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“Rev-o-lution… a word. Spoke everywhere.”

 

Some epics are released and receive the immediate admiration and laurels they deserve. Ben-Hur. Lawrence of Arabia. Amadeus. Even the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

 

     Then you have those masterpieces so ahead of their time, they're shredded by the critics of their day, and fail to find their proper footing. The Night of the Hunter (1955) director Charles Laughton was so disheartened by the reaction to his first directorial work, he never got behind a camera again. The film is now considered one of the all-time essential thrillers.

 

     Revolution (1985) was British director Hugh Hudson's third feature film after the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire (1981), and the well-received Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984). Hot off his iconic turn as Tony Montana, Al Pacino was cast as the everyman hero of this Revolutionary War story, while art house-darling Natassja Kinski was given the female lead. 

 

     Revolution was destined for success... until the Universe decided to take a sharp left turn. The expensive, $28,000,000 film was pulled away from the filmmakers months before completion and rushed into theaters, resulting in a mammoth bomb (it grossed about $350,000, domestically.)

 

     Is Revolution an essential cult classic? Or does it live up to its soiled reputation? Check out my in-depth, 30 Years Later conversation with writer and real filmmaker, Joey Monroy on this week's Backseat Filmmaker.

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I take it you aren't a fan of the film?

 

I  have never seen the film but I found the back story interesting as it relates to the battles between studio suits and the director.   I can understand both sides (e.g. the suits feeling they need to cut their losses),  and the director (of course wanting to complete the film).    

 

But what a massive lost.   One would think it would have earned more just because Al was in the film.  

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I thought Hugh Hudson had gone back and edited the movie (made it shorter) and had Al Pacino add a voiceover narration circa 2009. 

 

      So there ought to be 2 versions of it out there to watch if one is so inclined. 

 

      I have an old VHS tape of 'REVOLUTION' from 1986, but as yet I've not got 'round to watching it.  I reckon the shortened version is available on DVD.

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As far as the finished film goes, there's a lot to like in it, but it feels very much like there's chunks missing. If you watch our discussion, we talk about all those factors and try to be as fair as we can to this much-maligned, often overlooked, film.
 

I  have never seen the film but I found the back story interesting as it relates to the battles between studio suits and the director.   I can understand both sides (e.g. the suits feeling they need to cut their losses),  and the director (of course wanting to complete the film).    

 

But what a massive lost.   One would think it would have earned more just because Al was in the film.  

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