How about a reconstructed CLEAR DAY?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by RandallRay, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. RandallRay

    RandallRay Auditioning

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    In 1970, Paramount released Barbra Streisand's ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER at the very end of the roadshow musical cycle begun with the success of SOUND OF MUSIC. Although intended as a roadshow presentation complete with intermission, the market for this sort of thing had so diminished by the time it was completed that 20 minutes or so was edited out and a only shortened version went into general release. The longer version was never seen, except at a few early industry screenings. Theoretically, at least, this complete version (2 /2 hours or so) might well exist somewhere in the Paramount vaults.

    The general release version of CLEAR DAY has long been available on DVD, but the full-length, intended roadshow version, if extant, would be a find worthy of restoration and Blu-Ray release. This version contains at least three two additional songs, one a duet by Streisand and co-star Larry Blyden, one by Yves Montand, and a third sung by the young Jack Nicolson (!) as well as several additional “flashback” sequences which highlight one of the film’s strong points: its art direction, costume design and visual style. (Cecil Beaton, who designed Streisand’s period costumes, lamented at the time that the best of them had been cut out.)

    In hindsight, ON A CLEAR DAY was one of only a handful of musicals Barbra Streisand would ever make. It certainly has its followers and the title song became one often requested of her. In addition, it was the last musical directed by Vincente Minnelli, considered a master of the genre. There is every reason to think that returning the film to his original vision could greatly improve its impact.

    Although the film has never had the reputation of, say, IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD, a restoration of CLEAR DAY could be done in a similar fashion, cleaning up found footage or relying on stills with soundtrack as necessary. It seems to me it could be marketed on many fronts, emphasizing the Streisand connection, the Minnelli connection, the restored-big-musical connection, even the see-Jack-Nicolson-sing connection. Minnelli's original concept seems to have been much more coherent and beautiful than the version ultimately released.

    Everyone has their own restoration wish list, and this in mine.
     
  2. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I think the film, for me at least, is ruined by Yves Montand. If ONLY they had chosen Robert Goulet for his role.

    I have heard Nicholson's "Who Is There Among Us Who Knows," and it's not half bad. I'd love to see a reconstructed version of the roadshow release. I think Barbra's voice is at its pinnacle in this film, and all of her vocals entrance even if by serving her so totally some of the best aspects of the stage version are reduced to give her more music.

    And even in its truncated form on DVD (and in theaters), Minnelli's eye for color and composition was still flourishing.
     
  3. RandallRay

    RandallRay Auditioning

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    Yes, apparently several big male stars were considered for the role - Richard Harris comes to mind - and Yves Montand is not charismatic and seems to have learned his lines phonetically. I still say a reconstructed roadshow version, assuming the material exists, would greatly enhance its overall impact.
     
  4. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Joe Caporiccio said that when he was at Pioneer, he looked for the cut scenes and came up empty. Perhaps if they exist, they are located somewhere other than the Paramount vaults.
     
  5. cadavra

    cadavra Stunt Coordinator

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    During my time at Paramount, I requested a full-court search for elements for both CLEAR DAY and A NEW LEAF, which had also been butchered prior to release. Both searches came up empty. Unless there's footage in private hands somewhere, all there is is what we have.

    Mike S.
     
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  6. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    A true shame. I would love to have seen the full version. And Streisand has said it was a big disappointment for her, too: the film they released was not the film they made.
     
  7. AlanP

    AlanP Supporting Actor

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    Maybe Striesand has a full version or might have an idea what happened to the excised portions ?? Just a thought....... I too would LOVE to see this happen !!! Striesand fans would rejoice I am sure as well as ALL Musical and film Connoisseurs !!!!
     
  8. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    That depends on whether Barbra Streisand has any print of this film at any length. How would she get a print that had any of the cut scenes in it to begin with? Though it has happened before; supposedly they found the cut songs from the 1962 Gypsy in Karl Malden's personal 16mm print.
     
  9. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    If Streisand had the material, we'd probably know about it. The film as it stands now is quite entertaining, with the 'Minnelli touch'. I'd love to see the missing material restored, but if Paramount itself no longer has it, sounds like it'll be quite the mission.
     
  10. AlanP

    AlanP Supporting Actor

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    Stranger things have happened there must be footage somewhere start by asking Striesand, maybe Minelli had a completed version somewhere ?? LIZA anyone ??
     
  11. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    Not charismatic? "Disinterested" would be more accurate. It's like he thought "It's a big paycheck" and did his impression of a piece of plywood.
     
  12. Jim*Tod

    Jim*Tod Second Unit

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    Yves Montand never did very well in English speaking films. Even though he had an affair with Marilyn Monroe during the filming of LET'S MAKE LOVE, none of this came across in the film. BUT---- take a look at his European films like Z or LE CERCLE ROUGE and you see a very talented actor. He was also apparently in his own country a renowned singer and performer. In CLEAR DAY he is wooden and his accent massacres his dialog and he had no chemistry with Streisand. The film suffers greatly from his performance.
     
  13. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    I just think he was never comfortable in English-speaking films. He does come off better in "My Geisha" with Shirley MacLaine. Very interesting to point out that in most of his Hollywood films he plays second-fiddle to a larger-profile leading lady. Maybe just as well.
     
  14. Jim*Tod

    Jim*Tod Second Unit

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    I agree he is best in MY GEISHA among his American films.
     

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