Several years ago film archivist Darren Gross posted this list of cuts to the 129-minute version on a website devoted to the restoration, which has since gone off-line:
The original director's cut of Night of Dark Shadows was screened for MGM executives at 129 minutes. Unhappy with the running time, studio head James Aubrey ordered director Dan Curtis to cut around 40 minutes out of the picture, as it was considered a B-programmer. Curtis was given only 24 hours to re-cut the picture, and the 97 minute version was approved by Aubrey. The picture was press screened at that length, but afterward an additional 4 minutes were cut from the picture without Dan Curtis' consent, probably in order to guarantee a GP rating (1971's PG equivalent) as all of this material cut was violent or sexually suggestive in nature. During release some of the preview (97 mins) prints were accidentally circulated and still show up today, probably through private collectors as the 97 min prints are no longer held in MGM's archive. Dan Curtis' 129 min original version has been considered lost and presumed destroyed for decades, but film historian Darren Gross unearthed the sole existing material for this version in August 1999. Plans for restoration and release of this version are currently being formulated. http://www.imdb.com/...ternateversions
This Dark Shadows fansite offers a more comprehensive list of cuts: http://www.collinwoo...s/misc/nods.htm When the 95-minute theatrical version was being prepared for TV broadcast, an additional 1 minute was cut. There were also a number of sound drop-outs while the beginning and ending of lead-ins (music, sound effects, and snips of dialog) to cut scenes were left intact. This version was later pressed to VHS and laser-disc, and now it has been transferred to blu-ray and DVD, albeit in the correct aspect ratio. On the plus side, the transfer is clean and generally free of dirt. There is sharp detail and texture. However, the color has been dialed down in intensity and brightness boosted much higher than it needs to be, rendering day-for-night shots into illogical day. There is an odd bluish tint to many shots that doesn't match the rest of the scene (the funeral in the rain, the witch hanging from the tree, for example). The bluish tint has never been there before, not in the theatrical prints nor in the VHS / laser disc. Toggling back & forth from the foreign language dubs exposes many defects in the English track. The most noticeable instance of a sound drop-out comes at the very beginning during the POV shot from inside the tower looking down at Quentin and Tracy standing beside their car. The drop out starts at 2 minutes 53 seconds and lasts until 3 minutes 8 seconds. The foreign language dubs contain the ominous music that is supposed to be heard over this shot. The foreign language dubs are generally correct for sound effects, dialog, and music that are missing from the English track. The foreign language dubs are also free of the audio lead-ins to the cut scenes. Of the missing footage, the most obvious and jarring jump cut comes 60 minutes 30 seconds into the blu-ray when Tracy tells Quentin "Don't touch me like that!" Following leads provided by people who worked on the production, film archivist Darren Gross searched for and recovered missing footage. When told by the studio that the audio portion no longer existed, he paid to re-record missing dialog with the participation of the original actors. Later, when Warner Brothers obtained the rights to the film, they were informed of his restoration efforts and invited to participate, but they did not respond. Since then, most of the original dialog and audio tracks have been located as well as more of the excised footage. Both the sound and picture elements are in good shape. All of this was offered to Warner Home Video long before the blu-ray was announced. There is very little work remaining to be done. The film could have been returned to its original state at minimal expense. In slapping the TV-safe version of the shortened theatrical release to blu-ray and DVD, with missing footage and defective sound, Warner Home Video treated the film with disrespect and an utter lack of care. They also disregarded over 12 years of persistent petitioning from the fans for a restoration, dashing expectations that there will ever be one. Now that a blu-ray is out, WHV has washed its hands of Night of Dark Shadows. Knowledgeable Dark Shadows enthusiasts are cordially invited to offer additions, corrections and your personal observations to this post.
Tracy wakes Quentin after their first night at Collinwood. She tells him that she woke up in the middle of the night to find Quentin gone. Quentin has no memory of leaving the room and he pulls Tracy to him for a passionate kiss. Tracy sees Gerard and his two Dobermans staring up at her as she drinks coffee in the Gallery. Carlotta tells her that the man is Gerard Stiles, the handyman as well as her nephew. The horse Quentin rides bucks wildly, trying to throw him off. Quentin has a flashback to 1810 where he sees Charles and Angelique sharing an intimate scene at the piano. They are interrupted by Laura who accuses Angelique of bewitching her husband. Quentin and Tracy explore the dilapidated greenhouse watched by Angelique's ghost. Quentin enters the dining room limping and wearing the riding clothes given to him as a present. When Quentin attacks distracted and trancelike, Tracy recommends he see a doctor. On the railroad bridge, Alex tells Quentin the sordid history of Charles, Angelique, Gabriel, and Laura. Though dismissive of Alex's fears, Quentin agrees to stay away from the tower. Tracy notices that Quentin has removed Angelique's portrait from the gallery. After Quentin slams the tower door on Tracy, he works on continuing Charles' unfinished portrait and embraces the ghostly Angelique. Seeing Angelique's silhouette in the tower window, Tracy pledges that she will save Quentin. In the cottage, Quentin and Alex find a sobbing, terrified Claire who tells them that Gerard attacked them and abducted Tracy. Alex helps Quentin force the basement door open which banishes Angelique's ghost and saves Tracy. Claire enters and tells them that the ghost that attacked Tracy was the same one that attacked Alex earlier in the cottage. Quentin finds a brick wall where a door should be and realizes that Angelique and Charles Collins are buried behind it. Quentin summons up Angelique's spirit during a séance in the gallery. As Angelique's spirit begins to fade away, Carlotta (who has been watching from the music balcony) interrupts the séance, causing Quentin to fall unconscious. Alex confronts the furious and hysterical Carlotta telling her to release her hold on Angelique's spirit. Carlotta runs from the balcony and Alex races up the stairs after her. After Carlotta leaps to her death, Quentin wakes in Tracy's arms. As the day breaks through the gallery windows, Quentin says that the nightmare is over.