Weird aspect ratios on movies

I was wondering if there are any movies recorded without the traditional aspect ratios (such as 16:9, 4:3, etc). For instance, are there any square movies or maybe on portrait orientation? I saw dew years ago that they made some extra-wide screen tvs, but they seem to be gone now…

16:9 and 4:3 are largely video aspect ratios - there are many others that have been and currently are used for films - but I don’t know of any square or portrait orientations used for anything commercially released.

Galaxy Quest uses three different aspect ratios during the course of the movie, for artistic reasons, but I think they’re all traditional ones.

The 1927 version of Napoleon has a battle sequence filmed in 4:1, though it’s mostly in the usual 1.33:1 of the period. That may be the most extreme width, unless you count the 360 degree films at places like Disneyworld.

I think there are quite a lot of aspect ratios that have been used within the general range of 1.33:1 to around 2.4:1, say.

Ben-Hur has the widest I have seen in a major movie at 2.76:1.

ETA: The Blu-ray looks fanstastic, BTW.

Cinema, AFAIK, is usually more like 1.85:1 or 2.4:1.

Didn’t The Dark Knight Rises switch between 1.44:1 and 2.35:1 depending on whether there is action on the screen or not. The Blu-ray kept switch between 16:9 and 2.35:1 at least–I did not see it in the theater.

According to Wikipedia, Ben-Hur’s aspect ratio is 2.93:1. Parts of How the West Was Won are also in this aspect ratio.

You would have seen that if you had seen it in an IMAX film theater. Nolan shot much of that film (and others, including next year’s Interstellar) with IMAX cameras that film at a different aspect ratio than traditional 35mm cameras. The jumping back and forth is simply a matter of which scenes were shot in IMAX and which were not.

I saw How the West Was Won in the original 3-camera Cinerama, which seemed far wider than anything else. There also was a film at Expo 67 that was 360 degrees (though made up of multiple screens).

More than you ever wanted to know about the history of aspect ratios…

Hey, tanstaafl, thank you for this video! Quite interesting… It is funny how ancient technology still influences things from today.

The beginning portion of Oz: The Great and Powerful is square (and in black & white). I think there’s a Spike Lee movie that contains portions of portrait/vertical aspect ratio.

Not sure if it’s weird, but Brainstorm jumped between roughly 2.2:1 and 1.7:1 ratios. The wider ratio was originally shot in SuperPanavision 70 to show the memory playback scenes (such as riding a roller coaster and other pleasurable events); Trumball wanted to use 60-frames per second projectors but that was too expensive for theaters.

I can’t remember the title but we watched a movie recently (via DVD) where the aspect ratio was quite squarish. Not even 4:3. And it was relatively new.

(I thought it might be Meek’s Cutoff, but that isn’t quite as recent and is 4:3.)

The Dark Knight did this for some scenes too. Kept on the Bluray.

Simpsons did it! Simpsons did it! In the Simpsons Movie.