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Marx Brothers' Duck Soup to be edited?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Matt Stieg, Oct 30, 2004.

  1. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Well-Known Member

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    I read this on the Harold Lloyd forum. Unfortunately I'm having trouble finding the article, as the poster doesn't list the source. If true, then this is awful.

    http://p079.ezboard.com/ftheharoldll...ID=7 03.topic

    When will the studios learn they upset far more people when they cater to political correctness and edit stuff out than if they leave it in?
     
  2. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Well-Known Member

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    I ran a new 35mm print of Duck Soup a couple of weeks ago. There were no edits in it.
     
  3. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Well-Known Member

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    But that's not to say the DVD won't be edited. I'm willing to give Universal the benefit of the doubt, but I'll be royally pissed if I buy this and find it's edited.
     
  4. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Well-Known Member

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    I can't find any evidence that such an article has been written, although it's possible that its newness means that it's not yet available in the newspaper archives available to me. The newspaper cited in the linked posting also does not list it.

    I have watched the song on the new DVD and don't see obvious signs of editing. It would be interesting to know what has supposedly been cut so I could check for sure.

    Based on the lyrics and stage directions posted at this site, nothing is missing on the new DVD:

    http://www.whatalovelywar.co.uk/laws.html

    In fact, the info at that site omits the fact that, as reflected on the DVD, the crowd repeats the line about "all God's chillun."
     
  5. george kaplan

    george kaplan Well-Known Member

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    It seems more likely that any edits would be to remove the exchange about the Armstrongs and Headstrongs. A moment that makes me cringe like hell, but I'd hate to see censored in any case.
     
  6. Paul D G

    Paul D G Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure of the policies of posting online articles here, and I'm not sure how long the link will be valid for but:

    Here's the link:
    http://www.magatopia.com/columns/Bec...rtainment.html

    And here's the relevant bit from the article:

    BY MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH
    RELEASE: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2004

    HARPO'S SON HOPES NEW WAVE OF INTEREST LEADS TO MARX PICS [...]

    Not coming into the 21st Century with them -- at least, not in the new "Silver Screen" box set -- is the racially offensive material that has been deplored and debated in the "We're Going to War" production number in the Marx' anarchic 1933 anti-war film, "Duck Soup." Kudos to Universal for that. This well-made edit makes the film a pure zany joy without an ugly blot in it to spoil the fun.

    "That probably wasn't considered a racial slur back when they made it," comments Bill. "You know, they grew up in New York when it was a hotbed of people coming in from middle Europe, and ethnic humor of all kinds was very common. In their first act, Dad played an Irish kid ... He was the most non-prejudicial, nonjudgmental person in the world."


    BTW - I saw an ad on tv from Time Life for a Marx Bros box set, but it's only three movies plus a bonus disk which sounds a lot like the bonus disc offered by Universal. Is this the same set?

    http://www.timelife.com/is-bin/INTER...CategoryName=4

    -paul
     
  7. george kaplan

    george kaplan Well-Known Member

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    Well if it is coming out censored, all I can say is Thank God I have the current uncut dvd. And as for the authors of that article that think that censorship is a good thing. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Well-Known Member

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    Looks like I'm going to have search out the older Image DVD.
     
  9. Richard Waller

    Richard Waller Well-Known Member

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    I can't believe they would give kudos to Universal for something like that.
     
  10. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Well-Known Member

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    That column doesn't indicate what has supposedly been cut, unfortunately.

    Also, I just checked and the Headstrong/Armstrong comment is still there:


    There is an abrupt edit a few lines after that, when Groucho says, "It was silly of me to lose my temper on account of that little thing you called me." Then there's the abrupt edit, and the ambassador says, "Little thing I called you? Why, what did I call you?" This occurs starting at 37:37 on the new disc.
     
  11. george kaplan

    george kaplan Well-Known Member

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    Except for the fact that the "It was silly..." line starts at 37:17, that's the same way it is on the original dvd. I think it's an honest edit in the original film to a different camera angle, not a later cut. I'm assuming that there must be 20 extra seconds of FBI warnings, or studio introductions to account for the difference in time.
     
  12. ArthurMy

    ArthurMy Well-Known Member

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    An abrupt edit or a splice? Edit implies something is missing. Splice implies splice. Marilyn Beck is not a "journalist" and I would put no stock in whatever she says. She's worse than Cindy Adams and Rona Barrett put together. I put a lot more stock in Randy A. Salas who has watched the DVD and sees no edits in that number.
     
  13. DanaA

    DanaA Well-Known Member

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    No way would I buy a censored product. Just hoping it isn't so. Yes, certain lines are offensive, but where's it going to stop. Are they going to edit out all the comments which might be considered sexist?
     
  14. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Well-Known Member

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    It's looking more and more like I made the right decision in keeping my Image discs. Unfortunately, I never had a copy of "Monkey Business" or "Cocoanuts". Unless all of these rumors prove to be false, I'll be trying to scavenge for the original Image discs or possibly even VHS copies of these 2 titles. If even 1 second of film is cut, I wouldn't give 1 red cent for this set.
     
  15. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Sounds like the article is false in its reports. HTF member who knows his stuff >>>>> some random news article writer.
     
  16. ArthurMy

    ArthurMy Well-Known Member

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    I've never seen so many people make decisions based on information that is, most likely, false as can be. This happens in thread after thread. My advice, as always, wait until the disc comes out and read some reviews. You've already had Randy A. Salas, a reviewer here, tell you it doesn't appear to be cut. How much more information do you need than that?
     
  17. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Well-Known Member

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    Yup. This happens a lot on the Internet - one smidgen of evidence about something emerges without verification and everyone goes ballistic. Why bother to wait for verification when we can get indignant and threaten boycotts instead? [​IMG]
     
  18. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Well-Known Member

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    According to my reading, that's what everyone is doing. However, until someone posts definitive proof that no editing has taken place, I will keep my money. Of course, I will also be keeping my money unless there is significant picture improvement on these movies, and according to the PRELIMINARY reviews, this seems to be hit-or-miss.
     
  19. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Well-Known Member

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    Considering the subject matter, I should have been clearer. I meant what George said, an abrupt switch to a different camera angle.
     
  20. ArthurMy

    ArthurMy Well-Known Member

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    I'm with Colin - I'm rolling my eyes just like his smiley. I can read real clearly and I see what the posts say and the attitude comes through loud and clear - in this and other threads.

    I, for one, will be spending my money without waiting for a review because I'm just so certain there a) won't be anything edited from Duck Soup (if that was going to happen it would have happened ages ago), and because these films will look like what they look like given that they're over seventy years old. I don't think "significant' picture improvement's going to enter into it. You're either a Marx fanatic or your not. Those who are (and they are plentiful) will happily be parting with their money.
     

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