Widescreen Wonders: An updated review by George Addison of "CINEMASCOPE 3: HOLLYWOOD TAKES THE PLUNGE" originally published in "International Movie Making".
The third volume in the "CinemaScope" series is a massive book of 352 large-format pages, detailing nearly 250 movies originally released in the CinemaScope wide-screen process from "Around the World Under the Sea" (1965) to "The Wonders of Aladdin" (1961). True, many well-known CinemaScope titles are missing. They were covered in previous volumes: "CinemaScope One: Stupendous in Scope" and "CinemaScope Two: 20th Century Fox". But many of my personal favorites are included in this timely book (and most of them can now be purchased in their original wide-screen format on DVD).
Mind you, I don’t always agree with the comments on these movies, despite the wide diversity of opinions published under the heading, "Other Views".
For me, the movie books by John Howard Reid, are invaluable for their detailed credits. I know that much of this material is now available on the Internet Movie Data Base, but by no means all of it. And not every classic movie fan has access to the Data Base anyway.
Personally, I find all the advertising on the Data Base rather distracting, and even annoying. I would not mind so much if all the Data Base ads were movie-oriented, but many of them have nothing to do with movies whatever. Furthermore, there is sometimes a disagreement between the credits John Howard Reid cites and those on the Movie Data Base. In nine out of twelve of these cases, I found by looking at the credits of the movie, that John Howard Reid was correct. In only one case, was the Data Base correct. In the other two instances, both were possibly correct!
(How can this be? Well, I have an extensive collection of press books, and, as I’m sure everyone knows, the credits in press books sometimes differ from those on the movie itself. In both cases, John Howard Reid cited the press book credits while those on the Data Base were presumably culled from the movie. The only way to find out who is correct in the case of players would be to actually watch the picture. In the case of technicians, who knows?).
Illustrated with 99 black-and-white reproductions of original newspaper ads and posters (many of them full page), plus a beautiful front cover color photo of Liz Taylor (Marilyn Monroe in full color is featured on the back), "CinemaScope 3: Hollywood Takes the Plunge" rates as a most informative and entertaining book.