Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => The Good, The Bad and The Ugly => Topic started by: Jordan Krug on February 27, 2015, 07:32:03 PM



Title: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Jordan Krug on February 27, 2015, 07:32:03 PM
From Conversations Avec Sergio Leone (french book)

I used google to translate this passage:

Q: WHY are the different versions in countries?

A: the French version is the longest. I supervised dubbing in English and French, I choose all the actors, from the largest to the smallest role. I fully assume the responsibility of the finished work. alas! distributors can amputate the film. in Italy, there were seven minutes cut. The united states, they removed twenty minutes to promote the sale of popcorn. The worst part is that they think the desert scene was too long. I love it. Tonino Delli Colli photographed it like one of the great surrealist painters.



The french cut is listed in the book at 164 minutes. I wonder what the extra two minutes are that are missing from the American international cut (162 min)?? Or is this just a mistake?


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: stanton on February 28, 2015, 02:51:18 AM
From Conversations Avec Sergio Leone (french book)

I used google to translate this passage:

Q: WHY are the different versions in countries?

A: the French version is the longest. I supervised dubbing in English and French, I choose all the actors, from the largest to the smallest role. I fully assume the responsibility of the finished work. alas! distributors can amputate the film. in Italy, there were seven minutes cut. The united states, they removed twenty minutes to promote the sale of popcorn. The worst part is that they think the desert scene was too long. I love it. Tonino Delli Colli photographed it like one of the great surrealist painters.

The french cut is listed in the book at 164 minutes. I wonder what the extra two minutes are that are missing from the American international cut (162 min)?? Or is this just a mistake?

Noodles should know if there was a longer French cut, but I doubt it.
In De Fornari's book the French version is given with 166 min, but a recent German book says only 160 min. And that it was longer than the Italian version is 100 % not true.

But Leone's "popcorn" quote makes clear that the international cut is not what Leone wanted, even if he supervised the dubbing of the same.

The 7 min Leone  mentions here do not make any sesne either.

But then, it is our Sergio, and one day he says this, and another days he says that. If you read every Sergio interview you might not be sure any longer he ever directed any film (except for My Name Is Nobody of course).


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Jordan Krug on February 28, 2015, 05:37:49 AM
But he is saying they removed 20 minutes AFTER he finished the 164 (or 162) minute version. The 162/164 minute cut is the version HE created for international markets. I am not saying he doesn't prefer the italian cut, I am saying he is the author of both cuts so both cuts are valid.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: stanton on February 28, 2015, 06:06:00 AM
But he is saying they removed 20 minutes AFTER he finished the 164 (or 162) minute version.

Not in this interview. The part about the dubbing is not connected directly with the part about the cuts. In the interview Leone laments about the cuts made in the international version, which he later helped to dub. In the wrong order.

The US version was not further shortened, the UK version was, but he mentions the US version and its shortening of the desert scene, which was shortened for the 161 min version.



Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Jordan Krug on February 28, 2015, 09:12:03 AM
It is connected directly. When he says the french is the longest he is referring to the international cut. He couldn't be referring to the italian. He says he takes full responsibility for that version, ergo Leone is the author of the international cut.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: stanton on March 01, 2015, 07:01:12 AM
But as far as I know the French version is not longer than the US version. As far as I know the new scenes were also newly dubbed for the 2004 DVD. Noodles may correct me if I'm wrong.

And he only says that he takes responsibility for the quality of the dub. Then he talks about cuts made to GBU by distributors, cuts he regrets.

At least you cannot draw from the interview a direct confirmation that Leone created the 161 min version, or that he approved it.

And besides there are to much wrong data in it anyway.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Novecento on March 01, 2015, 11:28:59 AM
The french cut is listed in the book at 164 minutes. I wonder what the extra two minutes are that are missing from the American international cut (162 min)?? Or is this just a mistake?

I think 164 for the French version is simply a misprint for 166 which is the length noted in other sources.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: noodles_leone on March 01, 2015, 12:06:39 PM
As far as I know the 1998 DVD is exactly the cut I had always watched on TV. But I' no expert in differences between versions. You guys are much better than I am for these things. I would never notice a longer or shorter Tuco beat up scene for example.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: stanton on March 01, 2015, 12:39:45 PM
As far as I know the 1998 DVD is exactly the cut I had always watched on TV. But I' no expert in differences between versions. You guys are much better than I am for these things. I would never notice a longer or shorter Tuco beat up scene for example.

