I Love Lucy - Season Four - Missing Scenes

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Joe Lugoff, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    A long time ago there was a discussion here about the missing scenes in several episodes of "I Love Lucy" Season Four. I hope it's ok to start this thread over again at this late date.

    I never got the replacement disc. I'd like to know something about the episode "The Fashion Show." Don Loper tells Lucy that Mrs. Alan Ladd wants to wear the dress she picked out in the fashion show. However, Mrs. Alan Ladd doesn't appear in the fashion show, even though she's listed as a guest star in the reference books and websites. Does she show up in one of the cut scenes included on the replacement disc?
     
  2. David Grove

    David Grove Stunt Coordinator

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    What is the procedure to get a replacement?

    Thank you.

    DG
     
  3. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Did they do something about the awful motion stuttering in the same episode (the part where the Mertzes walk in to the hotel suite is almost unviewable due to this technical goof)?
     
  4. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Yes, that's the main reason they offered a replacement dvd. I don't know if the replacement is still available. There was a thread on how to order the replacement in this forum.
     
  5. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    That episode played in a "jerky" manner on my player, but it wasn't too bad. What's so strange is that it only seemed to happen in the scenes set in the hotel room!

    The "I Love Lucy" sets are very good, but fall far short of perfect. Way too many episodes have missing scenes. Some 1st and 2nd season episodes are missing up to 2 or 3 minutes. These are the episodes which were later rerun and had new opening footage leading into them as the Ricardos and Mertzes "remember" what happened. Apparently, the original footage was just thrown away to make room for the new openings. Therefore, it wasn't possible to restore it. But calling these episodes "complete" is dangerously close to being a lie.

    Meanwhile, I hope someone can solve my minor mystery of the missing Mrs. Alan Ladd.
     
  6. Geoff_G

    Geoff_G Auditioning

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    Sometime I dunno what people expect. The show is over 50 years old, the fact that original masters and material are available in such good quality is amazing enough, especially considering what other important stuff DOESN'T exist anymore like the first Superbowl. The I Love Lucy sets are as perfect as you're ever going to get.
     
  7. Nick_TV

    Nick_TV Stunt Coordinator

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    What episodes were missing 2 or 3 minutes and what scenes are they? I don't recall there being any missed scenes, except for the ones in "First Stop" on season 4. However, Paramount offered a replacement disc with the missing scenes. The scenes you mentioned where the Ricardos and Mertzes "remember" what happened are included on the disc in the extras. Are there ones that are still missing? If so, please name them.
     
  8. Greg Madsen

    Greg Madsen Second Unit

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  9. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    Any episode which was later rerun with an opening "flashback" scene was shortened by the length of that new scene. Most "I Love Lucy" episodes on the DVDs run 26 minutes. Several in the first season are shorter than that (a couple as low as 23 minutes). I can't tell you what scenes are missing -- as I said, when the footage was cut to make room for the new "flashback" openings, it was thrown away! They never dreamed anyone would want to see these shows even one more time, much less hundreds of times over the past 55 years.
     
  10. Larry.P

    Larry.P Stunt Coordinator

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    While it is true that some episodes were cut down to make room for new flashback openings, it is NOT TRUE that any of this footage is missing from the season 1 and 2 DVD sets. In fact, NONE of the seasons in the "I Love Lucy" DVD series are missing ANY episode footage save the following:
    1. The previously mentioned scenes from season 4 (which were added as Bonus on the corrected discs)
    2. The "Guys and Dolls" preview (which isn't really "Lucy" footage anyway") in the "Lucy and The Dummy" episode.

    It is TRUE that some of the original 35mm footage of cut scenes was thrown away. But Gregg Oppenheimer restored these scenes using his family's original 16mm prints.

    I know for a fact that Greg has 16mm copies of all his Dad's Lucy shows and he compared them very carefully with what Paramount had.
    I also can personally vouch for the inclusion of all the season 1 and 2 scenes because I have (some pretty lousy) VHS copies of the original 16mm prints for every episode of season 1 and 2 with all the original openings and commercials.

    Some early season episodes run short for different reasons. As an example "The Fur Coat" ran short because of the Christmas tag. Other episodes had longer commercials, or John Stephenson would go on and on about Phillip Morris cigarettes.

    I don't want anyone to miss out on seasons 1 and 2 because they think there is anything missing... there isn't!
     
  11. Nick_TV

    Nick_TV Stunt Coordinator

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    I think you may be a little confused, none of these reruns are included on the DVDs. The key word in your quote above is "rerun". There are no reruns on the DVDs, only the original uncut versions shown at first airing. These "opening 'flashback' scene" where the Ricardos and Mertzes remember what happened are included as extras only, not as part of an episode. Instead, we are given the actual episode before any "opening 'flashback' scene" was added and later rerun.

    For most TV shows, there are 2 different versions of an episode: the uncut original version and the syndicated version (shortened by 1-3 minutes). However, for I Love Lucy there are 3 different versions of some episodes: the uncut original version, the syndicated version (shortened by 2-4 minutes), and a special syndicated version containing the "opening 'flashback' scene" broadcasted during Lucy's pregnancy. For the I Love Lucy DVDs, only the uncut original version is given. The special "opening 'flashback' scene" are included as extras only and run about (2-5 minutes depending), the actual special syndicated version is not included.
     
