...had a theatrical release in Europe.

Harry-N

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I've read that phrase, "...had a theatrical release in Europe", quite a few ties over the years. It often applies to two-part episodes of TV series, but also to television "movies" that were aired in the US on network television. It always made me wonder why we in the US never got to see some of these entertainments on a big theatrical screen. I think I would have scraped together some money to see some of these favorites play on my local cinema screen rather than on the 19" TV at home.

I'm guessing that theatrical releases in other territories helped offset the cost of the original production.

Just some ruminating...
 

MatthewA

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Disney did it all the time with anthology series episodes that were two or more parts.

The Bette Midler Gypsy was also given a theatrical release outside of the US.
 

DVBRD

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Some of them tended to have extra violence, nudity, and profanity added to the telefilms in their theatrical versions due to the lack of censorship issues. One film I know got this treatment was "Legend of Lizzie Borden" with Elizabeth Montgomery.

Miniseries got cut up into two hour movies for theatrical, such as "Salem's Lot" (that cut got a VHS release).
 
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Jack P

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"SOS Titanic" is the ultimate example of a TV movie (three hour running time) that got chopped up for an overseas theatrical edit (there were about five to ten seconds of one scene in the overseas cut not in the US TV version, the rest was about 40 minutes hacked out and the film rearranged from a flashback frame device to everything unspooling in linear fashion). Then for decades the only home video releases were of the cut overseas version until the upcoming Kino Lorber release that will finally give us both versions.

The overseas theatrical edit of the "Helter Skelter" miniseries I remembered had one graphic scene of a fictional witness identifying the victims running out and throwing up and another scene gave us alternate profane dialogue of "Go fxxx yourself" whereas the TV version had the character saying "Horse manure."

But since in those cases the TV versions are longer, I prefer them to a cut version. And for the most part, theatrical re-edits of two-part TV episodes or mashed together episodes don't come off well either (an overseas edit of two episodes of "The Lieutenant" gave us new scenes with Anne Helm and the rough way Gary Lockwood treats her totally destroyed the likability of his character)
 

Purple Wig

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“To Chase A Million”, the re-edited version of 2 episodes of Man In A Suitcase, was shown theatrically and works pretty well as a stand alone feature.
 
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ScottRE

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Airwolf The Movie had some badly overdubbed swearing added to make the pilot episode more "theatrical" I guess is the word.

For awhile, the only way to see shows like The Night Stalker, Planet of the Apes, The Time Tunnel and Space:1999 was by edited movie versions of episodes. I think two of the four Space:1999 "European Theatrical Releases." The others were just packaged as movies because the series were too short for syndication.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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Thought it’s not quite the same since they didn’t get European theatrical releases, but the only way to see the Young Indiana Jones TV episodes now is in the two-episodes-combined-into-one-movie versions of the show.
 

Blimpoy06

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Shogun and Masada came to my mind. I rented Masada when it first came out on VHS. It had scenes of nudity that would not have been on the broadcast mini series.
 
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AndyMcKinney

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I think two of the four Space:1999 "European Theatrical Releases." The others were just packaged as movies because the series were too short for syndication.
Alien Attack (the first of these) was the only one that had specially-shot new footage added. It was all new actors representing "The International Lunar Commission", in Earthbound scenes where they're commenting about the unfolding events on Alpha.

The only 'new' addition to Destination Moonbase Alpha is an opening narration (basically explaining about the moon being blasted out of orbit, etc) but otherwise, they were all just two episodes joined together.

One consequence of these four TV movies is that until sometime in the 1990s, these 8 episodes were pulled from all 'new' syndication packages. In the 1980s, the only way to see these episodes were on stations that still had 'old' prints (like WPIX), or to see them as the edited-together movies (from the 'Super Space Theatre' package). Stations like KPTS, a PBS station who were showing unedited episodes around 1987-88 or so, did not have acess to these 8 episodes. The company that released the laserdiscs around that time also did not have the rights to release them.
 

ScottRE

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The only 'new' addition to Destination Moonbase Alpha is an opening narration (basically explaining about the moon being blasted out of orbit, etc) but otherwise, they were all just two episodes joined together.

One consequence of these four TV movies is that until sometime in the 1990s, these 8 episodes were pulled from all 'new' syndication packages. In the 1980s, the only way to see these episodes were on stations that still had 'old' prints (like WPIX), or to see them as the edited-together movies (from the 'Super Space Theatre' package). Stations like KPTS, a PBS station who were showing unedited episodes around 1987-88 or so, did not have acess to these 8 episodes. The company that released the laserdiscs around that time also did not have the rights to release them.
Mike Vickers did compose a new opening theme for Destination Moonbase Alpha. While it was assumed it was library music, from what I understand, it was commissioned specifically for the “movie.” It showed up on a library LP afterwards called “Moonbase” Parts 1, 2 & 3. It fit the style of Derek Wadsworth’s music really well.

I had made VHS transfers of the Space:1999 laserdiscs way back in the early 90’s. I had to suffer through my own homemade edits of the WPIX broadcasts with tapes of the movie versions of the missing episodes. They looked awful but I was proud of the result at the time.
 
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Harry-N

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The Time Tunnel openings were really well done, TBH.
True. I was somewhat amazed when I finally saw this on YouTube. Though I knew of the existence of the TIME TUNNEL movies having read of them in a Broadcasting magazine in the 80s, I never found one on a TV station that I could watch it on, so I never saw how the episodes were combined. In fact, other than this opening, I STILL don't know how they were combined.

But this opening, which I understand was utilized in all five of the movies they constructed, really was pretty well done. They successfully eliminated all of Gary Merrill's participation so they didn't have to pay him any kind of residuals, and the announcer properly filled in all of the necessary details for a novice to be able to understand the premise behind the show. I found it interesting that one of the final scenes with Dr. Swain and Gen. Kirk was lifted from a very late episode of the series, "The Kidnappers".
 

DVBRD

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There was a truncated version of "Sybil" that was released on VHS in the early-80s; I presume it was done for European theatrical release as well. Allegedly, the entire ending was cut out!

 

fdabbott

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Disney did it all the time with anthology series episodes that were two or more parts.

The Bette Midler Gypsy was also given a theatrical release outside of the US.
Myself and 500+ other seniors are dropping the Disney channel because they refuse to release or show the old action series that they showed on their Satellite channel, then put in their vaults. We want to see series like Texas John Slaughter, Swamp Fox and the other Disney 50s series. We are in fixed incomes and are fed-up waiting for Disney to show the older shows. They can keep their damn channel.
 

TJPC

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Here in Canada, the pilot for the original Battlestar Gallactica was shown in the theatre. It had much more adult content. I remember being surprised at the difference when it appeared as the first show of the series.
There was a scene where two characters are making out in an air lock or some such place and a jealous female blasts them with steam. In the movie version, they are definitely making out. On TV they just exchange a chaste kiss.
 

jcroy

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Here in Canada, the pilot for the original Battlestar Gallactica was shown in the theatre. It had much more adult content. I remember being surprised at the difference when it appeared as the first show of the series.
There was a scene where two characters are making out in an air lock or some such place and a jealous female blasts them with steam. In the movie version, they are definitely making out. On TV they just exchange a chaste kiss.
Was there scene which shows Baltar being beheaded ?
 

cinefan

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I had in my head that the "international version" of the Twin Peaks pilot -- with extra footage at the end solving the mystery -- had a European theatrical release. But googling just now leaves me uncertain whether this version was a theatrical release or just aired as a standalone television movie in Europe. IMDB does say it was theatrical while other sources just mention a TV airing.
 

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