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Topics - The clint

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Once Upon A Time In The West / Minute error on DVD
« on: July 14, 2006, 04:39:40 PM »
I have the UK Region 2 version of the DVD, and at the point when Sam jumps off the wagon at the watering station and says to Jill "Don't the train stop?" the MPEG decoder seems to have swapped the fields of the image i. e. fields a and b are from mismatched frames, but this error stops about two seconds later. Do you know if this error is just present in the UK copies, all PAL copies, or even all copies of the film, or did I just have a bad one?

Anyway I wasn't all that pleased with the overall video quality, the colours were not as vibrant as I would have liked (Too reddish, if you ask me) and the edge enhancement haloes were a major distraction at times. Hope Paramount redoes it for HD.

Duck, You Sucker / Missing Footage?
« on: June 25, 2006, 09:00:39 AM »
I wonder why Leone would release the final film with an ugly cut in the middle when John and Juan get off the train. The frame flip-flops and we've missed some 2-3 minutes of conceivable footage. Did Leone just forget to shoot the footage, was it lost, was it edited out for length (if so, it's really stupid)? It's one of the really small things that near rouined the film (i.e. making it inferior to the previous four films).

Once Upon A Time In America / US 139 minute version
« on: June 25, 2006, 08:55:54 AM »
How is it possble to cut a film from 229 minutes to 139 minutes and release it!? That adds up to 90 minutes being cut! Does anyone have anyone know what long sections were missing in this version?

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Versions of TGTB&TU
« on: June 15, 2006, 11:41:27 AM »
The 180 minute version of the film that premiered in Italy allegedly included all the additional scenes contained on the 1998 DVD from MGM, but were the two scenes, when Tuco recruits the gangsters to kill Blondie and the extended version of the beating in the premiere cut of the film as well?

Second question: Did all countries outside of Italy release the 161 minute version that was dubbed into English or did some countries release the full premiere cut, à la "A Fistful of Dynamite"?

A Fistful of Dollars / Versions
« on: June 11, 2006, 02:56:02 PM »
Was the local Italian product identical to the 1967 US release or are there any editing differences?

Duck, You Sucker / US 120 minutes version
« on: April 23, 2006, 09:27:31 AM »
I've been wondering what footage was cut from this version, and how the film worked with this short duration. This version called Duck You Sucker has not resurfaced since 1972 for public release, and I think it was the initial US release before they took the UK A Fistful of Dynamite for release.

Once Upon A Time In The West / Possible continuity error
« on: April 09, 2006, 06:38:03 PM »
Cheyenne is being brought to Yuma by train, the same train that Mr. Morton and gang travel by, yet the railroad had just barely reached Sweetwater. Then how did they think he'd get transported to the prison in Yuma? And to add to the same error, Cheyennes men that ask for the ticket "to the next station, one way only" but the next station was sweetwater, still in construction!

(This message will be a near copy of my post at IMdB, I don't want to write all of it down again).

When I heard about a year ago this film was going to be SE'd by MGM with all their Leone titles I was annoyed to have bought the old edition of A Fistful of Dynamite. That package was rather slim on the extras and pretty much everything else. A friend of mine went and bought all the SE's when the came into stores in Iceland, but as I was not willing to churn out copies of my own I borrowed the SE of a Fistful of Dynamite earlier today just for the added extra material (This was a Norwegian import which was probably uncut). The extras came on a seperate disc and were informative if rather sparse (more so than, say Paramount's Once Upon a Time in the West). There I found two short features concentrating on the various different versions of this film and the subsequent restoration of the film. This guy who superwised the restoration seemed to be very proud of his work, particularly his 5.1 remaster of the film which he spoke freely of as it provided the definite sound experiende for a film that contained only a relatively unimpressive mono soundtrack on the previous DVD incarnation. That was it. I was curious enough, both to see the much improved visuals, hear the audio remaster, and to see wheather the restoration restores controversies in line with Juan's "What about me?" line at the end.

Fine... I viewed the final scenes of the disc only to find a major flaw. The sound mix had used the wrong take of the end title music! I was a little startled and jumped to the scene before which included the oft talked about flashback scene that has so often been edited out of prints. I've seen the scene as it was presented on the local Italian disc with it's beautiful background theme (The first track on the original LP, bound to be recognised by everyone who's bothered to track it down) but when I came to that scene guess what I found out: The music was again the wrong take! This time the take was familiar, what we hear are the opening bars of a theme called "The Dead Sons" and can be heard right before John blows up the bridge. But then it is crossfaded (rather badly) into the same take of the theme used at the main title (OK, what were the sound guys smoking?). I checked more scenes, John's flashback when he kills his friend for instance. Want to hear something funny? That very same unfamiliar take of the theme used for both the end titles and the extended flashback scene is here in full glory!!!

And that's just the stuff I looked at, there are minor ones throughout that I haven't bothered to list but you get the picture, the remastered sound track on the Region 2 SE for A Fistful of Dynamite is messed up, not only in terms of constantly incorrect musical cue points but also in the quality itself. The track sounds like mono, seriously, I could discern no stereophonic seperations except on several occasions they came across very artificial and annoying more than enhancing! The sound is also very tinny in quality, you'll hear that much better with headphones on though.

Am I being entirely fair in my criticism on this recent MGM product? I'll have to give them that their picture restoration looks quite a lot better than the old edition. There is much less grain, and a lot fewer artefacts on print, it is a lot clearer and the colours are a lot more vibrant and natural than the older version, although the old edition looked nice as well. Both versions have similar aspect ratios, but they are framed slightly differently, the older has less info on the top and more on the sides and bottom.

It's a shame about the soundtrack, it really is. If only they'd kept the mono soundtrack which on the old disc sounds unfortunately very sibilant, and as a way to compensate for it they've put down the treble as well, but it's still the better choice of the two as it does feature the original correct sound mix for the film. Another mark off for this release is that even though the print itself surprisingly restored "Duck You Sucker" to the end of the film, the package has the name A Fistful of Dynamite (Another "Huh?" from me) even though there's no indication of the name in the film.

Should you buy it or not? Definitely not if you're seeking improved audio quality, but if extras and much improved video quality tempt you to buy it, at least you have my warning and reservations about the audio quality. It's also possible to seperate the audio from the video and replace it with the mono from the old disc, but if one has to go through all that trouble after having to spend money for both editions one can not be other than angry with MGM for sloppyness.

Note: Just after initially writing this post I sampled the Spanish and German language audio tracks on the disc, and even though they still contain the wrong cues for the end titles and flashback they have the correct audio for John's flashback on the train with Villega, albeit in very poor quality (sounds like the audio shifts into mono at a certain point with even less quality than the old DVD).

Duck, You Sucker / Longest italian cut
« on: August 26, 2003, 08:25:24 AM »
Reportedly there's a 'full-cut' version of this film running 162 minutes and has a lot more footage. On the page dvdtalk I saw an article reporting that the film included a torture scene, no flip screens, an extra flashback (Coburn throws a liquor bottle at a gramophone), and a scene with Coburn walking in the desert, a scene where Juan's boys destroy Sean's motorcycle and others which change the film in some way. Does anyone have information on this cut?

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / GBU shortened version
« on: August 10, 2003, 04:36:02 PM »
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was cut by the distributor and censors to 148 minutes (13 min cut) from the American version, but does anyone have details on this cut and where (if anywhere) it is available?

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