The Exorcist: 25th Ann. vs. The Version You've Never Seen

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Dave H, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I confess; I have never seen the original movie. I saw the new version a few years ago in the theater - loved it - and ended up buying THAT version of the film. But, I keep hearing the original is better. So, I am thinking of picking this up as some outlets are still selling it.

    However, how does the video compare to the new version? I hear mixed things; some say the difference is small; others say quite noticable.

    Also, I am aware the the 25th Ann. DVD does contain some kind of change from the original movie.
     
  2. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    Change I don't know but alot of good extras. I have both editions.
     
  3. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    The video is a bit better on the Version You've Never Seen, but it's still good on the 25th Anniversary. It's a little grainier. And the William Friedkin's commentary is a LOT better on the 25th Anniversary.

    The only change from the theatrical that I'm aware of on the 25th Anniv. is where the demon enters Karras and his face changes. In the theatrical, it was just a cut, and very obviously a cut. On the 25th Anniversary DVD, they morph it. It looks a lot better, actually... but it's still not the original. You'd have to get the original-original out-of-print DVD for that, the one that's a widescreen/full frame flipper with no extras. (I hear the sound mix is the best on that one, but that the good mix is only on the full frame side! And the film print is in sad shape on the original-original DVD.)
     
  4. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I thougtht the spider-walk was new?
     
  5. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Cinematographer

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    There's a different ending and about 12 minutes of changes (the spiderwalk included) in the VERSION YOU've never seen.

    I like the Theatrical cut more.
     
  6. Scott Ware

    Scott Ware Stunt Coordinator

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    The Spider Walk sequence is an addition to the re-release. The original question was about changes made to the 25th Aniversary DVD, which is the original film.

    There is one other minor change that Brian W. didn't address: the studio logo is different. You may recall that the Exorcist had the Warner logo changed to a green and black theme. On the 25th DVD, it is replaced with the standard logo with the words "75th Aniversary" underneath. It's not a big deal to me, but I recall there being some discussion about it when the disk was first released. An introduction by the director is also included at the beginning of the film.
     
  7. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I was just reading the "Cut List" on DVDFILE and there are more changes than I realized. I am even more tempted to pick this up now.
     
  8. Arnie G

    Arnie G Supporting Actor

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    If you really like the movie, get it. The extras are good and the original version is worth watching.
     
  9. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    The original version is more than "worth watching"- it's the ONLY version to watch IMO. It's a much better film than "The Version You've Never Seen", which would more accurately be called "The Version That Never Should Have Been" in my opinion. The 25th Anniversary Edition also has a GREAT documentary that includes different versions of the "spider walk" and the final scene between Kinderman and Dyer than the ones includes in TVYNS, and a great commentary by Friedkin as opposed to his lame commentary on TVYNS, plus commentary by Blatty, as well.

    Vincent
     
  10. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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  11. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I have both versions, but prefer the ORIGINAL THEATRICAL VERSION. The new CG effects and now the different "happy ending" are a mistake IMO, as is adding ominous sounds during scenes such as the one where Kinderman is outside questioning Father Karras about the Dennings murder (this was originally without background sound).

    There are some added scenes to TVYNS that I actually like, and some I don't. But in the long run I feel I'll always watch the ORIGINAL and utilize TVYNS as an "extras" disc.
     
  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I also prefer the original version.

    In fact, just generally put me down for enjoying
    the original version of ANY film before Hollywood
    tries make their quick buck off of ludicrious CGI
    changes.
     
  13. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    One more thought -- although I prefer the ORIGINAL, I'm of the opinion that if you're someone who's never seen it before and has been weaned on the VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN, you may likely feel you've lost a lot of scenes.
     
  14. Jon Smith

    Jon Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    where can i get the R1 online ?
     
  15. Tony Scello

    Tony Scello Second Unit

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    Run, don't walk, run to get a copy of the 25th Ann. Ed.(Special Ed.) DVD of The Exorcist. I happen to be a huge fan of the film and have all 3 versions of the film on DVD but find myself watching the 25th Ann. Ed. the most. I also prefer this version of the film and the disc is loaded with some outstanding special features from all the particpants involved in the making of this great film. The highlight on the disc is a feature-length documentary called "The Fear of God - 25 Years of The Exorcist" which has to be one of the best and most comprehensive docs you'll see on the origin and making of a film.

    The "Version You've Never Seen" is an interesting version of the film which includes some scenes that explain some events more clearly. Of course, some purists feel thats part of the problem. This version also includes a number of CGI inserts which were not needed in my opinion. This version is very light on supplements but does boast improved PQ/AQ.
     
