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1776 playing in Santa Monica tomorrow

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#81 of 131 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 07 2013 - 12:18 PM

Jack,

 

I stand behind you 110% on this.

 

I want everything that was on that laserdisc release 

put into the Blu-ray Special Edition, placed back into

the film itself.

 

This includes the overture, intermission and entr'acte.

Those aspects of the presentation were INCREDIBLE.

 

However, I suspect it's going to be impossible to get

it done.

 

Whether Peter Hunt personally signed off on the changes

to the original laserdisc release is irrelevant today.   I think

the director has very strong opinions about what he does

and doesn't want put back into a "kitchen sink" version no

matter how much the fans demand it all.

 

It's his film.  He has a right to do with it as he pleases.

I just wish that he were capable of opening himself up 

to realize how much the fans really enjoyed that laserdisc

release.  I am with you in feeling that if he is allowing a 

version to be seen in the home, then why not give the fans

the version they fell in love with in the late 90s.  

 

...but again, it all comes down to this film belonging to 

the director, and it is his to do what he wishes.


 

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#82 of 131 ONLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted July 07 2013 - 12:31 PM

*
POPULAR

So would you guys not want the new material we've found added so that it replicates the laserdisc only?

The overture etc. would be illegal to put into a release. It's creation was done without approval as the music was not recorded for that purpose and therefore the musicians involved and their union could sue if it was included on any new release, so if that is a dealbreaker then enjoy your laserdisc. The Jefferson stuff will most likely be on the release as an extra piece but not integrated.

But this overture etc is a fantasy, created by someone who likes roadshows and grafted onto a film that should have never had it.
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#83 of 131 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted July 07 2013 - 01:33 PM

I don't see how any fan of the show and/or the film could want an Overture and Intermission that never existed and was never meant to exist?  It absolutely ruins the flow of the piece. 


Edited by JohnMor, July 07 2013 - 01:36 PM.

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#84 of 131 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted July 07 2013 - 01:56 PM

I don't see how someone is incapable of understanding why there are people who enjoy the Overture/Intermission.   As to whether one was intended to exist or not, that is a matter open to debate because the *FIRST* commentary track that the director of this film took part in does not indicate that one was *never* intended.    I have long made clear which of the two people who participated in that first commentary track I am inclined to believe is more truthful in regard to what they are saying today and I'm not about to change my perspective on that.   If anything, the comments I am reading today only reinforce my feelings on that subject.

 

If Hunt says he is trying to do this for the benefit of the HOME viewer, then I for one don't need him to tell me what should and shouldn't be part of the home viewer experience given we are talking about something that was avaialable in a previously approved home video format.   I am not asking for something to be made especially for this new version, I simply want what I am used to.     On this point, I am being consistent.   For "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" I want the LD cut available because that is for me a standard home viewing cut I have become used to over 20 years, and for "Major Dundee" I want the DVD cut option of the long version with the film's proper 1965 score because that option was *made available in an official release previously*.       There is nothing inconsistent in this perspective on any of these films.

 

If I am being asked, given a choice between new material and the Overture/Entr'acte, my answer is 100% firm with hesitation, I want the Overture/Entra'cte and I also want the original underscore back in the John-Abigail scene in the tower and not dead silence.   

 

I was willing to potentially give a "kitchen sink" version a chance for the archival purpose, but if my perspective on the Overture etc. is going to get treated with the same condescension I had to witness a decade ago during the DVD release in which to defend the LD and its importance was trashed endlessley, then frankly there's little reason for me to be the fool who is then parted from his money on a new vanity edition (insomuch as the claim that this *everything* we wanted under this model becomes false advertising of the first order).     And that sir, is my reaction to the obnxoxious and dislikable behavior of others and not those of us whose only crime it seems is that we admired what was done in 1991 and simply wanted to replicate that experience.   


Edited by Jack P, July 07 2013 - 02:06 PM.


#85 of 131 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted July 07 2013 - 02:14 PM

******The overture etc. would be illegal to put into a release. It's creation was done without approval as the music was not recorded for that purpose and therefore the musicians involved and their union could sue if it was included on any new release,

 

So tell me.....where was the lawsut in 1991?



#86 of 131 ONLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted July 07 2013 - 02:14 PM

It is not legally possible to include the overture etc. it's that simple. What would you have Sony do?

