Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => The Good, The Bad and The Ugly => Topic started by: UNKNOWN Next to Arch Stanton on January 30, 2012, 08:55:48 PM



Title: Cutting down the film
Post by: UNKNOWN Next to Arch Stanton on January 30, 2012, 08:55:48 PM
Alright, from what I have read on this board and elsewhere, I have put together a summary of how the film was chopped down all the way to its international release. All comments and corrections are welcome.

The original film upon completion ran around 186 minutes. The Socorro scene was cut, and the extended torture scene was trimmed due to a damaged negative, resulting in 179 minute running time. The film was dubbed into Italian, and shown at the premiere. Due to pacing reasons, Leone cut the Grotto scene out for a 176 minute version for Italian theaters. In 1967, 14 ADDITIONAL minutes were cut, resulting in the standard 162-minute version for the U.S. Eastwood, Wallach, and Van Cleef all dubbed their voices at this time. The 14 minutes of deleted scenes, (still in the Italian language), were used as extras on the 1998 DVD release. Finally, in 2003, the 14 minutes were restored and re-dubbed into English, as well as the 3-minute Grotto scene, resulting in the 179-minute Extended Version.

Whew!


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: stanton on January 31, 2012, 03:28:32 AM
I don't think that the extended torture scene was ever part of the film.

And from where did you get that 186 min runtime?


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: UNKNOWN Next to Arch Stanton on February 01, 2012, 07:55:02 PM
IMDB, but I just read on another thread that it may be a typo.


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: stanton on February 02, 2012, 02:12:10 AM
Replay:
The uncut Italian version as released on DVD runs 175 min. The MGM runs 178 min for including the cave scene. (shouldn't be in imo)

The Italian version is often given in books with 180 or even 182 min. The difference may be explained by intermission music, exit music, by whatever or by whoknows.


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: cigar joe on February 02, 2012, 05:21:30 AM
The Italian version is often given in books with 180 or even 182 min. The difference may be explained by intermission music, exit music, by whatever or by whoknows.

This Is what I'm thinking....


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: dave jenkins on February 02, 2012, 06:03:42 AM
The Socorro scene was cut
The scene was filmed, certainly, but was it ever actually included in any print of the film?


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: stanton on February 02, 2012, 12:37:04 PM
No


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: UNKNOWN Next to Arch Stanton on February 03, 2012, 08:36:09 PM
Replay:
The uncut Italian version as released on DVD runs 175 min. The MGM runs 178 min for including the cave scene. (shouldn't be in imo)

The Italian version is often given in books with 180 or even 182 min. The difference may be explained by intermission music, exit music, by whatever or by whoknows.
I never thought of that.


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: The clint on February 04, 2012, 09:41:57 AM
According to MGM at least, the cave scene and extended torture sequence were part of the premiere version in Italy running 180 minutes. According to some sources, an intermission was added after the scene in which Blondie spills coffee over Tuco.

And by the way, a little conspiracy theory on my behalf: I don't think they skipped adding the longer torture scene because of damage. I think the reason is, quite obviously, that as the music in the English shorter cut and Italian longer cut is completely different (different takes of the song) they couldn't properly edit the English dialogue into the scene without introducing ridiculous jumps in the music (try it yourselves!). So they just pulled a worn out print version of the sequence and slapped on the "too damaged to incorporate" excuse because they thought people would accept that excuse better.


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: dave jenkins on February 04, 2012, 10:17:36 AM
And by the way, a little conspiracy theory on my behalf: I don't think they skipped adding the longer torture scene because of damage. I think the reason is, quite obviously, that as the music in the English shorter cut and Italian longer cut is completely different (different takes of the song) they couldn't properly edit the English dialogue into the scene without introducing ridiculous jumps in the music (try it yourselves!). So they just pulled a worn out print version of the sequence and slapped on the "too damaged to incorporate" excuse because they thought people would accept that excuse better.
I think you might be on to something O0(as opposed to "being on something" :)).


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: stanton on February 04, 2012, 12:47:27 PM
One other reason may be that the scene works better in the shorter version.


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: The clint on February 28, 2012, 10:00:24 AM
One other reason may be that the scene works better in the shorter version.

If their intention was to restore the Rome premiere version (as evidenced by the inclusion of the grotto scene) then I think they would've incorporated the longer beating scene if they could've. Many people seem to think that the film works better without the grotto scene (I'm one of the them) but that didn't stop MGM from including it anyway. Still, you never know when a character like John Kirk is calling the shots...


