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Lindsay Anderson's "If..."


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#1 of 54 Bradley Newton

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Posted November 15 2005 - 12:57 AM

Does anyone know the status of Lindsay Anderson's "If..."
It's one of my favorite films of all time and my Paramount VHS tape is a bit shaggy. I understand that Malcom McDowell recorded a commentary track for this a few years ago but the DVD never surfaced.

#2 of 54 John Hodson

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Posted November 15 2005 - 01:05 AM

Go here and you'll see that Paramount appears to be sitting on it - possibly a music rights issue?
So many films, so little time...
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#3 of 54 Bruce Morrison

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Posted November 15 2005 - 10:32 AM

I've been puzzled about the reasons for the delay in releasing this great film. As far as I recall, the only non-original music used in the film was the "Missa Luba", a Congolese mass. I've no idea who owns the rights for that, but it seems bizarre if that's the only reason for the hold-up. Apart from that, there are some shots of hymns being sung in the school chapel, but I'd hardly expect that to be a problem.

I wish Paramount could at least give us some idea of the status of If... in terms of a DVD release. The pent-up interest in it must be considerable by now.
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#4 of 54 Mark Bendiksen

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Posted November 15 2005 - 10:35 AM


Quote:
The pent-up interest in it must be considerable by now.
I would guess that it is....at least my pent-up interest is now considerable. Posted Image

Let's hope that Paramount gets this on their release schedule soon!


#5 of 54 Philo MacDuff

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Posted November 15 2005 - 11:13 AM

Me too! It's been at the top of my wanted list for years. I keep hoping for some official word from Paramount. It's frustrating.

The fact that commentaries were recorded and the release scrubbed at the last minute does lend itself towards some kind of legal snaggle but whoever knows sure isn't talking.
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#6 of 54 Blaine Skerry

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Posted November 15 2005 - 11:22 AM

Let's have the Mick Travis trilogy. I'm game.

I see that dvdplanet has Britannia Hospital.

#7 of 54 Jason Hughes

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Posted November 15 2005 - 01:09 PM

I'd buy this and O Lucky Man. Any status on that one?
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#8 of 54 DennisW

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Posted November 15 2005 - 01:30 PM

I think politics is keeping this one off DVD for now. After all, the main characters do find an arsenal, and attack a school function with grenades and machine guns--that is the big finale! I really do think that has more to do with it then any rights issues. Paramount is worried about the impact of the release on young impressionable minds. That's my take on it. I remember how controversial it was at the time of its release, and if 'rediscovered', it might be twice as controversial now.

I truly love this film, and hope it makes it to DVD eventually.

#9 of 54 Bradley Newton

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Posted November 15 2005 - 02:19 PM

In one of the online forums the folks from Warner Brothers said that they are considering "O Lucky Man" for 2006.
I bought "Britannia Hospital" and I am thrilled with the treatment given to it by Anchor Bay. It's probably the least interesting of the trilogy but it holds a special place in my heart for that operating room scene alone.
Weirdly enough, right after I bought the DVD, I stumbled into a gallery while on vacation in Antigua that was owned by Nick Maley, one of the guys who created Yoda. There were lots of photos of him working on Yoda and tons of photos from Tobe Hooper's "Lifeforce", for which he was the director of special effects. Anyhoo, there was one tiny picture of the operating room scene from "Britannia Hospital" and I asked him about it. He was brought in to create the McDowell cast and handle the decapitation. Mr. Maley was very nice but he did not seem very proud of having worked on the film and had some interesting stories to tell about Mr. Anderson and his behavior on set. He seemed surprised to find out that the film was on DVD and that people were still aware of it.

#10 of 54 Jeff Ulmer

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Posted November 15 2005 - 03:06 PM

I'm pretty sure WB said in one of the HTF chats that O Lucky Man was supposed to be out in 2005. Of the three, that is the one I want most.

#11 of 54 Gordon McMurphy

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Posted November 15 2005 - 10:40 PM

Quote:
Does anyone know the status of Lindsay Anderson's "If..."
Quote:
Paramount appears to be sitting on it

Death to the oppressor!

I have been waiting for an If... DVD for over five years now. It is a film that I greatly love and admire and would love to hear McDowell's thoughts on the film. I foolishly sold my VHS copy years ago. A new print did the rounds last year and the film has been shown on TV with the bare-arsed teacher's wife wondering about footage intact, etc, so it can't be a question of which version to release. Paramount, up until this year had been a fickle and somewhat lazy studio in regard to cult movies on DVD, but this year, they have served up a few surprises like Danger: Diabolik and a recut SE of The Warriors and other nice offerings. But Reds is still nowhere to be seen and that doesn't bode well for an even more obscure film like If.

Ah, for the days of Martin Blythe posting on HTF...


#12 of 54 RoyM

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Posted November 16 2005 - 04:13 AM

Count me in as another who has been waiting forever for both If... and O, Lucky Man!. The conspiracy theory that Dennis proposes sounds as plausible as anything for why If... hasn't been released.

#13 of 54 John Hodson

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Posted November 16 2005 - 04:19 AM

Then how did Elephant get a release? Sorry, but it doesn't quite ring true.
So many films, so little time...
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#14 of 54 Gordon McMurphy

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Posted November 16 2005 - 05:38 AM

Aye, how would the far more disturbing, Elephant get released and not the surreal, allegorical, If?

Oh, This Sporting Life was mentionedbe a Criterion release sometime in 2006. Another wonderful Anderson film and a key British film of the not-so-swinging Sixties.


PS: The title of this thread ought to be re-titled as a question to reflect the content of the thread.

#15 of 54 Bradley Newton

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Posted November 16 2005 - 08:11 AM

How do I edit the title? Sorry...I'm new at this.

#16 of 54 Gordon McMurphy

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Posted November 16 2005 - 10:12 AM

Oh, sorry, Bradley; only administrators can edit a thread's title.

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#17 of 54 Ike

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Posted November 16 2005 - 11:01 AM

I saw an ad for a book Turner Classic Movies is publishing on If... along with books on (if I remember correctly) The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus as part of a classic British film series. I can't find them on their website, but I thought this might precede a DVD release.

#18 of 54 Mark_TS

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Posted November 16 2005 - 07:02 PM

Jeez, I thought this had been given a firm release date-like for Sept-but it sank out of sight.
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#19 of 54 andrew markworthy

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Posted November 16 2005 - 08:32 PM

I doubt whether it's the subversive nature of the film that's holding back the release. Given that it's set in a private school (guys, you don't think all Brit schools are like that do you? - don't ask why, but 'public school' over here means it's private; the schools we plebs go to are called 'state schools') even at the time it was seen as having little relevance to the experiences of the average Brit.

#20 of 54 Bradley Newton

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Posted November 17 2005 - 12:45 AM

And for those who are interested, the version of Sanctus that Mick listens to in the film is available now on CD. The album is titled "Misa Criolla/Missa Luba/Misa Flamenca".
You guys now have me wondering if music copyright issues could be the reason for the DVD delay. I wish someone from Paramount would join this thread and give us some insight.





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