It's still possible for the union to go back and bring suit against Pioneer I imagine, but the PSE company no longer exists and there were only a few thousand copies made. The laserdisc producer at the time certainly didn't publicize what he had done in creating these elements out of whole cloth. What could Hunt say in 1991? He was just happy to have Cool Men back so he overlooked the problems then because that Laserdisc was a limited edition of a few thousand copies. When it came time to do the version that would stand for posterity, this is when he insisted things be correct.

Jack you are very inflexible as you have demonstrated in other threads. You want the version you know and like, that is your right but it doesn't make you correct. I invite you to enjoy your low-rez version with poor quality trims and fake invented overture and intermission.

The rest of us will have a wonderful high definition Blu-Ray to enjoy so everyone can be happy.

Edited by Moe Dickstein, July 07 2013 - 02:20 PM.

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#87 of 131 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted July 07 2013 - 02:21 PM

Make a good-faith effort to include it if other hurdles potentially exist.   And if after a true good-faith effort it can't be done, and that is presented to us with some understanding for the feelings of those of us who wanted to see it, that would at least remove the bad feeling on this subject.     That would do a lot more for customer relations then being  condescending and obnoxious with upturned nose comments about those of us who liked and appreciated what that did to the presentation in the LD and act like you're all doing us a favor by not including it and that we should be ashamed of ourselves for having ever liked it because that is the only vibe I've been getting for a decade on this point.



#88 of 131 OFFLINE   Ejanss

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Posted July 07 2013 - 02:28 PM

So would you guys not want the new material we've found added so that it replicates the laserdisc only?

But this overture etc is a fantasy, created by someone who likes roadshows and grafted onto a film that should have never had it.

 

I tend to use the Amadeus (quote-fingers) "Drector's Cut" (which is technically inaccurate, as Milos Forman hated it) as the poster-child example of, just because you CAN restore lost scenes into the Theatrical cut doesn't always necessarily mean you SHOULD.

Cool, Considerate Men wasn't cut as a fault of the studio or screenings, so it doesn't hurt the film to be put back in.  The Overture, however....well, we've been over this one--The Holy War between the "Opening Credits!" and "End Credits!" will continue on like the Big-Endians vs. the Small-Endians, and there's just no way to resolve it short of above-mentioned legal difficulties.

If rights issues insist that, for every other needful or needless addition, the Lees of Virginia must play over the End credits...well, gosh, I'm just heartbroken!  :lol:

 

(That said, can anyone fill me in on what the "Obnoxious behavior" and "Diehard fans rioting" was all about?  I'm relatively new here.)



#89 of 131 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted July 07 2013 - 02:30 PM

I think when it comes to "inflexibility" those who protest their indignation over the fact that the LD presentation is appreciated are the ones who more than fit the bill on that subject.     When I made my first post in this thread, I was open to getting a Blu-Ray presentation for other reasons, but the tone of others in response to a perfectly legitimate point about the Overture's importance to LD viewers changed my perspective on that.    For that, you have only your own "inflexibility" to blame for that.



#90 of 131 ONLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted July 07 2013 - 02:45 PM

Jack, I'm sorry if I appear condescending but it gets old replying to the same things with the same answers.

I have spent more than half my life to studying and working to get this film put together correctly. I believe I know more about it than anyone outside the original production. I know personally both the gentleman who produced the laserdisc and I work with Mr. Hunt on a daily basis. I have gone to significant lengths to try to bridge the gap between the fans and Mr. Hunt to help both sides understand the views of the other, and look how far we've come since 2002, when no deleted material not in the cut could be included, to now when everything but one small scene is being put back in a cut of the film AND MORE.

I am also a filmmaker myself and I can understand how it feels for someone outside that to tell you how your work is best presented. The intermission and overture being added are like someone coming and drawing new parts on a picture you created to be a certain way.

Not having an intermission was always a component of this piece on stage and film. It was deliberately done that way to not break the flow and tension of the film. Literally one man who had the power to change the film at the time decided he wanted the film to be that way and so he did it. There are other things this man has done to other films that are even more intrusive and revisionist that he proudly told me himself that he did. There is no respect for the artists intent, but it was more akin to a personal playground.

Just because something was released into public view doesn't make it something that should exist. I know how you feel about the Laser, I grew up with it too. I've had many long conversations with the director about the things left out of the directors cut. Know that your views are known and understood, but there are certain things that cannot go back in.

There's no possibility of any effort to put back the created music because it can't be legally recreated now that it is known how it came to be. The producer on the LD commentary track flat out lies about its provenance.

