Once Upon a Time in the West : Classic DVD Review - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #11 of 11 Old 07-20-07, 01:16 PM
Senior Shackster
 
Richard W. Haines's Avatar
Richard W. Haines
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Croton-on-Hudson, NY
Posts: 792
Re: Once Upon a Time in the West : Classic DVD Review

Technically, they could do what they wanted to since that was how broadcast deals were structured at the time. Once a network (or syndicated station) purchased the rights to air a movie, they could re-cut it, alter it, add scenes, censor it and so forth to accomodate broadcast standards or clients they
sold the commercial spots too. Television back then was first and foremost to sell commercials. Movies
were shown solely for that purpose and they didn't want anything in them that might offend the sponsor. Some directors complained like Otto Preminger but no studio was going to turn down the money they paid. On occasion the original director was consulted for the television version. Mike
Nichols helped re-edit "The Graduate" for CBS. Pekinpah was asked to help re-edit "The Wild Bunch"
by the same network but turned them down making some off color comment about not helping someone
cut his balls off. By the late sixties, broadcast rights were one of the major sources of income to
be derived from a film so some studios kept that in mind during production. In some cases, they shot alternate scenes or dialogue for these purposes.
For example, "Saturday Night Fever" had both an R rated version and a toned down version for television although the PG version was also released theatrically. Sometimes networks added out-takes to expand the running time of a feature (and sell more commercial spots) which is why the broadcast version of "The Towering Inferno" had extra scenes on TV. It wasn't until the advent of cable television in the mid-seventies that stations began
to show movies intact. Companies like HBO were selling the movie itself to viewers, not
the commericals. Later, videodisc formats started showing films in the original aspect ratio beginning
with the CED SelectaVision release of "Amadeus" (not the laserdisc release of "Manhattan" as is generally
assumed). Then came DVD with it's anamorphic enhancement to improve the image further and digital
restoration to removes the wear, tear and dust from old negatives. Now most audiences are very picky
about seeing the director's cut of a movie in the correct ratio. Decades ago this certainly wasn't the case. If you wanted to see a movie intact you had to go to a revival theater in one of the major cities
or rent it from one of the 16mm companies. Or, become a film collector although that was quite an expensive hobby with top titles like a 16mm print of "Singin' in the Rain" going for thousands of dollars.



I guess if you look at it objectively, the concept of 'director's cut' is pretty new. Even the term
'auteur' came out of the late sixties. Before that, most directors operated on a 'work for hire' basis. While
some might have clout based on past successes, they were still just working for a fee and/or piece of the action. The people who put up the money (usually a studio) owned the negative and could do whatever they wanted with it including re-cutting it for different markets. Today's top
directors usually have clauses in their contracts to prevent that or at least make their cut available for
home video.


Leone probably had little, if any, say over the US versions of his films. Most were cut for theatrical release and then re-cut for television. Since "Once Upon a Time in the West" wasn't performing well in theaters, Paramount decided to trim it to get in more screenings per day and try to squeeze extra revenue out of it that way. Fortunately, they've all been restored for DVD where running time isn't an issue. We should all be thankful for the DVD market which has really changed the way films are marketed
and enabled directors to retain some artistic integrity.
Richard W. Haines is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
classic , dvd , review , time , west

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now




PLEASE COMPLETE ALL REQUIRED FIELDS BELOW... THANKS!

REQUIRED FIELDS ON THIS PAGE
YOU MUST COMPLETE ALL OF THESE

Username
Password
Confirm Password
Email Address
Confirm Email Address
Random Question
Random Question #2




User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
PLEASE READ BELOW PRIOR TO ENTERING AN EMAIL ADDRESS!

ATTENTION!

YOU MUST ACTIVATE YOUR ACCOUNT!

Activation requires you reply to an email we will send you after you register... if you do not reply to this email, you will not be able to view certain areas of the forum or certain images... nor will you be able download software.

AN INVALID EMAIL ADDRESS WILL CAUSE YOUR ACCOUNT TO BE DELETED!

See our banned email list here: Banned Email List

We DO NOT respond to spamcop, boxtrapper and spamblocker emails... please add @hometheatershack DOT com to your whitelist prior to registering or you will get nowhere on your registration.


Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML is not allowed!
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 


For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome