Update on It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Restoration

Discussion in 'Movies' started by David Olstein, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. David Olstein

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    Well, I suppose it's a good sign that the folks at MGM are still talking about a restoration of this film. I saw this little tidbit on the In70mm web site:

    "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"

    Cinerama Dome, Los Angeles, USA October 16 - 19, 2003 New 70MM print

    40th anniversaries of the film's release and the opening of the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.

    This 70MM print is not restored with footage that was excised after the initial 70MM release, because the restoration is a long way from being completed, but there is a possibility that some restored 70MM footage may be shown at the opening night screening.

    Best regards,
    John Kirk
    MGM Studios
    Director, Technical Operations

    Of course, any time a suit at a studio starts tossing around the word "restoration", I tend to get a little suspicious. Perhaps Robert Harris could weight in with something a little more specific.
     
  2. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    Hey some of what I mentioned in this thread will actually happen! [​IMG]
     
  3. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    I have the laser disc version with the extended scenes (mostly slighty yellow tinged and with the edges stretched - these were taken from a rectified print for the deeply curved Cinerama screen). To be honest, I don't believe these extended scenes do anything for the film. They tend to go on well after the "punch line" is delivered. Sometimes less is more. Just my opinion.
     
  4. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    I agree with you 100% Peter.

    Although I would still like a complete Roadshow version of IAMMMMW at some time in my life![​IMG]
     
  5. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Tino.

    A roadshow version, as I saw it when it first came out at the Warner Cinerama in NYC would be nice.
     
  6. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Remember, the "extended scenes" on the laserdisc were mostly trims and other unused material that was not actually in the roadshow version. A proper restoration of that material (much of which remains lost) still hasn't been done. The comment "is a long way from being completed" sure makes it sound like something is starting to happen, though. Mr Harris???
     
  7. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    It has been reported many times that the scenes added back to the laserdisc are not truly representative of the Roadshow version, and in many cases they are just extended or alternate cuts of scenes, never intended to be in the film.

    Fact: Most Roadshow films were cut after their hard ticket engagements (Hard Ticket: Intermissions, overtures, programs, expensive advance ticket sales, group bookings, superior prints - 70MM, multi-channel sound etc, etc)

    Fact: Most people on this forum are too young to remember seeing “Mad World” in it’s Roadshow engagement (and if they did see it, how old could they have been? 10, 15?) Are their memories really that good for a film they saw 40 years ago? Have their tastes changed since then?

    Fact: MGM released the “General Release Print” (A.k.A. the Joe Six-pack version at cheap ticket prices) on DVD. The people who like the short version should be happy – they have it on DVD - so stop condemning the others for wishing to restore this film! It’s not your business. End of discussion. Let the people who prefer the completed version to have their day (You don’t have to buy the restored DVD)

    Fact: Roadshow films were expensive, often filmed in 70mm, they played at one theater in a major city usually for a year or more, (toward the late 60’s 6 to 8 months) usually with 8 shows a week, like a Broadway Play – that’s why so many were musicals adaptations i.e. “West Side Story”. Then about a year later, they were cut, printed and sent to many theaters in each city for continuous runs, usually with inferior 35mm prints and some in mono sound. (Much like a film going to the second run theaters in your neighborhood or the cheap multiplex)

    Some Roadshow prints were also cut during the Roadshow engagement – Some - Against the Director’s wishes - Ask Robert Wise, both “The Sand Pebbles” and “Star!” suffered this fate. He was furious with FOX.

    In general release these films lost overtures, prologues, intermissions etc. BUT - Most of the Roadshow films on DVD are the original Roadshow versions!!! Honestly, would you rather have shorter versions of “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Mutiny on the Bounty” “Paint Your Wagon” “Cleopatra” “Sweet Charity” “The Sand Pebbles” “South Pacific” “Camelot” “Hello Dolly!” (All were cut for general release)** If your want the general release print, return your DVD’s and wait.

    **Many of these films were nominated for a "Best Picture" Oscar - based on their Roadshow versions (not their general release prints which usually weren't printed until the Oscars were well over with.

    “Mad World” is an exception. The Roadshow version has deteriorated and couldn’t be used for the DVD. And whether you want it or not, others do, so stop voicing out against a restoration. Many people have agreed the longer prints of certain films are better than the shorter prints (Since, uh, large chunks of the plot haven’t been removed).

    RE: Mad Mad Mad Mad World:
    If the Roadshow version were bad, Robert Harris wouldn’t want to restore it.
    If the Roadshow version were bad, Most Fans wouldn’t want it restored.
    If the Roadshow Version were bad, it wouldn’t have done so well at the box office in it’s initial run.
    If the movie theaters didn’t want to sell more tickets and more popcorn they wouldn’t have cut these films for Joe Six pack and company.

    This film has many fans and a restoration is necessary. the others, well they don’t have to buy a resorted DVD, nobody is holding a gun to your head, besides you can always play the current DVD.

    Oh, and Tino - according to your profile you were only 7 months old when the film came out so you’ve NEVER seen the Roadshow version, so how can you condemn it?
     
  8. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Of the two cuts available now - the LaserDisc's ersatz "Roadshow" version and the shorter "general release" version that Kramer created, the shorter version is superior and I'm glad they put it out on DVD. Note: I've seen that 165 minute version at least a dozen times on film, so I'm also much more familiar with it than the Laser cut, which I could only get through once.

