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Unreleased and/or Unfinished Films...


Metropolisforever
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Have you ever seen one?

 

Unfinished films always leave us begging for more - wondering how it would end if the film was ever finished.

 

Some of these films are watchable, and some are not.

 

In fact, many films were finished, but never released.

 

Some of these films were later finished/released. In fact, some of them were finished/released after the director's death.

 

This is a discussion thread about unfinished and/or unreleased films.

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"Something's Got to Give"

 

Something's Got to Give is one of the most notorious unfinished films in Hollywood history. The light bedroom comedy, a remake of My Favorite Wife, was produced in 1962 by a then-floundering 20th Century Fox. The film paired the studio's most bankable star of the 1950s ? Marilyn Monroe ? with Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse. With a troubled star and belligerent director, George Cukor, causing delays on a daily basis the film quickly descended into a costly debacle. The death of Marilyn Monroe resulted in the film's cancellation, and the film's rushes were shelved.

 

 

On June 1, 1962 Monroe, Martin and Wally Cox shot a scene in the courtyard set. The day marked Monroe's 36th birthday, though the studio didn't even buy a cake. Monroe's stand-in, Evelyn Moriarty, bought a seven dollar sheet cake at the Los Angeles Farmer's Market. A studio illustrator drew a cartoon of a nude Monroe holding a towel which read "Happy Birthday Suit". This was to be used as a birthday card, the cast and crew signed it. The cast attempted to celebrate when Marilyn arrived; however Cukor blew up and insisted they wait until 6 pm because, he "wanted to get a full day's work out of this woman." It would be Monroe's last day on the set. She left the party with co-star Wally Cox. She borrowed the fur trimmed suit she had worn while filming that day because she was to attend a Muscular Dystrophy fund raiser at Dodger Stadium that evening with her former husband Joe DiMaggio and co-star Dean Martin's young son.

 

Monroe was to be replaced with actress Lee Remick, who was fitted into Monroe's costumes and photographed with Cukor. But Dean Martin had leading lady approval and stated, "No Marilyn, no picture." The project seemingly ended there.

 

Plans to resume filming in October were abandoned when Monroe died on August 5th.

 

Realizing they had thrown $2 million away, Fox decided to re-hire Monroe. They agreed to pay her more than her previous salary of $100,000; however she had to agree to make two more films for Fox. She accepted the offer on the condition that George Cukor be replaced with Jean Negulesco, who had directed her in How to Marry a Millionaire.

 

Fox later produced another version of the script, more closely resembling the original 1940 film. Titled Move Over, Darling and starring Doris Day and James Garner, it was released in December 1963.

 

Nine hours of footage from the film sat in the vaults at 20th Century Fox until 1999, when it was digitally restored by Prometheus Entertainment and reconstructed into a semi-coherent, 32-minute segment for the two-hour documentary, Marilyn: The Final Days. It first aired on American Movie Classics on June 1, 2001, which would have been Monroe's 75th birthday. It is available on DVD.

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QUEEN KELLY (1929)..... The silent film that bankrupted Gloria Swanson (she was the producer with Joe Kennedy) and finished off Erich von Stroheim's Hollywood career as a director. Eventually they hobbled together a version (which was shown in Europe) after failed attempts to turn it into a part-talkie.

 

The existing version wasn't seen in the USA til the mid-80s....

 

After her huge success in SADIE THOMPSON in 1928, the ill-fated QUEEN KELLY almost finished off Swanson in Hollywood as well, but she made another comeback in her talkie debut in THE TRESPASSER in 1929, a quickie film made with Edmund Goulding.

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Dark Blood (circa 1993)

 

about a character named Boy (played by River Phoenix). Boy is a widower who lives as a hermit on a nuclear testing site, waiting for the end of the world while making dolls that he believed had magical powers. Boy ends up helping a couple (played by Jonathan Pryce and Judy Davis) when their car breaks down as they are traveling through the desert. Dark Blood was written by Jim Barton and directed by George Sluizer.

 

Dark Blood was never completed due to the death of River Phoenix in 1993. The crew was 11 days shy of completing production. After Phoenix's death, his mother was sued because of loss of expenses, as the film had to be abandoned.

 

As of late, what was finished of the film is owned entirely by director George Sluizer (also known for the movie The Vanishing). He has hinted that he intends to use it as footage in a documentary about River's life.

 

Recently, some raw footage of River Phoenix in Dark Blood has shown up on YouTube. This is the last released footage of River Phoenix, and the only part of the film made public, and can be viewed!

