me from a CHFB lurker:
<< I just watched the "new" TCM transmission of SEVEN DAYS TO NOON, and wow, the EFFORT someone went to in order to pull a fast one is incredible. I gather they got all kinds of flack for presenting this 1950 movie in 16x9 -- and so it is now 4x3 as it should be on the new transmission.
What they've done is NOT go back to their source and request a new correct full frame transfer, no... the 16x9 transfer of course topped off top and bottom of the frame...so now, TCM have themselves -- ready? -- lopped off the SIDES of the 16x9 already cropped version, so now absolute claustrophobia reigns! Oh, and to kid us along, they have done an anamorphic squeeze on the titles and the date-legend cards to fool us ... anybody standing in the scene under the words looks awfully funny and .. TALL.
This must have taken somebody HOURS to reformat and a nice chuck of $$$ ... all instead of admitting the mistake, or confronting their distributor, and getting a correct master --
In fact, knowing how studios et al. work -- on second thought, I'll bet it wasn't TCM, but the distributor who did this, rather than someone admit to their boss that they had ferq'd up the mastering in the first place!
So the effect now is NOT watching it through a letter slot -- but watching it through a letter slot with BLINDERS on both sides of your eyes! Every composition feels wrong, and for 2/3rds of the shots, everyone's head ends in the middle of their forehead, and people on the sides of frame have no backs -- just half-bodies that poke into frame. <<