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Criterion ready to release IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD (1 Viewer)

How Would you want Criterion to handle MAD WORLD?

  • I would like to see *everything* that was included on the Laserdisc release even if it does not matc

    Votes: 119 65.7%
  • The film is too long already. Would only want to see those scenes intended for the original RoadSho

    Votes: 53 29.3%
  • All I want is the overture and exit music. Don't need all those extra scenes added

    Votes: 9 5.0%

  • Total voters
    181
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Ronald Epstein

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This conversation has begun in the official Criterion thread.

Thought it would be better to continue it here. Those who have
already responded in the other thread are welcome to repeat
their thoughts here.

It all started with a CLUE that was posted in a recent Criterion
Newsletter...

image.jpeg


Many are speculating that this points to Criterion about to release
IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD to Blu-ray under their label
as early as this upcoming November.

There is no official confirmation as of yet. However, this clue is
so utterly obvious that it's hard to think that it could be anything else.

So let's fantasize for a moment that this is actually happening....

Criterion wouldn't simply release the same Blu-ray that MGM
presently has available. They would want to sell it as something
different and "special" beyond the standard edition.

I believe that the expensive restoration that needed to be done
has not been done by the party most interested in doing it.

I know, due to the high (but necessary) costs of said restoration,
that MGM is not interested in restoring the film to its Roadshow
release. In fact, the studio stopped responding to requests to
consider doing it long ago.

I suspect, given the short amount of time to actual presumed
release, Criterion has not poured money into doing a full restoration.

Again, to stress if this news is true....

Perhaps Criterion recognizes that fans want that Roadshow
release at any cost. So, take the available transfer that MGM used
and simply add the extra footage that was on the laserdisc release
(warts and all) back into the original film, with perhaps extra material
that perhaps they were able to obtain.

It's my guess, despite the inconsistency in the quality of the material,
fans would embrace such a release. After all, it's the closest that
we would ever come to replicating the Laserdisc release.

Of course, there are those that don't want all those scenes put
back in the film as it greatly lengthens the running time. After all,
some of those scenes were not part of the approved Roadshow
version Mr. Kramer signed off on.

Me? I want it all. That laserdisc release was something incredibly
special and anything short of that will be an incomplete version for
a large group of us. I know there are "purists" out there that only
want included what is necessary. However, the fans of that laserdisc
will never rest until the kitchen sink is thrown into a proper (or nearly
proper) release.

Perhaps Criterion could do some great stuff with "branching" that
would satisfy everyone. Not certain if this is something they regularly
do or not.

So, I kind of wanted to hear what all of you thought as far as what
your dream version of this film would be. I have included a POLL to
kind of give a "at a glance" reference.

Look forward to your comments.
 

Professor Echo

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(repost from the Criterion Blu thread):

If anyone at Criterion is listening, please restore as much of the Roadshow version as is possible. Anyone who complains that the original release version is overlong can be happy with the MGM copy and leave the Criterion to the rest of us. There are many MAD WORLD devotees who want more, more, more, more and will gladly invest in this.
 

Billy Batson

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Well I only saw this on general release, so I never saw the roadshow version. I'm very happy with the MGM version (if only they'd given the same treatment to a lot of other UA/MGM films). Even if I liked the longer version, I'd hate to see the picture quality dropping every time the new shots/sequences appeared, it would just take me out of the film.
 

Matt Hough

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It's tantalizing to think what this release might be, and since I gave a favorable review to the previous MGM release, I'd certainly like to see a different version so the two could be compared.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Well I only saw this on general release, so I never saw the roadshow version. I'm very happy with the MGM version (if only they'd given the same treatment to a lot of other UA/MGM films). Even if I liked the longer version, I'd hate to see the picture quality dropping every time the new shots/sequences appeared, it would just take me out of the film.

Billy,

Not trying to change your viewpoint. I want everyone to freely express their opinions.

I do plan to send this thread directly to Criterion.

Realize, everyone has the ability to purchase the original theatrical version. Perhaps,
that version would also be included on the Criterion release.

Consider this....an oddity. Something of curiosity.

If you were around when that Laserdisc was released perhaps you would feel differently.
Otherwise, your feelings are right on cue with anyone that feels the theatrical version
is plenty enough.
 

Ronald Epstein

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...oh, by the way....

November marks the 50th Anniversary of the film.

The speculation GROWS....
 

Moe Dickstein

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I think the best thing would be to honor the intent of Stanley Kramer. Add back in the road show scenes only and keep other material outside the film as bonus material.If I am not mistaken, most of the added LD scenes are in the road show, and there are other scenes not in the LD cut that could be added back in as well.I too don't care if the quality drops between additions as the choice of the theatrical is there for those who are bothered in shifts. The best situation would be to figure out partners to bring in to complete the restoration properly then this would be an essential release, but personally I will be getting it no matter what. I am excited to see what extras are added and hopefully a commentary explaining who all the cameos and their background to audiences who have become less familiar with the famous faces of 50 years agoRon, your poll confuses me - did you mean to say "the film is too long, I only want the general release edit"? I would like an option to vote for the road show and not a copy of the LD, I feel that edit would be superior to the LD and also longer than the LD edit so the idea of it being too long isn't right lol
 

Ronald Epstein

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Moe,

The poll is pretty clear, I think.

This is the option you want and I think it's correctly worded...

