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maryann johanson | watching movies at home

“why is Netflix secretly cropping movies?” [updated]

WTF, Netflix? From Flavorwire:

The Tumblr What Netflix Does is drawing attention to the company’s practice of showing wider-screen movies — films shot in the “Scope” formats, in the neighborhood of 2.39:1 instead of the standard widescreen ratio of 1.85:1. To put it simply, at risk of being boring: most movies and TV shows fill your 16:9 widescreen TV, while others, usually epics and big action movies and the like, shoot in the wider “Scope” format, which thus requires the black bars on even a widescreen TV, so you can see the entire frame (just as the bars were required to see standard widescreen movies on a square TV). But Netflix has quietly, without any notation or indication of alteration, been doing stuff like this:

Examples, from What Netflix Does:

The Planet of the Apes (1968) before Netflix…


…and after:


I love this one. The Passion of the Christ before Netflix…


…and after:


That other thief up on Calvary was just redundant, after all.

Read the full Flavorwire piece and see more examples at What Netflix Does. It’s all enraging.

UPDATE: Reader Jimmy writes:

Over the last 3 years I’ve sent numerous complaint emails about this cropping nonsense to Netflix with not a single response back. what does that mean? i have no fracking clue.


A few weeks ago I started up a petition for them rat bastards to disclaim any modifications made on the films they present. i Personally don’t care who does the cropping – i just want to know IF it was cropped.

The Change.org petition is here.

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