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The Other Side of the Wind is an unreleased 1972 film directed by Orson Welles (who also directed Citizen Kane) and starring John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, Dennis Hopper and St?phane Audran. The film featured Huston as an aging arthouse director with a string of commercial flops, who seeks to make one more film laden with sex and violence to revive his flagging career.

 

Like many of Welles' personally-funded films, the project was filmed and re-edited on and off for several years - work on the script started in the late 1960s, in 1972 Welles said that filming was "96% complete", and by 1976 it was on the brink of completion. Serious financial problems dogged the project, and Welles's use of funds from the brother-in-law of the Shah of Iran came back to haunt him after the Shah was overthrown in 1979. A complex, decades-long legal battle over the ownership of the film ensued, with the original negative remaining in a vault in Paris. By 1998 all legal matters had been resolved and the Showtime cable network had guaranteed end money to complete the film, when a new lawsuit by Welles' daughter Beatrice was filed, causing Showtime to withdraw its funding. As of summer 2006, that legal dispute had been settled and the search for end money has continued.

 

Bogdanovich, a huge Welles aficionado and expert, announced in 2004 that he plans to restore this film and release it soon. Details of the release, however, are murky at best. The main reservation Welles fans have is that while footage for almost the entire film exists, editing it together in Welles' experimental style may prove difficult. Whilst Bogdanovich was a close friend of Welles, the only precedent for releasing an incomplete film of his was the 1993 re-edit of Don Quixote by Jesus Franco, which was very poorly received.

 

Welles himself completed editing 50 minutes of the film and reportedly left additional editing notes. Two edited scenes (in workprint form) can be seen in the documentary film "Orson Welles: One Man Band", which is available as a bonus feature on the Criterion Collection DVD release of F for Fake. The scenes included in the documentary are a press conference scene featuring Huston and Bogdanovich, and an explicit sexual scene featuring Oja Kodar.

 

At a March 29, 2007 appearance during the 16th Florida Film Festival, Peter Bogdanovich responded to a question about the status of the film. He announced that the four parties involved had come to an agreement earlier that week and that the film would be edited and released in the very near future.

 

Bogdanovich states in an April 2, 2007 press report that a deal to complete the film is "99.9% finished," with a theatrical release planned for late 2008.

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The "Other" "Infamous " unfinished film is:

 

The Day the Clown Cried

This unfinished and unreleased 1972 film directed by and starring Jerry Lewis. It is based on a book of the same name by Joan O'Brien, who had co-written the original script with Charles Denton ten years prior. Based upon the controversy, it has become somewhat infamous among film historians and movie buffs for a film that has never officially been released.

 

fIt's a film about Nazi concentration camps directed by Jerry Lewis. Some bits of behind-the-scenes-footage have been found, as well as production stills. But that is it!

 

 

Look this film up on the internet!! It is "VERY" interesting!!

 

Also there is:

 

"I Love Lucy", a feature film version of the popular sitcom which combined three episodes with new scenes added. MGM demanded the film be shelved because they felt it would diminish interest in "The Long, Long Trailer". After one test screening, the film was shelved and forgotten.

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Also there is "Uncle Tom's Fairy Tales" (1968)

 

Directed by Penelope Spheeris and starring Richard Pryor. It was never released as it was an unfinished product. The only known negative of the film was said to have been shredded by Pryor after a disagreement with his wife at the time

 

However in June 2005, scenes from the film appeared in a retrospective while Pryor was being honored by the Directors Guild of America. In August 2005, Pryor and his wife and attorney-in-fact, Jennifer Lee-Pryor, filed a lawsuit against Spheeris and Pryor's own daughter, Rain.

 

The suit claims that Spheeris and Pryor's daughter conspired to take the surviving film from his home sometime in the mid-1980s. According to the suit, he contacted Spheeris after the tribute. She allegedly revealed she had given the footage to the Academy Film Archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and intended to give the film to Rain.

Pryor died in December 2005 but the suit is still currently pending.

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Actually, The Day the Clown Cried DOES survive. Lewis reportedly has the only known videocassette copy of the film, which he keeps in his office. The location of the film negative is unknown. He refuses to discuss the film. Occasionally, the film is shown at exclusive screenings organized by longtime Hollywood insiders. Their source for the film is unknown. Several years ago, a man mentioned the film to Lewis during one of Lewis' motivational speeches, indicating that the man had heard the film might be released. Lewis replied "None of your **** business!"

 

On October 23, 2007, the I Love Lucy film was released on DVD. It is available on a bonus disc in the I Love Lucy complete series box set.

