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Criterion editions of Spellbound and The Lady Vanishes are missing some footage


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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Rick Z.

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Posted April 06 2005 - 03:19 AM

A while ago I found in some other website that two criterion releases of the Hitchcock films The Lady Vanishes and Spellbound are missing some footage. The Lady Vanishes: When the two men who are always hanging around together enter their room in the hotel, a moment later a maid comes in with some cloth and puts it in the closet, and later kneels down to get a hat from under the bed.. Well, in the DVD we just see the maid enter the room and we immediately cut to see her gettting the hat from under the bed (without having even seen her getting down to the floor). This creates a slightly awkward continuity error in which we never get to see what happens to the cloth. And the distance in which the men are standing when she first enters is changed. We see them distant to each other at first and standing next to each other in the next shot. It appears that the cheap DVD editions of the film in the U.S. (Laserlight and all the others) omit this brief segment as well, therefore I don't think that the folks at Criterion are to blame for it, since they haven't been the ones that performed the cut... but still... considering the price they ask for this they should have looked for better elements to make the DVD especially when there are two R2 editions containing the scene intact (which means there are uncut prints in store somewhere). The thread is located at daveyp.com and someone posted a link there from which you can download this missing segment. As for Spellbound: 74 minutes into the film we get a shot of J.B. (Gregory Peck) holding a razor blade, whilst hearing Brulov's (Michael Checkov's) line off screen "Is that you Mr Brown?" We then cut to Brulov for his next line "Oh I thought it was you". Simple, no? Well, the Criterion DVD cuts away from the razor blade too soon, and then has the footage of Brulov mouthing his 2nd line, whilst overdubbing his first! Then we get the 2nd line properly. In other words, the footage of Brulov's line "Oh I thought it was you" is spliced together twice!! At the thread where I found this information (again from daveyp.com) there was a person who confirmed the alteration by comparing the Criterion disc with his old VHS tape. It also appears that the Anchor Bay DVD is free of this problem, which means that, in this case Criterion could be responsible for this strange modification. This thread is also at daveyp.com

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Josh Simpson

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Posted April 06 2005 - 04:07 AM

Weird. I have both of these, as well as other versions. I'll have to see these for myself...not that I don't believe you... Posted Image

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   DaveRU

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Posted April 06 2005 - 06:49 AM

The Criterion DVD of The Lady Vanishes is definitely missing that segment, it ruins the look on their faces when the maid bends down.
I've wondered whether it was 1930s censorship. Luckily I have the excellent German R2 version as well.

Annoying about Spellbound, may have to get another copy of that Posted Image

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted April 06 2005 - 06:59 AM

It would actually be Disney that is responsible for it. Criterion used Scott MacQueen's restoration. DJ

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted April 06 2005 - 10:52 AM

The problem may have originated from Disney, but it's a Criterion product - and they're responsible for releasing the DVD with missing footage.

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Aaron Reynolds

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Posted April 06 2005 - 10:59 AM

Marc, are you saying that Criterion made this alteration, then? Because here's the conversation: - It also appears that the Anchor Bay DVD is free of this problem, which means that, in this case Criterion could be responsible for this strange modification. - It would actually be Disney that is responsible for it. Criterion used Scott MacQueen's restoration. - The problem may have originated from Disney, but it's a Criterion product - and they're responsible for releasing the DVD with missing footage. I can't see how Criterion modified the film, which is what you appear to be arguing. Or are you being sticky about wording?

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted April 06 2005 - 12:24 PM

Criterion only distributed a Disney product. Blaming them and holding them responsible misses the point. DJ

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted April 06 2005 - 12:48 PM

Sorry, didnt mean to imply that Criterion was responsible for the modification.... they're not. I see now that the post was referring to the actual missing footage specifically. What I meant was that Criterion should stand by the products they release - as they should'nt have released the DVD the way it was.




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