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♠ THE SWARM (1978) returns to the air! ♠


Mr. Gorman
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Greetings, peeps.  I see THE SWARM is scheduled to air at 8:30 AM Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, October 26th.   And this screening looks to be the full version Irwin Allen wanted to release in '78 before Warner Bros. had the film cut down to its 116 minute theatrical run time.

Note the programming ▬ block ▬ has THE SWARM airing from 8:30 AM to 11:15 AM when "The Pack" is scheduled.  I think if TCM was planning to air the theatrical version at 1 hr 56 mins  the next movie would start at 10:30 AM, but it doesn't.  This leads me to believe the 155-minute version will be shown.  → If it is, look for it to be ▬  Letterboxed  ▬.

If you check out TCM's Daily Schedule for Tuesday, Oct. 26 you'll see if you 'click' on THE SWARM it'll say "1 hr 56m" but if you then 'click' on 'MORE INFO' it will say "2 hr 35m".  This longer version of THE SWARM was released on LaserDisc circa 1992 and then made its way to DVD.  [I honestly don't recall offhand if "The Swarm" is on Blu-Ray so, if it is, I'm not sure which version would be on the Blu disc].

• The hacked-up Theatrical Version of the movie released in 1978 ran 116 minutes.  When TCM has aired the theatrical version I believe it's been shown in 'Full Frame' -- like you'd see on the old Warner VHS release.  

• The restored version of the movie released in the early '90s ran 155 minutes and isn't so cho/ppy.  And it's LETTERBOXED.

→ To my mind, that's what the makes the theatrical version worse than it might be -- the cho/ppy continuity does an already below-average film no favours.  The longer version at least doesn't have the feel of large hunks of plot missing. 

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Seems no different than the Director's Cut of films released after theatrical production.

I seen the theatrical released in 1978 and got a coupon to get the soundtrack LP for .50 

It's one of those type of films you can't watch more than a couple of times. One thing I remembered was the projectionist had to pull the aperture plate out for a few seconds because something caught caught in it - saw the soundtrack on the left.  It was during the picnic scene.

Too long ago since I saw "Star Wars" in 1977 but after buying the CED release back in the early 1980's, movie on disc is missing something in certain scenes. Wasn't exactly the same as on the screen - not referring to not being presented in widescreen.

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I didn't recollect THE SWARM had been released on Blu-Ray.  So now I know.  Thanks for the info, Tom.  :) 

Also, HAMRADIO, I think there's several versions of STAR WARS with various differences out on VHS and DVD and BluRay.  Hard to keep track of all the versions extant.  (Just like BLADE RUNNER.  Think there's some 7 versions of that movie floating around depending on what you buy).  I have a UK VHS of "Star Wars" from 1982 and that's the only version of the movie I've ever owned.  I had a VCR that played PAL-format VHS tapes and it used to beg for mercy because I played so many PALs in that Panasonic.  I wore it out after 9 years; still have to get another 'multi-standard unit' one o'these days.

----------------------------------------

Speaking of IRWIN ALLEN Productions:  His 1980 movie "WHEN TIME RAN OUT . . . "  has two versions extant at the present time.  There's a good write-up under the 'Alternate Editions' heading on Wikipedia on the reason why.   

I never saw "When Time Ran Out . . . " in theaters; the original U.S. theatrical cut, from what I've read, ran 121 minutes but when the movie did poorly at the box office the export version sent overseas to run theatrically was cut down by Warner.  Twelve minutes bit the dust knocking the run time down to 109 minutes.  → The International Theatrical Version is the version released on DVD from Warner Archives. 

VIDEO ♦NUGGETS♦

In July 1982, the UK branch of WARNER HOME VIDEO issued a 'RENTAL' release of "When Time Ran Out . . . " with a run time of 104m 28secs, taking into account the 4% PAL-format speed-up.  With our 'NTSC' format in the U.S. that would correspond to 109 minutes.  Something about a slightly different "frames per second" rate in the UK and other countries accounts for the PAL-format speed-up.    

In  the U.S. in 1986, WARNER released  Irwin Allen  movies on VHS for the first time:  FLOOD! (1976-Tvm), FIRE! (1977-Tvm) and WHEN TIME RAN OUT . . . (1980).   → Except instead of issuing either the original U.S. theatrical version running 121m.  -OR-  releasing the International Theatrical Version running 109m. on tape  it seems someone at WARNER had an idea to add a passel of scenes from the Television version to the movie and, thus, the 'EXPANDED VIDEO EDITION' came about with a run time of 141 minutes. 

This 'EXPANDED VIDEO EDITION' has not been issued on DVD so if someone bought the WARNER tape years back and then got rid of it thinking the 2011 "Warner Archives" disc was the same version as the Warner tape they were mistaken. 

ALSO:  There are a few small scenes from the shorter International version not seen on the EXPANDED edition; so if someone likes the movie and has a hot nut for it they'd need the WARNER tape and the WARNER disc to see everything.  "When Time Ran Out . . . " is one of my "Guilty Pleasure" movies.   I admit it!  :)

(How many of you remember the TV title of "When Time Ran Out . . . "?   I remember seeing it in on Tv in the '80s as "Earth's Final Fury"). 

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20 hours ago, Marysara1 said:

I remember When Time Ran Out.  

I remember finding When Time Ran Out and Beyond the Poseidon Adventure at the same time on streaming, and went on a Lesser-Known Irwin Allen kick.

The first thing I noticed is that most Irwin Allen disaster films are eventually reduced to "Make it over this bridge and you'll be in the club survive", which is pretty much the entire last third of WTRO.  But not The Swarm, for some odd reason.