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: Cusser on February 28, 2012, 11:59:50 AM
Off topic: in the scene above with Cary Grant and Hitchcock, that's typically an example ahown when explaining letterbox format.  Without seeing everything, one doesnt know Alfie is even there.


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: The clint on March 02, 2012, 06:30:00 PM
Off topic: in the scene above with Cary Grant and Hitchcock, that's typically an example ahown when explaining letterbox format.  Without seeing everything, one doesnt know Alfie is even there.

Yeah, this is actually a pretty interesting example because I've had two VHS versions of To Catch a Thief, one of which was missing old Hitch from the side of the frame (pretty ridiculous really, since he's known for having a cameo in almost every film he's done) but the other one panned to the right of the frame after Cary Grant turned his head away from the bird cage (a particularly ugly pan, obviously not a camera move).


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: mike siegel on March 06, 2012, 04:54:20 AM
Replay:
The uncut Italian version as released on DVD runs 175 min. The MGM runs 178 min for including the cave scene. (shouldn't be in imo)

The Italian version is often given in books with 180 or even 182 min. The difference may be explained by intermission music, exit music, by whatever or by whoknows.

Right. I have VHS boxes from the 80s & 90s, the original Italian (theatrical) running time was 175 min. Leone himself shortened the film (with his editors) down to 161/162 minutes for the international market. The general opinion was, that outside of Italy audiences would have problems with the opera-like close to 3 hrs running time.
Longer running times of 180 + could also be the result of early promotion / news coverage. I suppose his preview version (either with more footage or / and additional music cues) was about that length and as we know medias talk about a film as soon as it is finished - before it is released.
Peckinpahs legendary Kansas City WILD BUNCH previews version was about 150+ minutes long. Afterwards he cut out some violence because he realized he had gone too far, and made a last trim before the film was released at 144 min. Yet, that preview running time was on recorded right then and it would never fade away. Until today! I even have a US 16mm catalogue from 1972 that states that 152 running time. I was always hoping for a miracle, for the discovery of the century, a 152 min. long ultra-gory WILD BUNCH preview cut on 16mm. (But of course all 16mm prints have the same 144 min. directors cut running time. )

Remember the end when Robert Ryan hears the shots, knowing that the bounty hunters got killed? Peckinpah had filmed that scene. But he took it out, it was important to stay with the main character. A rare still:


(http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/sam/bunch-deadbounty2xx-kl.jpg)








Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: cigar joe on March 07, 2012, 01:31:05 AM
cool thanks for the info


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: Lil Brutto on October 27, 2012, 01:16:19 PM
And by the way, a little conspiracy theory on my behalf: I don't think they skipped adding the longer torture scene because of damage. I think the reason is, quite obviously, that as the music in the English shorter cut and Italian longer cut is completely different (different takes of the song) they couldn't properly edit the English dialogue into the scene without introducing ridiculous jumps in the music (try it yourselves!). So they just pulled a worn out print version of the sequence and slapped on the "too damaged to incorporate" excuse because they thought people would accept that excuse better.

If this is true then shame on them.

I'm hoping for the 50th anniversary of the film (2016) the Italians will offer a "special edition" with all deleted/extended scenes restored and provide as extras, among other things.


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 27, 2012, 06:22:51 PM
If this is true then shame on them.

I'm hoping for the 50th anniversary of the film (2016) the Italians will offer a "special edition" with all deleted/extended scenes restored and provide as extras, among other things.

so far as I know, the only scene in the American extended version that is in any way trimmed is that torture scene

As I understand it, the extended American version has only 2 differences from what I call the "PERFECT version"  (ie. the version that Leone originally intended);

1) The Cave scene should be removed

2) The Torture scene should have the extra two minutes or so (the full torture scene is available as an extra on the dvd/blu ray)

As much as I'd love to have what I am calling PERFECT version, the bottom line is that the version we have is pretty damn close, and therefore I highly doubt there will be any new release making these 2 changes. If you really want to have that version exactly as you want it, you may have to do a fan edit.


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: stanton on October 28, 2012, 02:46:47 AM
The longer torture scene was just like the cave scene never part of any theatrical version. And should stay where it is. In the bonus section.


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 28, 2012, 03:06:21 AM
The longer torture scene was just like the cave scene never part of any theatrical version. And should stay where it is. In the bonus section.

really??? the longer torture scene was not in the Italian theatrical version?

