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Killer of Sheep (1977): UNCUT VERSION - NOT AIRED ON TCM


Metropolisforever
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The music of the final scene was initially Dinah Washington's 1959 version of "Unforgettable", but the restorers were unable to get the rights for the 2007 release and "This Bitter Earth" was substituted instead. This was the only song for which usage rights could not be arranged.

 

This makes me VERY angry. Why couldn't they secure the rights?

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Burnett said that they tried to get the rights, but whoever had them would just not let go. "This Bitter Earth" actually plays twice. It was originally used with Stan's lonely dance with his wife and then reinserted at the slaughterhouse ending. You have to realize the whole reason KOS could not come to video for years is because Burnett never secured the rights to these songs. As a result, the only way you could see the film was an actual theatre showing. In bringing the film to DVD they were able to secure all the rights but this one song. This is actually a marvelous achievement considering all the individual holders and copyright laws.

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>You have to realize the whole reason KOS could not come to video for years is because Burnett never secured the rights to these songs. As a result, the only way you could see the film was an actual theatre showing. In bringing the film to DVD they were able to secure all the rights, but this one song which is actually a marvolus achievement considering all the individual holders and copyright laws.

 

I already know that. In my opinion, they should never have tried to re-release the film. They should have left it alone.

 

Message was edited by: Metropolisforever

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Films are recut and edited all the time. I don't like it, but unfortunately it happens. As for KOS, I'd say we got off light. Having "This Bitter Earth" reprise actually adds an interesting new dimension to the film. Burnett made the choice on the replacement music and I personally think he did a great job with what he had to work with.

 

While I agree with you that films should be uncut and unedited, I would personally rather have the film than not have it. Welles Magnificent Ambersons cutting by studio heads at RKO was one of the worst travesties of celluoid, but I still love the film in spite of the cuts and butchered ending.

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In my opinion...

 

No movie at all > Edited movie

 

I would rather have no movie at all.

 

For three decades, Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep had been one of those legendary films passed around like a secret jewel among moviegoers lucky enough to have seen it. It was like a specter - a movie "ghost". Made in 1977 as a thesis project at the UCLA film school and never commercially released because of legal battles over music rights, Killer of Sheep was declared a national treasure by the Library of Congress in 1990 and has been named one of the 100 essential films of all time by the National Society of Film Critics. Yet it was shown only at small festivals, on the college circuit, and on low-quality bootlegs. Shot over a year of weekends in the Los Angeles ghetto of Watts on 16mm black-and-white film, Burnett's movie should have been left alone.

 

Message was edited by: Metropolisforever

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> No movie at all > Edited movie

 

I'd use the term "director's cut" myself.

 

I'm glad TCM showed it, even if copyright issues foced Burnett to change one of the songs.

 

The constant whining and shrieking that TCM isn't showing things exactly the way one individual poster wants is extremely irritating.

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