SWEET CHARITY DVD - MISSING OVER A MINUTE

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Chuck Pennington, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    Hey guys,

    Well, I'm ashamed I didn't notice this earlier, but it appears the SWEET CHARITY DVD is missing a little over a minute of footage! I was busy making a DVD hybrid using the anamorphic widescreen DVD transfer and the PCM digital sound from the Laserdisc (it's superior to the DVD), and I noticed over a minute of footage is missing.

    It appears that the DVD is not only missing the exit music at the end that was on the Laserdisc (but not the VHS). It is also missing this scene:

    After Charity says: "We'll talk about your fixation, okay?" at 2:21:33, the following is cut on the DVD:

    OSCAR: It wouldn't do any good. It's all those other men.

    CHARITY: Huh?

    OSCAR: The other men.

    CHARITY: Oh, Oscar, you said that didn't matter. You said that didn't make any difference.

    OSCAR: I thought if I said it enough I could convince myself it didn't matter, but... It does.

    CHARITY: (giggles nervously) Oh, you know, Oscar, you're just making a mountain out of a couple a guys.

    OSCAR: How many?

    CHARITY: Huh?

    OSCAR: HOW MANY? I want to know exactly how many!

    CHARITY: Oh, Oscar, don't talk like that in that tone of voice because I can't think.

    OSCAR: How many?

    CHARITY: (suppressing tears) How far back do you want me to go?

    OSCAR: Oh, God, I'm a terrible person. I have no right asking you things like that.

    CHARITY: Oh, Oscar, you can ask me any question you want. I won't hide a thing.

    OSCAR: No, don't you understand? I don't want to know. I don't want to know anything!

    CHARITY: Okay, then you get nothin' outta me, nothin' outta me. I'm very flexible, you know? I can go either way.

    This is at 2:22:38 on the VHS, meaning just over a minute is cut. On the DVD, the scene cuts to:

    OSCAR: You're better off without me, Charity. I'm doing you a favor.

    Is there someone at Universal I can write to about this???

    Chuck
     
  2. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    That's amazing ... that's a major scene; isn't it what the whole story was building up to? I don't get how that can be cut out and no one noticed.
     
  3. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    If they could see me now...

    they would see me trying to hold back rage. Seriously, a key scene vanishes into thin air without a trace.
     
  4. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    I can't believe I didn't catch that before, but I just popped in the DVD and SOAB... I missed it! MAJOR cut! I am really pissed at Uni now.[​IMG]
     
  5. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    We need to write to Universal. Hell, while we're at it, we can also write to Paramount about GREASE's botched remixed soundtrack and MGM about the cropped and squished GUYS AND DOLLS release. I read somewhere online that only physical letters do any good at all, so I'm gonna track down the proper addresses.

    It's amazing I encountered these three issues all in the same week. Oh, but wait - I forgot SHOCK TREATMENT and how the end of "Denton, U.S.A." is messed up with the center channel going to the surrounds and the front channels taking the surround channel info - and the center channel seems to have the sound effects mixed loudly above all else. Oh, and they messed up the closing credit music from the original version. I just finished fixing that one as well as GREASE, but I can't fix GUYS AND DOLLS or SWEET CHARITY. Isn't there a quality control department, or some group of people who actually KNOW these films in control of their DVD releases? :-(

    -Chuck
     
  6. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    I've never seen Sweet Charity, but a minute missing from a classic musical is inexcusable. If you find the addresses, I'll write a letter as well.
     
  7. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Wow that's amazing. That is an important scene. I bought the DVD but haven't watched the whole film yet. Universal should fix this problem. They won't they don't care. They don't read the forum. I'll write a letter. Please post who we should write to and the address etc.


    Too bad we keep getting bad remasters (Aren't remastered DVD suppose to be improvements "Oklahoma!" what a mess). Didn't buy "Guys and Dolls" or the pan and scanned "Annie". I'm on the fence about "Grease" I would like the commentary (I hear the picture is improved even thought the sound isn't) Who's gonna get the next sloppy remaster treatment?
     
