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Coming Up in 2022: TCM to Team Up With Filmmaker in Search for Original Director's Cut of "The Magnificent Ambersons"


speedracer5
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https://deadline.com/2021/04/tcm-documentary-search-orson-welles-the-magnificent-ambersons-1234732933/?fbclid=IwAR0cCXoiHcFlYKKhHWwWVTIzolNh0leIYBVxakdPfTcHD4rF0GI5YzCrfj8

The gist of this article is that filmmaker, Joshua Grossberg, has been trying to locate Orson Welles' original 1942 cut of The Magnificent Ambersons for the past 25 years.  Along the way, he's also filming his attempts to find this lost footage that will ultimately be edited and cut together to create a cohesive documentary.  TCM is going to assist Grossberg with finishing the search and ultimately, the documentary, titled The Search for the Lost Print: The Making of Orson Welles' "The Magnificent Ambersons." Last year, Grossberg was planning on taking a research trip to Brazil to follow up on numerous leads that he's gotten regarding an additional print of the film that was sent to Welles in Brazil while he was working on a project.  Unfortunately, COVID got in the way and Grossberg has yet to make the journey.

TCM is going to sponsor Grossberg's trip to Brazil and in the off-chance that one of these leads pans out and the lost print is found. Providing that it's in decent shape, TCM is going to pay for the restoration, with hopes of airing the completed version in conjunction with the finished documentary in July 2022.

This is so exciting.  I really hope that Grossberg's leads are solid and that there really is a completed print of The Magnificent Ambersons in existence.  In 1942, RKO chopped out 43 minutes (43 minutes!!!) of footage. It'd be interesting to see what Welles' actual vision of the film was. 

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26 minutes ago, TheGrandMaster said:

I was under the impression the extra footage was burned. Good luck to him but I am not going to hold my breath. 

RKO supposedly burned the cut footage from the copy that they had; but there was a rumor that Welles had a second copy of the print, which is what the filmmaker is attempting to find.  In the article, TCM acknowledges that it's a long shot that Welles' film is still in Brazil and still in usable condition; but anything can happen.  Who knows what people have in storage somewhere.  Someone could be sitting on it, not even knowing what they have. 

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2 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

Who knows what people have in storage somewhere.  Someone could be sitting on it, not even knowing what they have. 

This unaired pilot of I LOVE LUCY was considered lost until the widow of actor/comedian Pepito Pérez, Joanne Pérez, who guest appeared twice on the series, notified CBS that she owned the sole copy. It had been given to Pepito by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball as a show of gratitude for his friendship. The opening and first few seconds of the pilot were damaged beyond repair. This scene was reconstructed for DVD in 2002 with a re-recorded narration by Bob LeMond, 50 years after his original performance; this episode was aired in a CBS special, tribute to Lucille Ball on April 30, 1990, hosted by Lucy's daughter, actress/entertainer Lucie Arnaz. It was released on DVD in 2002.

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3 hours ago, TheGrandMaster said:

I was under the impression the extra footage was burned. Good luck to him but I am not going to hold my breath. 

Wiki is now saying Orson had a rough cut with him in Brazil. I don't recall hearing that before. If they are announcing this it makes me think they might already have found something. I'm sure they remember Geraldo opening Capone's vault. I can't imagine they would talk this up without knowing something more. Still it's hard to imagine Orson just leaving it behind, though he was mercurial at times. 

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I think it's pretty exciting too. I'm only puzzled Peter Bogdanovich isn't involved, I thought he knew everything there was to know about Welles. I'd think if anything might be in existence, Bogdanovich would have been on it.

That said, I recall the discovery of thousands of films found in a swimming pool in Canada a couple decades ago.  Also found in a Canadian warehouse - tons of old 1920-40's film equipment, all in pristine condition. So you never know.

I like the film in it's present, truncated condition, can't imagine it better. 

Thanks for the synopsis of the story & link to read the original article. 

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6 hours ago, yanceycravat said:

This unaired pilot of I LOVE LUCY was considered lost until the widow of actor/comedian Pepito Pérez, Joanne Pérez, who guest appeared twice on the series, notified CBS that she owned the sole copy. It had been given to Pepito by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball as a show of gratitude for his friendship. The opening and first few seconds of the pilot were damaged beyond repair. This scene was reconstructed for DVD in 2002 with a re-recorded narration by Bob LeMond, 50 years after his original performance; this episode was aired in a CBS special, tribute to Lucille Ball on April 30, 1990, hosted by Lucy's daughter, actress/entertainer Lucie Arnaz. It was released on DVD in 2002.

Yes! I did know about this. I’ve seen the pilot. It’s the first episode on the first disc of the I Love Lucy: Season One DVDs. 

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It's always exciting for film fans to speculate (and, yes, fantasize) about lost footage of famous films being re-discovered somewhere. Rather famously, after James Mason purchased Buster Keaton's old home he discovered an editing film vault in which Buster had worked on his films (which the comedian forgot about), drilled open the lock and discovered some Keaton film treasures, including a superior print of The General, along with Parlor Bedroom and Bath.

We should be grateful to Mason because others had owned the same house without making this discovery, Cary Grant and Marlene Dietrich among them.

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