But the new scenes (those which were newly dubbed) are the same as in every other country?


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: noodles_leone on March 04, 2015, 04:04:52 AM
Yes they are. Which means, if I'm not wrong: the scenes that were included as bonus on the 98 DVD + the grotto scene.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: stanton on March 04, 2015, 04:21:20 AM
Yes, these scenes.

I'm sure UA sold worldwide only the international version. That's why Italy is the only country which got the Leone version.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Jordan Krug on March 04, 2015, 07:49:15 AM
Yes, these scenes.

I'm sure UA sold worldwide only the international version. That's why Italy is the only country which got the Leone version.

Stanton I respect your interpretation and opinion but I believe that this is telling us that both versions are Leone's. I know of a 35mm print of the international cut from 1967 with italian leaders, meaning it was printed in Italy. We can agree to disagree, again I am not arguing which version Leone prefers, I am saying that this is evidence he is the author of both versions, and he chose which scenes to cut (for the full version of the international cut).


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Novecento on March 04, 2015, 12:04:02 PM
So let me get this straight...

- Leone created a version for the Rome premiere (the Italian version) that is the longest known version. The most recent releases of GBU added the footage from this back in to the longest international version to create an "extended version"
- For the actual release, Leone went with a 166 minute cut that removed some parts from the long Italian premiere (i.e. some, but not all, of the "deleted" scenes). This was only ever released as such in France, because everywhere in the world (including Italy) it was cut to varying degrees?

On the basis of the above, I think we can conclude that Leone's preferred version was the 166 minute version. His cutting it down after the Rome premiere to a preferred length is not unusual. Visconti did the same after the Cannes premiere of The Leopard. I believe there is a French DVD of The Leopard that includes those original scenes as originally presented, but the version we all know (not including the heavily edited English language version) omits those scenes as Visconti preferred.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: stanton on March 04, 2015, 12:55:39 PM
So let me get this straight...

- Leone created a version for the Rome premiere (the Italian version) that is the longest known version. The most recent releases of GBU added the footage from this back in to the longest international version to create an "extended version"
- For the actual release, Leone went with a 166 minute cut that removed some parts from the long Italian premiere (i.e. some, but not all, of the "deleted" scenes). This was only ever released as such in France, because everywhere in the world (including Italy) it was cut to varying degrees?


Not really.
It seems there was a Rome premiere version which included the Grotto scene. The theatrical version was then released without that scene, and runs 177 min. Most likely the IB print of Lil brutto.

In 1969 GBU was further cut down, only to make it shorter for a re-release. When in the early 80s the long version was restored the torture scene was damaged and some other minor stuff was missing. This version must be the one since released in Italy on all sorts of home video and runs 175 min.

According to Noodles the French version did not include all the stuff which was as bonus on the 98 DVD. Most likely also only the 161 min version as distributed by UA in every country apart form Italy. A new book from a German author lists the French version with 160 min.

The question of this thread is if Leone helped to shape the international version, but so far I haven't read anything concrete that Leone made the cuts himself or supervised it. It is still possible that he helped to create the shorter version, but even if so, he seemed not to be happy with the cuts. Cause in several interviews he complained about the cuts.

Unlike Jordan I don't see in the international version anything else than a version cut against Leone's intentions. A good version, but still not a DC.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: stanton on March 04, 2015, 01:25:03 PM
Stanton I respect your interpretation and opinion but I believe that this is telling us that both versions are Leone's.

But he complains in that interview about the USA version being cut by 20 min to sell popcorn. And that is the international version, nothing else he could mean. Or?


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Cusser on March 05, 2015, 06:34:55 AM
But he complains in that interview about the USA version being cut by 20 min to sell popcorn. And that is the international version, nothing else he could mean. Or?

I had heard similar decades ago, that Leone complained that GBU was cut before US release so that United artists could get more showings per day, and "sell more popcorn".  I saw the USA version on first release in Arizona in June 1968 (twice in 2 days) - never even having heard of a spaghetti western, remembering asking my brother why almost everyone listed in the Titles had Italian names.  We wondered why there were no end credits either, hadn't seen that before.  So I can vouch that the version on the single disc DVD - the one that has the extra scenes as a bonus in Italian with English subtitles) - is the version that was first released with here in 1968.  so about 162 minutes.

I've also seen GBU at least once since then with an actual Intermission - right after Tuco jumps on the train that cut his chain.  An intermission will help sell popcorn !

