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Film where you walked out and demanded your money back


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This only happened to me once. Usually I buy the ticket and watch the whole thing through, even if the beginning doesn't excite me. But there was one film that I did walk out during the middle and asked for my money.


It was ANGELA'S ASHES. Why did I walk out? Don't laugh...but I am actually very serious about this...


I decided that I watched movies to escape. I wanted to see things that shine and uplift me. I adamantly refused to pay $10 to see 90 minutes or more of poverty on screen. Why pay for poverty? I told the manager of the AMC 20 that I also was not going to pay to see something that was dreary and depressing, I don't care if it was based on a bestselling book or not, if it was based on a true story, and if there was a glimmer of hope for the main character at the end.


I left the cineplex that day and went and bought ten dollars worth of fudge at See's candy shop and I was much happier.


How about you? What's your story...?

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I've been tempted more than a few times to ask for refunds, most prominently by Putney Swope, The Music Lovers, That's Entertainment, and My Dinner With Andre, but I figure you take the good with the bad.


OTOH I once had the refund phenomenon happen *to* me, and it was one the funniest things I've ever seen. Back in the early 70's my former GF and I were touring the mid-Atlantic with a collection of bootleg 16mm films that we titled "An **** of Cartoons: 69 Years of Sex, Violence and General Bad Taste in Animation".


In truth there was exactly 1 film out of 16, the blue cartoon **** Island, that fit that wildly exaggerated description, and of course even that one was was little more than a lampoon, and not in the least bit erotic. But on our flyers we goosed up the writeups in order to appeal to people's sense of humor. Thus, What's Opera, Doc? was described as "An award-winning cartoon featuring Bugs in drag, with Elmer as his lover." I can't remember exactly how we described Gertie The Dinosaur and Moving Day, but it wasn't hard to make Lenny Bruce's Thank You Mask Man sound vaguely pornographic, even if it was purely a parody. And once we got on a roll, twisting the synopses to make all of them sound vaguely perverted wasn't really all that hard.


Of course anyone who really thought that this collection of classic cartoons was anything remotely resembling the title had to have been a few bricks shy of a load. And whenever we showed the series on college campuses, the students took it for what it was and raved about it all. And in fact it was about the best 150 minute survey of cartoons you'll ever see, far better than anything I've seen on TCM. Stupid copyright restrictions!


But greedy as we were, we then rented the show to the old Paramount Theater in Charlottesville for a midnight screening, a venue with about 2000 seats that we filled to well over half capacity. Since we were being paid on a sliding scale percentage of the box office gross, we naturally stayed by the turnstiles with clickers to make sure we got an honest count.


When we got past the 1000 mark which gave us 50% of the gross, we were feeling pretty sporty. But then, about 20 minutes after the show started, a small group of maybe half a dozen middle aged men in overcoats came storming out to the ticket window and angrily demanded their money back, which they promptly were given.


We couldn't figure out what it was all about, until the night manager told us, "Those are what we call 'the *old men with newspapers'.* They sit in the back rows when we show stag movies, and I guess they read your flyers and thought that we'd discovered some secret vault of Dirty Disney." Personally I thought his explanation was more than worth the money we lost on those refunds. :)

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I walked out of The Rat Race and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I was just a kid -- too young for the former, and not old enough to see the latter for the gay story that it evidently is. But I did like Putney Swope, didn't walk out of that.


Only demanded money back once I think when there was a technical problem.

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Theatres are not responsible for the artistic quality of the films being shown but one should get their money back if the film breaks more than once or sound way too loud or low. In other words the projectionist not doing their job.


Sticky floors on the other hand comes with the territory.

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>Theatres are not responsible for the artistic quality of the films being shown


I agree.

But once I was OFFERED a refund. It was the night a bunch of friends and I went to a midnight showing of a Pink Floyd concert. (hey I was like 18)

When the movie started, it was obvious it was no concert movie. We went to the lobby to see what was up. Oh, the midnight show changed to THE SHINING.

Well, it looked pretty artistic, that helicopter shot following the car on a long winding road up Mt Hood. We decided to stay and see it, what the heck?

Big mistake. I had to sleep with the lights on for a week.

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I've never demanded my money back, probably never would, One movie I walked out on was *The Magus* . Since I loved *The Collector* and John Fowles novel *The Collector* I thought *The Magus* would be good. Maybe I was too young to understand this film, but I remember thinking that it was too weird and I hated it. I found out the critics agreed, not a good film.

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One of my first dates with the future Mrs. was going to see "Flashdance" with her in 1983. She had been told by a friend of hers how good this movie was.


Well afterward, she thought it was just okay, but I don't think I've ever rolled my eyes as much while watching any other movie I've ever sat through.

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obrienmundy wrote:

<< The Lost Empire (the newest Disney film at the time) and the film broke and it took 20 minutes to repair. My mother and I didn't ask for a refund that day. >>


That's what I like about the older downtown theatres which were not automated, they had a projectionist on the spot, checking the equipment, the film, making certain you got the best presentation possible or he's out of a job!! A properly inspected, clean film has no reason to break.



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> I walked out of The Rat Race and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I was just a kid -- too young for the former, and not old enough to see the latter for the gay story that it evidently is.


Two things bother me about that statement.


