Uncut "Hawaii"?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by johnmn, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. johnmn

    johnmn Auditioning

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    I know this has been discussed from time to time in this forum, but I was reminded of the issue by an eBay listing of the uncut and stereo "Hawaii" LD. As I've never owned an LD player, it's of no use to me, but this led me to search for uncut "Hawaii" DVDs; I realize that the Region 1 release is edited, but I wondered if there is some Asian release, say (Julie Andrews is rather popular in Asia...), or some other non-Region-1 release of the uncut "Hawaii." So far I've found nothing, but people in this forum are really knowledgeable so just maybe...

    Anyway, any info would be greatly appreciated!

    --John
     
  2. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    I understand that the roadshow (extended) version of Hawaii does not exist in any form except for on the old laserdisc. One of the reasons I still have mine. When Hawaii was announced for DVD, I wrote a letter to the then head of MGM Home Video imploring him to release it in the extended Roadshow version. But, alas there was no answer at all.

    The laserdisc version is touted as the Roadshow version just as a release of The Alamo was. In producing the DVD’s for both those titles it was announced that they would not be the extended Roadshow cut due to the condition of the inserts. They did not even offer the additional scenes as extras.

    In watching both laserdiscs I could not tell the difference in the additions as you could with the It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World extended cut. I hope that one day sooner than later, all three titles will be revisited and released in Roadshow edition.

    Hawaii is an interesting film and can be very enjoyable. The extended scenes mostly were in the first third of the film and expanded the background of the main characters. It did allow the viewer to understand some of the decisions the characters made. I was very disappointed that the DVD version did not include the intermission, but at least if had the overture and exit music.

    On another note, there is an interesting read in Walter Mirisch’s autobiography about the making of Hawaii and problems that happened on the set, including the Hawaiian actors not working when the director was fired. The book is titled “I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not History”
     
  3. johnmn

    johnmn Auditioning

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    "...it was announced that they would not be the extended Roadshow cut due to the condition of the inserts."

    I think I heard that too, but it's a ridiculous reason. There are lots of DVDs in release in which the film elements are in much worse shape. It must be a length issue--the roadshow version would be too long for one DVD, maybe, and MGM didn't think "Hawaii" was worth a 2-DVD release.

    Still, it seems like there must be some other foreign release out there...

    Anyone?

    --John
     
  4. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    This implies that the DVD is not only cut, but in mono. Is that correct? If it is in mono, why is it?
     
  5. BillyFeldman

    BillyFeldman Supporting Actor

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    Because the film was released in mono. Strange, but true.
     
  6. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    There is nothing implied about it. The DVD is in mono. It is hard to believe with such a rich score by Elmer Bernstein.

    The Varese Sarabande 2-disc soundtrack presents the complete score on disc one in mono and the original soundtrack album on disc two in stereo.
     
  7. johnmn

    johnmn Auditioning

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    "Because the film was released in mono. Strange, but true."

    Does anyone have definitive info on that? The TCM website describes the soundtrack of "Hawaii" as "Sound: Stereo (Westrex Recording System)." I'd swear that when I was a kid I saw the movie in booming stereo sound...but maybe that's wishful thinking. Has someone who owns the LD checked to see if the stereo sound is for real (i.e., genuinely directional, not just artificially enhanced)?

    Gosh, I wish I had the equipment to watch an LD!

    --John
     
  8. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    I'll have the LD soon and will let you know for sure - stereo or not. I tried watching the film once and was bored silly (granted, I was 9). I'm going to try again now. Found a sealed, mint LD copy and should have it in a week.
     
  9. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    The Laserdisc is in stereo. That is was a mystery to me when I got the DVD and found it was in mono. When Hawaii was released to DVD it was at the tail end of MGM before the sale to Sony and the others. They were putting things out left and right and the care was not there.

    I cannot say concerning the original theatre release, for when I say it, it was in a local theatre that did not have mag-sound.

    There does seem to be a little care now as with the special editions of Battle for Britain and A Bridge Too Far, but those are their top sellers so it is not surprise, However they still have not included the Intermission that was included in the exclusive runs and on the laserdisc.
     
  10. BillyFeldman

    BillyFeldman Supporting Actor

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    I read a whole article about the film - and it was released in mono. I can't remember why - either they thought they had a turkey on their hands (which they did in terms of box-office) and they cheaped out, or time ran out. It was something like that - I'll try and find the article.
     
  11. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    Well, now I'm confused.

    The original poster described the LD as being "uncut and stereo."

    I checked the DVD out of the library, and it is cut and mono.

    I had asked why the DVD was released in mono, and BillyFeldman said it was because the film was released in mono. So how can the LD be in stereo? Is it one of those fake stereo things?

    Most big roadshow movies of its day were in stereo -- but, then again, most of them were also in one of the 70mm processes or in Cinerama or Dimension 150, or whatever -- and apparently "Hawaii" was just plain old Panavision. So maybe it wasn't in stereo.
     
