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Question About Topaz (1969) (1 Viewer)

stevenHa

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Nowadays in movies everyone including the doorman gets a credit at the end of a movie but I am curious if anyone would know who did the portrait sketches done by character Francois Picard in the Hitchcock film Topaz ?
 

Dick

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Nowadays in movies everyone including the doorman gets a credit at the end of a movie but I am curious if anyone would know who did the portrait sketches done by character Francois Picard in the Hitchcock film Topaz ?

Perhaps Thomas J. Wright, the (uncredited) storyboard artist? Just a guess.
 

haineshisway

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I think the more interesting question is why on DVD and Blu-ray is there no version of Topaz as actually released to theaters? That seems very odd to me and yet no one says a damn peep about it.
 

DVBRD

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I think the more interesting question is why on DVD and Blu-ray is there no version of Topaz as actually released to theaters? That seems very odd to me and yet no one says a damn peep about it.

Isn't the British theatrical version the one available on video?
 

stevenHa

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I don't think it's the storyboard artist - I believe he did the paintings for Night Gallery and the style to me doesn't look the same.
 

haineshisway

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Isn't the British theatrical version the one available on video?

No. The theatrical version has never been on DVD or Blu-ray - it's some preview cut and it's nice to have but it is NOT the film as released in the US or anywhere else for that matter, different endings though there might have been. The film was a good fifteen minutes shorter in theaters.
 

AlexNH

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No. The theatrical version has never been on DVD or Blu-ray - it's some preview cut and it's nice to have but it is NOT the film as released in the US or anywhere else for that matter, different endings though there might have been. The film was a good fifteen minutes shorter in theaters.

I've never heard this before. Interesting... is it the different endings?
 

haineshisway

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I've never heard this before. Interesting... is it the different endings?

No, nothing to do with the endings - longer scenes, cut scenes, things he trimmed after the preview version - I believe the theatrical version was on laserdisc and perhaps VHS but not since then - since they discovered the preview version that's been it, which is just wrong. Of course the stupid iMdb has it wrong, which just confuses things. Theatrical release in 1969 was 125 minutes - Wikipedia has it almost right:
Running time127 minutes
(theatrical cut)
143 minutes
(Extended DVD cut)
 
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TravisR

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No, nothing to do with the endings - longer scenes, cut scenes, things he trimmed after the preview version - I believe the theatrical version was on laserdisc and perhaps VHS but not since then - since they discovered the preview version that's been it, which is just wrong.
I think that comes from the idea that a longer cut means that it's the best or is somehow always the director's cut. Sometimes that's true but alot of other times, there's reasons that things were originally dropped.
 

haineshisway

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Also correct time is Time Out's listing at 125 minutes; contemporaneous Variety review has it at 126 minutes. At no time until they found the preview version did this film run 143 minutes.
 

haineshisway

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I think that comes from the idea that a longer cut means that it's the best or is somehow always the director's cut. Sometimes that's true but alot of other times, there's reasons that things were originally dropped.

Yep. The longer cut wasn't the final version - it was previewed that way and then fine cut after down to its released version of 126 minutes. I saw it many times when it was released and interestingly, there are things from the preview cut in the trailer and I always was interested to see what those were about - and then came the DVD.
 

haineshisway

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Interestingly, the second VHS release was the first to feature the preview version and it clearly states "seventeen minutes of never before seen footage." Meanwhile, here's the back of the original VHS release with the correct theatrical running time.
s-l1600-4 (1).jpg
 

DavidJ

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I’d love to see the theatrical cut. Shame it’s not available.
 

DVBRD

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This is what AFI had to say:

"The film had its world premiere on 6 Nov 1969 at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, England. At Hitchcock’s behest, the film was shown there without an intermission, despite the Odeon’s house policy of including one. The 11 Nov 1969 DV review noted that a 125-minute press release version, which had been shown at the Odeon on 4 Nov 1969, had been criticized as having an 'inconclusive ending.' In response, one-and-a-half minutes of footage was tacked on to 'give the bowout a more caustic and typical Hitchcock twist,' resulting in a running time of 126 ½ minutes. An article in the 12 Nov 1969 Var claimed that the English premiere had been rushed due to a crowded release calendar for Dec 1969, and described the version shown there as a rough cut, which might be expanded to 142 minutes for later releases. However, when Topaz opened on 19 Dec 1969 at Los Angeles’s Pix Theatre and New York City’s Cinerama Theatre, the LAT and NYT reviews cited a 126-minute running time."
 

Gary16

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No, nothing to do with the endings - longer scenes, cut scenes, things he trimmed after the preview version - I believe the theatrical version was on laserdisc and perhaps VHS but not since then - since they discovered the preview version that's been it, which is just wrong. Of course the stupid iMdb has it wrong, which just confuses things. Theatrical release in 1969 was 125 minutes - Wikipedia has it almost right:
Running time127 minutes
(theatrical cut)
143 minutes
(Extended DVD cut)
The laserdisc has all three endings.
 

rdimucci

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This is what AFI had to say:

"An article in the 12 Nov 1969 Var claimed that the English premiere had been rushed due to a crowded release calendar for Dec 1969, and described the version shown there as a rough cut, which might be expanded to 142 minutes for later releases. However, when Topaz opened on 19 Dec 1969 at Los Angeles’s Pix Theatre and New York City’s Cinerama Theatre, the LAT and NYT reviews cited a 126-minute running time."

Interesting that Variety would call the 126-minute version the "rough cut." That suggests that the 142-minute version was created by adding things to the 126-minute cut rather than the 126-minute cut being created by subtracting things from the 142-minute version. So, I wonder which cut was created first? If Hitchcock did indeed create the 142-minute version after the 126-minute "rough cut," I wonder why it wasn't released? Poor critical reaction to the shorter version perhaps?
 

haineshisway

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It's so simple: The 142-minute cut was the PREVIEW version. The reaction to the film was not good. He immediately cut it down to the 126-minute version and that is what was released to theaters. The 142-minute cut was hardly created later, for heaven's sake. You can see shots from it in the advance trailer for the film. This is why I hate the AFI because they are a mass of confusing information, I'm guessing the "article" in Variety wasn't an "article" at all, but something in Army Archerd or Hank Grant's column and of course both columns were not reliable ever. Universal found the preview cut and on the second VHS release they used it along with "seventeen minutes of never before seen footage." The problem since then is they've never included the RELEASE version and they need to as that's what audiences saw in 1969.
 

Douglas R

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This is what AFI had to say:

"The film had its world premiere on 6 Nov 1969 at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, England. At Hitchcock’s behest, the film was shown there without an intermission, despite the Odeon’s house policy of including one. The 11 Nov 1969 DV review noted that a 125-minute press release version, which had been shown at the Odeon on 4 Nov 1969, had been criticized as having an 'inconclusive ending.' In response, one-and-a-half minutes of footage was tacked on to 'give the bowout a more caustic and typical Hitchcock twist,' resulting in a running time of 126 ½ minutes. An article in the 12 Nov 1969 Var claimed that the English premiere had been rushed due to a crowded release calendar for Dec 1969, and described the version shown there as a rough cut, which might be expanded to 142 minutes for later releases. However, when Topaz opened on 19 Dec 1969 at Los Angeles’s Pix Theatre and New York City’s Cinerama Theatre, the LAT and NYT reviews cited a 126-minute running time."

”The film was shown there without an intermission, despite the Odeon’s house policy of including one”. What on earth does that mean? It’s complete nonsense. The Odeon, Leicester Square didn’t stick intermissions on films unless it was built into the film, regardless as to the length of the film
 

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