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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Sweet Charity - in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Bruce, unless I've gone gaga in my dotage (entirely possible :(), I distinctly remember an entra'cte during its roadshow engagement which I saw opening week at the St. Francis theatre in San Francisco.
     
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  2. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    Thanks Ethan! It was great to hear that again after about 25 years or so. Shame they didn’t include the exit music in the upload.

    I had tranferred the soundtrack of the vhs to audio cassette back in the day to get all the dance music, the entr’acte and the exit music because it wasn’t on the soundtrack lp, and it was also in much better sound quality. But I no longer have any way to play either a vhs or an audio cassette anymore. I kick myself for not ever transferring it to cd in later years. Especially once the dvd came out and I figured they were gone forever. Which is somewhat true, as it turns out, I guess.
     
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  3. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    Bruce, i can’t speak to the original 1969 release, but I know the first time I saw the film on the big screeen at LA County Museum of Art, it had the entr’acte and exit music. That’s where I fell in love with them as I had never heard them before. The part of the overture before the Universal logo never played on tv either, but at least it was on the album. Then I was thrilled when they were on the vhs several years later.
     
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  4. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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  5. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Sounds like they were - odd that Universal would not realize it - I mean, it's their picture, they have to have the paperwork.
     
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  6. Message #46 of 285 Aug 4, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
    PMF

    PMF Producer

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    Every step and move to the choreography of Bob Fosse is specific;
    as are the beats and musical notations of a Ralph Burns arrangement.
    The Ralph Burns orchesatrations are symbiotic to the entire atmosphere, plot points and character of this film;
    as they are to the ouvure of all that is Bob Fosse and their historical collaborations.
    Indeed, such things as a Ralph Burns Entr'acte can not be dismissed as music that is merely incidental;
    no more than one would remove an Irwin Kostal Entr'acte from "The Sound of Music";
    or a Johnny Green Entr'acte from "Oliver!";
    nor an Andre Previn Entr'acte from something seemingly as simple as "Thoroughly Modern Mille".

    More easily said than done, but perhaps - like the 4K/UHD restoration of "2001"; which included Warner's succesful recall of the cut/fade issue - Universal may want to consider the same by reinstating the omitted Ralph Burns Entr'acte back to its proper and documented "Roadshow" context. After all, the studio went quite far to achieve what is otherwise reported as being perfect; so why not finish the job as it was promoted and marketed to their customers? Indeed, if the materials, running times and components of what constitues a "Roadshow" remains omitted, then a "Roadshow" it is not. Therefore, either the studio has the responsibility of conducting a recall and rectifying the matter; or they can opt to remove the banner of "Roadshow" from all of their active venues of advertising, while consequently taking the less expensive route of reprinting the descriptive "Sweet Charity" BD slipcases that are currently in circulation.

    Kudos to Kino; but the praise - at this moment - may fall short of being Universal.
     
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  7. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    True, but this is the same Universal who apparently never knew that every home video incarnation of Psycho was the edited re-release version and not the 1960 Hitchcock approved theatrical release version.

    I think it’s probably an intentional decision by people who don’t truly understand what Roadshows were and who think that “extra” music doesn’t matter and, in the case of the Entr’acte, may actually slow the action down in the middle of the film. The Overture and Intermission cards were created solely for the home video laserdisc and vhs releases and Uni retained the Overture card when transferring it to dvd, but dropped the Intermission card, along with the music. So they were aware of the existence of it all and obviously made a choice as to what they wanted to include on the dvd. I remember MGM doing the same thing when putting Where Eagles Dare on dvd and blu-ray. The overture, entr’acte and exit music were all dropped even though they had all been present on the vhs.

    It’s just a shame this is being called the Roadshow version when essentially it is the general release version. Still, it’s great to see a beautiful domestic release on blu-ray.
     