The other scene is not a part of the original show, not even a part of the script which which the movie was filmed. It was an idea from the writer tried as an experiment, which was never included in any cut of the film, even at previews. There is a very good chance this piece will be included outside the film as an extra, and there are other experiments of this sort that may have the same fate. But nobody asks for these becuase you didn't see them in the laserdisc, though they could have been there.

I would ask the laserdisc die hard, do you also want the incorrect takes from the laserdisc kept? When Franklin and Adams and chase leave for New Brunswick, the LD (and through error the DVD) use an alternate take. The correct take is on the VHS, from the theatrical version where you can see the dog's timing leaving the room is better and Frankin's timing is better getting out of the chair. The laserdisc also inserts close ups where they shouldn't be and the timing on the insertions is wrong hurting the pace of the scene. Compare the two versions of Judge Wilson's final vote with the close ups there is too much air before the actors start speaking. Is this too preferable?

I believe I've also written at length in other threads about the underscore in the tower. That's one I've personally had a hard time getting used to but finally at this last screening it worked for me. There was never underscore here on stage and it was added to give Heindorf more to do by Warner. That and the painting music were two pieces that the director never wanted but had to live with in 72. After playing around, we've found a solution to the painting shot with more appropriate music that will match what was intended and was recorded at the time.

No decision regarding this film, as you can see, is made lightly or without thought.
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#91 of 131 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted July 07 2013 - 03:00 PM

You know, actually it isn't "Peter Hunt's 1776," it's "Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards' 1776."  The movie basically filmed the entire stage version, and I want it all back in there, no matter what Peter Hunt thinks of it.

 

The reprise of "The Lees of Old Virginia" always got a big laugh on the stage, and I want it in there where it belongs, along with all the rest of it.  But I can live without that silly scene with the fire engine, which wasn't in the stage version.  It's one thing to humanize the Founding Fathers -- it's another to make childish morons out of them.



#92 of 131 ONLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted July 07 2013 - 03:04 PM

Mr. Lugoff, in case you haven't been reading the whole thread, that is what is planned, and what Mr Hunt is endorsing.

The two elements that wouldn't return from the laserdisc have no relation to the Broadway production.
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#93 of 131 OFFLINE   Ejanss

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Posted July 07 2013 - 03:15 PM

You know, actually it isn't "Peter Hunt's 1776," it's "Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards' 1776."  The movie basically filmed the entire stage version, and I want it all back in there, no matter what Peter Hunt thinks of it.

 

Have you ever seen the STAGE version of The Sound of Music?  It stinks. 

I can rattle off at least six improvements Robert Wise and Ernest Lehmann made, without going back to watch it.

 

"The Movie Musical", while there to archive the ephemeral stage production for posterity, isn't the stage version.  (Unless it was those lame movie versions of Phantom and Producers, of course, but you get the point.)  It's there to adapt a play for film, in the same way Kenneth Branagh can adapt a one-stage Shakespeare play to rolling-green locations, and capture only the essential story of it.  (Except when he does Hamlet and DOES try to archive every single line, and then it also stinks.)

The King & I dropped at least two numbers, the Shirley MacClaine/Jack Lemmon "Irma La Douce" dropped all the musical numbers from its show and reduced them to background music, and even Les Miserables stuck in a new song to qualify for the Oscars.  That's why shows are shows and movies are movies.

 

Meaning, get off the pot.  Only viewing determines what works in a movie and what works on stage, and nobody has "seniority" over the director.  Even if he makes a mistake, it's HIS to make, and no one's job, even by union rules, is to question it.


Edited by Ejanss, July 07 2013 - 03:21 PM.


#94 of 131 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted July 07 2013 - 03:44 PM

In 1991, I had spent the better part of a decade or more than half of my life at the time experiencing "1776" through the theatrical cut.    I had heard the cast recording and realized things were missing.    I had read a copy of the play script and realized further what else was missing.     For a number of years I had read that this extra material was lost and that it was something to accept (my only frame of reference for the fact that "Cool Men" had been shot was a still in a book that came from a rehearsal as James Wilson is wearing a pair of sunglasses!)

