December 14, 2002

The Great Race

Last night was movie night at our house. My friend Dave came over to watch "The Great Race", one of my favorite movies of all time, which despite being a movie buff he had somehow never seen. It's only been on TV every year or so for the last couple of decades.

We got a VHS copy of "The Great Race" many years ago, which I watched occasionally; and then when our kids came along they took to it immediately. (Little Dave used to be Professor Fate when he went to bed, with Jane playing the role of Max. Later, when James was older, he got to be Little Professor Fate.) They still watch it occasionally, and I've certainly seen parts of it dozens of times. But it's recently come out on DVD, and last night was the first time I watched the DVD all of the way through.

If anyone tells you that pan-and-scan doesn't make a different, they are lying. The DVD was in the wide-screen letter box format--and the movie looks entirely different. Scenes that used to consist of alternating talking heads are now one long shot. Motions and gags that used to be cut out of the picture are now visible. Of course, on our 24" TV some bits of physical humor are almost too small to be seen. Ah, well.

Posted by Will Duquette at December 14, 2002 01:14 PM