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Author Topic: GBU Special edition DVD and Blu Ray -- Breakdown of Restored Scenes  (Read 31303 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2012, 05:36:06 PM »

Just wanted to emphasize the point that Leone's preferred version of the movie was the entire restored version minus the Cave Scene, and with a slightly longer version of the scene where Tuco is tortured. (the film of that scene was too damaged for restoration into the movie, so it was included on the dvd/BR as an extra).
 Therefore, I believe that  is the "definitive version" of the movie, as in, The Sergio Leone version and the only version that should have ever been released.
It is the definitive version for the Italian cut. However, since the English dub was done only after the film was edited to 161, there is no such thing as a definitive English language version longer than 161. Sure, you can say that Leone would have liked to have GBU run as long as BBC, but it never happened in his lifetime. Therefore, any posthumous tinkering cannot be considered "definitive." It can't even, by definition, be considered sanctioned. Can we say that Leone would have approved of John Kirk's solution to re-dub the film for the 2003 "restoration"? We cannot. What we can do is listen to the final product and howl in execration at the liberties taken to the audio. How can this version be considered faithful to the Master's vision? To the Leoneaste, it is anathema.

What can be done? A simple solution is available: watch the longer Leone-approved version in Italian, and the shorter Leone-approved version in English. This satisfies our desire to see all the photographed material extant, but allows us to do so in director-approved forms.

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« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2012, 06:08:59 PM »

It is the definitive version for the Italian cut. However, since the English dub was done only after the film was edited to 161, there is no such thing as a definitive English language version longer than 161. Sure, you can say that Leone would have liked to have GBU run as long as BBC, but it never happened in his lifetime. Therefore, any posthumous tinkering cannot be considered "definitive." It can't even, by definition, be considered sanctioned. Can we say that Leone would have approved of John Kirk's solution to re-dub the film for the 2003 "restoration"? We cannot. What we can do is listen to the final product and howl in execration at the liberties taken to the audio. How can this version be considered faithful to the Master's vision? To the Leoneaste, it is anathema.

What can be done? A simple solution is available: watch the longer Leone-approved version in Italian, and the shorter Leone-approved version in English. This satisfies our desire to see all the photographed material extant, but allows us to do so in director-approved forms.

I really don't know anything about audio and therefore my comments here have stuck to picture quality. My understanding is that the original English mono is available on the dvd and BR, so doesn't that satisfy everyone?

As for the dubbing: yes, the added scenes weren't dubbed until 2003, so in that sense it is not an exact restoration. But once they did restore those scenes, I am happy they dubbed them into English as they did (elderly Wallach and Eastwood, voice actor for Van Cleef), rather than just keeping the Italian audio. Btw, as an American, you have a better option for the full movie than to watch it in Italian: just watch the unrestored 161 min. dvd; it has all the deleted scenes (I believe with Italian audio and available English subtitles).

Even though the dub is not exactly as it would have sounded if it had been released in 1967, I don't see how you can consider a version that was cut by UA to be a "definitive version." Maybe you prefer it cuz you think those scenes are unnecessary; but IMO definitive = as Leone wanted it. And for me, having those scenes even with the 2003 dub is better than not having them at all, or watching it in Italian. I prefer to at least hear Wallach and Eastwood's voices, even if it is 35 years later, than to hear a couple of Italian dudes who sound nothing at all like them.  For me, the 2003 restoration is closer to Leone's vision of the English-language version of GBU than the 161MV is. (Maybe one day I'll look into foreign versions, for now I am just focusing on the American ones).

Don't get me wrong; I think the 161MV of GBU is still an awesome movie. But I prefer the 2003 version. I have never heard the mono audio but one of these days I'll give it a try. Also, being a kid from New York City who has never touched a gun or seen one fire (or seen one period except on a policeman's belt!), I don't know anything at all about gunshots; but I understand that they changed them for the restoration, and I can certainly see how that would irk people who know about that stuff. (What can I say, sometimes ignorance is bliss. I sometimes yearn for my blissful early days of Leone--movie-watching, before i ever knew a damn thing about restorations, dubs, messed up audio, and deleted scenes  Wink)

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« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2012, 08:09:34 PM »

I) The entire scene of Tuco in the gun shop

IMO this is not a very important scene; the American version would have been better off if it had cut this scene and kept the one of Angel Eyes at the Confederate fort

I think this comment discredits any of your arguments about artistic integrity or whatever you've been blathering about.