 

When I read the blurb in USA Today that a LD had been released that restored this number it was an eye-opening moment (this being the days before the Internet could inform us about a release months ahead of time) I was immediately prepared to spend the large amount for it, which wasn't easy as this was on a grad school student's budget at the time.     When I unwrapped it and read the chapter headings and the liner notes by the producer, that was when I suddenly realized that this was going to present more than just "Cool Men".    When I popped in the LD and heard the notes of that Overture begin it was a magical moment that literally changed a whole decade's worth of percecptions about this movie (the first time I saw it, it was spread over two days on the local station, so there was already precedence for me personally in being accustomed to the film having a 'break' point given the practices of movies being shown on TV in the late 1970s).    Now this was a movie that had been elevated back to the level of the great roadshow musical films of an era that was vanishing by that point.     Having grown up enjoying this film and learning to appreciate the whole musical from local productions and the cast album I'd been used to reading some derisive comments about the film but the LD experience from that moment on made me feel that the film and the material had at last been elevated to its true level of greatness.     That came from the LD and the fact that the ones responsible for putting it together cared enough to give this film a new treatment.

 

Hunt's picture and signature is in the LD gatefold.     I listened to the commentary track a dozen times over the next decade.    I heard nothing but enthusiasm for the effort and support for what was done and that the film was at last being seen in a truer representation of what makes the material great.      To denigrate the work that was done on this LD not only comes off as a case of the director not being truthful regarding what his sentiments in 1991 were, it also has the effect of denigrating the entire audience that bought the LD and appreciated its significance.

 

Hunt hates an Overture that much?    Okay, fine by him, but considering that I think he also contributed to the film's one giant blemish by casting Blythe Danner instead of having Betty Buckley reprise her role as Martha Jefferson, I'm not automatically going to regard his instincts as 100% right just like I have never approached *any* film believing that it represents one person's singular vision unless the director is also an Alfred Hitchcock type who controls all facets of the production from top to bottom.     I have never been a fan of the "auteur" school of thinking and I'm certianly not going to start for this film in which Hunt was lucky that he was brought in to direct it all with no previous experience in the genre.     I'd also note that I have seen a number of stage productions of "1776" *with* an Intermission, sometimes exactly where the LD placed it after "He Plays The Violin" which works best IMO, and other times after "Momma Look Sharp".     It is not etched in stone that even as a stage production the material should never have an Intermission.   

 

Hunt has his cut.   I'm no longer arguing against that one.    We're now talking about doing right by those of us who fondly regard the LD and its presentation on the home viewing one.   I find it very hard to believe that an Overture created from existing elements is a crime against humanity (yet for a certain other movie, it's okay to slap on a new score composed 40 years later at the behest of fanboys who were not involved with the original production.   Go figure!) and that its value to the presentation can not somehow be appreciated.  

 

But where this argument against the Overture/Intermission then becomes hypocritical to me is when I then hear the arugment for the tower music change.    Sorry, but it's trying to have it both ways to protest the Overture/Intermission on grounds that it is new for adding this music, but taking out music that *was* part of the original theatrical cut no less is somehow okay.      And I'm told that even in this "kitchen sink" edition that's not going to be restored to its proper version?     That's even more offensive to me as a viewer than the deletion of the Overture.   I could always fudge around that by hitting pause and playing a ripped version of the Overture before I started watching but for a scene that artistically needed that score and which in the original commentary track, the scene is called attention to by noting the underscore's brilliance here (which leads me to conclude that Hunt wanted it taken out to spite the producer of the LD).    If I still have to have a vanity alternate version on the "kitchen sink" edition, then once again, the claim that it does represent "everything" for the collector becomes false advertising to me.       If we who preferred the LD should get out of the way regarding which version has to play in theaters and on TV now, then frankly it wouldn't hurt if the other side of the fence would just show the same consideration for the home viewer and what's important to him.    That represents the truer mark of compromise it would seem.



#95 of 131 OFFLINE   Peter Apruzzese

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Posted July 07 2013 - 03:55 PM

I could argue that they should include the theatrical version as well as any other cut. It certainly has more historical legitimacy than the LD cut, being that it was what audiences saw theatrically from day one and for almost 20 years.

I *could* argue for its inclusion. But I won't. :)
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#96 of 131 OFFLINE   jim_falconer

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Posted July 07 2013 - 04:21 PM

Jack P, what a wonderfully, thought-out post.  I agree with your points 100%.  The LD's overture and intermission pieces are extremely important to the flow of the story,  To just just say "well, we can't legally include them" is a disservice against all of us who love those pieces.  To release the "kitchen sink" without them is just wrong.


