Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray) NOTE ADDED

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Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray) NOTE ADDED

Postby Tim_Rogerson » 15 Jan 2013 13:53

the entry for this states:

Includes the Theatrical Version (165:24) and the Restored Version (166:01).


What is the difference? Wasn't aware of any restoration? Only 37s here so is there really something extra?
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray)

Postby Paul_Lewis » 15 Jan 2013 14:18

Tim_Rogerson wrote:the entry for this states:

Includes the Theatrical Version (165:24) and the Restored Version (166:01).


What is the difference? Wasn't aware of any restoration? Only 37s here so is there really something extra?

Two shots of Jack Elam (15s) are restored to the train station opening, and Harmonica's 'resurrection' after being shot in the opening sequence is extended by 7s. There's also a slight addition of a second or so during McBain's discussion with his daughter.

I think this footage was missing in the old DVD release but Scorsese (or Frayling?) lobbied for it to be included.
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray)

Postby Jyri_Lehtinen » 15 Jan 2013 15:04

What Paul said, the difference between the theatrical and the restored version is marginal.

Harmonica's rising after the shootout was never in the original international theatrical cut released around Europe in the late 60s while it was indeed in the US theatrical and subsequent home video and dvd releases in the US, Canada & Italy.
Now the rising scene has been included in the restored version for the rest of the world to see as well in case we haven't already... For being used to seeing the movie for decades without it, I actually do prefer it that way. Gives a more mythical tone for the character of Harmonica, suddenly just appearing later on without any explanation what happened to him at the platform.

The restored version is pretty pointless anyway, there would have been many other more interesting scenes in the Italian cut to add instead, except English audio was never recorded for the additional scenes I think and now it's "a bit" too late considering most of the lead actors are on a heavenly stage.
Personally I'm still kind of annoyed the scene with Harmonica getting beaten up by the 3 deputies was never included on any cut of the movie anywhere even if it was shot; there are several stills of that scene on the net... the mysteriously appearing (and disappearing) scars on Harmonica's face due to that fight are quite evident in some scenes halfway into the movie.
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray)

Postby Tim_Rogerson » 16 Jan 2013 12:04

Thanks for this info

The restored version is pretty pointless anyway, there would have been many other more interesting scenes in the Italian cut to add instead, except English audio was never recorded for the additional scenes I think and now it's "a bit" too late considering most of the lead actors are on a heavenly stage.
Personally I'm still kind of annoyed the scene with Harmonica getting beaten up by the 3 deputies was never included on any cut of the movie anywhere even if it was shot; there are several stills of that scene on the net... the mysteriously appearing (and disappearing) scars on Harmonica's face due to that fight are quite evident in some scenes halfway into the movie.


I'm surprised they did this rather than address the more important editing error which is that the introduction of the final credits don't time in to the music properly as they do in the Italian version - which is much better.

The version on Italian DVD runs about 10m longer than the US/UK versions with no extra dialogue (including a lot more than 15s from the opening scene in the train station) so all of this could have been added without soundtrack problems. However, some of the edits and music cues are more effective on the shorter US/UK version which led me to think that the longer Italian DVD is a 'near final' edit rather than a version actually released in cinemas.

I have also heard the story that the scene of Harmonica getting up after the gunfight was "added" for the abbreviated 144m US/UK theatrical version ( a story that originates in Christopher Frayling's book i think which does contain some other errors of fact). I must say i find this story dubious as the Italian DVD version, which is a different edit from the English language version, also includes this scene which suggest that it did play at least in Italy if not everywhere else as well. I have never seen a version of the movie which does not include this scene.
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray)

Postby Jyri_Lehtinen » 16 Jan 2013 15:15

I currently own 3 different cuts of the movie except for the restored version, haven't got the BD yet:
a)
- the International theatrical version without Harmonica's rising scene, premiered in most European theaters and featured on most European VHS and DVD releases prior to 2011 (except for Italian), it's also the version I saw the first time on VHS in the mid 80s and countless times since then - I wasn't even born yet when it was in the theaters.
- the 2003 R2 UK 2-disc Special Edition I have, DOESN'T include the Harmonica rising scene and I used to have Finnish, Danish and German dvd releases (not at once) and none of those featured the scene either.

b)
- the longer US theatrical version, premiered only in a few theaters before it was edited down to the infamous 144min version and distributed in more theaters.
- the initial US theatrical release was the 165min version with Harmonica rising scene added in (probably so that the US audience wouldn't be so confused) but that cut of the movie was premiered only limitedly in a handful of theaters before it was withdrawn and replaced with the infamous 144min cut.
- it's unfortunate for the Americans but it was only the US who got this dramatically edited version, the UK have always got the international version along with the rest of the world, various slight censor cuts might have occurred at the time of the theater premiere...
- the 2003 R1 US 2-disc Widescreen Special Collector's Edition I have as well, DOES include the Harmonica rising scene.

c)
- and the longest, Italian cut which is incorrectly referred and commonly known as Leone's Director's cut when in fact that version is just one of the earlier domestic cuts of the movie.
- several different cuts, even some extensive ones were made to the initial preview version before Leone and the distributors could agree on the results and that version became the international theatrical cut.
- there were some less cut versions shipped to some theaters around Europe, yet many of them ended up getting edited more or less to follow each region's local censorship rules; like in Finland, the distributed film reels totalled up to 168:08 in length and in 1970 when the movie was premiered around the Scandinavian region, the film was shown in its uncut International form without the Harmonica rising scene but howerer 7 years later for the proper home video release roughly 4 minutes of various footage was cut due to the censorship regulations at the time but the version I've seen on VHS was of a later reissue and featured the International cut with no cuts.
- the 2002 Italian dvd I have, DOES indeed again include the Harmonica rising scene.

