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Have You Seen any Doctored Movies on TCM?


mm123
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I have seen at least one. The Killer Is Loose. The credits on TCM are not the ones on the film. On the film there is a man & as the music moves he begins to move & gets bigger and bigger until you can see a gigantic man. On TCM the bogus credit have the same music & info but no man. It looks like cactus on the left side & the words on the right. It is a completely bogus credit! TCM needs to remove this movie from its lineup until a legit version is put forth. that ain't a request. its a demand.

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What I find folly in this discussion is that people assume there is some type of definition version. i.e. THE version and thus any version that doesn't match THE version is NOT a legit version.

 

Often movies have multiple 'original' releases; e.g. versions released to Europe or overseas, versions released for the South (USA), different credits (due to contractal situations with the actors), etc...

 

Take, The Big Sleep. The initial version seen by US troops in Europe is a lot different than the one released in the USA a year later (the one that beefs up the Bacall role). Is this later one illegitimate because it isn't the original release? Since to me the concept is folly I say 'of course NOT' but to those who feel there is such a thing as a 'real' or legit release, what do they say?

 

All I ask is the TCM provide more detail on the release they are going to show. This should be provided in the scheduling notes.

 

Also, if a director 'doctors' a movie (e.g. a director's cut), does that version become the 'real' version. i.e. the now legit version and the original studio release is now a bogus version? Again, just more folly for people looking for the holly grail.

 

 

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I can add an example of sort of the same thing.

 

Years ago, on the late show( pre-cable, and therefore pre-TCM) I saw a movie called *The Big Carnival* . Starred Kirk Douglas and Jan Sterling. Even the movie's INTRODUCTION had it titled so.

 

Most of you might know it as *Ace In The Hole* .

 

Still, the title sequence said otherwise. So, WHO did the doctoring? The local TV station? Did a good job of it if they did! It didn't affect, however, how good of a movie it is.

 

Sepiatone

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Here is what Wiki has to say: Without consulting Wilder, [Paramount Pictures|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramount_Pictures|Paramount Pictures] executive [Y. Frank Freeman|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y._Frank_Freeman|Y. Frank Freeman] changed the title to *The Big Carnival* just prior to its release.

 

So what is the real title? (I'm being a wiseguy here). I do find this to be a great example of the folly I'm trying to point out. Now those that feel the director is the MAIN MAN, (i.e. the only one that should have any authority to alter a movie), than of course the fact that the suit Freeman changed the title makes that version 'bogus'. But clearly from a legal POV, Freeman (really Paramount), had the legal right to make the change. So shouldn't the legal version be consider the legit (real), one? ha ha ha! Again, it is thinking that there is such a thing as "the real one" that gets one in hot water.

 

PS: See my comments on the Chaplin Day thread related to the movie The Gold Rush. Similar theme there.

 

Edited by: jamesjazzguitar on Apr 16, 2013 2:43 PM

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I hope you realize, James, that I was in full agreement with you when I brought up that example. In fact, I brought it up in an attempt to augment your point!

 

It's generally a figure of speech when someone calls them the "real" versions. The original public release CAN differ from what was originally intended by the director. But, if the director wasn't also the WRITER of the story, he has little to say about such things. Even said writer doesn't, as the movies being made were the property of the studio. You also have to assume the editor figures in somewhere.

 

But in the case of Chaplin's movie, since it WAS Chaplin's movie, and HE did the reworking for the '42 version, all anyone can complain about is that they prefer the ORIGINAL release. After all, it was likely the one they fell in love with, and even the one who concieved the whole thing making subtle changes is seen as messing with sacrelidge.

 

Sepiatone

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I totally realize you're in my camp (hey since you're one of the few!).

 

Note I have mentioned the point about the writer of the book original screenplay and the relationship to the director. e.g. if a director decides to change the ending (make it different than the book), is the director now the cad? i.e. the director is the one now messing with the REAL original work? Nonsense, but this just shows that the sacrilege POV is a silly one.