  8. Message #48 of 285 Aug 4, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
    MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    That was not always the case. Home video companies used to be pretty bad about keeping this stuff. IIRC the pre-1990s videos of The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady dispensed of entr'acte music. In the case of the latter, that was repeated twice as exit music and not restored until no later than 1991 with the last VHS release before the 30th anniversary restoration. The original MGM/CBS video version c. 1980 even took away the "Warner Bros. Presents" credit! That was also the case with the other Rodgers & Hammerstein films, except in The King and I's case for the 1999 non-anamorphic DVD, they actually added the soundtrack album overture at the beginning and an intermission/entr'acte right before the English party guests arrive that apparently was only there for the 1961 70mm blow-up reissue.

    The original RCA/Columbia videotape and pan-and-scan laserdisc of Oliver! (never seen one earlier than 1985) also was missing entr'acte and exit music while the overture music replaced the opening credits music. I think this was the same master that aired on The Disney Channel in 1986* along with Robert Stevenson's two musicals, The Great Muppet Caper (which is now Disney-by-Proxy), and some other studios' musicals as well. The Disney Channel actually did show the intermission music to Oklahoma! and South Pacific along with timers…but my mom paused them when she taped them! They fared better than what Columbia did to Bye Bye Birdie the first time it was on video!

    Even though they could release it in stereo, Disney didn't put back the pre-credits overture to Happiest Millionaire until the 1990s Anchor Bay release or the exit music replay of "Fortuosity" until their ultra-compressed in-house DVD in the 2000s. None of these are on the streaming/download versions but the picture quality is a HUGE step up, so it's not impossible to switch between the two to recreate the whole 172-minute Roadshow presentation, just inconvenient.

    So as a whole the studios have gotten better. Why this is the exception I will never understand. Did they at least restore that scene near the end that somehow got lost from the DVD? That was just sloppy. If there were bits missing from Star Wars Part XLVII: Combing The Dandruff Out Of Chewbacca or some comic book movie, the fan base would be up in arms about it.

    *Annie played on NBC for the first time around the same time, cut from 128 minutes to roughly 96 minutes, affecting mainly the additional songs and most of what got it rated PG. This was not long after Columbia made a two-part Alice in Wonderland for CBS-TV with an American girl in the lead and Sherman Hemsley as a mouse singing "I Hate Dogs and Cats" during the year-long interim between The Jeffersons and Amen. Meanwhile, later that same year, NBC aired a three-hour musical reimagining of Babes in Toyland by Orion, producers of Cagney and Lacey, with new songs (including one about Cincinnati, Ohio obviously aimed at pleasing the Procter & Gamble company who was buying a lot of the air time on it) that got cut from the video release rendering the film totally incomprehensible.
     
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  9. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    Its wonderful that you have this appreciation for this music. Many of us, including myself, would be visiting the “restroom” while it played in the theatre or making a sandwich while it played at home!

    I have a huge collection of Broadway music original cast recordings and sound tracks, many of them restored. I am afraid I often skip the background music or dance music when playing them. 90% of this music is just an orchestral repeat of a song. I hate Disney, but they have the right idea for their CDs — they group all the songs together at the beginning, and then the instrumentals at the end.
     
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  10. Message #50 of 285 Aug 4, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
    PMF

    PMF Producer

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    Excellent reminder of how home video has evolved, clarified and improved; but I was addressing the age of discs. And in this age of discs - especially Blu Ray - there are no such practices, such as advertising the original "Roadshow" version and then omitting those very materials and segments that constitute a "Roadshow".

    And for the record, I am in no way, shape or form suggesting a boycott of Kino's wonderfully reviewed 4K restoration of "Sweet Charity"; as I, too, am eagerly awaiting to see the known efforts that was put into this restoration. BUT, at the same time, I am suggesting absolutely to Universal and any other studio preparing a Blu Ray that they withdraw from the exercises of advertising a "Roadshow" if this, in the end, is not what we'll be receiving. According the RAH's review, the "4K restoration" banner used in the marketing of "Sweet Charity" has been fulfilled as advertised; but according to PMF and other HTF posters, the "Roadshow" aspects of Universal's "Sweet Charity" marketing is that of a Roadshow that doesn't exist on the current Kino disc. Therefore, the term "Roadshow" should never have been used or touted to heighten our expectations or Pre-Orders. Other than that, there is much about Kino's "Sweet Charity" to celebrate and support.
     