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« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2012, 08:34:21 PM »

It is the definitive version for the Italian cut. However, since the English dub was done only after the film was edited to 161, there is no such thing as a definitive English language version longer than 161. Sure, you can say that Leone would have liked to have GBU run as long as BBC, but it never happened in his lifetime. Therefore, any posthumous tinkering cannot be considered "definitive." It can't even, by definition, be considered sanctioned. Can we say that Leone would have approved of John Kirk's solution to re-dub the film for the 2003 "restoration"? We cannot. What we can do is listen to the final product and howl in execration at the liberties taken to the audio. How can this version be considered faithful to the Master's vision? To the Leoneaste, it is anathema.

What can be done? A simple solution is available: watch the longer Leone-approved version in Italian, and the shorter Leone-approved version in English. This satisfies our desire to see all the photographed material extant, but allows us to do so in director-approved forms.

This is a fair argument. I'd add that re-dubbing added scenes isn't a requirement. Lots of Spaghettis and giallos have been released with added scenes in original Italian (I remember watching Deep Red in this fashion). A bit jarring but not an invalid approach, and certainly no worse than a) completely remixing the foley, b) having ancient Eastwood and Wallach plus imitation Cleef doing the voices.

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« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2012, 08:52:56 PM »

Nothing can compare to seeing these films in theaters, first run, big screen, when originally released......the right place at the right time !!!

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« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2012, 09:41:32 PM »

I think this comment discredits any of your arguments about artistic integrity or whatever you've been blathering about.

my bad, I didn't word my statement properly. I did not mean that it is a useless scene (such as eg. the scene with Tuco in the Cave or at the Confederate Bivouac at Apache Canyon). Rather, I meant to say that it is not the most important scene from a NARRATIVE perspective, and therefore -- while I prefer that that scene is kept in the movie -- I believe that it is less important than the one with Angel eyes at the Confederate Fort. I believe the latter is far more important, cuz it is actually a part of the narrative, while the scene in the gun shop is not.

Of course, with Leone's movies, narrative is one of the least important aspects of the movie; the plot of GBU could have easily been done in less than half the time that Leone did it. Each scene is just great fun in and of itself. But my point is that once the American version did remove several scenes, I would have preferred that they remove the Gun Shop scene rather than the Confederate Fort scene. It's a question of relative importance, not absolute importance. And besides for the narrative aspect, there are three additional reasons why i prefer the Fort scene to the Gun Shop scene: 1) because it contains an important element of the theme about the destruction of war; 2) because as it is, Angel Eyes has a very small part in the film with all these cuts, and I prefer that the 3 parts are closer to equal; 3) and because it is the only scene that shows Angel Eyes with some shred of humanity (at least in comparison to the warmongers), and therefore actually contains a personality element of one of the central characters of the film, both in an absolute sense (that he has a shred of humanity), as well as in a relative sense that in comparison to the horrors of war, the term "Bad" for any individual criminal is very questionable, and one of the points of the title of the movie is to mess around with and question the labels that cinema on its characters

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p.s. please don't feel compelled to respond to any "blather."... While most of us seem to be able to either respond to or ignore other people's posts without constant lame attempts at insults, you seem to think that your posts can't stand on their substance alone.... If you don't watch out, one of these days you might actually call someone "fatso."  Roll Eyes

« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 09:33:03 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2012, 02:17:47 AM »

The gun shop scene is surely absolutely unimportant for the film's narrative (except for those of course who may say without this scene we do not know where Tuco got his gun Wink ), but it is a hell of a scene, it is Leone at his best for both directing and storytelling (within that scene). It is exactly such a scene which shows Leone's mastership, and which shows how different his films were back then.
And then again the loss of this scene would maybe damage the film's rhythm considerably.

D&d I can't believe that you would sacrifice such an essential Leone scene.

« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 02:25:58 AM by stanton » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2012, 02:24:20 AM »

This is a fair argument. I'd add that re-dubbing added scenes isn't a requirement. Lots of Spaghettis and giallos have been released with added scenes in original Italian (I remember watching Deep Red in this fashion). A bit jarring but not an invalid approach, and certainly no worse than a) completely remixing the foley, b) having ancient Eastwood and Wallach plus imitation Cleef doing the voices.

In Germany lots of films are restored by simply adding the scenes in their original language with subs. I'm used to this. And I would never again watch GBU in the 161 min version, simply cause it is a cut version.

But the dubbing could have been done much better. Voices change over the years and using the original speakers is not a good idea. The German voices for the restored GBU scenes are also very bad, and funnily the original speakers sound worse than the one which was substituted due to the death of LvC's speaker.
But there are meanwhile restored films in which the dubbing job was done much better, and surely with a lesser budget than MGM had. In the case of GBU there was even already a TV dub for the added scenes, which sounded better than the MGM dub.