  12. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    The presentation of the Lucy episodes is intended to recreate, as much as possible, the original viewing experience, in terms of each episode's first run. That's why they sometimes left in the animated openings and corresponding commercials. All flashback scenes are kept as extras. And I have to say, I've studied that show for the last 20 years and they still came up with stuff that I never knew existed, like that Fred & Ethel car commercial song. There are no missing scenes for the entire series. The boxed sets want for nothing, save the Lucy/Desi specials, which I'm sure we'll see next year.
     
  13. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    Maybe Joe is confused because some of the Season Two post-pregnancy shows ORIGINALLY aired as "remember when" flashbacks.
     
  14. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    I'm not confused in the least. However, some of you are, let's say, naive or misinformed.

    Almost every Season 1 and Season 2 episode that was later rerun with new, opening, flashback footage runs short by the length of that new footage. That's why so many of the earliest episodes run from one to three minutes shorter than average. They run short by the length of the new footage -- is that just a coincidence?

    I don't care what anyone, up to and including Gregg Oppenheimer, says. The missing footage was NEVER restored, so comparing them to 16mm prints or whatever doesn't prove a thing. The footage was destroyed within a year or two of the first showing of the episodes in question.

    It was understandable that they wanted to market these sets as COMPLETE -- UNCUT -- RESTORED -- and they didn't want to run any fine print stating that some of the 1st and 2nd Season episodes, for reasons beyond their control, couldn't be restored to their original length.

    The missing scenes from Season 4 are another story. Their exclusion was a screw-up. And STILL no one has solved the Mystery of Mrs. Alan Ladd for me yet. The reference books say she appears in "The Fashion Show." Does she show up in a missing scene on the replacement disc?
     
  15. Greg Madsen

    Greg Madsen Second Unit

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    Sorry, but you are the one that is misinformed. VERY misinformed!
     
  16. Larry.P

    Larry.P Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, so I am looking at my tapes that were made from original "as broadcast" 16mm prints of the show and I am misinformed?
    Here's a rundown of the first three episodes (by production number) as originally aired. Note: all 3 were later rebroadcast with a flashback opening.

    Lucy Thinks Ricky Is Trying to Murder Her
    00:00 - 01:44 Opening credits/John Stephenson for Phillip Morris
    01:45 - 13:16 Act 1
    13:17 - 15:04 John Stephenson for Phillip Morris
    15:05 - 25:36 Act 2
    25:37 - 27:22 John Stephenson for Phillip Morris
    27:23 - 27:52 Tag scene
    27:53 - 29:20 Sponsor plug/closing credits

    The Girls Want To Go To A Nightclub
    00:00 - 01:55 Opening credits/John Stephenson for Phillip Morris
    01:56 - 15:17 Act 1
    15:18 - 17:56 Phillip Morris commercial w/ Jay Jackson
    17:57 - 26:11 Act 2
    26:12 - 27:33 John Stephenson for Phillip Morris
    27:34 - 27:51 Tag scene
    27:52 - 29:20 Sponsor plug/closing credits

    Be A Pal
    00:00 - 01:42 Opening credits/John Stephenson for Phillip Morris
    01:43 - 11:01 Act 1
    11:02 - 12:46 John Stephenson for Phillip Morris
    12:47 - 19:17 Act 2
    19:18 - 21:16 John Stephenson for Phillip Morris
    21:17 - 27:41 Act 3
    27:42 - 29:12 Sponsor plug/closing credits


    There are no missing scenes.
    Some of the 35mm films (specifically the "rebroadcast with flashback" episodes) were indeed edited for rebroadcast and the footage discarded.
    However, what about all the 16mm prints that had been distributed to TV stations for broadcast. What about prints that were kept by Desilu employees (like Jess Oppenheimer). Are we to believe that Desilu got back every 16mm print that had been sent out across the U.S. and took Jess' prints back and made the same edits that were made to the 35mm film on those prints? Why do these versions still have 1st season credits and 1st season commercials and no flashback scene? When the episodes were rebroadcast they used the credits for the current season and new commercials.

    Bottom line: 16mm "as originally broadcast" versions of these episodes still exist. Desilu never got back every copy of every episode ever made.
    Or am I just naive?
     
  17. Nick_TV

    Nick_TV Stunt Coordinator

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    How do you know this? Do you have a source? Are you claiming to have more knowledge of this situation than Gregg Oppenheimer (who I'm sure knows much more about the show than any of us)? Are you claiming to be more of an authority on the topic than the original 16mm prints prove?
     
  18. Ethan Riley

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    Well then those are the episodes that need to be re-examined in depth; compared to those 16mm broadcast prints AND shooting scripts and anything else that's lying around. However, if, as Joe claims, "The footage was destroyed within a year or two of the first showing of the episodes in question," then there's no point in discussing it. They are therefore lost scenes, CBS couldn't have put them on the dvds and there's nothing more to be done about it. I don't want this to turn into another "Well! They AREN'T really complete episodes, the studios lied to us, therefore I am boycotting their products" thread.

    But I can tell you, I have never heard hardcore Lucy fans confessing any knowledge of any deleted scenes from those episodes. Your theories make sense, but no one alive seems to remember anything that's supposedly missing.
     
  19. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    This was a typical Internet exchange -- people taking lots of time and trouble to prove someone "wrong" (and I'm still not convinced I'm wrong.)

    However, no one has taken even ten seconds to answer my original question!
     
  20. Dustin James

    Dustin James Stunt Coordinator

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