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Marx Brothers' Duck Soup to be edited?


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#1 of 59 Matt Stieg

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Posted October 30 2004 - 07:53 AM

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......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 of 59 Peter Apruzzese

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Posted October 30 2004 - 08:17 AM

I ran a new 35mm print of Duck Soup a couple of weeks ago. There were no edits in it.
"What we're fighting for, in the end...we're fighting for each other." - Col. Joshua Chamberlain in "Gettysburg"

 


#3 of 59 Matt Stieg

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Posted October 30 2004 - 08:25 AM

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 of 59 Randy A Salas

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Posted October 30 2004 - 09:05 AM

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.whatalove...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."
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#5 of 59 george kaplan

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Posted October 30 2004 - 10:28 AM

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.
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

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#6 of 59 Paul D G

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Posted October 30 2004 - 06:15 PM

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....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.....CategoryName=4

-paul

#7 of 59 george kaplan

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Posted October 31 2004 - 01:35 AM

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. Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#8 of 59 Larry Sutliff

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Posted October 31 2004 - 02:00 AM

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

#9 of 59 Richard Waller

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Posted October 31 2004 - 02:07 AM

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

#10 of 59 Randy A Salas

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Posted October 31 2004 - 02:09 AM

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

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

Quote:
Firefly replies: "Well, maybe I am a little headstrong, but I come by it honestly. My father was a little headstrong, my mother was a little armstrong. The headstrongs married the armstrongs and that's why darkies were born."

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.
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#11 of 59 george kaplan

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Posted October 31 2004 - 04:37 AM

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.
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.
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#12 of 59 ArthurMy

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Posted October 31 2004 - 04:41 AM

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 of 59 DanaA

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Posted October 31 2004 - 05:22 AM

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 of 59 Eric Peterson

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Posted October 31 2004 - 05:41 AM

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 of 59 Brandon Conway

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Posted October 31 2004 - 07:16 AM

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

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#16 of 59 ArthurMy

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Posted October 31 2004 - 07:37 AM

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 of 59 Colin Jacobson

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Posted October 31 2004 - 09:39 AM

Quote:
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.


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? Posted Image
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#18 of 59 Eric Peterson

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Posted October 31 2004 - 10:15 AM

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?


I haven't seen a single post of anyone making a decision. There are several (including mine) that say if this comes to pass that they will not be purchasing. I also find Randy's comments far from definitive.

Personally, I'm not sold on this set anyway. I have an inherent distrust for any product that Universal releases and until a comprehensive review is posted somewhere, my money will remain in my pocket.

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?


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 of 59 Randy A Salas

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Posted October 31 2004 - 10:43 AM

Quote:
An abrupt edit or a splice?

Considering the subject matter, I should have been clearer. I meant what George said, an abrupt switch to a different camera angle.
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#20 of 59 ArthurMy

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Posted October 31 2004 - 12:16 PM

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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