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♣ Theatrical Movies where the TV version is different ♣

Mr. Gorman

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Here are some movies that, when originally shown on commercial Tv, had some different footage not included in the theatrical version.  I reckon extra footage was added because some movies ran too short to fill a 2-hour time slot so the film needed a few minutes of 'padding' (QUICK CHANGE) along with the fact some movies had dirty stuff (BLAZING SADDLES) that had to be cut out for commercial television at the time and extra footage was needed to build the run time back up. 


     I'm not including any movies I believe were simply cut for time and/or objectionable material and nothing was added.

    Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970)

    Long Goodbye, The (1973)

     Blazing Saddles (1974)

     Towering Inferno, The (1974)

    Car Wash (1976)

     Saturday Night Fever (1977)

     Smokey and the Bandit (1977)  ► 1 extra scene was added to the Tv version

     Superman (1978)

     Airplane! (1980)

     Alligator (1980)  The Tv version was released on tape in 1983 by 'Catalina Home Video'

     Death Ship (1980)

    Superman II (1980)

     Funhouse, The (1981)

     So Fine (1981)

     Airplane II (1982)

     Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)

     Smokey and the Bandit, Part 3 (1983)

     Superman III (1983)

     Remo Williams:  The Adventure Begins (1985)

     Born In East L.A. (1987)

     Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)   

     Quick Change (1990)

     Waterworld (1995)


     I taped the Tv versions of  'SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER'  and  'FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH' and still have them tucked away, but I regret not taping more television editions when I saw them.    


     I'm sure there's plenty more theatrical movies whose Tv versions are altered with stuff cut out and other stuff added, but I can't think of any more offhand.  I wonder sometimes how many of these old Tv prints are still in circulation so you can see them somewhere.



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One of my favorite things to see (and not hear) is the farting scene in Blazing Saddles on commercial TV.  It's just as hilarious to see it without the sound track--but in a different way, as you can understand.


But I am at a loss to recall the footage that was added to the movie.  Can you clue me in to some of the scenes?

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I believe the scene where Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder rescue Lili Von Schtupp (who's been tied up) from Harvey Korman's clutches wasn't in the theatrical version, but just on Tv.  And there's some extra footage near the end with Mel Brooks as the governor.  It's been quite a while since I've seen the Tv edition, but if I saw it again I'd record it! 

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Could you go into detail on what was added for each one? Take your time, it doesn't have to be all in one post.


Universal was especially known for this in the '70s.


Two Minute Warning -- Shot new footage to make it seem like the sniper was just a diversion for an art gallery heist. Even Heston came back for a couple of days' work.


Midway -- New footage with Susan Sullivan as Heston's girlfriend.


Earthquake -- Newly shot subplot about a plane trying to land during the quake.


Secret Ceremony -- Perhaps the most notorious example. Added a framing story with Michael Strong as a psychiatrist narrating the events of the film. Some original scenes were altered, i.e. a scene where prostitute Taylor tries on a wig was given narration to imply she actually made her living as a model.


A Fistful of Dollars -- When this first aired on ABC a newly shot prologue was added. Directed by Monte Hellman, it featured Harry Dean Stanton as a government official who hires the man with no name (not Clint, but a double shot from behind) as an undercover agent to clean up San Miguel (thus "legitimizing" the film's violence).



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Supposedly, the 1969 suspenser 'EYE OF THE CAT' with Michael Sarrazin and Gayle Hunnicutt has an alternate version that was prepared for TV just like "Secret Ceremony" had. 


      I think there's a couple extra bits in the television versions of '48 HRS.' and 'TRADING PLACES'. 

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THREE INTO TWO WON'T GO (1969) was another Universal movie they altered from the original theatrical version for the Tv release.  Re-editing the film and shooting extra footage to pad the run time.


QUICK CHANGE ran only 85 minutes so I knew the Tv version had to have some cutting-room floor footage added, even for it's showing on commercial-happy TBS.  The scene in the taxicab with Murray, Davis, Quaid and Tony Shalhoub as the driver who doesn't understand anything is longer and so is the scene when Murray & Co. invade the mobster's den with Victor Argo and Stanley Tucci later in the movie.  And there's other little bits of additional footage here and there.   