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« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2012, 05:33:19 AM »

But the dubbing cut have been done much better. Voices change over theh years and using the original speakers is not a good idea. The German voices for the restored GBU scenes are also very bad, and funnily the original speakers sound worse than the one which was substituted due to the death of LvC's speaker.
But there are meanwhile restored films in which the dubbing job was done much better, and surely with a lesser budget than MGM had. In the case of GBU there was even already a TV dub for the added scenes, whihc sounded better than the MGM dub.

My guess is that all the budget went into "let's record Clint Eastwood, and write that on the DVD". It was probably the smartest thing from a marketing stanpoint, which has nothing to do with artistic integrity.

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« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2012, 07:05:45 AM »

I think the gun shop scene is mportant, and not just because of its homage to Public Enemy.

shows new pistols not plentiful because of Civil War

shows Tuco's expertise with mechanics of guns

shows Tuco's shooting accuracy (important, he later teams with Blondie to dispatch Angel Eyes' gang, and was ready to take them all on by himself); remember, Tuco "knew" he hadn't missed with that last gun shot, knew he'd hit his target

shows (correctly, for the time period) that Indians relegated to sub-human level, were targets at the gun shop range)

shows Tuco had focus to leave whiskey behind, to focus on his revenge plan

shows Tuco would never think of killing the gun shop owner (kill the witness)

shows Tuco making the gun lanyard, important for later bathtub scene

So, like showing Tuco could read a little earlier (turns out important for cemetery scene), little things can mean a lot....

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« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2012, 07:08:08 AM »

I'd agree that the fort scene is much more functional than the gun shop scene. In this case, though I'd argue the latter is far better as a self-contained sequence. It's funny for a start, but does a lot to further establish Tuco's character as a crafty, resourceful individual. It also establishes (through Tuco's shooting prowess) that "the Ugly" is an equal to his counterparts, not just a comic relief clown.

The fort sequence is the best of the restored scenes, but that's like picking your favorite strain of the flu. Sure, it addresses a small narrative gap, but one that never bothered me. Angel Eyes showing up at the POW camp without explanation is much more jarring, and in my mind dramatically effective. The thematic elements about war are touched upon quite heavily elsewhere. This bit is bald exposition that seems out of place in such an elliptical film. The movie is not lesser for its absence.

As for blather, what else do you call a post that says in 1,000 words what a sentence or two could adequately express?

« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 07:11:19 AM by Groggy » Logged


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« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2012, 09:39:40 AM »

I think we already know that Tuco is pretty good with guns. He dispatched 3 guys in the opening scene (while chewing on a drumstick!)

Cusser:  I don't disagree with you on the importance of the Gun Shop scene. It's great fun and establishes Tuco's character. I just think the Confederate Fort scene is more important. Extolling the virtues of the Gun Shop scene isn't enough; you have to address why you think it is more important than the Confederate Fort scene.

But I should also mention that I never actually saw the 161MV (I recently bought the old dvd but haven't actually watched it yet) -- and when I do watch it, in back of my mind I would know why Angel Eyes shows up in Betterville, cuz I am aware of the scene on the Confederate Fort -- so it's really hard for me to know how I would have felt about that narrative gap of Angel Eyes showing up at Betterville, if I'd actually seen the movie for 35 years without that Confederate Fort scene.

[Groggy: I don't think this is the 1st or 2nd or 3rd time you've felt compelled to include stupid rude comments. At many people. I'm not offended, it just sounds so silly. Anyway, this is the last  I'll say of it here; I certainly don't want this to become another good thread that starts evolving into dumb fights  Roll Eyes

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« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2012, 09:41:38 AM »

What are your thoughts on the screenshot comparison link I posted above? Which do you think looks better? MGM or Mondo BD?

I'm not sure exactly how to use that link and which shot is from which dvd

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« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2012, 12:30:49 PM »



But I should also mention that I never actually saw the 161MV (I recently bought the old dvd but haven't actually watched it yet) -- and when I do watch it, in back of my mind I would know why Angel Eyes shows up in Betterville, cuz I am aware of the scene on the Confederate Fort -- so it's really hard for me to know how I would have felt about that narrative gap of Angel Eyes showing up at Betterville, if I'd actually seen the movie for 35 years without that Confederate Fort scene.



I assume for most people there wasn't a narrative gap.
The way the scene which introduces LvC in the prison camp is shot made for me always clear that he wasn't there by happenstance, but obviously only for the purpose to have there the best chance to find Carson. When I first read about the Fort scene it only confirmed what I already had assumed.

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« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2012, 02:35:24 PM »

I assume for most people there wasn't a narrative gap.
The way the scene which introduces LvC in the prison camp is shot made for me always clear that he wasn't there by happenstance, but obviously only for the purpose to have there the best chance to find Carson. When I first read about the Fort scene it only confirmed what I already had assumed.


Yea that is the way I always figured it too.

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