  12. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    Actually, "Hawaii" did quite well in its initial roadshow engagements, if United Artists' figures reported by Variety in late '66 and early '67 are to be believed.

    "Hawaii" ended up 2nd to "The Bible" as the highest-grossing film of 1966 (of course, being roadshows, both movies charged higher prices), so calling it a turkey is something of an exaggeration. It was disappointing, though, especially compared to the roadshow blockbusters like "Ben-Hur," "The Sound of Music" and "Doctor Zhivago."
     
  13. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    I saw Hawaii when It opened in 70mm in New York City.

    I seemed to remember that some of it sounded like stereo.

    When MGM/US was releasing the LD< they claimed it was always mono.

    this didn't make a lot of sense, so I looked up all of the sound guys credited in the film. It was a long time ago, But one of them said the film, in only a few locations was partially mag stereo - Reel One A which included the Overture, Main Title and prologue,
    Reel 4a and 4B which was the ocean voyage to Hawaii and the storm at sea and the final reel of the film for the end scene and exit music. THe rest of the print was mag mono on one channel and blank on the other six tracks.

    The reason was simple. The filming had run on too long and was way over budget and US decided to cut back and save money.

    Amazing. Years later I'm at the UCLA film and television library and going through the production records for Camelot. Jack Warner is trying to decide how many stereo prints of camelot to make. He gets a report from his advisor, steve Trilling.

    He givews Warner a complete report on recent roadshow stereo films and mentions how manyprints of doctor Zhivao, Sound of Music etc and then says, "United Artists released Hawaii only in mono"

    For the laserdisc, Chace productions received from UA a three channel MOno track from Ua This is one channel with just dialogue, one with just sound effects, and one with the music. The music was artificially spread out for stereo using a sophisticated process and sounds great. I transferreed the LD to DVD-R and I'm glad I did.

    Later Varese club released a two CD of the soundtrack as mentioned earlier. Disc one is mono and very long but is NOT the complete score - many scenes aremissing.
    Disc two is the stereo soundtrack album which is short, a rerecording with a much smaller orchestra than is used on the actual film.
     
  14. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    The above just about sums it up. In Walter Mirisch's book "I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not History" he said the roadshow length was 186 minutes, I believe the DVD and TCM print is 162 minutes. The chapter just on the making of Hawaii is worth the price of the book. Like how a film budgeted at under 10 million ended up costing over 14 million and they actually had a complete other story in the plot that they cut out and that ended up becoming the basis of The Hawaiians. He also started out with Fred Zinnemann as director, then had George Roy Hill, fired him and hired Arthur Hiller, then it went back to George Roy Hill.

    While he talks of the 1st premiere in Santa Barbara and the second in Minneapolis, with the world premieres at the DeMille in New York and the Egyptian in Hollywood, he does not talk of sound or aspect format.

    Here is a question. Does anyone remember if Hawaii was show in 70mm blow-ups. I understand it was filmed and everything I have read and seen says it was presented in Panavision.
     
  15. BillyFeldman

    BillyFeldman Supporting Actor

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    The article I read (and I cannot find, unfortunately - have googled till I'm blue in the face), stated the roadshow release was mono. Very unusual, but given what the poster above says, not hard to believe if the film were that far over budget. And I do think it was a blowup, not shot in 70mm - can anyone confirm? Were partial reels in stereo? That seems rather unlikely and doesn't make much sense. I found several posts on a website where people state that it was mono in roadshow, so there's that.

    And yes, the stereo used for the laserdisc was created for the laserdisc and had nothing to do with any theatrical showing of Hawaii. So, the current DVD has the overture and intermission music, I think - is that part of the 162 minute run time of the DVD? Is the uncut 186 minute version inclusive of all that music? If so, it seems like we're missing about twenty four minutes of actual scenes - does that sound right? I also read somewhere that TCM shows the full version - is that right?
     
  16. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Cinematographer

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  17. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    The 186 minute version does include the Overture, Intermission, Enter'acta Music and Exit Music in the running time. You are right about the length of missing scenes also. The back of the laserdisc says this is the restored Roadshow cut and incudes 23 minutes of footage cut for General release.

    I thought that TCM was running the shorter version, but I more than likely wrong.
     
  18. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    As for "Hawaii" being 70mm at the DeMille in New York City -- I just looked at the original ads in the New York Times, and it only says "Panavision," not Super Panavision 70 or anything like that.
     
  19. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Hawaii was shown i 70mm and partial stereo at the demille in New York and at the Chinese in 70mm but straight mono in Loa Angeles. I twas 70mm blowup and not Super Panavision etc.

    Even off of roadshow it ran uncut for quite a long time and returned the following summer in the cut mono prints with Overture but no intermission or exit musc.
     
  20. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    Egyptian, not Chinese. Similar, but different.
     

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