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#97 of 131 ONLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted July 07 2013 - 04:38 PM

In 1991, I had spent the better part of a decade or more than half of my life at the time experiencing "1776" through the theatrical cut.    I had heard the cast recording and realized things were missing.    I had read a copy of the play script and realized further what else was missing.     For a number of years I had read that this extra material was lost and that it was something to accept (my only frame of reference for the fact that "Cool Men" had been shot was a still in a book that came from a rehearsal as James Wilson is wearing a pair of sunglasses!)

 

When I read the blurb in USA Today that a LD had been released that restored this number it was an eye-opening moment (this being the days before the Internet could inform us about a release months ahead of time) I was immediately prepared to spend the large amount for it, which wasn't easy as this was on a grad school student's budget at the time.     When I unwrapped it and read the chapter headings and the liner notes by the producer, that was when I suddenly realized that this was going to present more than just "Cool Men".    When I popped in the LD and heard the notes of that Overture begin it was a magical moment that literally changed a whole decade's worth of percecptions about this movie (the first time I saw it, it was spread over two days on the local station, so there was already precedence for me personally in being accustomed to the film having a 'break' point given the practices of movies being shown on TV in the late 1970s).    Now this was a movie that had been elevated back to the level of the great roadshow musical films of an era that was vanishing by that point.     Having grown up enjoying this film and learning to appreciate the whole musical from local productions and the cast album I'd been used to reading some derisive comments about the film but the LD experience from that moment on made me feel that the film and the material had at last been elevated to its true level of greatness.     That came from the LD and the fact that the ones responsible for putting it together cared enough to give this film a new treatment.

 

My story is similar, I saw the film in history class, fell in love, wore out my VHS, then when I heard about the LD, I had only just bought a player (at 15) and coerced my Mom into driving me an hour each way to even rent it so I could make a copy. A couple months later when I found a copy to buy, we drove even further and I spent a few months savings to acquire it.

 

Hunt's picture and signature is in the LD gatefold.     I listened to the commentary track a dozen times over the next decade.    I heard nothing but enthusiasm for the effort and support for what was done and that the film was at last being seen in a truer representation of what makes the material great.      To denigrate the work that was done on this LD not only comes off as a case of the director not being truthful regarding what his sentiments in 1991 were, it also has the effect of denigrating the entire audience that bought the LD and appreciated its significance.

 

I have to say there is a lot of backstory that I have learned over time regarding all this. Of course everything said at the time would be positive. Most of it I can't repeat here but suffice to say I wouldn't say that the activities of the gentleman who produced that disc have any reflection on the fans who enjoy that version. I can only say that if you knew what I knew you might not have such a rosy view, and that's really all I'm going to say there. The bottom line for Hunt was that after 20 years of his picture being truncated, he was willing to suffer the rest to get Cool Men back. Ten years later, having had to live with all that was wrong for a decade, it was time to put the picture back where it had been when it was first "locked" in 1972.

 

Hunt hates an Overture that much?    Okay, fine by him, but considering that I think he also contributed to the film's one giant blemish by casting Blythe Danner instead of having Betty Buckley reprise her role as Martha Jefferson, I'm not automatically going to regard his instincts as 100% right just like I have never approached *any* film believing that it represents one person's singular vision unless the director is also an Alfred Hitchcock type who controls all facets of the production from top to bottom.     I have never been a fan of the "auteur" school of thinking and I'm certianly not going to start for this film in which Hunt was lucky that he was brought in to direct it all with no previous experience in the genre.     I'd also note that I have seen a number of stage productions of "1776" *with* an Intermission, sometimes exactly where the LD placed it after "He Plays The Violin" which works best IMO, and other times after "Momma Look Sharp".     It is not etched in stone that even as a stage production the material should never have an Intermission.   

 

It's not a matter of hating the overture, it's a matter of this film was never meant to have one. Should longing for the "golden age of roadshows" mean that we Frankenstein other films into having them simply for nostagia's sake? Again dancing around things I can't talk about, but Hunt is not the reason why Betty Buckley is not in the film. If you read the stage script, you will see as you have experienced that a provision is made for an Intermission, but it is not the recommended way of performing the play, and that is according to Hunt, Stone and Edwards. 

 

Hunt has his cut.   I'm no longer arguing against that one.    We're now talking about doing right by those of us who fondly regard the LD and its presentation on the home viewing one.   I find it very hard to believe that an Overture created from existing elements is a crime against humanity (yet for a certain other movie, it's okay to slap on a new score composed 40 years later at the behest of fanboys who were not involved with the original production.   Go figure!) and that its value to the presentation can not somehow be appreciated.  

