Question on Rollercoaster 1977, Two-Minute Warning 1976, and The Hindenburg 1975

Discussion in 'DVD' started by MCCLOUD, Jan 17, 2012.

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  1. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Bob -

    I believe that both exist, but the question that keeps popping up is in what aspect ratio. I understood from a LA Times article that the Earthquake additions are from the original filming that Universal just did a pan-scan of those edits and the originals are lost, but could be wrong. I have also heard that the Two-Minute Warning re-do was filmed in 1.37:1 since it was to be only for television sales.

    I remember seeing the NBC version of Two-Minute Warning and it was bizarre after seeing it in theatres, but do not remember seeing it in that version again until the DVD, just as you.
     
  2. Richard Kaufman

    Richard Kaufman Stunt Coordinator

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    Oy.
    I saw all these movies in the theater, and own the DVDs for Two-Minute Warning and Earthquake because I'm a Chuck Heston fan (and for no other reason--they're pretty poor).
    I also own the DVD for Hindenburg (cause I'm a George C. Scott fan), which I just watched recently for the first time since seeing it on the big screen when it first came out. My god, what an awful movie.
    These movies do not deserve to be on blu-ray. There are many other far more deserving films that studios should be devoting the time and resources to putting on blu. I'm hoping that they get off their collective asses and we get some of Robert Aldrich's better films on blu instead of MOD.
     
  3. Jeffrey:K

    Jeffrey:K Second Unit

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    I remember there was a TV Guide article that appeared in the late 1970s or early 1980s that briefly addressed the Two-Minute Warning TV version. It was a long time ago, but I remember that it explained the reasoning for the reshoots.

    In 1975 NBC aired The Deadly Tower, a made-for-TV movie about the Charles Whitman sniper killings. It was pretty violent for its time. A few days after it was aired there was a so-called "copycat" crime that some TV watchdog groups linked to the airing of the movie. The link was pretty spurious, as these things usually are, but the atmosphere at the time was one of almost constant controversy over violence on commercial TV. (Back then the TV show S.W.A.T. was considered ultraviolent because it had one or two shootings in every episode.) NBC bowed to the pressure and declined repeat airings of The Deadly Tower. (The movie would resurface in syndication on TBS years later.)

    Universal had pre-sold NBC the network TV rights to Two-Minute Warning before the movie went into production. (This was a common practice back then.) Now NBC realized that it had paid for another movie about motiveless sniper killings that it could not broadcast in that climate.

    Rather than write off its investment, the network persuaded Universal and producer Ed Feldman to refashion the movie into something that was suitable for broadcast. Charlton Heston agreed to participate as a favor to Feldman, but director Larry Peerce did not and demanded that his name be removed from the broadcast version. A TV director supervised the reshoots.
     
  4. Jeffrey:K

    Jeffrey:K Second Unit

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    The theatrical version of Two-Minute Warning played on HBO in 1977 and 1978, and then completely disappeared until its VHS and Laserdisc release in 1992. All during the 1980s it was impossible to see except in the bastardized TV version.

    This movie has always been a favorite of mine, despite its formulaic script, because it was the first R-rated movie I saw as a child. I was 12 years old and I can still vividly remember sitting in the theater with my dad, my stomach tight and in a cold sweat during the violent scenes. As a jaded, middle-aged moviegoer I'd love to be able to be rattled like that. But you can never be an impressionable child again.
     
  5. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    The trouble with a lot of these films is that I am used to the expanded versions. I tried looking at Earthquake without the expanded version and never got into it . Can't imagine watching Midway without having the extra footage.
     
  6. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    I've never seen the expanded MIDWAY but an EARTHQUAKE that cuts to the chase minus Debralee Scott and her inflight worries is all I need. As it is it takes too long to get to the earthquake, though Heston and Gardner are fun sniping at each other.
     
  7. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Universal added about 30 minutes of extra material to pad out MIDWAY enough for a two part movie. Susan Sullivan was added to the cast as a girlfriend of Charlton Heston and they used a lot of battle scenes to show battles leading up to Midway. Some of these extra scenes are on the last DVD released and they are in 1.33 to 1. I remember watching in on TV and it just seemed to long. I do like the theatrical version for all it's camp and glory. Saw the the on an opening afternoon in a full house rumbling with Sensurround.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    MacArthur is another one that had lots of scenes added for TV. There was a whole subplot concerning an attempted assassination of MacArthur, and MacArthur's insistence on trying and executing a Japanese general played by James Shigeta.
    As for the film itself, I thought it was an excellent one with great performances and a superb score by Jerry Goldsmith. It is sort of a companion piece to Patton, and while it's not as good a picture as Patton, it stands very well on its own. It's certainly a better film than Earthquake and Two Minute Warning (both of which I like).
     
  9. Louis Letizia

    Louis Letizia Supporting Actor

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    What of the AIRPORT series? Any word if they will be part of the Blu sky?
     
  10. Anthony Neilson

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    A leaked - and so far accurate - list of Uni's 2012 slate indicates that AIRPORT will be released on Blu but EARTHQUAKE will not. I agree it's not a great movie but it is a significant one, certainly for those of us who grew up in the 70s. I likewise have a strong affection for ROLLERCOASTER because I saw it in Sensurround and loved it as a kid; but it's a pretty unexceptional movie, basicallly riffing on a DIRTY HARRY sequence. I'd love to see it on Blu but I can't see it happening.
    BTW, the R2UK dvd of ROLLERCOASTER is anamorphic.
     
