Never So Few - Warner Bros. 2008 DVD, Is this disc censored?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Reggie W, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. Reggie W

    Reggie W Cinematographer

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    I just watched Never So Few with Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen, and Gina Lollobrigida and found that the language in the film had been censored. Anytime someone uses the word damn or hell (don't think they get much more graphic than that) the sound on the disc drops out to edit the word.


    This is the disc I have:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B00178U3CY/sr=1-1/qid=1247761180/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=130&s=dvd&qid=1247761180&sr=1-1


    Has anybody else noticed the edited language?


    Edited by Reggie W - 7/17/2009 at 04:00 pm GMT
     
  2. mdnitoil

    mdnitoil Supporting Actor

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    If you post a time stamp I'll be happy to check my version, but, in general, I don't recall that being the case.
     
  3. Reggie W

    Reggie W Cinematographer

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    It occurs several times during the film, I'll go back and get you some specific scenes.
     
  4. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Maybe it's happened before but I've never heard of such a thing as a DVD that has been edited for family viewing. Wal Mart might not sell you an unrated version of a movie but there isn't a special version where they cut 'bad' things out of a movie.
     
  5. Reggie W

    Reggie W Cinematographer

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    Oddly enough Travis they have made them. There is a white decal with red letters in most cases on the box which says "This film has been edited for family viewing." In fact I think there was a company that was handling making these discs. They look just like the normal disc, package and all but there is a decal warning you the film has been edited stuck to the wrapper. I've never purchased one and they tend to be films that might be thought of as family viewing so it's not like you would find a version of say Taxi Driver that had been edited. The reason I asked the question is the store where I picked up the disc had several discs for sale that did have the "edited" label on them. When I watched the film I found it odd that they would edit words like hell and damn, so I thought maybe this was one of those films and the decal had just come off.

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-151607106.html
     
  6. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    ^ I'm certainly no lawyer but what you're describing sounds like it violates copyright laws. Unless its the owner of the movie (not the DVD but the actual copyright owner), they can't just make changes to a coprighted work because they deem it offensive. You should report the place selling those discs.

    Sorry for going so far off topic.
     
  7. mdnitoil

    mdnitoil Supporting Actor

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    Actually, when the practice started getting wide media attention a few years ago, the various studios banded together and took them to court over the copyright infringement. I believe there was a judgement against the practice and these companies had to cease and desist. If I recall, they then attempted to spin their business model such that you must provide them your personal copy of the media, and they would give you a "fixed" copy. I think the whole concept finally collapsed as a mass endeavor.
     
  8. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    Well, I just found this disc at Big Lots for $3. Point me to a specific scene or time in the film and I'll check for censorship.
     
  9. mdnitoil

    mdnitoil Supporting Actor

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    Well, I might stand corrected. I've got an original so I thought I'd put it on and see if I heard something. Pretty early, around the 6'10" mark, Sinatra seems to be saying "Stop making excuses for the d.... thing, just make it work." It sounds just like a dropout, but very conveniently placed.
     
  10. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    I heard it at 6:10, and it's a definite "silent bleep." Interesting that no one has mentioned it prior, that I recall.
     
  11. Reggie W

    Reggie W Cinematographer

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    Yup, you guys are on to it and that confirms it as far as I'm concerned. It happens through the whole film. The first time I heard it I thought it might just be a glitch in the soundtrack but it is quite clear what is going on as you continue to watch the film. Each time Frank or Richard Johnson, I think they may be the only ones who swear in the film, McQueen might once...I can't recall, use damn or hell the sound drops out just for a split second to mask the word.

    Odd, I wonder if the film was censored back when it was released and they left it that way when they transfered it to dvd.
     
  12. Reggie W

    Reggie W Cinematographer

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    So the questions now are why is it censored, when it was censored, and who made the decision to censor it. I know there are some other discs available of Never So Few and I wonder if they all have the offending words cut, or if it's just the "Frank Sinatra Collection" discs.
     
  13. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    I just dug out a 10 year old VHS tape from a TCM broadcast, and it is there as well.
     
  14. Reggie W

    Reggie W Cinematographer

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    Interesting, thanks Mark. So now we know the film has been censored for some time and probably most home video or dvd versions have been the censored version of the film. It's funny because there are probably no more than 6 to 8 times in the film where somebody swears and each time it is no big deal but somebody felt the need to edit those words out of the film by dropping out the sound each time it happens. Seems odd to go to the trouble of doing that...could it have been done for showings on tv? To be honest I watch a lot of old films and this is the first time I can remember hearing words edited that way.
     
  15. cadavra

    cadavra Stunt Coordinator

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    It's possible someone grabbed an edited-for-TV master by mistake and it's never been corrected. Warner did the same thing when they put out TWICE UPON A TIME on laserdisc, using an alternate G-rated soundtrack instead of the theatrical PG one. The correct version has never been issued on any format, AFAIK, which is a damn shame. Thank God I still have my aging tape off HBO.

    Mike S.
     
  16. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Don't you mean "which is a *bleep* shame"?
     
  17. cadavra

    cadavra Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, of course.
     
  18. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    TCM aired this "unbleeped" last week. "Hell's," "damn's," and even an "ass" all loud and clear.
     

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