 

You're also on target that the editor has a lot of say over the final product. Are all the editor's judgements approved by the director or did the studio 'suits' get a say????

 

You get were I'm going here; That in most cases a movie is a byproduct of many people, especially in the studio era. While the director is one of the main people (but less so for directors under contract with a studio), they are only one of the players.

 

As you also know there are often multiple 'public releases' since there are different publics. e.g. American movies released in Europe sometimes have different endings. RO made this point a while back saying that Americans perfered happy endings and for books with unhappy endings the American release would be different than the book. Please tell me which is the REAL one? ha ha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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> {quote:title=jamesjazzguitar wrote:}{quote}Here is what Wiki has to say: Without consulting Wilder, [Paramount Pictures|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramount_Pictures|Paramount Pictures] executive [Y. Frank Freeman|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y._Frank_Freeman|Y. Frank Freeman] changed the title to *The Big Carnival* just prior to its release.

>

> So what is the real title? (I'm being a wiseguy here). I do find this to be a great example of the folly I'm trying to point out. Now those that feel the director is the MAIN MAN, (i.e. the only one that should have any authority to alter a movie), than of course the fact that the suit Freeman changed the title makes that version 'bogus'. But clearly from a legal POV, Freeman (really Paramount), had the legal right to make the change. So shouldn't the legal version be consider the legit (real), one? ha ha ha! Again, it is thinking that there is such a thing as "the real one" that gets one in hot water.

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> PS: See my comments on the Chaplin Day thread related to the movie The Gold Rush. Similar theme there.

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> Edited by: jamesjazzguitar on Apr 16, 2013 2:43 PM

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Isn't The Big Carnival/Ace in the Hole thing just a titling difference? Otherwise the two are exactly the same. No one would really care in that case so it's a bad example.

 

The "Real" version - This is a semantic problem that started all of this, the real issue being discussed is always the preferred version which there is almost always a way to determine and almost always a consensus over. An example of this is Godard's Contempt - the film is explicitly designed to be seen in its original French. The translator character makes absolutley no sense in the dub. The cuts made to the American version were not made by Godard. The French Contempt is unquestionably THE Contempt.

 

An extreme example of the dilemma is Roberto Rossellini's films, particularly the films from the Ingrid-era on. There's the original English/Italian mix Stromboli (which TCM shows,) then the American edit of that version, and then the later Italian language Stromboli terra di dio. What's absolutely clear is that the American edit is a bastardization - Rossellini had nothing to do with the cuts made. Then you have the year later Italian Stromboli terra di dio which has later revisions made by Rossellini. This is an authentic version. The first film cited is the original version, a genuine version, and the one that developed the film's reputation. Between the two authentic versions you have further problems - one has Ingrid's voice, a key part of her performance, the other does not.

 

 

In this case, you need to have both because they are a part of Rossellini's ongoing creative process (these weren't retroactive cosmetic changes, like the Chaplin stuff, this was all part of an ongoing unceasing process.) They are both complete and one can then personally decide which one is aesthetically superior.

 

 

The Big Sleep is a good example of how this issue can arise in the studio system but it doesn't happen very often. Most filmmakers are aware of the concessions and compromises and we don't even have a choice among versions.

 

 

Another example of this in Hollywood is My Darling Clementine. We have the release version and a composite pre-release version that, after a certain point early on (grafted from the normal version,) we get a drastically different version with very different, often unorthodox, choices made in the editing and music (which certainly reflects John Ford's inclinations.) These are both "legitimate" and it's up to us to decide which is better. I definitely know which I choose - the pre-release version (Ford knew art, Zanuck did not.)

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With regards to ' the preferred version which there is almost always a way to determine and almost always a consensus over'.

 

Sorry I question this assumption. Now for us TCM diehards I would agree with the statement. I believe if we were to discuss alternate version we would agree most of the time, but we are not your everyday movie viewer. How do I know this: well otherwise we wouldn't be on this website!.

