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The Unkindest Cut Of All!


Palmerin
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Back in the 1970s, when WAPA TV--then and today the principal network of Puerto Rico--presented a movie on prime time, the prudent thing to do was to watch the movie in its premiere, because afterwards the network would start pruning it without mercy. The second time WAPA TV broadcast NORTH BY NORTHWEST IT CUT OUT COMPLETELY THE SEQUENCE OF THE PLANE CHASING ROGER THORNHILL!!!

What similar outrages do you recall?

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Back in the 1970s, when WAPA TV--then and today the principal network of Puerto Rico--presented a movie on prime time, the prudent thing to do was to watch the movie in its premiere, because afterwards the network would start pruning it without mercy. The second time WAPA TV broadcast NORTH BY NORTHWEST IT CUT OUT COMPLETELY THE SEQUENCE OF THE PLANE CHASING ROGER THORNHILL!!!

What similar outrages do you recall?

Outrage? On the contrary, it's about time sometime took that film down a peg! Bravo!

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Back in the 1970s, when WAPA TV--then and today the principal network of Puerto Rico--presented a movie on prime time, the prudent thing to do was to watch the movie in its premiere, because afterwards the network would start pruning it without mercy. The second time WAPA TV broadcast NORTH BY NORTHWEST IT CUT OUT COMPLETELY THE SEQUENCE OF THE PLANE CHASING ROGER THORNHILL!!!

What similar outrages do you recall?

 

I agree that to cut out the iconic plane scene (I assume you mean the crop duster scene),  is insane.   While no movie should be cut to fit a timeslot,  IF one is going to cut out scenes from NBNW,  I would cut out the early courtroom scene where Thornhill is being charged for drunk driving. 

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Back in the 1970s, when WAPA TV--then and today the principal network of Puerto Rico--presented a movie on prime time, the prudent thing to do was to watch the movie in its premiere, because afterwards the network would start pruning it without mercy. The second time WAPA TV broadcast NORTH BY NORTHWEST IT CUT OUT COMPLETELY THE SEQUENCE OF THE PLANE CHASING ROGER THORNHILL!!!

What similar outrages do you recall?

 

I hope it doesn't look like I'm stalking you and you will take this as constructive criticism, but why do you put very specific titles on threads where you ask general questions?

 

You mention only NxNW in the title, but end up asking for similar examples. Why not call the thread "The Unkindest Cuts of All" or something like that. Maybe you'd get more, and more interesting, feedback than another NxNW thread.

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Outrage? On the contrary, it's about time sometime took that film down a peg! Bravo!

 

Now, now, Swithin ... I know you don't like this film, you spoke elsewhere ... but cutting the crop duster scene? C'mon. Even if you don't like the film, doesn't a decision like that bruise your sensibilities as a fair and reasonable man.

;)

;)

;)

 

laffite

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Now, now, Swithin ... I know you don't like this film, you spoke elsewhere ... but cutting the crop duster scene? C'mon. Even if you don't like the film, doesn't a decision like that bruise your sensibilities as a fair and reasonable man.

;)

;)

;)

 

laffite

Fair and reasonable? Who do you think I am -- Fox News?  :o

 

Actually, it's easy to diss the film because of its promiscuous use on TCM. But I really think it's inferior Hitchcock, one he made for a few quick bucks. Not in the league with his many greats. And to cut an iconic scene (an act which I would normally eschew) is the perfect way to diss it! 

 

Re: cutting iconic scenes, I once went to a double bill at the old Regency Theater on the Upper West Side. The films were The Wizard of Oz and The Yellow Submarine. The second that Judy Garland opened her mouth to sing "Over the Rainbow," the sound went dead! Can you imagine the shocked silence followed by shouts of outrage, in that (largely gay, I think) audience? Fortunately for the projectionist, the problem was fixed pretty quickly.

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I remember seeing Giant on WGN in the '80s and while it's mostly boring I looked forward to the great scene of Dean confronting Hudson after striking oil. Cut.

 

Around the same time I saw The Young Philadelphians and got to the part where lawyer Newman visits Robert Vaughn in jail. This is Vaughn's big scene, where he tries to remember what happened the night his uncle was murdered while he was drunk. Vaughn actually got an Oscar nomination for it. Well, I saw Paul walk up to the jail cell and he went up to Vaughn. Cut to commercial. When it came back Paul was out of the jail and busy making plans for the trial. I think even Vaughn might've laughed at that.

