RE: Director's Cut (was "Feature Films for Families")

Darryl Wiggers (
Fri, 14 Jul 2000 12:31:19 -0700 (PDT)

But what about films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Spielberg
asked for and was given a few extra million dollars to insert f/x that he
couldn't afford the first time, and shoot new scenes (6 minutes), insert
scenes shot but left out the first time (7 minutes) plus, edit out whole
scenes (16 minutes in total) that he felt slowed down the film. Generally
most people agree that the "special edition" messed up an already great
film. The scenes he took out also took out character development, and the
f/x he added in destroyed our imagination... imagining what the inside of
the mother ship thrilled my young mind more than seeing Spielberg's inserted
light show. But, alas, as per Spielberg's wishes, most of the available
versions of the film are now of the "special edition." Good luck finding the
original blockbuster.

And this week the Coen Brothers are re-releasing Blood Simple which actually
trims a lot of scenes to quicken the pace. Back in 1984 the pace was fine.
So which is the "creative artist's" view? Good luck finding the original in
a few years time. I'd recommend snatching up all existing videos before they
disappear forever.

Then you have films like Friedkin's Rampage. When he originally made it,
Friedkin had a very definite view about capital punishment. Then Dino De
Laurentis' company, DEG, went under (the company financing the film) and it
was shelved. Five years later the film was finally available for release,
but Friedkin had changed his views. So, off to the editing room he went, and
produced a new version. NOTE: The IMDB states that only the ending was
changed. Not true. The opening is different, and many of Deborah Van
Valkenburgh's scenes were taken out. Once again, good luck finding the

Filmmakers are always changing their minds and even studio-influenced
changes are seen as beneficial. Terry Gilliam, who fought a huge fight with
Universal over the editing of Brazil, admitted that the studio head
recommendations to insert cloud footage in the opening and ending were
great. Good luck finding any version that opens and closes as Gilliam
originally intended.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ralph Huntzinger []
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2000 2:42 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Re: Feature Films for Families

Ah, for the director's cut instead of what the studios
wanted; wide-screen instead of pan-and-scan; made for ???? instead of
made-for-TV; the good-old-original instead of the remake; anything instead
of Disney; --- I always errored on the side of being sure the "creative
artist's" view was represented and then offered whatever else was
available (access meant having many views available, "censorship" meant
having some views unavailable) IMHO
Ralph Huntzinger