(of course, I am not referring to the version shown at the Rome premiere; that version also had the Cave scene, which Leone subsequently removed. I am  referring to the version that Italians would have seen in theaters in 1967). You saying that the Torture Scene that was in the original Italian theatrical screenings, is identical to the Torture scene that's been showing in America all these years, both in theaters and on dvd/blu ray?

if that's what you are saying, and if that is correct, then, just to confirm: the ONLY way that the American dvd/blu ray differs with the original Italian theatrical version is the addition of the Cave Scene?

------------------------------

p.s. so the Torture Scene in the Italian dvd/blu ray is the same as that on the American dvd/blu ray?


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: stanton on October 28, 2012, 03:11:31 AM
Well, actually there is one difference between the original theatrical version and the US version in the torture scene. There are one or two alternate shots towards the end of the scene. But the length is identical. As far as I remember.


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 28, 2012, 03:16:01 AM
Well, actually there is one difference between the original theatrical version and the US version in the torture scene. There are one or two alternate shots towards the end of the scene. But the length is identical. As far as I remember.

Thanks for the clarification.
So, aside from those 1 or 2 alternate shots in the Torture Scene, the only way that the extended dvd/blu ray differs with the Leone-intended version is the addition of the Cave Scene by John Jerk?


(I guess that we should be happy that the extended Torture scene was damaged beyond repair; otherwise, John Jerk would have no doubt added that in to the movie as well: I guess he would have believed it's exclusion would somehow be "jarring"  ::))


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 28, 2012, 03:18:53 AM
so I assume the Rome premiere version had both the Cave Scene and the Extended Torture Scene? Did it also have the Socorro Scene, or was that removed even before the Rome premiere?


why did Leone cut down the Torture Scene: did he (or the distributors) think that scene was just too long, or was it due to some censorship reason over the violence?


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: stanton on October 28, 2012, 03:30:57 AM
I'm not sure if the longer torture scene was part of the Premiere version. Isn't there any information on the DVD. The Cave scene probably was, the Socorro scene most likely not.


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: Leonardo on October 28, 2012, 05:18:15 AM
I'm not sure if the longer torture scene was part of the Premiere version. Isn't there any information on the DVD. The Cave scene probably was, the Socorro scene most likely not.
I was 15 when the movie premiered in Italy in 1967 and I went to watch the movie on the second day after its release in a Genoa theatre. I am 100% sure that neither the cave scene nor the Socorro scene were included. I cannot remember however whether the torture scene was the extended one or not.


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 28, 2012, 05:39:20 AM
I was 15 when the movie premiered in Italy in 1967 and I went to watch the movie on the second day after its release in a Genoa theatre. I am 100% sure that neither the cave scene nor the Socorro scene were included. I cannot remember however whether the torture scene was the extended one or not.

Right. The Cave Scene was only shown one time: at the Rome Premiere (as far as I could tell from the MGM SE's bonus features).

if you watch the bonus features on the MGM SE dvd, where that cocksucker John Jerk tries to justify including the cave Scene, it is very painful and creepy to watch.

Jerk's ridiculous argument goes like this: Even though Leone removed the Cave Scene after the Rome Premiere, Jerk included it in the MGM SE dvd because he believed it would be "jarring" to the viewer to see Tuco just show up at Blondie's hotel with 3 pistoleros, without the Cave scene explaining where the pistoleros came from. And the fact that it was actually screened with the cave scene included -- albeit just the one time, at the premiere -- provides Jerk with the "justification" for including it in the dvd, since, after all, Leone did show it that way once.

That argument  is laughable on its face. Firstly, for 35 mothertfucking years nobody was "jarred," but suddenly John Jerk needs to save us from being "jarred"?  ::)
But anyway, it's a simple question: is he concerned with what Leone desired, or is he concerned that the viewer not be "jarred"? if he's concerned with Leone's desires, then the fact that Leone removed the scene after the premiere should mean that it doesn't belong there. And if his only concern is to save us from being "jarred," then why is any sort of justification about Leone having once screened it that way even necessary?

But Jerk wants to cover his fucking diseased ass, so he alternates between justifications, as it suits him: he needs to include it, even though Leone removed it, so we shouldn't be "jarred." But how can he justify including it when Leone removed it? Well, that's okay, because Leone did show it that way once.  ::) I mean, is this half a man serious? really? wtf kind of argument is that? I'm not exactly certain what latin term exists for that method of argument, but there has to be something.