1. You actually think BUTCH CASSIDY was a GAY movie? "Gay" in the sense it was about a homosexual relationship?


2. WHAT is the difference between "Too young" and "Not old enough"?



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Yeah, well, what I'D like to ask Swithin here is that even IF the Butch and Sundance flick DID have a "hint" of that goin' on, what's with the whole walkin' out thing from a pretty entertaining movie ANYWAY???


(...c'mon now...just the "Are you CRAZY? The FALL will probably KILL ya!" cliff scene line ALONE was worth the price of admission!!!)

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Sorry I bothered you with my statement, Sepia. I saw The Rat Race when I was way too young to appreciate films like that. Nine years later, as a teenager, I saw Butch Cassidy. However, I was not sophisticated enough to see the (alleged) gay subtext that has been widely discussed about the film. We'll never know -- but as a gay man I might have appreciated the film and related to it more (and not walked out) if I had seen perceived the gay subtext. Without having perceived that, I found the film boring and hated that infernal song! There are films I wasn't ready for as a child/teen that I now do appreciate. Here's a quick excerpt from the Washington Post:


"Probably the most famous gay subtext of all time on the range where the deer and the antelope play was "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969), which featured two of the most beautiful men alive on the lam in the wilderness, far from the eyes of propriety and the moderating influence of civilization, and in an outdoors that was really a gigantic locker room."

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Sorry Swithin, but THAT excuse ain't gonna cut it here, dude!


Soooo, you're sayin' lines like:


"Think ya used enough dynamite there, Butch?"




"Kid, there's something I ought to tell you. I never shot anybody before.

---"One hell of a time to tell me!"




"What happened to the old bank? It was beautiful."

---"People kept robbing it."

"Small price to pay for beauty."




" How many are following us?"

---"All of 'em."

"All of 'em? What's the matter with those guys?"




" Kid, the next time I say, "Let's go someplace like Bolivia," let's GO someplace like Bolivia."


...JUST to name a FEW, and BESIDES the lines on that cliff I mentioned earlier are "BORING"???


(...dude, you MUST be a late bloomer, alright!!!) LOL



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I agree with my two blue friends here (lavender and dark).


I would never ask for a refund for a film I didn't like, and here's why:


First, I've very rarely walked out on a film - maybe twice in my life, and at least one of those times was because my companion insisted on leaving, so I went too. (The friendship was more important than the movie, I guess.)


I figure, good, bad, or indifferent, I'm there for the duration. The worst thing that could happen to me is spending 10 bucks or so on a movie I didn't enjoy. So what? At least I know I didn't like it; if I'd never seen it all the way through, I'd never be able to say I saw that movie, and have an informed opinion on it (even if it's a negative one.)


Second: To me, there's no justification for asking money back for something you don't like.

If I buy a book and a couple of chapters into it, I decide I'm not enjoying it, that's not the bookseller's fault. Same with music, same with movies, same with anything that involves personal taste.


Deciding you don't like something-especially something involving entertainment or art - is personal, it's not about the quality of the movie/music/book.

"You pays your money, and you takes your choice..."


Now of course this does not apply if the book/movie/music is defective, eg, the film breaks down, something's wrong with the sound, etc.

The book has pages missing, the CD doesn't play, the record skips, etc.

That's obviously a completely different situation - you've bought a flawed product, and it's only right that you get a refund or exchange for it.


But to want your money back simply because you have decided that the movie (or CD or book) is not to your taste makes no sense to me. It's entirely out of the control of the cinema/bookseller/CD shop, whether you like the piece of entertainment you are buying or not.


If people started asking for money back every time they felt they didn't get their full money's worth of entertainment/enjoyment from a movie they'd gone to see, I think the whole concept of movies being shown in cinemas would fall apart.

Movie theatres would go out of business, because theoretically, every movie-goer could demand a refund half an hour into the screening, just by claiming they didn't like the movie.

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Well, I've mentioned before that with any imagination( or lack thereof), anyone can read into something a subtext that isn't there. There were some making the same claim about BEN HUR (1959) about the "friendship" between Ben Hur and Massala.


I take it you mean "that infernal song" to be "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head", which many here thought had no purpose in the movie. Since they only play it once during the movie, it's a poor excuse to rag the whole flick.


But, we all are entitled to our own opinions, and yours is as valid as anyone else's.


BTW, the only movie I walked out on was ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, the train wreck sequel to DESPERADO. Didn't ask for a refund though. There were other movies I could have walked out on. If I were awake.


Still, you haven't explained the difference between being "too young" and "not old enough".



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I hope I don't sound too hard-nosed (I really am not the Grinch). But my view is that if I go and ask for my money back (which only happened this one time), then it takes away from the overall box office gross. If enough people did that with what they consider inferior product, then Hollywood, with its eye ever on the bottom line, will take notice. Studios will stop making films that are less profitable because the audience doesn't want to pay for them. But if people do not say anything and let their money help recover a studio's costs on a poor film, then Hollywood will think these ventures are profitable and keep making more of said films.


If we want quality filmmaking and not mediocrity, then really it's the consumer that has the power to change that, collectively speaking.


I would not have cared if the cineplex manager said we can't refund the money but we will exchange the ticket for another movie you can see instead. I would have been fine with that, as long as my ten dollars did not go towards ANGELA'S ASHES.


And in fact, if I remember correctlly, a few days later I was back at that AMC 20 and I watched Woody Allen's SMALL TIME CROOKS, which I absolutely loved. That was a fun movie where I could support adding ten bucks into the register.

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