  16. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Jon,

    I just ordered it from DDD for $18.73 shipped. I wish I would have done this last week - I would have saved 20%. On any rate, I'm glad it's still available as most places seem to only be selling the new version.
     
  17. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    While I'm quite firmly of the opinion that the original is better than the CGI revamp, TVYNS is nonetheless interesting as an alternate vision; for decades Blatty was going on about how he would have done the film differently, and it was interesting to finally see just how that would have worked. Of course, the demons in the cupboards were extraneous and a bit over the top, but while weaker I don't think TVYNS is something that never should have been. There were creative differences, and for once we get the alternate views commited to film, and it's worthwhile just to see where different creative processes can take the same story and where things may go awry.

    And yes, the best sound mix is on the first release on the full-frame side. [​IMG] Perhaps someday Warner will release the original done right!
     
  18. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    I have always thought that Friedkin basically did TVYNS for W.P.Blatty since over the years Blatty had stressed and worried over the fact that some segments of the audience thought that the devil had won in the end...I personally never understood how they could think this since it was clearly spelled out (I thought) that at the end Karras regained control of his will and threw himself out the window in an act of self-sacrifice in order to save Reagan from his possessed state.
    Blatty wanted the semi-enigmatic "Hitchcock stairs" ending of Friedkin's original version to be spelled out in the most coddling spoon-fed kind of way....watch the original ending and the new ending and tell me which one is better.

    I also wonder if, perhaps, Friedkin made this "director's" cut in order to illustrate how such a thing can ruin a film...practically everything he did on TVYNS was in direct opposition to what he was arguing against on the 25th Anniversary DVD, both in interviews and on the commentary. For instance on the commentary he stated "This area here has no subliminal imagery, I mean you could, the temptation is to put little demons in the dark places and if they were making the film today that's exactly what they would do just to pump it up. But I tried to hold on to realism as long as I could." and in TVYNS that is exactly what he did and indeed to most people it didn't work, same with the ending...at least to those that saw the original before the "new" version.
     
  19. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I hope Friedkin DID okay the "new version" solely for the purpose of proving that the original was the better approach in the long run... I'd hate to think he so easily changed his mind completely regarding everything he so adamantly fought against during the previous documentary!

    Also, we should remember that even TVYNS is NOT the "complete" version by any means; the version that Blatty originally saw before the film's theatrical debut was even LONGER, and included Linda Blair and Ellen Burstyn sight-seeing in Washington, among other things.
     
  20. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    I think the "sight seeing" scene was the only one that couldn't be restored, because they couldn't find the sound elements for it, and Burstyn and Blair's voices had changed too much to do a convincing re-recording. I'm surprised they didn't at least include that footage on the DVD as a silent "deleted scenes" supplement, though. You can catch a glimpse of it on THE FEAR OF GOD documentary.

    The final scene is a little different, too- there was a bit of dialogue between Father Dyer and Kinderman as they crossed the street, but again the on-set dialogue recordings were unusable for this shot (you can hear how noisy and unintelligable it is on the 25th Anniversary Edition), and Lee J. Cobb is no longer with us to re-record his lines, so Friedkin ended the scene earlier and dropped the crossing-the-street dialogue.

    ALSO, the first cut of the film Blatty watched and loved DIDN'T have the "spider walk" at all. That was cut very early on, and both Friedkin and Blatty were happy to see it go. It seems to have been added to TVYNS simply as a means to have an "advertising hook"- if all they did was restore dialogue, how do you sell the movie? They needed something "scary" that was new to sell the movie on, and the spider-walk was it.

    My main problem with "The Version You've Never Seen" is that I'm afraid it will completely replace the original cut from here on. There are some additions that I like- mostly, the addition little bits surrounding the final exorcism sequence with Merin plus the babysitter trying to "drown out" the sounds from upstairs- but I *HATE* the added sound effects and music, CGI, the new ending, and that AWFUL sequence with Reagan going to the doctor. The Spider-Walk ironically doesn't bug me too much, although the CGI additions earlier in this scene do. I kind of like the scene of Karras listening to tapes of Reagan after his first meeting with her too, but think it would've worked better if it was inserted one scene LATER, after Karras is seen giving Mass. I think putting it there, and juxtaposing hearing the real Reagan's voice on tape with the demon saying, "What a wonderful day for an exorcism" would've been very effective, as opposed to having Karras listening to Reagan's real voice, THEN him giving mass, THEN hearing the demon speaking that line over the shot of Karras giving mass.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents.

    Vincent
     

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