 

But where this argument against the Overture/Intermission then becomes hypocritical to me is when I then hear the arugment for the tower music change.    Sorry, but it's trying to have it both ways to protest the Overture/Intermission on grounds that it is new for adding this music, but taking out music that *was* part of the original theatrical cut no less is somehow okay.  

 

There is no difference - both changes speak to putting the film back to the way the director intended. It's not a matter of only allowing removal or addition.

 

 And I'm told that even in this "kitchen sink" edition that's not going to be restored to its proper version?  

 

Proper? The DVD is the proper version. You want it restored to an alternate version that you've been used to.

 

That's even more offensive to me as a viewer than the deletion of the Overture.   I could always fudge around that by hitting pause and playing a ripped version of the Overture before I started watching but for a scene that artistically needed that score and which in the original commentary track, the scene is called attention to by noting the underscore's brilliance here (which leads me to conclude that Hunt wanted it taken out to spite the producer of the LD).    If I still have to have a vanity alternate version on the "kitchen sink" edition, then once again, the claim that it does represent "everything" for the collector becomes false advertising to me.  

 

The "Kitchen Sink" version has never been advertised to be anything as it doesn't yet exist, so how can that be false advertising?

 

Nobody has EVER claimed that it's going to be the Laserdisc cut, it's going to be all the footage that should go back into the picture "in the absence of time constraints". It does not mean that music edited to go with the movie 20 years after it's creation will be kept (I see hypocracy here in your argument against adding music to Dundee later, but feeling that creating music for 1776 is ok). It does not mean that experimental scenes that didn't work will be kept. 

 

It is my hope that a visual essay documentary piece can be created to accompany the release, showing all the changes between all the versions, which would include presenting the scene in the bell tower with the underscore as you prefer, in the interest of illustrating how it changes the scene. 

 

If we who preferred the LD should get out of the way regarding which version has to play in theaters and on TV now, then frankly it wouldn't hurt if the other side of the fence would just show the same consideration for the home viewer and what's important to him.    That represents the truer mark of compromise it would seem.

 

I guess one thing that galls me Jack is your seeming position that both sides of this debate have an equal standing to argue the case. The audience has the right to like or dislike, to accept or dismiss, but the audience has no right to dictate the content of a work of art, unless that is part of the creative process of the artists involved. Your feeling over several threads has seemed to be that once something is put into the public's mind they have an irrevocable right to forever possess it in any form they deem fit. As someone who is a filmmaker myself, that makes me less inclined to share on a DVD or Blu Ray alternate versions and deleted scenes because often these constitute embarrassing mistakes made in the course of the creative process.  Sometimes they are good scenes taken out for time, or scenes that had to go out because other scenes were cut that they depend on. When an artist creates something, and that's any artist from a director to an actor to a painter to a singer to anything in between, its a moment of vulnerability and to know that you don't have the right to present to the world something that is as you feel it is best, how can we expect artists to continue to give us that peek behind the curtain? 

 

If you haven't directed, it's also hard to understand the relationship to the writer. One person wrote that it's Stone and Edwards' show. Well, I would invite that gentleman to read the script of 1776 before Mr. Hunt came to the project. I have and it is about 40 pages longer. Mr. Hunt's directorial notes and months spent  working with Stone and Edwards shaped the Broadway show into the form that everyone appreciates today. When he came to do the film he had spent several years working on not only the Broadway but also the West End and National Tours, so he is hardly just a novice functionary director of this film, he is one of it's primary creative forces, and should be respected as such.


Edited by Moe Dickstein, July 07 2013 - 04:42 PM.

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#98 of 131 OFFLINE   Professor Echo

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Posted July 07 2013 - 05:25 PM

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I spent over 25 years watching widescreen movies panned and scanned. Do I want and expect movies released on home video to be the same way just out of tradition for how I've always watched them?

It's one the silliest arguments I've ever read on a message board and that's saying something.
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#99 of 131 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted July 07 2013 - 05:42 PM

****The bottom line for Hunt was that after 20 years of his picture being truncated, he was willing to suffer the rest to get Cool Men back. Ten years later, having had to live with all that was wrong for a decade, it was time to put the picture back where it had been when it was first "locked" in 1972.