 

My all time favorite came during a rerun of The Odd Couple on TVLand in the '90s. At the time TVLand would lead into each episode with a 5 second or so factoid about the episode being shown. This episode's factoid was that OC playwright Neil Simon himself had a cameo, when Felix and Oscar see him outside a Broadway theater and ask for his autograph. Well, I watched that episode -- and Neil Simon's cameo was cut.

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Back in the 1970s, when WAPA TV--then and today the principal network of Puerto Rico--presented a movie on prime time, the prudent thing to do was to watch the movie in its premiere, because afterwards the network would start pruning it without mercy. The second time WAPA TV broadcast NORTH BY NORTHWEST IT CUT OUT COMPLETELY THE SEQUENCE OF THE PLANE CHASING ROGER THORNHILL!!!

 

Ever since television began, it was a daily fact of life that local TV stations cut movies to fit their formats and commercial loads. They all did it. Some  had higher editing standands and took great pains to do the least amount of harm to continuity the film. Others, obviously the one you mentioned, just didn't care. Interestingly, I think in the 1950's and 1960's a lot of people didn't know about such things and simply took what they got without complaint.

 

When I was a kid, there was a station in my hometown which showed KING KONG a lot and  they'd always start it as the ship was arriving at Kong Island. I probably watched it a dozen times and that's the only way I knew the film. It wasn't until I was a teenager and had a chance to see it uncut at a theater that I found out  how much had been left out.

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Fair and reasonable? Who do you think I am -- Fox News?  :o

 

Actually, it's easy to diss the film because of its promiscuous use on TCM. But I really think it's inferior Hitchcock, one he made for a few quick bucks. Not in the league with his many greats. And to cut an iconic scene (an act which I would normally eschew) is the perfect way to diss it! 

 

Re: cutting iconic scenes, I once went to a double bill at the old Regency Theater on the Upper West Side. The films were The Wizard of Oz and The Yellow Submarine. The second that Judy Garland opened her mouth to sing "Over the Rainbow," the sound went dead! Can you imagine the shocked silence followed by shouts of outrage, in that (largely gay, I think) audience? Fortunately for the projectionist, the problem was fixed pretty quickly.

 

 

Fair and balanced, fair and balanced ...

 

... that's Fox News.

 

Reminds me of a good friend who wore a t-shirt one day with O'Reilly written on the front. When I asked if that had something to do with Fox, he became aghast and dug a hole to hide in. It was another O'Reilly reference apparently.

 

I don't know what one does to make "a few quick bucks' but it seems if he wanted to use his name to just do that, he might have done it a easier way. NbNW was in in color, pretty long movie, expensive actors, many scenes (including whatever it took to the Mt Rushmore), used Bernard Herrman. It doesn't come across to me as having been dashed off just to pocket some dough and move on.

 

Swithin, I think you just like to pick on this film ;-)  It's aired a lot on TCM, but is that a reason to diss the movie?  And to diss a movie because it's iconic scene was cut is not a very good reason for a dissing either. I know you don't like the movie but I won't make the mistake of taking you too seriously either, there is obviously a tongue-in-cheek element to some of your comments here. You're being a bit mischievous, I think. Especially for someone who would "normally eschew" cutting an iconic scene for dissable reasons. I know there is a responsible critical response in you somewhere. ;-)

 

It may not be among Hitch's best (I say that provisionally, not knowing whether the movie is so bad as that or not, it might depend on criteria) but I feel it stands alone (eschewing odious comparisons) on a certain acceptable level. The story is unabashedly over the top (part of its charm) but contains entertainingly climatic scenes (quite a few of them) which after awhile seem to wink at us, maybe telling us not to take the whole thing too seriously. There is a lot of comic relief along the way that has a balancing effect. It's a likeable film, to be taken in easily and hopefully without rigorous comparisons with all those other "greats." My only complaint is that after all these years no commando unit has been dispatched to find that execrable little boy who put his fingers in his ears anticipating the gunshot that hadn't happened yet. It that person is still alive, he needs to hunted down and given a good belated spanking. Now there's a reason to hate the film, Swithin, but you didn't even mention it. Everybody knows to each his own, our opinions are our own and all that, but it seems in bad taste to pick on a movie like this, at least in a serious vein. Maybe if the TCM would stop being so, uh, promiscuous with it, it would rise in stature.

 

;)

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Nick at Nite and TVLand slashed a lot out of the episodes they ran -- not to add commercials, but to add their promos (MTV had pioneered this concept of saturating airtime with their self-aware programming plugs, sister channels NAN and TVL followed its example). TVL eventually added so much that it started putting half hour sitcoms in 35 or even 40 minute time slots.