Funny thing - in 1968 GBU was double-featured with "The Party" (filmed after GBU was completed) in which Peter Sellers blew up a film set bridge by accident (like what really happened when filming GBU), bet that director had heard of the GBU mishap !!!


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Jordan Krug on March 05, 2015, 01:10:14 PM
Thanks for the first hand account Cusser! Always nice to hear what it was like to see it during the first theatrical run. I'm envious.

I will return to this thread soon when I have amassed all of the "evidence" of my theory that I can and hopefully we can come to some sort of conclusion using the facts available. It's only a theory so far and not infallible to other evidence so if anyone else wants to contribute please feel free to enter in the discussion.

It would help to have a proper french translation as obviously the question is not translated properly. If there's anyone here willing to help out I can put the French text here on this particular quote.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: mike siegel on March 06, 2015, 04:19:56 AM
I remember I read an interview him where he stated that he made that international cut because he thought outside of Italy it just wouldn't play that well because of its length. Italians (at that time) would not mind because they have a better sense for 'opera'. He was going for international success and to him that version (162min.?) worked well for non-Italian audiences.
Unfortunately I can't recall the source, it was 30 years ago!

Whatever distributors / censors then do in their countries with a film is not controlable by the film makers, as we all know.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Cusser on March 06, 2015, 06:17:01 AM
Thanks for the first hand account Cusser! Always nice to hear what it was like to see it during the first theatrical run. I'm envious.

Didn't realize it at the time, but that first print had had a mishap apparently and had been repaired/spliced.  When Blondie first appeared, and was staring down the three bounty killers (obviously first time seeing a Leone-type confrontation), it went from that to the shot of Blondie's smoking pistol and "waa-waa-waa", no gunshots and no gunshot sounds !!!  At 15, I thought that it was the greatest editing I had ever seen, that the director assumed we knew gunshots, thought that was high art !!  A year or 2 later, saw a different print, realized that there had been a break and repair in the first print !!!

Of course, after almost 2.5 hours to see the Ecstasy of Gold scene, with the background blurring in surreal fashion to show the passing of time (likely took hours to find Arch's plot) and an entirely new soundtrack piece, amazing.  Think of all the separate tracks of film score in just this film.  And then decades later I read that the shooting time was 6 weeks, all those location changes, just amazing.  No wonder Eastwood learned to work efficiently there.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 08, 2015, 06:04:12 AM
The only reason I watched the movie was cuz of The Ecstacy of Gold, ya know Metallica plays that song when they enter every concert. And I had to wait 2.5 hours to hear it!


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Novecento on March 08, 2015, 08:30:13 PM
So can anyone clarify exactly what was included in the 166min French cut that was not included in the 162min international cut?


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: stanton on March 09, 2015, 03:21:13 AM
So can anyone clarify exactly what was included in the 166min French cut that was not included in the 162min international cut?

Difficult.

Apart from Noodles the Frenchies are very, very rare in English language forums. I asked in the Spaghetti western Database forum if in any other country a version longer than 161 min was released. Zero answers.

And still, I don't think that the French version was longer. One can check the DVDs for the voices in the French version. If all the of the usual new scenes have the newly dubbed voices you can be sure that it was the same version as everywhere.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: noodles_leone on March 09, 2015, 03:42:06 AM
Difficult.

Apart from Noodles the Frenchies are very, very rare in English language forums. I asked in the Spaghetti western Database forum if in any other country a version longer than 161 min was released. Zero answers.

And still, I don't think that the French version was longer. One can check the DVDs for the voices in the French version. If all the of the usual new scenes have the newly dubbed voices you can be sure that it was the same version as everywhere.

I'm pretty sure we always go the same scenes. When I said I was not sure I meant we may have longer scenes, just like a longer Tuco/Wallace torture scene. Or something like the Harmonica rising from the dead scene in OUATITW buried somewhere in the movie. I'm not saying I think we got that, I'm saying it would be possible and I could have missed it.

The scenes that were NOT on my VHS:

- The grotto
- Angel Eye in the fort
- additonnal scene in the desert: Tuco washes his feet
- Tuco asking his way while trying to save blondie
- the additional "war is terrible" dialogue a couple minutes after they leave Tuco's brother
- 6, the perfect number
- Additional dialogue with Aldo Guiffre (he asks for their name)

I know that for a fact since I was thrilled to see each of these new scenes when I got them on DVD.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Jordan Krug on March 09, 2015, 11:16:25 AM

I am curious, since it is really tough to trace back the French international cut on home video (I haven't been able to find any copies on ebay etc that pre-date the distribution of the American international cut worldwide :

1. Does your VHS have the opening credit sequence in French? (Animated in French, not just subtitled)
2. Are the character titles in French? (Le bon, la brute) etc?
3. Who is the distributor of the VHS?