 

You see Moe, here you go again with rhetorical items that IMO totally add to the picture of denigrating those of us who enjoyed the LD presentation.   You depict Hunt as having "suffered" somehow as a result of this LD cut being presented and when you then talk of "all that was wrong" for the decade after that LD release when ALL of who were watching it were enjoying the film in a way we never had before, I call that insulting and condescending to viewers like me.    Hunt should be grateful for the fact that an audience found a new and exciting way to appreciate this film on a fundamentally different level from the theatrical cut and to hear him say he was "suffering" and that some great injustice to him had been committed is a perspective I can not relate to at all beacuse like it or not, it assumes that I and others should be ashamed for having derived so much enjoyment from the LD presentation.

 

  

 *******It's not a matter of hating the overture, it's a matter of this film was never meant to have one. Should longing for the "golden age of roadshows" mean that we Frankenstein other films into having them simply for nostagia's sake?

 

 

We're not talking about Hunt's version any longer.    If you're going to now include things that were not supposed to be in the film in a "home viewing cut" that has stuff Hunt doesn't like or didn't think should be there, then we are talking about the version for the home viewer and I'm sorry but I don't see the argument for why my *home viewing* version of this should be tied to Peter Hunt's inner sense of secureness regarding the presence of an Overture/Intermission that just for the record has been part of *every* stage production of this musical I have seen in venues like the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey (Twice) and the 1997 Broadway revival (and these are not exactly high school venues).     This has been a matter of discretion in the individual staging and insomuch as this home viewer version is now in effect an alternate cut that I fully recognize should not play on TV or on large movie screens, why is there such negativity regarding its potential presence?

 

I'll just add this.  As one who thinks we have enough idiotic nuisance lawsuits in this country, if anyone ever *did* sue over the presence of the Overture in a home viewing cut, then that person would not have my sympathy whatsoever and he would require the services of a first-class ambulance chaser for a lawyer to push forward with that kind of thing and wasting the taxpayers money in the process.     I have heard Williams music re-edited and reused in different ways for the Richard Donner cut of Superman 2 and I have heard similar music re-edits to create "new" things, and I have also seen the absurdity of a new score commissioned for a movie decades later.     The notion that using existing material from the production for an Overture would be a legal crime is as absurd to me as the idea that using the *same* material as underscore for a documentary on the movie (another technique we are accustomed to seeing in the home video era).     

 

 

******Again dancing around things I can't talk about, but Hunt is not the reason why Betty Buckley is not in the film. If you read the stage script, you will see as you have experienced that a provision is made for an Intermission, but it is not the recommended way of performing the play, and that is according to Hunt, Stone and Edwards.  

 

 

If a "provision" is made for it, then that means some versions can have it and others don't have to.   Hunt's "official" version doesn't have one, so fine and good.   Now let the optional "provision" be there for the version that I doubt Hunt would want to watch again over his version and leave it at that.   All sides come out the winner.

 

I'll be happy to be proved wrong on the matter of why Buckley wasn't in the film, but let's just say that at this stage a simple denial with no explanation is no longer enough for me on that point.     I won't belabor it though.

 

 

*****Proper? The DVD is the proper version. You want it restored to an alternate version that you've been used to.

 

No Moe, I want the tower scene restored to the *original theatrical version* that was *in* the movie for 30 years. Here again, we get back to what comes off to me as trying to have both sides of the same argument. You argue at one point about how a bunch of trims in the LD messed up the better cuts/angles in the theatrical one and argue for the need to "restore" those but then all of a sudden on an aesthetic point of concern to others, Hunt can suddenly alter something that has always been there from the beginning and which is for many an integrated part of the viewing experience. And in this case, it’s not in Hunt’s version but the "kitchen sink" version so why in heaven’s name must it be the altered version in *that* cut? That makes no sense whatsoever. For the home viewer, this scene should be back to what it was before and it shouldn’t matter to Hunt.

 

 

*****The "Kitchen Sink" version has never been advertised to be anything as it doesn't yet exist, so how can that be false advertising? *****

 

 

To me it’s false advertising to suggest that an alternate version is meant for the "home viewer" to accomodate the fans who were not happy with the DVD cut and the changes that have been made since and then to turn around and even in *that* version impose changes reflective of the DVD cut. The more this goes on, the more it becomes clear it isn’t a home viewer’s cut but instead the Hunt cut 2.0.

