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Outtakes Anyone?


ananias
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Some end up as supplemental material on their DVDs...

 

But it would be interesting to know where the majority of them went. Were they recycled? Destroyed? Is there an archive somewhere that holds the legendary multiple takes of William Wyler?

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While today, studios keep just about every frame of film that a director shot so that they can be used as "extras" on DVDs, back then there wasn't much use for outakes and most of them were destroyed when it was clear they would never be needed. There are some exceptions. Many of the studios use to put together "blooper" reels to show at the studio Christmas party and some of the major directors who had the clout may have kept theirs, but I think in general its safe to say most outtakes are gone. Hell, if the studio chiefs were willing to melt down all their silent films just to recover the silver from the film stock and to save on storage, I can't imagine they thought twice about doing the same with outtakes which, at the time, had no commercial value .It's really a shame.

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I recall seeing the Ronald Reagan outtake on TCM, but don't recall in what context it was in. It's the one where he is tucking in his shirt and trying to get his pants on. He's in a uniform. I don't remember if it was a blooper short or what. I know someone will know the answer.

 

I think it is a shame outtakes wheren't saved. Often times they where better than the movie.

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The outtake you mention is from one of the "blooper" reels I was talking about. It was from Warner Bros. and I believe it's one of only a couple that survive. If TCM had more outtakes in the vault I'm sure they'd dig 'em out. It certainly would make an interesting special to do an hour of outtakes.

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Actually, quite a few editions of the Warner Brothers "Breakdowns" series survive. The studio put this annual gag reel together and, since they were never copyrighted, dupe reels have floated around for years. One of the funniest montages in BREAKDOWNS OF 1938 is a succession of headgear tested by Basil Rathbone for THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD. The clips in these reels would invariably be punctuated by sound effects from Termite Terrace (the Schlesinger group also contributed a clip of Porky Pig "losing his cool").

 

There are also several extant reels of Universal outtakes featuring Abbott and Costello.

 

Perhaps the most notorious outtake reel was prepared by Hal Roach studios. It was called "That's That" and featured outtakes featuring Laurel and Hardy.

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