I'm pretty sure we always go the same scenes. When I said I was not sure I meant we may have longer scenes, just like a longer Tuco/Wallace torture scene. Or something like the Harmonica rising from the dead scene in OUATITW buried somewhere in the movie. I'm not saying I think we got that, I'm saying it would be possible and I could have missed it.

The scenes that were NOT on my VHS:

- The grotto
- Angel Eye in the fort
- additonnal scene in the desert: Tuco washes his feet
- Tuco asking his way while trying to save blondie
- the additional "war is terrible" dialogue a couple minutes after they leave Tuco's brother
- 6, the perfect number
- Additional dialogue with Aldo Guiffre (he asks for their name)

I know that for a fact since I was thrilled to see each of these new scenes when I got them on DVD.



Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: noodles_leone on March 09, 2015, 11:18:47 AM
I am curious, since it is really tough to trace back the French international cut on home video (I haven't been able to find any copies on ebay etc that pre-date the distribution of the American international cut worldwide :

1. Does your VHS have the opening credit sequence in French? (Animated in French, not just subtitled)
2. Are the character titles in French? (Le bon, la brute) etc?
3. Who is the distributor of the VHS?


First, I have to be disapointing: I recorded it on TV, it's not a home video edition.

That being said:

1. I don't remember. I'd say French but I couldn't assert it.
2. Yes, definitely in French
3. Like I said, TV.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Jordan Krug on March 09, 2015, 05:29:18 PM
First, I have to be disapointing: I recorded it on TV, it's not a home video edition.

That being said:

1. I don't remember. I'd say French but I couldn't assert it.
2. Yes, definitely in French
3. Like I said, TV.

Thanks for answering, it's ok that its a TV version, basically it would need both french animated titles and title cards (and "end") card to truly be the french international cut. When you have a spare moment would you mind checking it out to see if it is indeed the French cut?


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Jordan Krug on March 09, 2015, 08:37:26 PM
Here are some examples from the spanish dvd's - pre 2002 there was a dvd that used an original spanish print with spanish titles. Post 2002 everything is MGM based and they made subtitles with both languages.

(http://i.imgur.com/xPxGXIj.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/ogyGoA3.jpg)

Here are some pics from the spanish credit sequence.

(http://i.imgur.com/ggRU3Nh.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/D5vSmsG.jpg)

Here is a pic of the end spanish title card (it comes on doubled for some reason)

(http://i.imgur.com/gpCKlBV.jpg)


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Lil Brutto on March 09, 2015, 09:30:45 PM
Maybe this could have shed some light on the matter  :'(

http://www.ebay.ph/itm/Le-BON-la-BRUTE-et-le-TRUAND-SERGIO-LEONE-avec-CLINT-EASTWOOD-FILM-16-mm-VO-ST-/171398487469

EDIT: Or maybe not. Does the auction description say English soundtrack with French subtitles?


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Lil Brutto on March 10, 2015, 12:47:10 AM
Here's a link to the original French opening credits:

http://www.wat.tv/video/generique-film-bon-brute-truand-42dzz_3qecf_.html

Apparently this aired in June 1994 on France 3.

A mid-90s TV presentation in widescreen?? Noodles, is your TV recording in widescreen as well?


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: noodles_leone on March 10, 2015, 01:40:22 AM
Maybe this could have shed some light on the matter  :'(

http://www.ebay.ph/itm/Le-BON-la-BRUTE-et-le-TRUAND-SERGIO-LEONE-avec-CLINT-EASTWOOD-FILM-16-mm-VO-ST-/171398487469

EDIT: Or maybe not. Does the auction description say English soundtrack with French subtitles?

It says "original version" with French subtitles. Not sure what "original" means here but it's either Italian or English.

Here's a link to the original French opening credits:

http://www.wat.tv/video/generique-film-bon-brute-truand-42dzz_3qecf_.html

Apparently this aired in June 1994 on France 3.

A mid-90s TV presentation in widescreen?? Noodles, is your TV recording in widescreen as well?

