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dave jenkins
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« #15 : August 22, 2007, 09:41:19 AM »

I don't remember where, but somebody in another thread posted an interview with Raffaella Leone in which she stated her intention to show the additional 40 minutes of cut footage (including the scene with Louise Fletcher) at a film festival. There was no plan to reintegrate the material into the film, doubtless because of the missing audio.



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« #16 : August 22, 2007, 10:16:08 AM »

I don't remember where, but somebody in another thread posted an interview with Raffaella Leone in which she stated her intention to show the additional 40 minutes of cut footage (including the scene with Louise Fletcher) at a film festival. There was no plan to reintegrate the material into the film, doubtless because of the missing audio.
Here is the link:
http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=4045.15
But 3,40 hours + the added 40 minutes would make it "only" 4 hours and 20 minutes long.

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« #17 : August 22, 2007, 11:16:59 AM »

The length of the movie on the DVD is said to be 229 mins. An additional 40 minutes or so would make the total approximately 4 and a half hours.

However it is reported that by February 1983 Leone had 10 hours of useable footage in the can and with help from his editor this was pruned to 6 hours. Moreover just because Leone had used dubbing extensively in his previous films, it may be assuming things to say that there is no sound associated with this footage.  Robert De Niro ideally wanted all the actors to have a Brooklyn accent and Leone is quoted as saying that 65% of the sound of the film was recorded direct. 

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« #18 : August 22, 2007, 06:41:27 PM »

It's always confusing on how many cuts exist and how complete they were.  I also understood that Raffaella Leone in that article had stated that they were restoring 40 minutes of footage which needed to be dubbed.  Once completed, it would possibly be shown at the Venice Film Festival (don't remember a year was given as possible target).  She stated quite clearly the footage would never be added back into the current 229 minute version that is on DVD.  (One could speculate that the separate deleted scenes would be added to an anniversary or high def DVD at some point in the future as added special features)

Recently, I was looking through a periodical data base, and I found an article from the Los Angeles Times on the NBC television broadcast of OUATIA in 1987.  In the article, the gentleman that handled the editing for television told the reporter that there were many versions of the film and that the European version was 4 hr 40 minutes.  Either he had his facts incorrect....or maybe the footage was in Italian and needed to be dubbed in English?  Not sure what to make of it....I thought the 229 min version on DVD was the same as the Cannes Film Festival version (which would of been the European version)

Here's the article.  I'm posting it here for the remark on the editing, and actually the article is kind of interesting to read on its own about the television treatment and reception of the film.  (I did delete some additional television notes on other programs that came at the end of the article.  Most of the article and column was on OUATIA)  


ONCE UPON A TIME UNHAPPILY EVER AFTER; [Home Edition]
HOWARD ROSENBERG. Los Angeles Times  Los Angeles, Calif.: Aug 12, 1987. pg. 10  

Once Upon a Time in Television. . . . NBC aired Sergio Leone's sweeping-yet-intimate gangster epic "Once Upon a Time in America" in two confusing parts Sunday and Monday.

Actually, NBC's was the fourth version of the movie, running three hours and 12 minutes, not including commercials. Leone's original European version ran about four hours and 40 minutes, according to film editor Hubert De La Bouillerie, who was hired by Warner Bros. to edit the movie for NBC. A much-truncated, much-excoriated version-which Leone reportedly despised and virtually disowned-was released theatrically in the United States, followed by the airing of a longer, more satisfying version on pay TV.

Which returns us to the "Once Upon a Time in America" that ran on NBC.

As expected, Leone's most violent and sexually explicit sequences did not survive the recutting. Others were omitted because of time constraints or were shifted out of their original context.

Consequently, portions of this flawed-but-scintillating movie were unintelligible, and viewers who hadn't seen either of the longer versions must have wondered what was happening.

In Part 2, for example, the playful attempt of Tuesday Weld's character to identify the masked gangster with whom she'd earlier had sex made no sense because the sex sequence was omitted from the appropriate scene in Part 1. You could hear her moans in the background, but out of context they sounded like agony-as if she were being throttled-instead of ecstasy.

The real jolt came midway through Part 2 with the appearance of a 10-minute reprise of the beginning of Part 1. A flashback and other scenes you had already watched inexplicably appeared again. Why?

Because NBC ordered it, De La Bouillerie said.

Meanwhile, Part 1 ended awkwardly, just as a new subplot was beginning, and Part 2 resumed just as awkwardly.

"What can you do?" De La Bouillerie said. "You have to have two 96-minute segments, so you're stuck. They end where they end."

He explained that the editing for the NBC version was the result of negotiations among NBC, Warners, Leone and the movie's producer, Arnon Milchan. "NBC sent editing notes to Leone," De La Bouillerie said. "He sent back his notes. Then they sent him their notes, and finally he approved them. He wasn't happy about it, but he did approve them, probably because he was so unhappy about the theatrical release and wanted to get another version on TV.

"And I had to follow their notes," added De La Bouillerie. But he did work from Leone's original European version of the film and thus included some scenes previously unseen in the United States.

