"THERE ARE TWO OR THREE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT 'THE UNTOUCHABLES'"
Thanks to Metrograph for tweeting the image above last weekend, as the New York City movie theater screened Brian De Palma's The Untouchables. The image shows a letter that De Palma had written to theaters that were getting ready to show The Untouchables in 1987. "Dear Theater Manager/Operator," begins the letter. "There are two or three things you should know about The Untouchables." The letter continues:
Firstly, it is important to realize that the 70mm prints were blown up from a 35mm anamorphic negative which means in order to maintain a 2.35:1 screen aspect ratio, it became necessary to introduce frame lines top and bottom that, unfortunately, may be projected.
Therefore, any help you can provide toward alleviating this problem (either by adjusting your screen masking or cutting new projector mattes) would be greatly appreciated.
It is also hoped that in converting your print to a platter format, clear rather than opaque tape be used to join the reels and that fast drying white ink or some other commercially available marker be employed to mark the joins.
Though these procedures may take some extra time, they are plainly in the interests of our audience.
Finally, a note on changeovers.
If you intend to screen your print on 2,000 ft. reels, be advised that the changeover cue marks at the end of reel 1 may be difficult to see. As scribed in, they occur at the end of a scene in which Robert DeNiro (Capone) reads a paper in bed while smoking a cigar.
Fortunately, these cues are the only ones you need to worry about, as the rest are clearly visible.
Thank you for hearing us out.
We wish you much succcess with The Untouchables and trust you won't hesitate to call the T.A.P. hotline (1-800-545-2525) should any problems arise.
Sincerely, Brian DePalma