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  11. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Overture "cards" are an invention for the home video market. In cinemas, the overture usually played with the lights slightly dimmed and the curtains drawn. With the death of the Roadshow and the advent of home video, someone is puzzled why there is music playing but no picture and may think he has a defective tape/disc. The newly created overture card lets the viewer know, "Hey, this is a proper overture, the movie will begin shortly." I have a much younger friend who fast forwards during these overtures :( as he sees them as a waste of time.

    When I saw the Roadshow version of Tarantino's The Hateful Eight (never released on disc, just the general version), the film did have an overture card precisely to let the "younger" film goers know what was going on and that it was actually part of the film experience. This would never have been necessary in the "old" days :).

    I stand to be corrected but I believe the only overture which had a visual theatrically is West Side Story whose overture plays over the film's title while the card changes colors.
     
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  12. GlennF

    GlennF Second Unit
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    STAR also had a visual overture with an orchestra filmed playing the music.
     
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  13. trajan007

    trajan007 Second Unit

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    STAR! had an overture played over the theater curtains that showed the names of various plays Y
     
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  14. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    I saw Ben-Hur several years ago and the manager came out and explained that there would be music played from the film with the curtains closed and screen dark at the beginning and at the end of intermission. He never revered to it as Overture or Entr’acte. Lol
     
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  15. Message #55 of 285 Aug 4, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
    B-ROLL

    B-ROLL Cinematographer

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    in 1979 Star Trek - The Motion Picture had entrance music played as part of the print. The theater -which was almost brand new -had shear curtains. The film (scratches and and dust on black) played through the curtain. The curtain was opened as the Paramount Logo came on the screen ...

    There was also exiting the theater music on the print as well ... Both featuring themes from Jerry Goldmith's soundtrack.

    I've never seen "Sweet Charity" except on TV ... but I did see the "Sweet Charity Marionettes" in a small museum Universal had as part of the Universal Studios Tour....
     
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  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    My Fair Lady
     
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  17. Message #57 of 285 Aug 4, 2019
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    Jim*Tod

    Jim*Tod Supporting Actor

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    And STAR! (Ooopppss... someone already mentioned it.)
     
  18. Message #58 of 285 Aug 4, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
    Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    Here is the overture that has been on every video release of Sweet Charity I've seen, though with various video generated "overture" screens.




    Here is the intermission and entr'acte. The entr'acte card was created for video. This intermission and entr'acte was on the VHS, Laserdisc, and DVD. It was not on the French Blu-ray release. (Thanks JohnMor for the correction.)




    This scene was inadvertently absent from the DVD release yet was on the VHS, Laserdisc, and French Blu-ray releases.




    Here is the exit music only released on Laserdisc. Again, the exit music card was one prepared for video and not on the film.

     
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  19. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    The 1776 Pioneer Special Edition Laserdisc has an overture created for the Laserdisc, and the liner notes pointed that out. The film bypassed a roadshow release and was cut before such elements were created; that Laserdisc was an attempt to present the film as it may have been seen and heard using the elements that could be located at the time.

    Sweet Charity had a roadshow run with an overture, intermission (silent), entr'acte, and exit music. Only the Laserdisc release contained all of these elements, and it ran 2:37:05 (as does the Blu-ray I created using the French Blu-ray and Laserdisc, the latter only for the audio for the exit music).
     
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  20. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    You so correct on 1776. I recall reading an article by Joe Capps in which he said he created the laser as a roadshow presentation. While I liked it, I knew it was a wish.
     
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