     A few more movies with some television differences:

Halloween (1978)

Halloween II (1981)

Warriors, The (1979)


     ALSO:  For fans of 'THE FUNHOUSE' I noted there's approx. 15 minutes of extra footage from the Tv version that's been uploaded to YouTube for those who want to have a look.      

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I have some very vague memories of some sort of Kryptonian law enforcement robot trying to make its way to Jor-El to arrest him for building his illegal rocket, but it gets destroyed by collapsing rubble as the planet is falling apart. I believe there was also an extra scene of the Science Council deciding what they were going to do about Jor-El, giving Trevor Howard a couple of more minutes of screen time.


Oh yeah, also in the scene when young Clark is running alongside the train, and a little girl sees him through the window, in the TV version, she turns to her parents and says "Mommy, Daddy, there's a man running alongside the train!" The mother then says, "Oh, Lois Lane, you have quite an imagination!" I remember reading somewhere the parents were played by the people who played Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen on the '50s TV show. I believe they are seen for just a split second in the theatrical version, but on TV they got more screen time, and the mother got a line of dialogue. It's a little odd that the girl who's revealed to be Lois is so much younger than Clark, but this is just before Clark receives his instruction from Jor-El, during which he apparently doesn't age, which I think was supposed to take 10 years, so he and Lois are the "same age" when he returns.

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In most cases the extra tv footage just made the film seem more boring- now we have these four hour extended director cut dvd/blu ray editions- well at least at home you can fas foward.


There was something a little different about the original theatrical presentation of "Star Wars" (1977)

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I was prowling around the Internet and it seems there's loads of movies with different/altered/extra footage in their television versions.  I typed this in to the Bing 'search bar' ► "Television versions of theatrical films" and I got several interesting listings in return. 


A website called 'Television Versions - Rare Movie Collector' along with 'Film modification - wikipedia' along with some 'Alternate Versions' from the IMDb and a few links to YouTube. 


      There's a very thorough write-up in the 'Alternate Versions' section for THE WARRIORS on the IMDb.  Someone took some time to type all that out.


      I'd forgotten about the extra scenes in MURDER BY DEATH, LOOKER, MAN'S BEST FRIEND and a fair number of other movies I've watched on commercial Tv over the years.  


      I think my head would explode if I tried to track down all the movies I like that have extra footage only seen on the Tv-prepared editions.  Jeepers.


      If I'm not mistaken in regards to 'CAR WASH' Danny DeVito's role was resurrected from the cut room floor and added to the Tv edition (along with Brooke Adams' part as well; she's only seen for a few seconds in the theatrical cut of 'Car Wash').          

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Oh yeah, also in the scene when young Clark is running alongside the train, and a little girl sees him through the window, in the TV version, she turns to her parents and says "Mommy, Daddy, there's a man running alongside the train!" The mother then says, "Oh, Lois Lane, you have quite an imagination!" I remember reading somewhere the parents were played by the people who played Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen on the '50s TV show. 

Lois' father was played by Kirk Alyn, who had played Superman in the two serials. Noel Neill played Lois' mother, and she had played Lois in the serials, and later replaced Phyllis Coates in the television series. Jack Larson, who played Jimmy Olsen in the series, had a cameo as a bartender in Superman Returns.

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I rarely watch movies edited for television, but I have seen Blazing Saddles on broadcast tv a few times and I don't remember the guys rescuing Lily . However I do know there's a scene after they get the K L A N robes and going down a road they come upon a black church's baptism ceremony and join them for a picnic. Also it seems like the scene where Bart tries to "tame" Mongo is longer where it ends in the "candy gram for Mongo."


Also, in The Godfather saga, the scene where the bodyguard who's killed Appolonia gets his later was added. I think it was supposed to be part of the montage where all Michael's enemies are eliminated but since it isn't really part of the revenge taken that maybe Coppola thought people would have forgotten who the guy is at that point in the film, since it happens somewhere besides NYC or Las Vegas. In fact, it might have been in Part 2 which would have been more confusing.

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