 

 

******(I see hypocracy here in your argument against adding music to Dundee later, but feeling that creating music for 1776 is ok).****

 

 

Uh, no. In both cases I am consistent. I am against the creation of music that was not *composed* at the time of the film’s production for use in a new cut (I’d have no objections for instance if say, a new version of "Torn Curtain" was released with the rejected Bernard Herrmann score). The Overture/Intermission nor the tower scene involve an outside composer decades after the fact being hired to compose new music for a film from decades ago, it is simply utilizing production elements that were part of the original production. That’s the difference. See my earlier point on how the Williams cues re-edited for the Donner cut were a greater use of this concept than the use of the underscore for an Overture/Intermission.

 

 

******It is my hope that a visual essay documentary piece can be created to accompany the release, showing all the changes between all the versions, which would include presenting the scene in the bell tower with the underscore as you prefer, in the interest of illustrating how it changes the scene. ****

 

You mean show it with accompanying commentary on how "wrong" it was to do it this way until it was "corrected"? Sorry, that’s not going to interest me one bit. What exactly is wrong with just letting it be Hunt’s way in his official cut and the other way in the home viewer cut?

 

 

******I guess one thing that galls me Jack is your seeming position that both sides of this debate have an equal standing to argue the case. The audience has the right to like or dislike, to accept or dismiss, but the audience has no right to dictate the content of a work of art, unless that is part of the creative process of the artists involved. Your feeling over several threads has seemed to be that once something is put into the public's mind they have an irrevocable right to forever possess it in any form they deem fit.*****

 

Yes, I believe that once an end product has been released to the consumer in a certain way, then the consumer does have the right to offer his feedback on what would make him willing to buy a supposedly "new and improved" version of the same product. In this case, the decision to release the film a certain way was made in 1991. That means the consumer has a right to some expectations on the presentation of the material in a new format if he is going to spend his money to "upgrade" or not. If consumer/customer feedback on this is somehow to be totally ignored, then that represents a condescending attitude toward the customer that I don’t appreciate in the least. We are not asking to be part of the behind the scenes creative process in the making of a movie. If say, there had *never* been an LD release with an Overture, would I be clamoring for the creation of an Overture? No. That would be a case of butting into the process that would be wrong. But once that material has been publicly and officially and legally released to the public, then the dynamic does change when we are asked to spend *our* money on a new end product. If that can’t be understood, then all it does is come off as being condescending to the customer.

 

 

******As someone who is a filmmaker myself, that makes me less inclined to share on a DVD or Blu Ray alternate versions and deleted scenes because often these constitute embarrassing mistakes made in the course of the creative process. Sometimes they are good scenes taken out for time, or scenes that had to go out because other scenes were cut that they depend on. When an artist creates something, and that's any artist from a director to an actor to a painter to a singer to anything in between, its a moment of vulnerability and to know that you don't have the right to present to the world something that is as you feel it is best, how can we expect artists to continue to give us that peek behind the curtain?*****

 

 

Look, I do not view it as an inalienable right of the public to demand that alternate scenes be included. That is up to the discretion of the maker in the *initial* stage. But in this case, Hunt signed off in 1991 and he has to deal with the consequences of the fact that there is an audience out there that has come to appreciate that particular vision of the film just as George Lucas has to one day deal with the consequences of the fact that there is an audience that wants to enjoy the Star Wars trilogy in its original state (that is different I might add from the public having a right to demand the cut scenes from the original trilogy like the Biggs scenes. Those were never *officially* released on home video before so the public doesn’t have the right to demand them on a new release IMO. This is the difference).

 

I have long since been willing to adjust my perspective on this matter. If the LD vision were presented as an option for me, I could even be willing to experience Hunt’s version alongside it and not be angry about it any longer as I once was. If a new home viewing version gave me this new stuff you are talking about *with* everything that is important of the LD cut, then I could truly enjoy it even more perhaps than the LD cut because everything of importance that made that a special experience would still be there. But to paraphrase Dr. Franklin, to call this a kitchen-sink version *without* these elements might make us grateful for the concept, but we’d still like to have restored what rightfully belongs there.


Edited by Jack P, July 07 2013 - 05:45 PM.


#100 of 131 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted July 07 2013 - 07:06 PM

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 For the home viewer, this scene should be back to what it was before and it shouldn’t matter to Hunt.

 

 

 

Well, Jack, believe it or not, you don't have the right to speak for what should and should not matter to Hunt, and more to the point, you do not speak for all home viewers.  Period.


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