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Author Topic: Cutting down the film  (Read 7823 times)
UNKNOWN Next to Arch Stanton
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« 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!

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stanton
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« Reply #1 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?

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UNKNOWN Next to Arch Stanton
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2012, 07:55:02 PM »

IMDB, but I just read on another thread that it may be a typo.

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stanton
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« Reply #3 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.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #4 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....

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« Reply #5 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?

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stanton
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 12:37:04 PM »

No

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UNKNOWN Next to Arch Stanton
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« Reply #7 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.

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The clint
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« Reply #8 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.

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« Reply #9 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 Afro(as opposed to "being on something" Smiley).

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stanton
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2012, 12:47:27 PM »

One other reason may be that the scene works better in the shorter version.

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The clint
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« Reply #11 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...

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« Reply #12 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.

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« Reply #13 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).

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« Reply #14 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:










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