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Another notorious film:

 

The Fantastic Four (1994)

 

This film had a very low budget and horrible special effects. Following the announcement of the cancellation of the film's release, a rumor spread that the studio intended this version of the Fantastic Four to be the film equivalent of an ashcan copy: they had the legal rights to create a film based on the Fantastic Four, but they were not ready to produce a big budget film. However, they needed to produce something or else they would lose the legal right to the characters. Apparently, the studio misled everyone involved in the making of this film by letting them believe it was going to be a genuine release rather than a way to maintain their license on the property. Corman since confirmed that this was indeed the case. In an interview with filmmaker Kevin Smith, Fantastic Four creator Stan Lee said that, unbeknown to the cast and crew, this movie was never intended to be released, and was made only because the studio who owned the rights to make a Fantastic Four movie would have lost the rights if they did not begin production by a certain date. However, the film has leaked onto the Internet, and many bootleg copies are available. In a list of the "50 Top Comic Movies of All Time (...and Some So Bad You've Just Got to See Them)," Wizard Magazine ranked this film higher than Batman & Robin, Steel, Virus and Red Sonja, all of which were released in theaters.

 

Ffmovie1994.jpg

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The Pied Piper of Cleveland: A Day in the Life of a Famous Disc Jockey

 

American musical documentary film produced in the fall of 1955 documenting the career of disc jockey Bill Randle. Arthur Cohen directed the film, which was produced by Bill Randle himself.

 

 

Included in the film was live footage shot at several live shows at local high schools and auditoriums on and around October 20, 1955. Performers featured included Elvis Presley, Bill Haley and His Comets, Pat Boone, LaVern Baker, Roy Hamilton, Johnnie Ray and others. This was the first film Presley ever appeared in, and is the "movie short" referred to by Randle when he introduced Presley on his first national TV appearance on The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show in early 1956. It was Bill Haley's second film appearance after his group appeared in the 1954 short film, Round Up of Rhythm.

 

The original forty-eight minute film was supposed to be cut down to a twenty minute "short" for national distribution, but never made it that far. As of 2005, 50 years after its was produced, the movie remains unreleased. There is some dispute over whether or not this film actually exists, although it was shown publicly, albeit only once in Cleveland, and excerpts were also aired on a Cleveland television station in 1956.

 

According to music historian Jim Dawson, Randle, before his death, sold the rights to the film to PolyGram, although it has been reported that Universal Studios has the negatives of the film in its vaults.

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I don't know if I'm giving double info ...but here it goes;

 

 

unreleased low-budget feature film completed in 1994. Created to secure copyright to the property, the producers never intended it for release ? although the director and other creators were not informed of this fact. It was produced by Roger Corman (famous for his low-budget productions) and Bernd Eichinger (who also produced another Fantastic Four movie in 2005). The film was based on the popular comic book by Marvel Comics and featured the origin of the Fantastic Four and their first battle with the evil Doctor Doom and a mysterious Mole Man-like creature.

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Then there is "Great Day"!!

 

"Great Day" is one of those mystery productions that was started and shut down before its completion. The film was very close to completion, but the studio, and Joan, supposedly didn't like what they were seeing. They mutually decided to go into major rewrites to save the film with the plan to go back to shooting with the newly revised script by the following year, in 1931. It never happened and "Great Day," was never released. However, there seems to be a much bigger story to the movie that never was. Tantalizing references to "Great Day" are out there, but anyone researching it finds there are many dead ends. It's as if someone had tried to erase its existence. And there's a very good reason for that - someone did.

 

Production started in the fall of 1930, but after around 8 weeks of shooting, the film was scrapped at considerable cost to the studio ($280,000 according to Joan and US), largely due to Joan's extreme unhappiness with her southern belle performance ("I just can't talk baby talk," Joan told LB Mayer after viewing the rushes, which she thought were "God-awful.")

 

"Great Day" began as a Vincent Youmans musical purchased by M-G-M to be tailored to Joan Crawford's talents. The 1929 show had not been a success on Broadway, lasting only twenty-nine performances. But its songs (with lyrics by Billy Rose and Edward Eliscu) had been memorable. They included the title tune, another called "Without A Song", and lastly, one of the all-time standards, "More Than You Know." It was the popularity of the music that encouraged MGM to buy the rights for the film version.

 

Another effort was made to make the film in 1934, this time starring Jeanette MacDonald, but this also fell through.

 

For years, "Great Day" was referred to only briefly, if at all, in Joan's filmographies. One of the strangest facts surrounding the film was that all MGM production records for this "A" feature had disappeared, yet, records for many other uncompleted movies had survived. Why?

