Once Upon A Time in the West DVD update sort of

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by oscar_merkx, Aug 21, 2002.

  1. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    I came across the following information from www.dvdjournal.com about the dvd
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    Once Upon a Time in the West is a Paramount property, and while we don't have any confirmed DVD release details, it's likely there will be one within the foreseeable future. The film went through several edits before its American release, and ideally we would like to see a disc that restores the running time from the common 165 minutes to the reported 185 minutes of Leone's original version. For now, Paramount has already released two Laserdisc editions, the first being a pan-and-scan item (which apparently was plagued by an overly fast telecine rate), the second being more-acceptable letterbox (2.35:1) transfer of the Techniscope print (see inset). A pan-and-scan VHS edition is also available from most online retailers. The latest word we've heard on a possible Region 1 DVD is that Paramount is still evaluating the film's source elements.
    Which, naturally, leaves a final option for folks in Region 2, or for those who have code-free, PAL-compliant hardware. Italian distributor Univideo have released a Region 2 DVD of Once Upon a Time in the West, which sports an anamorphic transfer (2.35:1) and both Dolby Digital 5.1 as well as the original monaural audio. The running-time is listed at 175 minutes, but as the PAL algorithm speeds things up, this likely is (or gets close to) the full 185-min. version. Even if Paramount gets a DVD on the street, if it's the 165-min. U.S. cut (a strong possibility), the Univideo DVD will command a lot of international orders.
    But we'd rather get the missing footage here in Region 1, even just as deleted scenes. And while were at it, it would be nice if Paramount could abandon the boxcover art used for Once Upon a Time in the West on their LD and VHS editions — the original theatrical one-sheet featuring a towering, sinister Henry Fonda is simply of the greatest movie posters in history, and it needs to be a part of the DVD as well.
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    Mr Blythe of Paramount has as far as I know commented a while ago that this is coming in r1 sometime.
    I would like to know if anybody has bought the R2 version that exists according to dvdjournal. Then again if it is from an Italian e-tailer then I would not have known about this.
    Does anybody have any comments or suggestions ?
    Oscar
    [​IMG]
     
  2. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    One suggestion: get it out, ASAP! [​IMG]
    Actually, I don't mind waiting for this as long as it's done right.
    I do wish Charles Bronson would participate as he is one of the two surviving principals (Claudia Cardinale being the other), but he doesn't seem inclined to involve himself in added content when his movies hit DVD - he was noticeably absent from the documentary on The Magnificent Seven.
     
  3. robert galasek

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    The region 2 Italian 'C'era Una Volta Il West' (Once Upon A Time In The West) DVD from CVC has a running time of 175 minutes (the longest version I have seen, allowing for PAL speed up) and does have a 5.1 sound mix. Unfortunately, although enhanced for 16x9, it is cropped to 1.85:1. The transfer is also very washed out and grainy. The dialogue is only the original Italian language with no English sub titles.
    The CVC DVD release of 'Giu La Testa' (Duck You Sucker/A Fistful of Dynamite/Once Upon A Time, The Revolution) has the same problems, worst of all the 2.35:1 image being cropped to 1.85:1.
    The truth is that all three parts of Sergio Leone's classic 'Once Upon A Time' trilogy are in need of serious restoration work before we can expect decent DVDs of them to be released in the UK and US.
     
  4. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    robert
    thanks for your replies about this. I will wait for this to come in r1 and don't mind waiting for this.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  6. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    hi
    more update news from www.dvdjournal.com in response to yesterdays's post
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    It's worth noting that both Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America (short version) will be broadcast on American Movie Classics this Saturday, August 24.
    it also appears the one-hour documentary Sergio Leone: Once Upon a Time will be shown on Saturday as well. Time to dust off the VCR (and everybody be sure to confirm that the second showings on Saturday will be letterboxed).
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    credit must go to Chris who posted the first bit of information to the website.
    [​IMG]
    too bad they don't show this channel in the UK
    [​IMG]
    Let's hope that this documentary finds it way to DVD as well.
     
  7. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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  8. robert galasek

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    quote:

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    That's not a crop, as the OAR is 1.85:1.
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    No way, the OAR of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST is 2.35:1. The widescreen frame has never been better utilised in the history of film, in my opinion.

    The OAR of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA is 1.85:1, which may have caused this confusion.
     
  9. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    Leone's 'reported' director's cut may actually run closer to 4 hours, if Video Watchdog editor Tim Lucas is correct. He interviewed James Woods (who was quite personable) some years ago and they got to discussing the work Woods did on AMERICA. Woods said that if Lucas (a huge fan of Italian cinema) had only, like most people, seen the 165 minutes or thereabouts version of WEST (let alone the shorter version circulating at the time) then he 'hadn't really seen it'. Leone reportedly took Woods into his private screening room during the shooting of AMERICA and showed him a 4-hour cut of WEST which featured a number of sequences that haven't been seen in any other version. If this is true, it's possible that this is Leone's real 'director's cut', and maybe this is the extended version Paramount are slowly negotiating their way to gaining access to. A couple of posts on The Digital Bits (including one story some months back where an industry screening featured a Paramount employee discussing this supposed long cut) makes me hope this is the case. If there is a super-long cut of WEST, this is the version I want to see...
     
  10. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Anthony
    that would really be great news if this would be holding up this release.
    Bring it on
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  12. Ric Bagoly

    Ric Bagoly Producer

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    Get this movie out on DVD, and get it out now.
     
  13. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    This is another one high on my list. I have the widescreen Laserdisc to hold me over for now. But the thought of this on DVD with a new transfer and restored footage and a possible stereo re-mix of Morricone's magnificent score on this film get me very excited.
    This is without a second thought the greatest western ever made. Very complicated, very somber and very dark with great performances all around. By far a much more impressive accomplishment for Leone than his very good but overpraised dollars trilogy.
     
  14. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    FYI
    BBC 2 September 14
    21.20 - 0050 Once Upon a Time in America
    Cool
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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  16. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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