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Star Wars - ANH - first TV broadcast in Portugal - November the 8th, 1991. In WIDESCREEN!

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Greetings. I have come for the bounty on this memory. 😄

This is my first post here ever and I’m not actually sure whether I’m posting in the right section, or if the topic’s title is appropriate.

I remember when Star Wars was first broadcast in Portugal, in 1991. I was a kid, and I don’t really know why I was so excited, because by then I had already watched it in a rental VHS tape, at home. The first home video release in Portugal’s from 1987, followed by ESB and RTOJ in '88. Maybe I was excited because back in 1991, TV was still kinda pretty big thing. And people talked about what movies were on TV and people still got excited about the trailers during commercial breaks leading up to it. Or maybe I have a vague idea of being excited about it… because it it was broadcast in the public national channel… in widescreen! Which seemed odd, as not a lot of movies were, except some classic ones, mostly westerns.

So I did some digging some time ago. And I found evidence, some screenshots and newspaper clippings. And it turns out… my memory is correct!

http://enciclopediadecromos.blogspot.fr/2015/05/a-guerra-das-estrelas-e-o-regresso-de.html

I’m not entirely sure but from what I seem to have gathered reading this forum, it doesn’t seem like TV broadcasts in the US or other places in Europe were anything but full-screen 4:3 in that era. Odd, right?

So ever since i started thinking about this, it’s become like an itch i can’t scratch. I only have a few pretty horrid screenshots i gathered online. But i started obsessing about them. And one day I started comparing it with all the other versions / preservations I have. And guess what, what i find even weirder is that one of the only 3 screenshots I have displays a slightly area on top of the picture, not seen in any of the other versions I have.

So I’ve uploaded a couple images. https://imgur.com/a/BSfMP

If you care to look, from top to bottom: portuguese TV, then Bluray, a Laserdisc preservation I was able to download from public torrent sites (i don’t know from which LD this is, or year, whether the first Japanese, or US, or a later remastered one), and finally, TN1’s SSE.

On the scene at Ben’s place, you can clearly see that the scan is different. On the other captures, not so much.

Anyway so I thought that if anyone in the world would be interested in talking about this, well I guess there’s no other place than here!

All the best. 😃

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Boushh said:
Greetings. I have come for the bounty on this memory. 😄

Bem-vindo, bandido! 😃

Boushh said:

The first home video release in Portugal’s from 1987, followed by ESB and RTOJ in '88. Maybe I was excited because back in 1991, TV was still kinda pretty big thing. And people talked about what movies were on TV and people still got excited about the trailers during commercial breaks leading up to it. Or maybe I have a vague idea of being excited about it… because it it was broadcast in the public national channel… in widescreen! Which seemed odd, as not a lot of movies were, except some classic ones, mostly westerns.

… I’m not entirely sure but from what I seem to have gathered reading this forum, it doesn’t seem like TV broadcasts in the US or other places in Europe were anything but full-screen 4:3 in that era. Odd, right?

Yes, extremely unusual. I’m in the UK and although there were a handful of widescreen broadcasts during the 80s and early 90s (I remember in particular, 2001, Manhattan, THX 1138), most films that aired on TV were panned and scanned and it’s even more surprising that it was shown with the original English language track and Portuguese subtitles. I was expecting dubbing, which is commonplace in many European countries.

Boushh said:
So ever since i started thinking about this, it’s become like an itch i can’t scratch. I only have a few pretty horrid screenshots i gathered online. But i started obsessing about them. And one day I started comparing it with all the other versions / preservations I have. And guess what, what i find even weirder is that one of the only 3 screenshots I have displays a slightly area on top of the picture, not seen in any of the other versions I have.

So I’ve uploaded a couple images. https://imgur.com/a/BSfMP

Muito obrigado! 😃

Boushh said:
If you care to look, from top to bottom: portuguese TV, then Bluray, a Laserdisc preservation I was able to download from public torrent sites (i don’t know from which LD this is, or year, whether the first Japanese, or US, or a later remastered one), and finally, TN1’s SSE.

On the scene at Ben’s place, you can clearly see that the scan is different. On the other captures, not so much.

Anyway so I thought that if anyone in the world would be interested in talking about this, well I guess there’s no other place than here!

The big question I would like to ask is, do you know of anyone who could obtain a copy of the recording? 😃

Recent captures…

*The Hunger Games HDTV 1080p (UK theatrical alternate version: not on Blu-ray)

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Hi and thx for your reply! 😃
Pretty much everything’s subtitled in Portugal and has always been, which is really great and a lot of people from recent generations such as mine become pretty fluent in English since a young age. Nowadays kid shows tend to be dubbed, but back in the 80s many weren’t, I remember plenty of cartoons in the 80s and throughout the 90s having subtitles. Here’s evidence of one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDtjiPViRsU

It would be interesting to look at the science and figure out what it says about our capacity not only to read at a young age but also learn other languages. We’re not the only country in Europe doing so, Holland and Nordic countries too, off the top of my head. Personally to this day I absolutely loathe watching anything dubbed.