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One of the most notorious films of all time:

 

**** Blues is an unreleased documentary film directed by Robert Frank chronicling The Rolling Stones' North American tour in 1972 in support of their album Exile on Main Street.

 

There was much anticipation for the band's arrival, with them having not visited the United States since the 1969 disaster at Altamont Free Concert, in which a fan, Meredith Hunter, was stabbed and beaten to death by Hells Angels. The tour fulfilled its promise of tremendous rock and roll performances on stage. Behind the scenes, the tour embodied debauchery, lewdness and hedonism.

 

The film was shot cin?ma v?rit?, with several cameras with plenty of film left lying around for anyone in the entourage to pick up and start shooting. This allowed the film's audience to witness backstage parties, drug use, roadie antics, fey artists and the Stones with their defenses down.

 

"**** Blues" was the title of a song Mick Jagger wrote to be the Stones' final single for Decca Records, as per their contract. Its context and language was chosen specifically to anger Decca executives. The track was refused by Decca and only released later on a West German compilation in 1983, although the compilation was discontinued and re-released without the song.

 

The film itself is under a court order which forbids it from being shown unless the director is physically present. This ruling stems from the conflict that arose when the band, which had commissioned the film, decided that its content was inappropriate and didn't want it shown. The director felt otherwise and thus the ruling. However, bootleg copies of the film are available. It has somewhat of a popular aura surrounding it around fellow rockers, such as Marilyn Manson who mentioned viewing it and seeing his living room in it (parts of it were filmed at the Mary Astor House, on Appian Way in Laurel Canyon where Manson has resided since late 1997).

 

The film is sometimes mentioned in popular culture.

 

NOTE: The TCM profanity filter has removed the title of the film. The title is "C*cksucker Blues".

 

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Humor Risk (1921)

 

This was the first (but never released) Marx Brothers film, and is listed by the Internet Movie Database as lost. The print may have been accidentally thrown away when left in the screening box overnight, or Groucho may have intentionally burnt the negative after a particularly bad premiere screening. (Groucho attempted to destroy their 1929 film, The Cocoanuts, but the studio stopped him - The Cocoanuts would turn out to be a smash hit.)

 

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The biggest "UNRELEASED" film:

 

Letty Lynton (now considered the "lost" Crawford film) MGM, 1932.

Directed by Clarence Brown, 84 minutes. Based on the 1931 novel by Marie Belloc Lowndes, which was based on the actual story of a Scottish girl named Madeleine Smith who attempted to poison her lover. Here, Joan stars as Letty, a socialite who has a vacation debauche with a South American (Nils Asther) who then returns to New York City to stalk her. Robert Montgomery co-stars as her new love interest.

 

Letty is not widely available today because of a court case that MGM lost in 1936. Explains Mark Litwak on the filmmaking.com site:

 

In Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corp., MGM attempted to secure the movie rights to Edward Sheldon's copyrighted play ?Dishonored Lady.? The play was based, in part, on a true historical incident in the public domain. When MGM was unsuccessful in negotiating to obtain the rights to the play, the studio produced a movie of its own, ?Letty Lynton,? based on the same historical incidents that were the basis for Sheldon?s play. Although much of this movie was original, certain details and sequences of events were identical to those expressed in Sheldon?s play. The lower court held for MGM on the grounds that the material borrowed only involved general themes or ideas.

 

The appellate court disagreed concluding that there was an infringement. The court found that MGM?s work was identical in details and sequence of events to Sheldon?s work in matters unrelated to the underlying true story. The court reasoned that this borrowing was more than merely appropriating an idea or a theme. Some of the details and sequences of events in Sheldon?s play that were not historical facts in the public domain were also present in MGM?s movie. The court concluded that it didn?t matter that the plagiarized material comprised only a small portion of the film because it is not acceptable to steal a little bit

 

Also it was banned in the UK on the grounds that it "justified homicide without penalty".

 

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"Convention City"

 

"Convention CIty" was a 1933 pre-Code film that was ordered destroyed by Jack Warner, head of Warner Bros., due to the film being banned due to the Production Code, which took effect 1 July 1934. No copies of the film are known to exist, although there are reportedly Vitaphone discs of the soundtrack.

 

It was directed by Archie Mayo, written by Robert Lord, and starred Joan Blondell, Guy Kibbee, Dick Powell, Mary Astor, and Adolphe Menjou.