"I tried to keep the flow and I tried to keep as much of the integrity of Leone as possible. At least we were able to save a film, which isn't always the case."

Indeed. Even this cut-up version did not diminish the performances: Robert De Niro as Noodles, James Woods as Max and Elizabeth McGovern as Deborah, and Scott Schutzman, Rusty Jacobs and Jennifer Connelly in those roles as kids. Nor did it obscure Ennio Morricone's haunting score, Tonino Delli Colli's camera craft or Leone's hand in shaping this memorable odyssey.

The heavier hand of NBC was another matter in continuing the practice of injecting obnoxious voice-over promos for other programs into movie-ending credits while the mood and music of the story still linger.


  

« : August 22, 2007, 08:03:58 PM Noodles_SlowStir »
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« #19 : August 22, 2007, 07:13:20 PM »

It's always confusing on how many cuts exist and how complete they were.  I also understood that Rafaella Leone in that article had stated that they were restoring 40 minutes of footage which needed to be dubbed.  Once completed, it would possibly be shown at the Venice Film Festival (don't remember a year was given as possible target).  She stated quite clearly the footage would never be added back into the current 229 minute version that is on DVD.  (One could speculate that the separate deleted scenes would be added to an anniversary or high def DVD at some point in the future as added special features)

Recently, I was looking through a periodical data base, and I found an article from the Los Angeles Times on the NBC television broadcast of OUATIA in 1987.  In the article, the gentleman that handled the editing for television told the reporter that there were many versions of the film and that the European version was 4 hr 40 minutes.  Either he had his facts incorrect....or maybe the footage was in Italian and needed to be dubbed in English?  Not sure what to make of it....I thought the 229 min version on DVD was the same as the Cannes Film Festival version (which would of been the European version)

Here's the article.  I'm posting it here for the remark on the editing, and actually the article is kind of interesting to read on its own about the television treatment and reception of the film.  (I did delete some additional television notes on other programs that came at the end of the article.  Most of the article and column was on OUATIA)  


ONCE UPON A TIME UNHAPPILY EVER AFTER; [Home Edition]
HOWARD ROSENBERG. Los Angeles Times  Los Angeles, Calif.: Aug 12, 1987. pg. 10  

Once Upon a Time in Television. . . . NBC aired Sergio Leone's sweeping-yet-intimate gangster epic "Once Upon a Time in America" in two confusing parts Sunday and Monday.

Actually, NBC's was the fourth version of the movie, running three hours and 12 minutes, not including commercials. Leone's original European version ran about four hours and 40 minutes, according to film editor Hubert De La Bouillerie, who was hired by Warner Bros. to edit the movie for NBC. A much-truncated, much-excoriated version-which Leone reportedly despised and virtually disowned-was released theatrically in the United States, followed by the airing of a longer, more satisfying version on pay TV.

Which returns us to the "Once Upon a Time in America" that ran on NBC.

As expected, Leone's most violent and sexually explicit sequences did not survive the recutting. Others were omitted because of time constraints or were shifted out of their original context.

Consequently, portions of this flawed-but-scintillating movie were unintelligible, and viewers who hadn't seen either of the longer versions must have wondered what was happening.

In Part 2, for example, the playful attempt of Tuesday Weld's character to identify the masked gangster with whom she'd earlier had sex made no sense because the sex sequence was omitted from the appropriate scene in Part 1. You could hear her moans in the background, but out of context they sounded like agony-as if she were being throttled-instead of ecstasy.

The real jolt came midway through Part 2 with the appearance of a 10-minute reprise of the beginning of Part 1. A flashback and other scenes you had already watched inexplicably appeared again. Why?

Because NBC ordered it, De La Bouillerie said.

Meanwhile, Part 1 ended awkwardly, just as a new subplot was beginning, and Part 2 resumed just as awkwardly.

"What can you do?" De La Bouillerie said. "You have to have two 96-minute segments, so you're stuck. They end where they end."

He explained that the editing for the NBC version was the result of negotiations among NBC, Warners, Leone and the movie's producer, Arnon Milchan. "NBC sent editing notes to Leone," De La Bouillerie said. "He sent back his notes. Then they sent him their notes, and finally he approved them. He wasn't happy about it, but he did approve them, probably because he was so unhappy about the theatrical release and wanted to get another version on TV.

"And I had to follow their notes," added De La Bouillerie. But he did work from Leone's original European version of the film and thus included some scenes previously unseen in the United States.

"I tried to keep the flow and I tried to keep as much of the integrity of Leone as possible. At least we were able to save a film, which isn't always the case."

Indeed. Even this cut-up version did not diminish the performances: Robert De Niro as Noodles, James Woods as Max and Elizabeth McGovern as Deborah, and Scott Schutzman, Rusty Jacobs and Jennifer Connelly in those roles as kids. Nor did it obscure Ennio Morricone's haunting score, Tonino Delli Colli's camera craft or Leone's hand in shaping this memorable odyssey.

The heavier hand of NBC was another matter in continuing the practice of injecting obnoxious voice-over promos for other programs into movie-ending credits while the mood and music of the story still linger.


  

Great article Noodles!!! Thanks for posting this.  :)




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