As for your question. I have 2 VHS tapes in Portugal at my parents place in which I’m sure the original TV broadcasts for SW, ESB and ROTJ were recorded, but I think I later recorded a rental copy over them. 😦 😦 I haven’t been there in years and as such I don’t really have the means to verify for now. The author of that blog does have them but I don’t personally know him.

This post has been edited.

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So, I was wondering if people here would have any insight on what the source of this broadcast could have been? Does anyone know how TV stations usually acquired movies to broadcast, back then? I’m guessing it was maybe 1" Type B or C tape? Maybe Betacam?

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My friend in Portugal grew up with the same cartoons as I did and in English with subtitles, so…yeah 😉

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

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Boushh said:

Hi and thx for your reply! 😃
Pretty much everything’s subtitled in Portugal and has always been, which is really great and a lot of people from recent generations such as mine become pretty fluent in English since a young age. Nowadays kid shows tend to be dubbed, but back in the 80s many weren’t, I remember plenty of cartoons in the 80s and throughout the 90s having subtitles. Here’s evidence of one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDtjiPViRsU

That’s so amazing, I’ve heard so many horror stories about dubbing in France, Spain and a few other places. One friend told me that during the VHS era, in France, you had to go into a specialist section of video retailers if you wanted English language versions of films. Even now in the UK, dubbing has been long retired but non English language content is still relegated to arts and culture channels and late night schedules.

Boushh said:
It would be interesting to look at the science and figure out what it says about our capacity not only to read at a young age but also learn other languages. We’re not the only country in Europe doing so, Holland and Nordic countries too, off the top of my head. Personally to this day I absolutely loathe watching anything dubbed.

Indeed! One of my French pals can speak over half a dozen languages fluently, they’re the fan subbing dream! 😃

I’ve always loathed dubbing and regarded it as an affront against the viewer. A Polish friend said that for years, a small set of people provided most of the dubbing voiceovers for the stuff they saw on TV and you could immediately identify them.

Boushh said:
As for your question. I have 2 VHS tapes in Portugal at my parents place in which I’m sure the original TV broadcasts for SW, ESB and ROTJ were recorded, but I think I later recorded a rental copy over them. 😦 😦 I haven’t been there in years and as such I don’t really have the means to verify for now. The author of that blog does have them but I don’t personally know him.

Perhaps we’ll find a source at some stage, this site has made the impossible, quite possible, countless times. 😃

Recent captures…

*The Hunger Games HDTV 1080p (UK theatrical alternate version: not on Blu-ray)

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Generally speaking French people are terrible at speaking other languages and even younger generations don’t speak English at all, unlike in Portugal. Again, I wonder how much being (not) being exposed to other languages on TV has to do with that.

In Poland dubbing is indeed done over the original language and you can listen to both, it’s terrible. And yep it can be the same person doing all the dialogues of all the characters.

Right now I’m trying to find out how TV channels acquired their movies for broadcast, I wonder if it was like a 1" tape master, perhaps Betacam by that time (1991). I’m still hoping people here will be interested in this unusual SW ANH broadcast.

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Oh, nice! I briefly looked and I can tell there is definitely useful information in those threads! Also learning words such as “telecast” opens up a new possibility to search with Google. I’ll take the time to read your links.

Thx a lot!

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it’s even more surprising that it was shown with the original English language track and Portuguese subtitles. I was expecting dubbing, which is commonplace in many European countries.

The reason for Portugal to have subtitles instead of dubbing is a decree during the era of Salazar’s dictatorship, when all dubbing of foreign movies was prohibited. This was done as a protectionist measure in order to support home film industry. 😃

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I didn’t know that so thanks for sharing the info. The wikipedia article confirms that.
https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dobragem_em_Portugal

However, it would be inaccurate to think that was the only reason. It’s an important reason, but there are other factors too. I’d guess one being the financial costs of dubbing. Also, there are other European countries which don’t have a tradition of dubbing and never had fascist regimes.

Be it as it the theme that made me start this thread is

  • the fact that the 1991 broadcast of SW was in widescreen, which apparently might have been a world premiere?

  • the fact that the only screen captures I got hold of seem to cover a different area of the film. It doesn’t match the oldest widescreen source I have which is one fan preservation of a Laserdisc realease and I don’t know whether it’s first widescreen one or the THX remastered. I’m not on myspleen (would love to join but that seems impossible at the moment) so this preservation was the only thing i managed to grab which is can be found on public sites.

This post has been edited.

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