 

The plot revolved around drunk and ****-up employees of the Honeywell Rubber Company at a convention in Atlantic City, and had reportedly had no redeeming social elements. Dr. James Wingate, chair of the Motion Picture Division of the State of New York Department of Education ? which oversaw the state's censorship board ? described it as "a pretty rowdy picture, dealing largely with drunkenness, blackmail, and lechery, and without any particularly sympathetic characters or elements." Script changes, suggested by Wingate, Jason S. Joy (director of the Studio Relations Committee), and production head Hal Wallis were nominally incorporated into the script. When Convention City was released, it averaged twenty cuts per state board.

 

Because of the lewdness of the film and lack of influence of the Studio Relations Committee, which was supposed to control objectionable content, Convention City and films like it led to the creation of Production Code Administration, led by Joseph I. Breen.

 

In 1936, Jack Warner attempted to re-release Convention City in a censored form, but Joseph I. Breen deemed it beyond redemption in any form. Warner, not wanting to refuse distribution of a film in his possession, systematically destroyed all prints, the original camera negative, and the fine-grain positive.[2] While it is possible that a print of the film exists, it seems unlikely.

 

However, more recently Patrick Picking from The Vitaphone Project has questioned the conventional story of the film's destruction. The Summer/Fall 2006 installment of the project's newsletter reproduces a theatre advertisement showing the film on the bottom half of a double bill with Charlie Chan on Broadway; given that the latter film was released in 1937, the implication is that, contrary to the usual story, Warner's were indeed still circulating the film after it had supposedly been destroyed

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Well for 1 you dont; have to be rude..Yes I may have gotton my info off "Wikipedia" but hate to tell U I have heard about "Convention City" (1933) from many sources incld books, & a several film classes I took several years ago!

If you look on IMBD (Movie Database) they state simply: No copies of this film can be found. Please check your attic.

 

There is also a comment from someone on IMBD by the name of: F Gwynplaine MacIntyre (Borroloola@earthlink.net) from Minffordd, North Wales which he states:

 

I have not seen 'Convention City', and it's highly unlikely that any print of this film still exists. In 1943, Jack L. Warner ordered the Warner Brothers archivists to burn all known prints of "Convention City", plus the negative. In 1995, Film Forum in New York City borrowed the "Convention City" screenplay from Warner Brothers' script library.

For ten years after its 1933 release, "Convention City" was the subject of rumours and curiosity. Warner Brothers were besieged with requests from fraternal lodges and other groups hoping to rent "Convention City" for private showings at bachelor parties, etc. This would have been legal, as a movie screening for private audiences did not require an exhibition certificate from the Hays or Breen Office. But Jack Warner personally denied all such requests, as he did not want to antagonise the Breen Office ... whose good graces he very much needed, in order to continue getting exhibition certificates for other Warner Brothers films. To end the controversy, Warner eventually issued the order to destroy all copies of "Convention City".

 

However, a private film collector (who has tracked down and obtained several "lost" films) has told me about rumours that several prints of "Convention City" were smuggled off the Warners lot in the late 1930s, to be screened illegally in road-house bookings and at "smoker" parties. A well-worn print of this notorious raunchfest may turn up one day. But "Convention City" has long since been out-raunched by many other films. 'Convention City' is sleazy by 1933 standards; from a modern viewpoint, this movie is merely in very bad taste!

 

So there you go! Another Viewpoint!

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allmovie.com

Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Practically every member of the Warner Bros. stock company except Glenda Farrell shows up in the rowdy, raunchy pre-Code comedy Convention City. Joan Blondell plays Nancy Lorraine, an enterprising lass who is employed by a big-city hotel as a "hostess" for out-of-town conventioneers. She spends a great deal of the film in the company of small-town businessman George Ellerbe (Guy Kibbee), who goes to great lengths to avoid his nagging wife (Ruth Donnelly). Weaving in and out of the proceedings are inveterate practical jokers Goodwin (Frank McHugh) and Hotstetter (Hugh Herbert), who use the convention as an excuse for a three-day binge. The plot rears its ugly head when Nancy finds her affections torn between slick CEO T.R. Kent (Adolphe Menjou) and handsome young salesman Jerry Ford (Dick Powell). The New York Times described it as, "Not a dull foot. One of the few comedies that can truthfully be called positive entertainment." Unfortunately, there are no known surviving prints of Convention City, so it remains one of the era's many "lost films."

 

Movies with the Same Personnel

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933, Mervyn LeRoy)

Page Miss Glory (1935, Mervyn LeRoy)

Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935, Busby Berkeley)

There's One Born Every Minute (1942, Harold Young)

Stage Struck (1936, Busby Berkeley)

The Merry Wives of Reno (1934, H. Bruce Humberstone)

Footlight Parade (1933, Lloyd Bacon)

Twenty Million Sweethearts (1934, Ray Enright

 

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