The film is too long already. Would only want to see those scenes intended for the original RoadShow release
 

Billy Batson

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I know what you mean Ronald, but even if I knew & liked the roadshow version, I think I'd still prefer the shorter version all looking the same. The trouble is, my job for over forty years was a film lab timer & telecine colourist, so I really notice these things. If the picture is a bit sub-par or a bit green or whatever, well you get used to it after a couple of minutes & don't notice anymore & enjoy the movie. But...if things are going along smoothly, & all of a sudden the picture quality drops, well it's a shock...& then we're back to normal, but waiting for the quality to drop again, as I say, it would take me out of the film. But that's just me. And I'd feel the same way about The Alamo.
 

Ejanss

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Ronald Epstein said:
It all started with a CLUE that was posted in a recent Criterion
Newsletter...
And let's not forget, that's all it is:
We're all just frustrated that, darn, there doesn't seem to be any OTHER guess for a clue--But that doesn't make it an actual "rumor" in the sense of, say, announcing some theatrical Roadshow restoration.
It would be nice to discuss whether there might be circumstancial evidence that Criterion could look at it as a project if they wanted to, but that doesn't justify the tabloid headline that they are.

Ronald Epstein said:
I do plan to send this thread directly to Criterion.
If anything, if it isn't what we thought, the trendiness of all the mass guesses might get a humorous-denial mention on their own web page of "No, it is not!"
If we don't, that's not necessarily a confirmation either, although more fuel to the fire.

Still, have to admit, this isn't exactly one of those goofy abstract clues that gets mass-misinterpreted by less film-literate fans. (Like the ones who guessed "Pulp Fiction!" from a glowing suitcase, "80's Cat People!" from a panther woman and "Hudsucker Proxy!" from a guy hanging off a building...)
 

Ronald Epstein

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Moe,

Perhaps I am misunderstanding so my apologies in advance.

You have the Roadshow version with extra scenes.

Then you have extra scenes on top of that which were not
intended for any release -- probably just cutting room floor.

Wouldn't those extra scenes added onto the Roadshow version
make for even a longer release?I have to retire for the evening so I can't make any changes in
the poll until late tomorrow.

Let's just agree for polling sake, the Roadshow version is only
the extra scenes intended for the Roadshow release as shown
at its premier. That would also include the Police Calls at intermission.

Any cutting room floor scenes above that included on the laserdisc
release would be referred to a longer release than the Roadshow.

Hope that doesn't confuse anyone. It seems that most people
recognized the intent of the poll from the beginning.
 

Ronald Epstein

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It would be nice to discuss whether there might be circumstancial evidence that Criterion could look at it as a project if they wanted to, but that doesn't justify the tabloid headline that they are.

Unless I am mistaken, the tabloid headline is RUMOR.

...and it's a pretty strong one based on the number of people
who speculated it even before I posted this thread.

Make no mistake about it, it has been mentioned several times
already that this is speculation only. Nobody here has said they are.

Talk to all of you again tomorrow. I'm turning in.
 

Ronald Epstein

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I know what you mean Ronald, but even if I knew & liked the roadshow version, I think I'd still prefer the shorter version all looking the same. The trouble is, my job for over forty years was a film lab timer & telecine colourist, so I really notice these things. If the picture is a bit sub-par or a bit green or whatever, well you get used to it after a couple of minutes & don't notice anymore & enjoy the movie. But...if things are going along smoothly, & all of a sudden the picture quality drops, well it's a shock...& then we're back to normal, but waiting for the quality to drop again, as I say, it would take me out of the film. But that's just me. And I'd feel the same way about The Alamo.

Billy,

Had to respond to this before I signed off.

I agree with you 100%

However, if the theatrical version were already available, properly color timed,
would it be so bad to make an alternate version available as well that a company
knows would entice the fans who have been asking for it over the years?This isn't the definitive version. It's an alternate version for the fans.
 

Moe Dickstein

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Yeah as I understand it, there is the general release, then the roadshow cut then scenes deleted prior to release.The laserdisc additions are made up of a mix of roadshow and deleted scenes, though mostly roadshow.There are additional roadshow scenes something like 10 minutes or more that are not in the LD.So if you took out the scenes meant to be removed and added in the scenes we don't have in the film that are supposed to be there, we have a cut that is longer than the laserdisc is now. Then if you added in the stuff that was supposed to be cut on top of that yes it would be even longer. I believe the proper road show run time is like 3 hours and 10 minutes with the radio calls. The extra deleted scenes are maybe 5 minutes or so? I wouldn't mind having them in but I also would like to see the intended edit for the first time.
 

lukejosephchung

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I've had the "kitchen sink" laserdisc edition of this movie since it came out and would LOVE to have it available in 1080p...and voted for it above!!! Ron, thank you for letting our voices be heard by the powers-that-be at Criterion regarding this rumored upcoming release...
 

Rob_Ray

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I bought the laserdisc version on its original release date and was excited to get it. But having watched it twice back in the day and once again projected on a huge home theatre screen, I don't like it nearly as well as the general release version. To me, it ruins the pace of the film, adding little more than various characters reminding us ad nauseum that they're wasting time.

Having said that, I'd still love to see the original roadshow version as sanctioned by Mr. Kramer, even if it longer than the laserdisc cut. It's not the length of the laserdisc cut that I object to, it's how the movie flows. And the laserdisc edit, for me, drags terribly.

I officially voted for option 2: only put back scenes that were part of the roadshow version, assuming that the addition of only some roadshow footage and not all doesn't harm the continuity.

However, Criterion being the Lexus brand that it is, what I would really hope for is that they release two versions of the film and please everybody: One disc having preferably the roadshow version or, alternately, the laserdisc cut, and a second disc containing the general release version with the overture, police calls, entr'acte and exit music in 100% pristine condition.
 
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