Thanks Jerk, for ensuring that we aren't "jarred." I can't imagine where we'd be without your concerns. No doubt upside down with a pitchfork up our ass, getting jarred. But have no fear, John Jerk is here. So we'll never ever be jarred again.

okay, time to go to sleep. It's 7:49 on a Sunday morning. I hope I don't have a nightmare about John Jerk jarring me


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: stanton on October 28, 2012, 06:26:35 AM
But Kirk also said that producer Grimaldi assured him that Leone wanted the scene in. Which actually was the main reason.

That may be true or not, but when the film was re-released in the early 80s in Italy all the other scenes which were in the meantime cut out form the theatrical version were put back, but not the cave scene. The original release version was restored, but not the Rome premier version.


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 28, 2012, 06:36:30 AM
But Kirk also said that producer Grimaldi assured him that Leone wanted the scene in. Which actually was the main reason.

That may be true or not, but when the film was re-released in the early 80s in Italy all the other scenes which were in the meantime cut out form the theatrical version were put back, but not the cave scene. The original release version was restored, but not the Rome premier version.

then why did Leone remove the Cave scene after the Rome Premiere?

i can't believe that it was cuz the movie was too long: the movie is nearly 3 hours long, so if you think it needs to be cut, cutting that one scene doesn't change the running time much; you'd have to cut it more significantly (like UA cutting it to 161 mins. in America). I can't believe that the cutting of that one Cave scene (and possibly trimming 2 minutes from the Torture Scene) would satisfy someone who thought the movie was too long


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: stanton on October 28, 2012, 06:47:38 AM
If it was in the Rome version, the lengthreason was maybe indeed the main reason.
Of course I would prefer it to be cut only for a rhythmical reason. Which then is an artistic decision.

Why did Leone shot it anyway for a film which already was becoming too long?


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 28, 2012, 06:54:05 AM


Why did Leone shot it anyway for a film which already was becoming too long?

well who knows if he knew the film was already becoming too long? Who knows when he shot  it -- maybe it was the first scene that was shot


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: emmo26 on October 28, 2012, 06:55:17 AM
I donīt know if this has been discussed before

"Il Triello" score is much longer on the soundtrack than on the film......

Is there a longer cut of the Mexican Standoff to match the longer version???


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: Cusser on October 28, 2012, 09:15:36 AM
I donīt know if this has been discussed before

"Il Triello" score is much longer on the soundtrack than on the film......

Is there a longer cut of the Mexican Standoff to match the longer version???

I think this depends which version of Il Triello you have.  The original 1960s track had an incorrect last half, maybe because it was in stereo, like the first half repeated.  In the early 200s the soundtracks with the doubled tracks simply tacked on the real ending to that existing one, so it's about two minutes longer.

Myself: I edited out that incorrect portion so the last part - beginning with the pseudo watch chimes - is in the correct position.


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: Groggy on November 22, 2012, 09:26:48 AM
I've read somewhere (Frayling?) that the British cut was even shorter than the American version. Any truth to this?


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: drinkanddestroy on November 22, 2012, 01:04:30 PM
I've read somewhere (Frayling?) that the British cut was even shorter than the American version. Any truth to this?

Yeah, I believe the British cut was like 148 minutes, so missing 13 minutes in addition to what was removed for the American release. On Frayling's commentary (available only on the blu ray), he points out the parts that were cut, eg. I believe the entire "Tuco in the Gun Store" sequence was removed


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: Lil Brutto on November 16, 2014, 04:11:59 PM
But Kirk also said that producer Grimaldi assured him that Leone wanted the scene in. Which actually was the main reason.

That may be true or not, but when the film was re-released in the early 80s in Italy all the other scenes which were in the meantime cut out form the theatrical version were put back, but not the cave scene. The original release version was restored, but not the Rome premier version.

My understanding is in Italy the censors approved the complete film for showing in 1967 with a restriction on viewers aged 14 years and younger. Then in 1969 footage was cut from the film until the early 80's when the cut footage was put back for the re-release. Why was the footage cut from the film in 1969 after 2 years of showings?


Title: Re: Cutting down the film
Post by: stanton on November 17, 2014, 02:04:05 AM
Most likely only to make it shorter. It seems in Italy often films were re-released in shorter versions. From the Spagie Massacre Time (Lucio Fulci) only the second version has survived, or is at least available.

Maybe Leonardo can tell us more about these things.