BLACK AND WHITE WIDESCREEN



May 4, 1953: The first black and white film composed for widescreen is MGM's CREST OF THE WAVE.
It opens in London in 1.75:1 on July 15, 1954 and in the U.S. on November 10, 1954.


May 11, 1953: Columbia begins filming the 3 Stooges 3-D short SPOOKS in 1.85:1.
When released on
May 29, 1953, the left/right 35mm 3-D prints are sepia-toned.

Here is an open matte trailer for CREST OF THE WAVE.




June 10, 1953: The first widescreen black and white 3-D feature is Paramount's CEASE FIRE.
It premieres in 1.66:1 on November 25, 1953.


October 19, 1954: The first VistaVision film in black and white is THE DESPERATE HOURS.
When reviewed in September 1955, the recommended aspect ratio is 2:1.




Here is an open matte trailer for THE DESPERATE HOURS.



March 11, 1955: BENGAZI is announced by RKO for anamorphic Superscope lensing.

March 30, 1955: REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE begins filming in black and white 2.55:1 CinemaScope
but is changed to Warnercolor on April 4.


The following screen tests were filmed on March 23.





April 2, 1955: TRIAL begins filming at MGM in black and white Cinemascope. After a few days, it is
changed to non-anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen.


April 11, 1955: Darryl F. Zanuck publicly reminds producers that according to their licensing contract, CinemaScope productions must be in color.



April 25, 1955: BENGAZI begins filming in 2:1 Superscope.  On May 19,
Joseph Tushinsky, president of Superscope, announces "It is the only wide-screen anamorphic process which is currently being used by both black and white and color photography." BENGAZI is released by RKO on September 14, 1955.


March 1, 1956: Darryl F. Zanuck takes a four month leave of absence from 20th Century Fox.
Buddy Adler is the acting head of the studio during Zanuck's absence.

April 9, 1956: MGM begins filming THE POWER AND THE PRIZE in black and white 2.55:1 CinemaScope.
Directed by Henry Koster -- director of THE ROBE -- it is released on September 26, 1956.

May 8, 1956: Studio President Spyros P. Skouras announces that "20th Century Fox is no longer
wholly committed to CinemaScope in color."

June 21, 1956: TEENAGE REBEL is the first 20th Century Fox 2.55:1 CinemaScope film in black and white.
It is released in October, 1956.


In August 1956, International Projectionist publishes an article on the
resurgence of black and white productions.




For more information on early non-anamorphic widescreen, please read
 The First Year of Widescreen and Widescreen Documentation.