    I do wish they would properly restore the *genuine* Roadshow version, however, so that I could finally see it theatrically and make an informed decision as to which version is better.
     
  9. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I'll put in my obligatory two cents and then be quiet.

    There are lots of people who seem to feel that the shortened dvd version of this film is better.

    On the other hand, there are lots (at least as many IMO) of people like myself who think the longer ld cut is vastly superior, and would kill for an even longer roadshow version.

    Thank God for laserdisc. [​IMG]
     
  10. David Olstein

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  11. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    I'm 60 and saw the Road Show version at a showing for charity at the Warner Theatre in NYC a week after JFK was assassinated when I was 20. One doesn't have to be 10 or so to have seen the film for the first time. My recollection of the movie is that I thought as a Cinerama film it was a disaster. This was the "new" Cinerama with a single projector and I was hoping it would have the feel of the original 3 projector films. It didn't, it doesn't. (Kramer himself said the same thing). Many people left the theatre after intermission. They complained of dizziness (my mother included) and some just got bored. I generally liked the film but thought, at the time, that it was long. In my opinion, Stanley Kramer did not have the right "touch" to make a comedy. Under more sympatico direction I think it would have been even better. The film is about greed, back-stabbing, lying, breaking the law, dedstroying property and every other negative thing one can think of. It has its' moments of hilarity, but the laser disc version - as stated, doesn't represent the original film. I find the DVD better paced then the laser disc. I do remember the "radio" broadcasts in the lobby during intermission and wish they were included as a suppliment.
     
  12. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Greg, in all fairness, Tino didn't say ANYTHING about the roadshow version. He was simply agreeing that the laserdisc extended cut, which is not the roadshow version, drags a little. And nobody said the film shouldn't be restored to its roadshow length.
     
  13. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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  14. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Greg

    What's the problem? I have never condemned the Roadshow version as I have never seen it. Nor have I ever said that a Roadshow version should not be made available to those who wish to have it, as I do. I have said that I enjoy the "shorter" version more than the Laserdisc version (which I own), which imo, doesn't add much to the film.

    So please get your facts straight before accusing me of something I never said. Thanks.

    P.S. Thanks Brian.
     
  15. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    This thread is featuring the kind of bickering that IAMMMMW featured. [​IMG]
     
  16. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    "So now it should be every man - including the old bag - for himself! Except you lady, may you just... DROP DEAD!" [​IMG]
     
  17. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Tino, My comments are in reference to your original comments in the "Mad World" thread back in 2001 - when MGM first announced it was issuing the shorter version. You were pretty vocal back then.


    Anyway,

    A friend of mine, on the Hollywood Heritage perservation comittee sent out this e-mail:

    On October 23, the Dome will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a limited 4-day run of Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, that opened the Dome in 1963. This print is a new 70mm print with a running time of over 3 hours (current prints run 2½ hours). This will be the first time since March 1964 that a print this complete will have been shown. The Ultra-Panavision 70 print was cropped off by about 20% when screened in 35mm. Unseen since the 1960s in 70mm; this will be a very rare opportunity to see the full frame of the movie at its original length.

    This is encouragoing news. I will try to be there (Since I only live two miles from the Dome.)

    Peter and Tino, luckily you don't live in California, so you won't have to subject yourselves to this long, drawn-out boring event![​IMG]
     
  18. Paul Linfesty

    Paul Linfesty Stunt Coordinator

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    Will we be seeing the full frame of the Ultra Panavision original? Not with the current screen configuration at the Dome. (There is some masking going on there with 3-panel Cinerama. There screen isn't wide enough to accomodate the full Ultra Panavision frame, unless they plan to mask down the screen.

    Also, there wasn't just one roadshow version of the movie. The cuts were made just a little more than a month after the world premiere, so the current DVD version represents what most people would have seen during the roadshow.

    And general release prints of movies often included the overtures, intermissions, entractes, and exit music of the roadshow versions. I saw many in my home town growing up, both in 35mm mono and 35mm 4-track mag. Oftentimes theatres would cut these off on their own, or choose another intermission spot that suit their purposes.
     
  19. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Sorry to all that this thread is bring out the child in me.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Greg

    I remember exactly what I said in those threads, and not once did I condemn the Roadshow version, or say that it shouldn't be restored, so again your facts and memory are erroneous.

    I did say "vocally" that I prefer the DVD general release version over the Laserdisc version, which many do. Robert Harris even called the LD version a "Stop Gap Mish-Mash". You and others don't agree. That's fine. Different strokes. No need to get all worked up over one person's opinion. But please, give it a rest and stop putting words in my mouth, Okay? I don't appreciate being accused of something I never said.
    **EDIT** For anyone interested, if you do a search in the software section for my thread titled "It's A Great, Great, Great, Great DVD", you can read my original "vocal" comments there.[​IMG]

    Again, for the record, I, and probably everyone else, would love to see a complete Roadshow version of IAMMMMW restored for all to enjoy. Let's all hope it happens.

    P.S. About a year ago, I and other members here saw a screening of the general release version of IAMMMMW on the big screen at the Loews Jersey. Hundreds of people showed up and the crowd was great. They laughed non stop and loved every minute of it. It included the Overture and Intermission. It was a great time. I would love to see this film restored completely and re-released back into theaters. I think it would do great!:b
     

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