 

But you must admit you don't know which version the general US population would prefer and to determine this wouldn't be easy.

 

I agree The Big Sleep is a great example but it is my understanding there are more alternate versions than one would suspect. RO pointed this out a while back. TCM was showing a movie where the ending was 'dark' and true to the book ending for Europe but a happy ending was imposed for the US release. RO stated studios did this because US audiences generally wanted happy endings. In a thread on British movies one topic was the changes that were made prior to a US release of the film.

 

Today director's cuts are common (I don't think this concept existed in the studio system era). What is the authentic version in cases like that? The one that is prefered by more people? Of course not and I know that isn't what you're saying here.

 

I just think one needs to be careful with believing what they prefer is what a consensus would prefer. For example, I look at AFI list of top 50 actresses (what NO Olivia De Haviland!), or top 100 movies and all I can say is consensus is overrated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That version doesn't exist. It was originally assembled at that length, then cut by MGM and released at 121 minutes. The extra material was probably destroyed shortly after. Vidor finally quit MGM for good because of it.

 

There's only one version of An American Romance.

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Thanks for the clarity on An American Romance. Some sites on the Internet imply there are two 'versions' but are unclear if multiple versions were ever released. I assume there were thousands of movies that were 'originally assembled' (very appropriate phase BTW), by the director editor where after a focus group showing and or showing to the studio bosses were re-edited.

 

I don't consider any of these as a product. They are more like basement tapes tracks bands put out to make more money.

 

PS: Related to Ace In the Hole, note that this thread was started with a complaint associated with another movie about the opening credits of said movie. So one can see that some people are very sensitive about any changes to what they define as the original (real, pure, true), version.

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> {quote:title=JonasEB wrote:}{quote}That version doesn't exist. It was originally assembled at that length, then cut by MGM and released at 121 minutes. The extra material was probably destroyed shortly after. Vidor finally quit MGM for good because of it.

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> There's only one version of An American Romance.

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:_| That is very sad to hear. I hope the footage can be found someday much like the case of Lost Horion (minus the still shots they inserted for filler).

Edited by: GoodGuysWearBlack on Apr 17, 2013

 

Edited by: GoodGuysWearBlack on Apr 17, 2013 10:23 PM

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TCM showed a bogus version of Foolish Wives. It looked really bad. The movie was restored by Arthur Lennig & Blackhawk Films had it. The TCM version looked like a dupe of a Blackhawk 16mm. Image put out a nice 143 min. version. TCM ran it at 118 min. TCM had ample opportunity to show the movie in its best light & chose the low road (again?).

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Romance? Speaking of which...

 

To emphasize what James was going on about concerning differing "public" releases, the movie TCM showed a few nights ago, "A LITTLE Romance", had the opening scenes of the French kid watching old American movies in some theater. Some of the movies were dubbed, and this movie had the movies being shown subtitled. You may have noticed that some of the dialogue was changed from what we knew to be familiar.

 

That is, if you can make ANY sense of what I just wrote!

 

Sepiatone

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I'm sure you're aware that the 143 minute version of Foolish Wives is a 'doctored' verision; Here is what the website that sells this version has to say;

 

 

 

Working on behalf of the American Film Institute in the early 1970s, professor Arthur Lenning utilized the surviving footage in these two truncated versions to attempt to reconstruct an approximation of the general release version of 1922. Lennig employed Universal’s original editing continuities and surviving censorship records to aid the decision-making processes required of this type of reconstruction. The resulting Lennig composite was necessarily a hybrid of best and secondary footage. Some of the shorter shots from the Italian print were so brief that surviving frames were printed two-to-one or three-to-one to extend the shot’s duration long enough for viewers to get some sense of the intended effect. The reconstruction doesn’t accurately represent Stroheim’s intended version but the included footage is all we have left of some portions of Foolish Wives. — Carl Bennett

 

So it appears that in some case you would prefer TCM to show the doctored version.

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