Author Topic: Movie History I Don't Want "Improved" Out of Existence  (Read 167 times)

Monsters For Sale

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Movie History I Don't Want "Improved" Out of Existence
« on: December 22, 2019, 07:27:56 PM »
Found this quote from Tom Weaver over on the Classic Horror Film Board:

"[Scream Factory's] UNIV. HORROR VOLUME 2 is a treasure, everybody should buy two of 'em. With only a few more shopping days left 'til Christmas, start thinking about stuffing all your friends' stockings with copies of it.

THAT SAID ...... don't jettison your old DVDs of HORROR ISLAND. The funniest shot in the whole movie is when everybody arrives at the castle and starts meandering around, and there smack-dab in the center of the screen is a crew member carrying a spotlight. In the new Blu-ray, he's gone: A section of the shot has been enlarged to fill the screen, so that the crew member no longer appears."


I didn't get permission before quoting him, but I don't think he will object - especially if none of you squeal on me.


AND THAT'S WHY I PREFER TO KEEP OWNING DVD's  - STUDIOS WILL ALTER THINGS I'D LIKE TO SEE LEFT ALONE.

 
Movie History I Don't Want "Improved" Out of Existence
 -or-
 If It’s Broke, Please Don’t Fix It

A place to call attention to mistakes, accidents, screw-ups and intentional financial economies that film makers missed or bet audiences would never notice - and you hope never get “fixed”.


My own post got me to thinking (It happens, sometimes - it does.) about all the wondrous things film restorers can do with crinkled, old celluloid when necessary to preserve a movie.  Just look at the wonders Warner Brothers did with the long-neglected Charlie Chan films some years back.  They saved almost all of them from certain future obscurity and gave us some beautiful copies of the films.

With anything that can be used for good comes the possibility it might be misused, either intentionally by cinematic saboteurs, or mistakenly by the well-meaning.

But there are some rather obvious, or even glaring, gaffes that I want left forever in place - just as the film-makers intended.  That’s right, most of them are in there on purpose.

You can bet the Horror Island light man was spotted in the editing room, discussed with the director, judged to be unimportant enough to ignore, or too expensive to change, and left in for nearly 80 years.

After all, most normal people would never notice him.  Only pimply ushers, forced to see the movie 4 times a day for 2 weeks, or deranged fans who would later study the film frame-by-frame would ever know the guy existed.  And why deprive his family, who must have spent the intervening decades nudging each other and excitedly whispering, “There’s Uncle Charlie”, to the annoyance of the other theater patrons?
 
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Even worse than Fixing is Improving.

I think the original Star Wars is a fun little comic book sci-fi story. (I just don’t understand all the sequels and hoopla.)  But, I hated it when years later videos were altered by inserting digital animals and such that never appeared in the theatrical release.  I won’t watch it - and for a short while, that was the only way you could buy it.

I’m going to stop now.  I could go on, but I will take pity and stop.  I’ll really stop.  This is me stopping - honest.  OK, I’m stopped.
ADAM

Monsters For Sale

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Re: Movie History I Don't Want "Improved" Out of Existence
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2019, 07:30:16 PM »
Here’s one that I want left alone.


In Dracula, 1931 - The now famous and much discussed piece of “cardboard” that appears on a lamp in one bedroom scene.

Fans have argued about what exactly it was and what it was for these many years now.  Let’s not deprive future readers of scholarly film histories the opportunity to see the thing for themselves and engage in their own spirited arguments about wether the film was released, knowing it there - of course it was.
ADAM

Monsters For Sale

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Re: Movie History I Don't Want "Improved" Out of Existence
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2019, 07:31:56 PM »
Here is another one:

In Frankenstein, 1931 - The brain jar that is used in the lecture and left on the table when the class dismisses has a TYPED inscription.

When Fritz grabs that same jar off the table and holds it label-out for the camera to see, it has a HAND-WRITTEN label.

I suspect the film makers decided to make the lettering larger so the movie patrons could more easily identify what was being taken.  But they never went back and re-shot the original view of the label because that would be too expensive - and audiences would be too busy following the plot to even register the inconsistency.

Hell, I watched the film for years before it dawned on me what I was seeing.
ADAM

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Re: Movie History I Don't Want "Improved" Out of Existence
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2020, 01:13:01 AM »
I hate when they "fix" movies for new releases on home video; sure, clean up scratches, etc., but leave the other stuff alone!

Don't get me started on Star Wars, but the horror one that really bugs me is the smoothed-over jump cut from the Father Karras possession scene at the end of The Exorcist. I can't even find the original cut online any longer; I think I do own it on DVD (as opposed to Blu-ray), however. At about 1:11 in the below clip, they smoothed over the perfectly acceptable 1970s-era jump cut in some much later re-release: