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cigar joe
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« Reply #240 on: April 30, 2012, 03:32:49 AM »

Yea, there are a lot of possibilities and conundrums that the restores will be dealing with, maybe the 25 minutes is the limit of what they can do with what they got without changing the integrity of the film.  I guess we'll see.

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« Reply #241 on: April 30, 2012, 06:10:56 AM »

We definitely need another press release from Leone's children or somebody connected with Cannes or involved in the restoration process or Scorcese.

We are very much in the dark and it's possible that some of the film stock is damaged or poor quality and would look out of place.

We know that several scenes were filmed which wouldn't make much sense if simply inserted into the movie, e.g. Carol talking about how Eve died alone.   There's also known flaws such as two different number plates on the black limousine tailing Noodles, one filmed in New York and one at Pratica di Mare.

Ignoring minor quibbles on minutes and frame rates, Leone is reported to have made a 270 minute version, cut 50 minutes and made a 220 minute version.

It may not be that simple.

If these 50 minutes of cuts include scenes such as Carol talking about how Eve died alone and the black limousine, Leone didn't simply cut out 50 minutes and put them to one side for his children to find later.  He re-edited parts of the movie to cover over the cracks (he reportedly had ten hours of footage to play with) and to enable the 220 minute version to make sense.

Leone doesn't use voice overs much but after Max knocks out Noodles to stop him going on the gang's last job, we cut to the Bailey Foundation and Carol's voice saying "Max made fools of us Noodles..." This is dialog from a deleted scene (SCENE 148).  For much of the scene that follows we don't see close-ups of Carol speaking her dialog and it's quite possible (and easy for an experienced editor) that this was edited after Leone had completed his 270 minute version.  If so, the original may have been destroyed and simply inserting the scene of Carol talking about how Eve died alone wouldn't make sense.

I was extremely disappointed when I heard that they'd only added in 25 minutes but perhaps they had no other choice and it would be great to see the 25 minutes they didn't use as an extra on a futute DVD or Blu-ray.


(Firstly, I just wanna say that the bottom line is that the only version we currently have on dvd is 229 minutes. I don't know about the 220 minute version that may or may not originally been shown at Cannes and/or in theaters, whether it was less time or just due to PAL/NTSC differences. But the bottom line is that the only version of OUATIA that is currently on dvd and that all of us are familiar with is the 229 minute-version. So just a respectful suggestion, I'd refer to it as the "current version" or the "229-minute version" rather than continually referring to it as the 220-minute version, which may continue to confuse everyone and perhaps continue the conversation about technical differences between running times of PAL-NTSC, but doesn't affect the continuing discussion of the upcoming restored version. I think the main issue is how many minutes will be added to the new version from the current 229-minute version version we have on dvd, not how many minutes were or weren't in the European theatrical version in 1984. I am not saying I am doubting your sources; I am just saying that I think that since our concern now is how many minutes will be added to the version we have on dvd, it may be more easily understood if we simply refer to it as the "current version" or "229-minute version," rather than the "220 minute version." Just a respectful suggestion  Afro )

--------------------------
Anyway, that's enough out of me about the running time of the current version. Moving on.....

 are you sure that the scene where Carol tells Noodles that Eve died alone -- I think by overdosing with pills -- was shot? I know it was in at least one version of the script, but obviously makes no sense cuz we know that Eve is shot in the first scene. [Theoretically, you could take it all a step further  and say it is not impossible to explain it away by saying that Carol was mistaken about Eve's death; that Carol is an unreliable storyteller -- eg. we know she is wrong about Max --; or that the discrepancies are all part of the opium dream, but I think that may be too far. It's probably best to say that the script changed; or perhaps Leone deliberately shot it different ways, cuz he wasn't sure how he wanted it to be, and intended to deal with it during editing.
Heck, I just thought of something else: maybe Leone really wanted to have it that Eve died alone with the pills, but when he realized he wouldn't have money for his fancy credit sequence and that he'd be using very simple credit titles, he decided he needed to open with a BANG and changed the script to have a shocking killing in the opening scene!! Wink]

Of course, considering that "Leone had ten hours of usable footage in the can" (STDWD, p. 458), it is very possible that different versions of certain plot points were shot, again either because the script was re-written on set, or because Leone deliberately intended to leave himself many options in the editing room. So even if a different version of Eve's death was indeed shot, that wouldn't bother me in the least bit. (On p. 459 when Frayling lists the 45-50 minutes of "significant material" that Leone cut to get the film down to 229 minutes -- which we have presumed will be the footage that is at least partially restored -- he says that among the scenes that were removed are  "Tuesday Weld as Cariol, telling Noodles about Max's syphilis from her rest home."Frayling makes no specific mention of Carol telling Noodles about Eve's death; while this doesn't necessarily mean it's not there, cuz Frayling doesn't quote those scenes word for word, it seems to me that it doesn't make much sense that Leone would have ever intended to include that scene in the final cut, considering that we see Eve getting killed in the opening scene.

Therefore, although the scene with Carol talking about Eve's death may have been shot initially, I am pretty confident in saying that by the time Leone was ready to release the movie, that part would not have been in there, even if the studio had allowed Leone to release as long a movie as he wanted to

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« Reply #242 on: April 30, 2012, 07:34:54 AM »

Pardon - I can't believe what you're saying, drinkanddestroy or your definition of "we".

I have 2 DVD versions of OUATIA, both with running times of approx 220 minutes, similar to the one described on the following web site:

http://msb247.awardspace.com/dvd.htm

I also have a VHS tape with a stated running time of 218 minutes together with several other versions.



I had never heard of a 220-minute version before, and the reason I wrote "we" is because judging by the comments here, it seems like none of the others have, either. But of course I am not saying that you are wrong about it.

According A1's website which you posted the link to, it seems the difference between the 220-minute and the 229-minute versions is entirely due to PAL vs. NTSC. So it's the exact same version of the movie, ie. there is nothing that is in one version and not the other, right? That's fine.

But in your initial post re: this, http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1302.msg156003#msg156003
you said that most "reliable sources contradict" the assertion that the version originally released in Europe was 229 minutes. I took that statement of yours to mean that according to reliable sources, the version originally released in Europe was different than the version we in America currently have on dvd. ie. There are some things that are in one version and not in the other, and not simply that it's the same version but with a different running time due to PAL vs. NTSC. But if I am wrong, and you meant that the film looks exactly the same, just different run times due to PAL vs. NTSC, then sorry I misunderstood  Embarrassed



« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 08:35:31 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #243 on: April 30, 2012, 12:02:31 PM »

Once, the DVDs you have are Pal versions. All runtimes in books and papers normally mention only the theatrical runtime

So again, even if in some books the theatrical runtime is given with 218 -220 min, I have never come across any uncut version shorter than the 227 -229 min. And in most sources I have the runtime is already given with 227 - 229 min. And I have never read anything that there was any difference in any country between the theatrical version of 1984, the than following VHS versions and the current DVD and Blu versions. Maybe there are some small differences how long the film runs after the credits or if there was some intermission music which one version has and the other not. But only maybe.

Well, you never know, but I'm 99% sure that there never was any uncut 218 or 220 min version (except the Pal ones, but which are then not different in their content)

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« Reply #244 on: April 30, 2012, 05:12:38 PM »

Either way, if the difference between the 220-minute version  and the 229-minute version is entirely due to the PAL/NTSC, and there is zero difference in content, then I wouldn't even refer to as "different versions of the movie"; the bottom line is that it is the exact same movie  Smiley

However, I just checked what ONCE cited, p. 541 of STDWD the "Complete Filmography" section, and it says:

"Running Times: It 218 mins, GB 228 mins, US 139 mins; US restored print 227 mins"

But if the shorter running time of the Europan version was due to the PAL/NTSC, then why is only the Italian version shorter, while the GB version is the same as the American? Does GB use NTSC? (If UK and Italy both use PAL, then this would indicate that the Italian version was indeed shorter than the UK version, so the are in fact two different versions of the movie, and not the same version just with different running times due to PAL/NTSC).


