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Apocalypse Now (1979)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Reggie W, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    Pike Bishop
    He's that bad?
     
  2. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    He’s known to publish remarkably inaccurate pieces about technical specifications on many classic films, so it never surprises me when he’s wrong about anything else.
     
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  3. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    If Final Cut is just Redux minus the French Plantation then it's the best version
     
  4. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Made a last minute impulse decision to see tonight’s Apocalypse Now Final Cut premiere at the Beacon Theater in NYC. Scored a very good seat that was discounted a bit from when they first went onsale.

    It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen either previous version of the film, so I’m not gonna be a good guide for what’s different here. It looks like they’ve temporarily installed a giant 4K dual projection system in the mezzanine. Lots of extra speakers all around. Should be intense. It’s five minutes to showtime and a sold out crowd so here’s hoping for something special.
     
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  5. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    The second Playboy Bunny scene at the base was a lot more expendable than the Plantation scene.
     
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  6. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Ok, I can say that the Final Cut runs about 2 hours and 58 minutes, not including end credits (those were newly created), so someone more familiar with the original and redux can tell me where that falls between the two.

    It did include the French Plantation.

    To me, and again, it’s been a while since I’ve seen either previous version, this felt more like a shorter Redux than it felt like a longer theatrical cut, if that makes sense.

    It didn’t feel overly long to me but the audience around me got a little restless in the last hour - you could feel the attention waning and see the telltale signs of cell phones and Apple Watches lighting up.
     
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  7. Message #47 of 105 Apr 29, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
    Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Did it have the second scene with the Playboy bunnies? In that scene, they put in at a base that is basically falling apart. It is there that they run into the Playboy Bunnies again. The Bunnies and their manager have become stranded there after the helicopter they were in runs out of fuel. IIRC, Sheen's character ends up trading fuel for time with the Bunnies for the crew. It is why they have to stop at the Do Long bridge to look for fuel.

    If that scene and the Plantation scene are still in the film then I think it couldn't be much shorter in running time than the Redux version. Both the Plantation and Base scene were the two major additions to the original cut of the film for the Redux version.

    Edit: I just remembered. There was also additional material added to the Kilgore part of the story, involving the attack on the village and the surfboard theft in the Redux version.
     
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  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    The second bunny scene wasn’t in this cut. I actually did remember that one from Redux. If it were up to me, I would have kept the second buddy scene but ditched the plantation.
     
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  9. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    If the rest was left in and the second Bunny scene was cut then the "Final Cut" version, I would think, is probably about 5 to 10 minutes shorter than the Redux version.

    I don't know, I found that second scene slowed the pacing to a crawl and didn't really add anything. The plantation scene does the same thing but at least I thought there was something added by the seeing the French Colonialist P.O,V, surreal as the whole thing was. The re-insertion of both scenes was interesting from a comparison P.O.V. However, I can see why they were cut from the original release of the film. To me, the original cut is still the best version of the film.

    Although, maybe the best version would be the original cut with the end credits from the Redux version, which eliminated the end credit bombing.
     
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  10. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    The original cut was 153 minutes, Redux 202 and this new one, 183.
     
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  11. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    If they got rid of the extra Bunny scene and the added material involving Kilgore while keeping the plantation scene and added material between Kurtz and Sheen's character then it would probably be pretty close to that running time.
     
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  12. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    did they restore the destruction of Kurtz's camp?
     
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  13. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Yes, what I want is the original theatrical with this.
     
  14. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    No, that is not part of the Final Cut.

    From what Coppola was saying, they filmed the destruction of those sets since they were contractually obligated to destroy them as part of their agreement with the Philippines government. Coppola thought the footage looked interesting, and some early release prints included the footage with the credits, but according to Coppola, it was never meant to suggest that Willard called in an air strike and that we were seeing the literal result of that. However, audiences assumed that the footage was directly connected to the story, which was not an impression Coppola wanted to convey. While he had it removed from release prints shortly after receiving audience feedback, some copies of the footage remained in circulation against his wishes.
     
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  15. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    Thanks, I must have seen one of the earliest releases, because I clearly remember the destruction scene at the theater.
     
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  16. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    From what I've been able to determine over the years, and of course this is probably "grain of salt" worthy, is that the very first prints went out with just a fade to black, no credits. Then, the next set of prints went out with credits over the destruction of the compound footage, which was then changed when Coppola heard that people were interpreting it to mean something he hadn't intended, and replaced with the standard white credits on a black background. But apparently the prints with the compound destruction weren't replaced, so some theaters had one version while others had another. While all that was going on, United Artists (which distributed the film initially) was bought out by MGM, but they apparently had different storage facilities for prints. So, for a period following the original release, theaters showing the film in repertory could order a print and depending on the location it was shipped from, could get one with no credits, one with the destruction footage, or one with standard credits. It sounds like it wasn't standardized until later in the 1980s.
     
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  17. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    When I saw this film for the first time, it was the version with the destruction of the compound. It definitely did leave one with the impression that Willard had called for the airstrike, especially after seeing Willard reading Kurtz's scrawl in the book.
     
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  18. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    This was one of my all-time favorite movie-going experiences and proof of the power of seeing a movie in a well-equipped movie theater with a larger than life screen. For years, I had only seen Apocalypse Now on VHS on a 25" CRT, in which Paramount (who had the home video rights at the time) used a very grainy transfer (it looked like it had been projected on tissue paper) and thought it was an OK movie. Then, in 1988, the CineramaDome in Hollywood was holding a 25th Anniversary celebration, featuring many movies that had played at the historic theater over the years. One of those movies was Apocalypse Now and they would be screening a 70mm print. I invited my good friend Mark Weaver, who had been my cinematographer on my uncompleted Super 8 feature Warren's Revenge and was going to shoot my next film at the time, which was Over Their Heads (still unproduced to this day). Neither of us had ever seen this movie in a theater before, and we were just completely blown away by the enormous screen and intense sound. The theater was packed, and seated directly behind me was none other than Roger Ebert! Also in attendance was Rob Lowe. The 70mm print shown was the 1987 70mm re-release with no credits whatsoever.
     
  19. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    I saw the fade to black version, no credits, at the Ziegfeld in NYC. First run.
     
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  20. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    The film really lost something when I rented the Pan and Scan Betamax version of it. I remember it being put on to two cassettes for the Beta release. I never even finished it because I thought it was boring. I never watched it again until I rented the letterboxed LD release. Except for the picture size, the original feel of the film had returned. All of a sudden it was watchable again. The only thing that went missing was the feeling of being overwhelmed by the immense size of the B52 tail section as they pass under it
     

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