Godfather3 dint have any big scene in it either- thats why its most boring of th 3The Godfather III
actually had a pretty good scene. I liked the helicopter hit scene. It stood out for me. The hits at the end of the film during the opera presentation weren't bad. But we had been there before with the other two films. Granted, it was supposed to be one of the elements that all the films shared. I had no problem with a story that involved corruption with the Vatican. The story was just underdeveloped, the script was weak and there were casting problems. I think it was a case of going to the well one time too many.
You should perhaps keep in mind that OUATIA was only released in the 144 minute film in the US, so the 229-minute version wasn't exactly "rejected" by the public...
I think this is the key thing about OUATIA
if you're going to analyze its reception by a theater going audience. I think it's difficult to appraise OUATIA
by the box office or the year, particularly with the editing history. I think the reviews of the edited cut impacted the U.S. box office greatly. The targeted adult film going audience was discouraged to go see the film based upon the reviews and word of mouth on the short incomprehensible cut. And that some of the reviews indicated there was a superior longer cut not being shown, film goers that had an admiration for Leone or this kind of film, stayed away because they felt that they were being short changed.
I think that 1984 film list does a pretty good job listing the popular mainstream films. Although I noticed one surprising omission. One of the top three grossing films from that year is missing, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom
. I've seen quite a few of those films between cable movie channels and VHS rentals, most of them I've forgotten the details, and probably would not be inclined to check out again any time soon. Interesting to look at that list and think about 1984. I think you can begin to see the effects of the popularity of MTV and the music video culture. Also 1984 would be the year that would bring Miami Vice
on television. You're seeing films with a lot of popular music in their soundtracks and also quick cut editing. I think the blockbuster film mindset that was established with Jaws
and Star Wars
, and some of these other things on television had their influences on the films being released in the theaters.
If you look at that 1984 list some of the independent films of the year are not there like The Brother From Another Planet
and Stranger Than Paradise
. Also not included, with the exception of Amadeus
, are the "prestige", art and international films. I'm thinking of The Killing Fields
, A Passage To India
, A Soldier's Story
and so on. I think at this time, and perhaps with hindsight, this is where OUATIA
fit in. No doubt everyone involved with OUATIA
(even the misguided that decided to edit the film for the U.S. release), wanted a film that was critically and financially successful; that "bridged"
both categories....mainstream and prestige, art.
I think I want to say that despite some of the changes in film and television, OUATIA
would of still had a chance if only they had released the film in the original longer cut. They would of had to accept that the film would of had less showings which would of affected its profitability. It would of potentially boosted its critical reception which could of impacted its box office. Perhaps it would of garnered more accolades from the various critic societies and even been nominated for various things. I don't think I could say that it just wasn't a film for that time. If anything, it had something going for it. It would of been a film that could of potentially done well in the U.S. market and
the international markets (based upon appreciation of Leone in those markets). Also three years later another Italian filmmaker had a film that could of been dismissed as a film that possibly shouldn't be released in its time. It ended up winning the Academy Award for best picture of that year. The film didn't break any box office records, but it did end up making a profit in the U.S. market and also internationally. I guess you have to determine what "faring well" and being successful is. What are the acceptable degrees of profitability at the box office and appreciation of the film by the audience and critics.
Really, how OUATIA
has fared with audiences is an ongoing situation. Some people were lucky to see the uncut version in the theater at some time. Some were able to check it out uncut on VHS. Although consider that when OUATIA
was released on VHS the home video phenomenon was just beginning to explode after VHS triumphed. I think that the recent 2003 release on DVD is an even more important stage in bringing the uncut film version to the public. So really this is almost like a new period in how the film is being appreciated. I think a lot more people come out on the receiving the film positively side.