(p.s. I am not gonna focus on the difference between 218 min vs. 220 min., or 227 vs. 228; that sort of shit can be attributed to the cutting of  a minute or two of violence, or perhaps not counting the credits, or counting what is actually 228 minutes & 40 seconds simply as 228 minutes or 229 minutes. So I am not in any way concerned about on 227 vs. 229; or 218 vs. 220, etc. we're just focusing on what we are calling the 220 minute version vs. the 229 minute version  Smiley )


« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 05:27:34 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #245 on: May 01, 2012, 01:45:15 AM »

Either way, if the difference between the 220-minute version  and the 229-minute version is entirely due to the PAL/NTSC, and there is zero difference in content, then I wouldn't even refer to as "different versions of the movie"; the bottom line is that it is the exact same movie  Smiley

However, I just checked what ONCE cited, p. 541 of STDWD the "Complete Filmography" section, and it says:

"Running Times: It 218 mins, GB 228 mins, US 139 mins; US restored print 227 mins"

But if the shorter running time of the Europan version was due to the PAL/NTSC, then why is only the Italian version shorter, while the GB version is the same as the American? Does GB use NTSC? (If UK and Italy both use PAL, then this would indicate that the Italian version was indeed shorter than the UK version, so the are in fact two different versions of the movie, and not the same version just with different running times due to PAL/NTSC).



We're not talking here about Pal runtimes. All the sources of Once are mentioning a theatrical runtime (identical to a NTSC runtime). In that case there must be 2 versions of OUTA. But I have never heard of any differences between the released versions.


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« Reply #246 on: May 01, 2012, 02:01:03 AM »

I'm sure we'll all fed up with this debate on the theatrical running time in Italy and as drinkanddestroy says, it detracts from discussing the cuts and reasons why the promised 270 min version has not happened.

Feel free to dismiss as rubbish the written down quoted times of Cahiers Du Cinema (1984), Sergio Leone (1984), Andrea Leone, Oreste de Fornari, Frayling (STDWD P.541) and by deduction the official Cannes Festival site.



... and the running time quoted on the PAL DVD.
But yeah my guess is that we're actually discussing about the exact same version:
220 x 104% = 228.8 (also known as "229 min")
(104% is the coefficient of the infamous PAL Speedup)

« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 02:08:26 AM by noodles_leone » Logged


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« Reply #247 on: May 01, 2012, 03:39:05 AM »

I was reading an article recently that said the reason the version with Italian audio was shorter was that Italians are very animated and speak very quickly...Hmmm

I don't think the Italian theatrical release had shortened content so really the only other variable is frame rate or skipping frames.  I know that some sites say the recognized worldwide rate is 24 frames per second but perhaps it's not entirely correct.  I used to have a foreign film projector...


No, there are not such differences. Except for the silent film area all film run with 24 pic/sec. All runtimes of Italian films are identical to those which were screened elsewhere.

Then again. We have here 2 different possible runtimes which were quoted in books, interviews, magazines etc. . But, except for obviously cut versions, I have never read anything about 2 different versions of OUTA. Conclusion: one of the 2 runtimes is most likely wrong.
All the versions we have on VHS, DVD, Blu are in the end the 229 min version. And if we have a runtime based on the actual lenght in meters, it is also the 229 minversion. All books say that the Cannes version was 229 min, and that this version was released in every country which presented the film in its entirety.

As there is no actual evidence of this 220 min I can only assume there was some confusion of the actual runtime back in the 80s, maybe due to a simple typo (218 instead of 228) or something like that.

Once, why not just assume there is only the 229 min version we all know until we have an evidence for a shorter version which was also approved by Leone?
And btw (before I'm getting confused) which version was shorter in your opinion? Only the Italian release version?

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« Reply #248 on: May 01, 2012, 07:43:00 AM »

Once again, 220 min PAL = 229 min in 24fps or NTSC.
So what are we debating about?

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« Reply #249 on: May 01, 2012, 08:09:09 AM »

Once again, 220 min PAL = 229 min in 24fps or NTSC.
So what are we debating about?

Once thinks there was a 2nd theatrical version with a runtime of 220 min cause there are several books claiming it. A 2nd version which was approved by Leone .

Once, still if there was such a version there must have been some discussion anywhere about the differences to the 229 min version. But I never came across such a discussion, while every small difference in the other Leone films is widely discussed.  
Frayling has a 218 min version in the data part of his book, but he doesn't talk about such a version inside the book. It's always the 229 min version.
I never have read anything about differences between the Cannes version, the theatrical versions of 1984 and the actual DVD and Blu versions .

Harald Steinwender has researched the runtimes of the film from several key markets. But all the theatrical versions in France, Germany, Italy, GB and the USA have a 227 -229 min runtime. As have the DVDs. He also has the German VHS runtime of the late 80s and the TV runtime from the mid 90s (both were directly taken from a German 35 mm copy), and both also have the 229 min runtime.
The only explanation is that all the 220 min runtimes you have quoted are taken from a source which got it wrong. E.g. Cahiers du cinema surely haven't checked a theatrical copy, they took the information from another source, and that source must have made an simple error. It's the only explanation which makes sense to me.