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@ERICJ:  What Irwin Allen did at the end of THE SWARM was similar to the TOWERING INFERNO:  A control room on fire and people in flames running around in the hallways quickly turning into crispy critters while still trying to fight off the bees. 

 

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On 10/25/2021 at 5:12 AM, Mr. Gorman said:

 I see THE SWARM is scheduled to air at 8:30 AM Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, October 26th.   And this screening looks to be the full version Irwin Allen wanted to release in '78 before Warner Bros. had the film cut down to its 116 minute theatrical run time.

 

I recorded it because I'am a masochistic film buff and I also have 115 Michael Caine films under the belt and the guy never stops. Anyway I hope there is more stuff by Caine but I presumed there will be more bees ...Thank you Mr Gorman but you worry me I have seen Wtro on the big screen when it came out and the expanded tv edition now are you telling me there is still more stuff to see from this stinker?

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@NAKANO:  If you've seen the theatrical version of THE SWARM aired on TCM before in "full frame" then you'll notice immediately the longer version is LETTERBOXED  and the continuity isn't so cho/ppy.  THE SWARM will never be mistaken for a good movie, but I think the 'longer cut' is better relatively speaking.  Olivia de Havilland's "scream/moan" when seeing the dead children in the schoolyard is hilarious no matter what version you see. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now on to "WHEN TIME RAN OUT . . . " So you saw WTRO in the theater.  Far out.  Like, disaster-ville, man!  👍  😉

 If you see a copy of the U.S. WARNER HOME VIDEO VHS version of 'WTRO' which was first released in 1986 -- in a large clamshell case version with insert artwork; I have 3 of them -- AND -- then again in 1991 in a small-box then you will see this longer version contains some brief "black-screen" TV transitions between scenes and more depth to the various subplots (the rooster fighters, the Edward Albert/Barbara Carrera romance that doesn't pan out the way Edward thinks it will).  141 minutes of joy!  😁

Since I like WTRO I picked up several VHS tapes from Warner (spares!) because the  EXPANDED version is not likely to be issued again.  The MOD Warner Archive disc is the shorter international theatrical version.    I don't think WTRO is on Blu-Ray or 4K at the present time, but should "When Time Ran Out . . . " ever be issued on those formats it is highly unlikely WARNER would release anything except the 109-minute version.

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20 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

@ERICJ:  What Irwin Allen did at the end of THE SWARM was similar to the TOWERING INFERNO:  A control room on fire and people in flames running around in the hallways quickly turning into crispy critters while still trying to fight off the bees. 

No, Towering Inferno had its own vertical version of Cross the Bridge, only we took bets on seeing which character wouldn't survive that crane-elevator down.

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I remember poor JENNIFER JONES getting busted into a zillion pieces after falling out of the elevator and slamming into the building in a long shot.  Ouch!  She'd be in so many 'human bits" when she landed NOTHING could've put her back together for the funeral.  An eyeball here; a backbone there . . . yeech!  What a mess! 

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Was very happy to finally see the widescreen restored version. It seems for the last few years (anyways) everytime this film airs the Fullscreen cut down edition has been playing.  Would love to see TCM air The Towering Inferno and When Time Ran Out one of these days.    Make for a great Irwin Allen night

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On 10/28/2021 at 11:45 AM, filmhistorian said:

Was very happy to finally see the widescreen restored version. It seems for the last few years (anyways) everytime this film airs the Fullscreen cut down edition has been playing.  Would love to see TCM air The Towering Inferno and When Time Ran Out one of these days.    Make for a great Irwin Allen night

What was in the long version? More Olivia and Fred?

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More Olivia, Fred and Ben . . . The Love Triangle!  And more plot exposition scenes.  There's a lot more 'stuff' because it's 40 minutes longer than the Theatrical Version. 

116 minutes [Theatrical cut]  versus 155 minutes [the version Irwin Allen intended to release before Warner cut it down]. 

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2 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

More Olivia, Fred and Ben . . . The Love Triangle!  And more plot exposition scenes.  There's a lot more 'stuff' because it's 40 minutes longer than the Theatrical Version. 

116 minutes [Theatrical cut]  versus 155 minutes [the version Irwin Allen intended to release before Warner cut it down]. 

Can't imagine sitting through the long version, but Olivia's segment did seem truncated in the shorter version. I'd seen some stills of them at the train station that weren't in the cut version.

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No one would ever accuse THE SWARM of being a good movie, but if you were going to watch it once I'd say watch the 155-minute version.  And, hey,  that version is LETTERBOXED.   :) 

---------------------------------------------------

In regards to producer Irwin Allen's WHEN TIME RAN OUT . . .  (1980): 

♦ All DVD releases are  the shortened overseas theatrical cut running 109 minutes.  

♦ All non-USA VHS releases of "When Time Ran Out . . . " are also the shortened Intl.  theatrical version at 109 minutes.   

♦  The U.S. VHS from Warner Home Video is exclusively the 141-minute EXPANDED VIDEO EDITION  no matter if it's the WARNER clamshell release from 1986 or the Warner 'small-box' release from 1991.  → Both video boxes let you know it's a longer version of the movie. 

Since I saw EARTH'S FINAL FURY (the Tv title of "When Time Ran Out . . . ") on television back in the 1980s and liked it  I was pleased as punch years later to see the "expanded video edition" available when I got into collecting movies for my own 'Home Video Library'.   👍  No reason for me to watch the short version -- it's missing too much.  

For anyone curious about what the WARNER video editions look like for "WHEN TIME RAN OUT . . . "  just head for eBay and check 'em out.  It's not particularly rare; there are several listings for it on VHS and even more listings for it on DVD under the "Movies & TV" heading. 

 

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