I'm confused. Does a restored print of IAMMMMW exist? I have seen recent sites advertizing screenings of a restored 70mm version running 197 min. The Film Society Lincoln Center showed it on Saturday, December 22, 2:00pm and Friday, December 28, 5:15pm 2012.
If this is the case, and the print DOES exist, then why hasn't someone slapped it on a bluray? I thought the restoration was the hard (and expensive) part. But if it's already done, why hasnt it been released on home video?
(I hope I havent missed a post explaining this earlier)
A friend of mine attended the Lincoln Center show and said the presentation was pretty bad, so I don't think it was a restored print. I saw another film there earlier in the day ("Lord Jim", I think) and while the 70mm print was in "okay" shape, the presentation was also pretty bad, so I wasn't in the mood to stay for IAMMMMW. That theatre had a reputation for being good, but the sound was absolutely terrible and the screen was way too small for 70mm presentation. For a Cinerama presentation, even single-projector Cinerama, which IAMMMMW was, it's absurdly small and nothing like the original presentation, which was completely enveloping.
Even if it were a new print, that's no guarantee of anything. I saw a 70mm print of "The Master" at the Ziegfeld in the second week of the run and the print had dirt from end to end. Even though I've been begging for a revival of 70mm, after I saw that presentation, I realized it's all over for film. A standard digital presentation actually would have been better, even though I'm really sad to be saying that.
Conventional wisdom states that the police calls during the intermission of the original run of IAMMMMW were only done for the first few showings. But I'm 90% sure I heard it with the police calls (I seem to remember not wanting to go into the lobby because of it) and while I saw it in its original presentation at the Warner Cinerama, I doubt I saw it very early in the run.
So what I have to wonder is that even if they did some edits after the opening, is whether that theatre kept and ran the original longer print? Guess we'll never know for sure.