Yes my recording was in widescreen too. We've had widescreen tv presentations for a long time here. It was rare but it happened, especially for western movies.
I recorded the film after 1994. The Leone films are on traditional tv channels n France almost every year in August (either tf1, France 3 or m6) so they're easy to catch.

Unfortunately I cannot check my recording: I have no VHS player (and I'm not sure I still have the recording itself).


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: stanton on March 10, 2015, 03:23:14 AM
Here's a link to the original French opening credits:

http://www.wat.tv/video/generique-film-bon-brute-truand-42dzz_3qecf_.html


The credits are those from the international version.

Widescreen versions of 2,35:1 films were the rule on German TV, only not in 2,35:1 but in 1,85:1. A good compromise then.

The VHS versions of the Hollywod studios were in the 80s mostly in ugly  pan&scan fullscreen, but surprisingly in the 90s they started releasing them often in the correct aspect ratio.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: noodles_leone on March 10, 2015, 03:39:52 AM
Yes I think we had it in 1,85:1 too.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Jordan Krug on March 10, 2015, 05:50:41 AM
Here's a link to the original French opening credits:

http://www.wat.tv/video/generique-film-bon-brute-truand-42dzz_3qecf_.html

Apparently this aired in June 1994 on France 3.

A mid-90s TV presentation in widescreen?? Noodles, is your TV recording in widescreen as well?

Cool to see this, nice find Brutto! Weird how the title isn't shot on in pieces like the other versions...


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Lil Brutto on March 10, 2015, 01:10:15 PM
Yes my recording was in widescreen too. We've had widescreen tv presentations for a long time here. It was rare but it happened, especially for western movies.
I recorded the film after 1994. The Leone films are on traditional tv channels n France almost every year in August (either tf1, France 3 or m6) so they're easy to catch.

Is the original version (i.e. International Cut) still shown or is it the Extended Cut?


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: noodles_leone on March 10, 2015, 02:11:06 PM
I rarely check it out but I've caught the extended cut on TV a couple times.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Lil Brutto on March 11, 2015, 09:35:51 AM
Cool to see this, nice find Brutto! Weird how the title isn't shot on in pieces like the other versions...

I knew you'd appreciate it.  ;)

We need to find a TV capture of this.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Jordan Krug on March 11, 2015, 06:35:49 PM
Noodles, would you mind translating this? This is the original question the interviewer asked Leone:

Pourquoi les versions sont-elles différentes selon les pays?


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Jordan Krug on March 11, 2015, 06:37:32 PM
I knew you'd appreciate it.  ;)

We need to find a TV capture of this.


Agreed...Noodles I don't suppose you would mind looking to see if you still have your vhs copy? If you do, I'll pay for shipping it to Canada?


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Lil Brutto on March 12, 2015, 12:47:10 PM
And still, I don't think that the French version was longer. One can check the DVDs for the voices in the French version. If all the of the usual new scenes have the newly dubbed voices you can be sure that it was the same version as everywhere.

Thanks to your suggestion I decided to check my BD with the French DTS 5.1 track selected. In all deleted scenes it's unmistakable that these scenes were newly dubbed.  The new voice actors sound VERY different and their voices are much more prominent in the audio track.

I also don't think the French version was longer. It would be great if we could obtain a copy of the IC to verify this once and for all.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: titoli on March 13, 2015, 11:31:30 PM
Noodles, would you mind translating this? This is the original question the interviewer asked Leone:

Pourquoi les versions sont-elles différentes selon les pays?

Why versions differ depending on the country?


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Jordan Krug on March 15, 2015, 07:21:15 AM
Why versions differ depending on the country?

Thanks!


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: noodles_leone on March 15, 2015, 12:19:29 PM

Agreed...Noodles I don't suppose you would mind looking to see if you still have your vhs copy? If you do, I'll pay for shipping it to Canada?

It's at my parents' place. I'll look for it the next time I'll go there.

Why versions differ depending on the country?

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the very first time Titoli and I agree on something.


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Lil Brutto on April 05, 2015, 12:09:20 PM
It's at my parents' place. I'll look for it the next time I'll go there.

Did you find it?


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: noodles_leone on April 06, 2015, 04:23:00 AM
Thanks for the reminder, I had completely forgotten. I'm at my parent's place today and I just checked. THey have thrown all the VHS to the garbage years ago. Nothing is left...


Title: Re: Proof that the shorter international cut is Leone's own?
Post by: Lil Brutto on April 06, 2015, 08:54:42 AM
Thanks for checking.