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« Reply #250 on: May 01, 2012, 02:16:12 PM »

PAL & NTSC only relate to TV DVD etc. We are talking about Leone's original version shown in Cannes and in Italy.

Numerous sources quote the running time as 220 minutes, which makes sense of the statement that 25 minutes have been added bringing the total to 245 minutes.

Stanton is trying to convince me that Leone's original theatrical version shown in Italy was 229 minutes. Makes no sense to me.

so you are saying that the version shown in Cannes and Italy in 1984 were 9 minutes shorter than the version we all now have? (If so, do you know which scenes were removed? And more importantly,) if the Cannes article about the upcoming release is correct that it is 220 min + a new 25 mins. = 245 mins. total for the upcoming release, that means that in the upcoming version, those same 9 minutes will be removed. And that makes absolutely no sense. Even if it were true that the version released in Cannes and Italy in 1984 had 9 less minutes than the version we all now have, I find it very hard to believe that the new, restored version will add the new 25 minutes but remove those 9 minutes

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« Reply #251 on: May 01, 2012, 02:52:40 PM »

How many more times drinkanddestroy?

No no no. I don't think 9 minutes have been cut from the 229 minute version.

My best guess is it's down to a faster frame rate or skipped frames.

Remember my comment on the aspect ratio 1.85 ?

Leone was thinking about how the movie would look on TV before any filming took place.

you just said that PAL vs. NTSC is only applicable to tv/dv, not theaters!

So if the 1984 theatrical version was only 220 minutes, and in theaters the shorter length cannot be attributed to the PAL vs. NTSC, then it has to be that scenes were cut. How can you say that the PAL/NTSC is only applicable to dvd's, yet say that the shorter length of the theatrical release was due to faster frame rate or skipped frames? Isn't faster frame rate referring to the PAL/NTSC issue? Or are you talking about faster frame rate that has nothing to do with PAL?

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« Reply #252 on: May 01, 2012, 03:23:35 PM »

I am no expert in frame rates. However, I am 98% sure that movie projectors in cinemas and big festivals have shown movies in 24fps and nothing else since this format became the norm in the 20's. I'm not saying it's technologically impossible for them to do otherwise (I have no idea, although the analog ones I saw when working in a theater a few years ago certainly could not), but I can tell you that if a film had been shown inn anything else that 24fps at Cannes in 1984, there would have been lots of talk about it. Just look at what happens with The Hobbit right now: it's the first feature film shot in 48fps, and journalists who have seen the 10min projection ONLY talk about the frame rate right now. I'd add that most wannabe film makers that are going for the "cinema look" right now all try to shoot in 24fps because it looks much more filmic to our eyes (because features have been shot and shown in 24fps for 100 years now, while other frame rates like 25 or 30 have only been used for TV and video). There is a lot of talk about frame rate right now in the movie business and the general concensus is that 24fps looks much more filmic than anything else. I'd be very surprised that someone like Leone, who definitely cared a lot about his images, would agree to show his baby in anything else than 24fps just like that. Of course, he might have preferred 25fps to 24fps because higher frame rates are more lively and more modern... But I don't buy it AND he would brag about it everywhere (just like Jackson is doing right now).

So I would be very very surprised if the version shown in Cannes in 1984 was shown in anything else than 24fps, which would mean a running time of 229 if they had the very same version we all own on DVD/BD.
Which leaves the question brought up by Once totally unanswered: what about these "3h40" running time that Leone and everyone else was talking about at the time?

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« Reply #253 on: May 01, 2012, 03:38:49 PM »

Which leaves the question brought up by Once totally unanswered: what about these "3h40" running time that Leone and everyone else was talking about at the time?

Was there a beginning Overture, was there an Entr'acte/intermission in the original release that was later omitted?

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« Reply #254 on: May 01, 2012, 03:56:37 PM »

Ah that's interesting: I just found a review of the 2 hours version, published in 1984.

Quote
''Once Upon a Time in America'' is not a disaster on the order of ''Heaven's Gate.'' Having been cut from 3 hours and 47 minutes, which was its running time at this year's Cannes Festival, to its present time of 2 hours and 15 minutes, it plays like a long, inscrutable trailer for what might have been an entertaining movie.

http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9801E1D6143BF932A35755C0A962948260

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