 

But the all-time butcher king is unquestionably the Hallmark Channel. They cut so much out of their western reruns it was surreal. 50-minute prints slashed to 40 or less. And they didn't just cut whole scenes, but random shots in the scenes.

 

I once tried to watch a Rawhide episode on HC. There was a scene where Eastwood sees a fight taking place at the chuck wagon between Wishbone and a drover. What should happen is we see the fight in long shot, Eastwood react then ride off toward the wagon, then we're at the wagon with the fight taking place, finally Eastwood separates the fighters and we hear what the fight was about.

 

Instead, what we saw was Clint ride off, then cut to the fight already over and the fighters already long separated. I never did find out what the fight was about.

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In NYC there are two channels -- 5.2 and 68.3 -- that make no cuts, which is the reason their broadcasts start at odd times, such as 8:55 or 10:10. Even the stations that make cuts should have some respect for the movies they show, and delete scenes that are relatively unimportant. But I guess the people who make these decisions don't know or care anything about film.

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There's so many ways to get around that sort of thing it boggles the mind that highly paid experts haven't come up with them yet.

 

Y'know, it's one thing to cut or otherwise trim scenes of nudity or heavy sexual content due to a specific reason.  But, to cut out whole scenes and inturrupt the "flow" of any movie just to make room for advertising makes me sick.

 

Now, I can't cite occasions where I've seen this done.  I have, mind you, but just can't recall them right now

 

Why not have a "movie presentation" featurette with an "open ended" time slot so the movie CAN be shown in it's entirety, and with enough time left over where the commercials can be shown all at once AFTER the movie is over?  There HAS to be a way to be able to work that out!

 

 

Sepiatone 

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Bela, who plays the good guy in The Black Cat (1934), is about to make a very unkind cut on Boris.

 

the-black-cat-1934-have-you-ever-seen-an

 

And here's another unkind cut, from the painting "The Judgement of Cambyses," by Gerard David.

 

 

the-flaying-of-the-corrupt-judge-sisamne

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There's so many ways to get around that sort of thing it boggles the mind that highly paid experts haven't come up with them yet.

 

Y'know, it's one thing to cut or otherwise trim scenes of nudity or heavy sexual content due to a specific reason.  But, to cut out whole scenes and inturrupt the "flow" of any movie just to make room for advertising makes me sick.

 

Now, I can't cite occasions where I've seen this done.  I have, mind you, but just can't recall them right now

 

Why not have a "movie presentation" featurette with an "open ended" time slot so the movie CAN be shown in it's entirety, and with enough time left over where the commercials can be shown all at once AFTER the movie is over?  There HAS to be a way to be able to work that out!

 

 

Sepiatone 

 

They would worry that no one would hang around for the commercials. Although I was told by someone that some stations actually do this (or did) in England.

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Years ago, I saw a station cut the stateroom scene from Night at the Opera.

 

Now THAT is TRULY blasphemy!!!

 

AND, I certainly hope whoever was responsible for it was found and sentenced to eating a number of rotten hard-boiled eggs!

 

HONK

 

(...oh yeah...and a rotten duck egg TOO!!!) 

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Ever since television began, it was a daily fact of life that local TV stations cut movies to fit their formats and commercial loads. They all did it. Some  had higher editing standands and took great pains to do the least amount of harm to continuity the film. Others, obviously the one you mentioned, just didn't care. Interestingly, I think in the 1950's and 1960's a lot of people didn't know about such things and simply took what they got without complaint.

 

When I was a kid, there was a station in my hometown which showed KING KONG a lot and  they'd always start it as the ship was arriving at Kong Island. I probably watched it a dozen times and that's the only way I knew the film. It wasn't until I was a teenager and had a chance to see it uncut at a theater that I found out  how much had been left out.

Obviously the people of that station did not care about the importance of setting up an story properly: introducing the characters, explaining their motivation, building up the suspense, etc.

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But the all-time butcher king is unquestionably the Hallmark Channel. They cut so much out of their western reruns it was surreal. 50-minute prints slashed to 40 or less. And they didn't just cut whole scenes, but random shots in the scenes.

It's unfortunate that Hallmark Channel has some really good stuff too.

 

Cozi TV cuts of the end credits of shows and breaks for commercials in mid-sentence. Most irritating, especially as they don't start up from where they left off. Yeah, I'd much rather see another commercial for incontinence than Starsky telling Hutch who the murderer is.

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I dread watching the 007 movies on basic cable because bits and pieces of the action scenes get trimmed off. Do they actually think that those missing bits are not noticed by fans who have watched those flicks countless times???

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