  8. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    Damn! That's a very important bit of dialogue missing. I'm glad I have a TCM letterbox stereo copy with the scene intact.

    The film was released in several versions at varying lengths. I wonder if there's a connection...
     
  9. Tucker J

    Tucker J Extra

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    Hi Chuck
    I have a few questions please,
    How do you go about putting a different soundtrack onto a dvd(what equipment etc)?

    Which soundtrack did you use to replace the one on the current GREASE dvd?

    Is there anyway I could put the original stereo soundtrack of Grease from a vhs tape onto the new dvd.

    Thanks.
     
  10. Garysb

    Garysb Screenwriter

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    TCM has also broadcast an alternate ending which was basically the opposite of what happened in the released version. Neat stuff. I will not say exactly what happened so as to not spoil it for those who have not seen the movie and may want to in the future.
     
  11. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    Actually, they quietly remastered the widescreen ANNIE and fixed the panned-and-scanned but still widescreen transfer. I bought it 2 yrs ago and it was fixed! But there is no way to tell from the packaging which one is inside. Of course, I then took the fixed anamorphic widescreen transfer and synched up the Dolby Digital 5.1 remix from the P/S only "anniversary DVD" to make my hybrid for the best picture and sound quality. :)
     
  12. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    I already did GREASE. I took the Hi-Fi Stereo Surround track from the 1990 VHS release, edited it to conform to the Dolby Digital track (to keep it in sync), kept the m2v video track as is with no additional compression, and laid in the VHS soundtrack mix in full PCM sound - at 1536kbps -

    It is a complicated process and GREASE involved about 20 sound edits to move the sound forward or backward a few frames here and there to account for the different transfers, missing frames at reel changes, etc. I use several programs on my Mac, and maybe someday I'll write a tutorial on how to do it - but not now.

    I just finished SWEET CHARITY - and my next project is THE LITTLE MERMAID - The new DVD has just wretched sound!
     
  13. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    I will find an address to write to concerning SWEET CHARITY and post the info shortly. I actually want to send a DVD to them also with the scene as it is on the VHS uncut and the scene from their DVD so they can see the edit.
     
  14. Tucker J

    Tucker J Extra

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    Thanks Chuck.
    I really hate that remixed Grease soundtrack.
    BTW Sorry for slightly high jacking this topic.
     
  15. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Annie is available OAR 16x9 and in 5.1 in UK, France, Norway and Japan. I finally went region-free and got the NTSC Japanese disc. The old disc (I was able to get the fixed edition) had good picture (cleaner than the LD but not as bright, IMO) but the sound was completely devoid of high ends. The QuebeƧois track sounded better.

    And lest we forget the muffled sound on Hello Dolly.

    But back to Sweet Charity, is "quality control" even in these people's vocabulary? Man, with the Little Mermaid sound issues and the Incomplete First Season of Mama's Family, I'm getting another hobby.
     
  16. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    That's rather unfair isn't it? After all, despite the DVD being out for several years no-one spotted the omission of this dialogue until Chuck pointed it out. If all the enthusiasts who post on this forum hadn't noticed that this key scene was missing then it is hardly surprising that Universal had not realised that it was missing on whatever print they used for the DVD.
     
  17. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    Well, when I contacted several of my musical buff friends, they were certain the scene must be on the DVD - until they checked it. They then admitted they bought it, watched the musical numbers and skimmed the film, and then put it on the shelf. And I hate to admit it, but I often do this too! After all, so many of us have bought the same films over and over, we want to make sure we have the best edition when/if we do decide to view it again. I wonder if a lot of other people do this as well, buy familiar titles only to skim them.
     
  18. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Yeah, I mainly watched the musical numbers (great in widescreen) but I have seen the film many times and didn't get throughout the whole thing when I first bought it. (Sweet Charity)

    Got the fixed "Annie" in widescreen but when my niece asked for it one Christmas all that was available was the "Special (Pan and Scan) Edition". Talk about up grades
     
  19. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    Here's a copy of my letter (minus my address, of course). Now let's all send similar letters so this film might be fixed! I'm sending out my letter and DVD today.