  11. JeffMc

    JeffMc Supporting Actor

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    Ya, that scene with the airplane was the 'cliffhanger' at the end of night one on the network broadcast. Another scene they added was Marjoe Gortner's wacko character spying on a scantily-dressed woman in her apartment (I am a bit spotty on this and don't remember the full details, but it stuck with me as it was pretty sleazy for a network addition). And the FM simulcast in "Sensurround" wasn't just in L.A. I vividly remember tuning in to a New Orleans radio station to recreate Sensurround at home, but it really didn't work.
     
  12. kingfish

    kingfish Screenwriter

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    i remember the vhs version of midway containing the coral sea battle. the dvd version didn't.
     
  13. Richard Kaufman

    Richard Kaufman Stunt Coordinator

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    In Queens, New York, where I grew up, we had a theater equipped with Sensurround. Can't recall the name (it was near Lefrak City), but they made a big deal out of it at the time. I saw Earthquake and Rollercoaster there. Most of us really didn't notice that the huge speakers in the front of the theater enhanced our viewing experience in any way.
    I enjoy Earthquake for its camp value (Ava Gardner is Lorne Greene's daughter? Seriously) and special effects--Al Whitlock was a genius, and because Heston is Heston. But are there many hundreds of other films that really deserve a blu release over Earthquake? I'd say certainly so.
     
  14. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    That jives with my recollection of Earthquake. I saw it when new at the Chinese, and remember feeling that the Sensurround didn't quite live up to my expectations. Based on later viewings here and there on television (haven't ever watched it straight through since that first time), I can easily agree with the camp value of the movie. Still, I'd love to have a good Blu-ray transfer to round out the Charlton Heston "sci-fi" films. And while I understand that Sensurround isn't something that can be achieved by just sending LFE to the subwoofer in a home theater setup, it sure seems like some measure of it could be realized.
     
  15. Louis Letizia

    Louis Letizia Supporting Actor

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    We were very gullible in the 70s/80s. I too remember the gimmick of tuning into the FM station to recreate the sensorround feeling! Its right up there with the 3D glasses from 7-11 when they showed THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON on local stations in the 80s.
    I'm a sucker for gimmicks-still am. It added to the fun of these older movies and I welcomed them. I even remember the clear screens and crayons they used to sell for a cartoon show that must have driven parents crazy when the screens were put up to the tv and kids filled in with crayons!
    William Castle lives!
    All I know is if Ralph Kramden were alive today Alice would finally have a television set . He once ranted to her when she asked for one that he's "Waiting for 3-d television"! before he buys one. With that statement , and "To the moon, Alice!" 15 years before we got there, Kramden is the 20th century Nostradamus!
    EARTHQUAKE may NOT look good on Bluray the more I thin about it. What was state of the art sfx 40 years ago may look freakish in such detail and scrutiny as Blu will allow. We may forever see the compressed for television "scrunch" that al the "Universal extravaganzas had.
     
  16. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    I have fond memories of those early days of FM simulcasts in L.A. First and foremost, for the Metropolitan Opera telecasts and other concert programming, it was the most exciting development for classical music, and then came the more novelty type of event such as this. I don't remember the Earthquake one, but I'll never forget one evening in the early-mid 1980s when I drove out to do some shopping, got back in the car to come home, turned the car radio on, and what do I hear but a long silence -- well, not quite silence, because it wasn't dead air, there was some very recognizable ambience, perhaps someone breathing -- and then, "Dave, what are you doing? Stop, Dave." Holy moley, they were simulcasting 2001. I sat, stunned, in the parking lot at the Del Amo Mall, listening in amazement. It was a magical moment, and that is no joke. As soon as I got home I turned on the big 25" TV and the stereo receiver to enjoy the rest of the movie. As I recall, it was KFAC, the main classical music station, who carried those first simulcasts, then I imagine KUSC or maybe KCRW got on board with them, not sure -- but damn, it was an exciting time.
     
  17. Louis Letizia

    Louis Letizia Supporting Actor

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    What a thrill that had to be! I love simulcasting-the twain shall meet! Wow! To first HEAR a movie as visceral and important as 2001 first had to be so surreal.
    Alas-the thrill is gone these days. I scrounge the multiple cable channels I recieve and find nothing thrilling. My lat excitement was finding out DirectTV had METV and I could bask in the brilliance of MTM with commercial interruptions!
     
  18. cadavra

    cadavra Stunt Coordinator

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    On the other hand, I saw ROLLERCOASTER at the exhibitors' screening, where it ran 130", and loved it. When it was finally released, it had been shorn of 11 minutes, which muddled much of the plot; also deleted was the final exchange (not really a spoiler): a cop asks, "Did you get his name?" and Segal wearily replies, "Who cares?" (A nifty touch because the character never is named.) I'd love to see THAT version put back together.
    Mike S.
     
  19. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    All three are anamorphic in R2, but they are also sped-up, and who wants that?
     
  20. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    No one I know.
     

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