    Universal Studios Home Video
    70 Universal Plaza
    Universal City, CA 91608


    To Whom It May Concern,

    I am writing in reference to Sweet Charity as it was released on DVD in March of 2003 by Universal. I want to applaud the audio and video transfer of the film, and I am glad to have it in my collection alongside my other favorite musicals on DVD. I am pleased that some effort went into presenting the audio in Dolby Digital 4.0 from the original 6-track mix as well as the inclusion of the overture and intermission music.

    However, I wanted to bring a flaw in this release to your attention. It appears over a minute of a key dialog scene is missing from the DVD at 2:21:33. This scene is intact on the 1992 VHS and 1987 Laserdisc releases of the film. I have enclosed a DVD that presents this scene as it is on your DVD release as well as how it appears on previous video editions and how it airs on Turner Classic Movies (albeit in widescreen).

    After Charity says: "We'll talk about your fixation, okay?" at 2:21:33, the following is cut on the DVD:

    OSCAR: It wouldn't do any good. It's all those other men.

    CHARITY: Huh?

    OSCAR: The other men.

    CHARITY: Oh, Oscar, you said that didn't matter. You said that didn't make any difference.

    OSCAR: I thought if I said it enough I could convince myself it didn't matter, but... It does.

    CHARITY: (giggles nervously) Oh, you know, Oscar, you're just making a mountain out of a couple a guys.

    OSCAR: How many?

    CHARITY: Huh?

    OSCAR: HOW MANY? I want to know exactly how many!

    CHARITY: Oh, Oscar, don't talk like that in that tone of voice because I can't think.

    OSCAR: How many?

    CHARITY: (suppressing tears) How far back do you want me to go?

    OSCAR: Oh, God, I'm a terrible person. I have no right asking you things like that.

    CHARITY: Oh, Oscar, you can ask me any question you want. I won't hide a thing.

    OSCAR: No, don't you understand? I don't want to know. I don't want to know anything!

    CHARITY: Okay, then you get nothin' outta me, nothin' outta me. I'm very flexible, you know? I can go either way.

    I understand that Sweet Charity was released in several incarnations over the years, and perhaps this scene was not included in one of those shorter renditions with the alternate ending. Still, with high definition masters being created for future video and cable releases, I thought I should bring this to your attention so that the scene is restored properly to the film. The exit music, which runs over three minutes, was also missing from the 2003 DVD and 1992 VHS releases, but it was included on the 1987 Laserdisc. I have included it on the enclosed DVD as well. I sincerely hope that the missing scene and exit music are restored to the film for a future DVD release.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my letter, and I hope I have brought to your attention an issue that deserves rectification. Perhaps releasing a special edition of Sweet Charity with new bonus features (perhaps Shirley MacLaine might contribute an interview or commentary track) on DVD would be a worthwhile effort since the revival of the stage show is going on tour and the popularity of film musicals are enjoying a revival. I'm sure you'll agree that fans of Sweet Charity and film musicals in general deserve to have the film uncut as it has been seen previously on video and television for many years.



    Sincerely,



    Chuck Pennington III
     
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  20. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I can't believe I've never noticed this!! I am very well familiar with the original dialogue as I had watched the vhs version several times. I have also watched the 2003 dvd a few times all the way through, but I still didn't notice this omission! Unbelievable. Maybe it's because generally this late into the movie I'm starting to nod off anyway, but...

    Had I know, I never would have bought the damn dvd in the first place. I know these things happen, but they WOULDN'T happen if the dvd engineers would pay attention to their work. I can only think of one particular instance in my experience when I noticed something missing from a home video release; it was a 1985? vhs release of "The Wizard of Oz" (the "Kideo" version), in which the following line of dialogue was omitted: "Oh, no, my dear, I'm a very good man! Just a very bad wizard." That cut was enough for me to march the stupid video back down to Target and demand a refund.

    I wonder if there were any artistic reasons behind the Sweet Charity cut? The movie still flows properly, Oscar's motivations still make sense, and the editing is flawless. I believe Chuck's assumption that the dvd engineers must have been cueing off of a shorter version of the film, when they should have been cueing off the complete Roadshow version instead.
     

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