Yup, I agree on the end titles syncing with the score bit in the Italian version. Really goes together much better.
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray)

Postby Brent_Reid » 17 Jan 2013 13:36

For years I've read about the different footage featured on the Italian DVD, as opposed to that in the restored version I own on the US DVD & BD (I live in the UK, by the way).

I'd really love to see all the different material & edits, without having to A: source an Italian DVD & B: sit through 2½ hours of lower-res video, for the sake of a few extra minutes & the odd second here & there - gold dust though it is!

It's such a pity that these bits & pieces haven't been made available as an extra, even in an unrestored state, on any of the restored editions.

Has any fellow geek ever edited them together as a standalone reel or considered doing so? Are the main chunks perhaps already available online?

By the way, I recently had an in-depth chat with Mr Frayling about all things Leone & asked him in particular why the missing shots & scenes weren't added into the restored version.. I said even if they didn't exist in decent quality, they would still be welcomed, either seamlessly branched or included as an extra. He replied that it was for no other reason than personal & political wrangling between different studios & archives holding the relevant prints, that simply don't, or won't, communicate with each other.

Therefore, don't hold out for an even better, longest-possible cut anytime soon... A great shame.
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray)

Postby Jyri_Lehtinen » 17 Jan 2013 16:46

I imagined the reason for the omission of all the additional scenes and other previously unseen footage, even stills of the deleted scenes, on any restored release must have been either one of two possibilities: 1) due to a disagreement between the parties owning the original prints and other source material or 2) majority of the prints had actually been lost or damaged beyond restoration. According to what you said, Brent, it seems it was the prior. Such a shame when us and Leone's fans in general have been wanting to see the movie in its initial unedited form for decades or over the last 10 years at least get the deleted scenes as extras on dvd/bd.

Regarding Leone, we'll see what The Film Foundation (lead by Martin Scorsese), Andrea Leone Films and L'Immagine Ritrovata are able to do with Leone's other epic classic Once Upon a Time in America and whether the original full 269 min preview version from the time before Leone decided to trim it down himself for the theatrical distribution, ever sees a light of day..
The ~251 min Extended Cut released on blu-ray in Italy last September was still missing lots of footage (nearly 18 mins, d'oh!), not because of damaged or lost prints but because there were and still are loads of restoration and copyright issues to deal with to make the full version a reality one day, especially if they want to get it out on the international market. If it ever happens, that is.

Oh man there are loads of movies I'd really like to see in their initial workprint/preview versions before they were edited.. most of them aren't classics in any way and far from the status of the Leone movies but I'd still be interested. Unfortunately most of them will also never happen due to whatever mishaps and human errors. :cry:
One of them would be Event Horizon in its 120+ min preview form when it was still a gory gothic horror flick and not an average ~96 min scifi triller it became to be. Apparently it was never meant to be.
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray)

Postby Tim_Rogerson » 21 Jan 2013 14:28

Thanks for the very interesting info;

the 2003 R2 UK 2-disc Special Edition I have, DOESN'T include the Harmonica rising scene and I used to have Finnish, Danish and German dvd releases (not at once) and none of those featured the scene either.


Are you sure - i am going to check my copy of this tonight but I am almost certain that it does. Its the same as the r1 release with the same extras which you say does have this scene.

Two shots of Jack Elam (15s) are restored to the train station opening, and Harmonica's 'resurrection' after being shot in the opening sequence is extended by 7s.


The implication from the this answer to my original question is that the Blu ray print, which is otherwise identical to the 2003 DVD, has this scene but an extra 7s at the end.

it's unfortunate for the Americans but it was only the US who got this dramatically edited version, the UK have always got the international version along with the rest of the world, various slight censor cuts might have occurred at the time of the theater premiere...


The UK theatrical release was the short 144m version too. UK contemporary sources (eg Monthly Film Bulletin) confirm this and I spoke to someone when the long version was released in 1982 who confirmed it as well.
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray)

Postby Jyri_Lehtinen » 21 Jan 2013 16:19

Oh really? I didn't actually check the UK dvd for being too lazy :oops: but just trusted my memory from the last time I've watched the different releases so I could be wrong. Now that you've said the UK & US releases are actually the same, from what I recall there still was something different in the aftermath of the opening gunfight between the various dvds.. I'll check later tonight whether I remember correctly. Perhaps I had mixed up one of the other European releases with the UK one afterall.. I still have a total of 5 different releases so chances are many I'm wrong. Hahaha!

A few weeks ago I was talking with the manager of one of the local movie theatres about the matter and it was an interesting chat.
In 1970 when the movie premiered here, he was operating the projectors at the local theatre and he said it was a 168 min version which he got to show but only for less than a week and then that copy was quickly withdrawn for further editin, only to be re-premiered soon as an edited 164-165 min version.
So perhaps the first version wasn't supposed to be shown and the distributors realized their mistake a week late...

According to him the latter cut ended up being essentially the same than what had been distributed to theatres in most parts of the world around 1969-1970 and what has since become known as the International version; he didn't know the status of the US releases back then but only some of the European censorship cuts of each country. if what you said is correct, it seems the UK was an exception in Europe and got the same shorter edit than the US then.
One of my uncles used to live and work in the UK in the 1960s and he saw this when it was premiered there in 1969 and he has said it was pretty much the same version that he saw here in Finland on TV a few decades later, the International version. Maybe he's wrong then and it actually was missing about 20 mins of footage, who knows. Too late to ask him, been in the heavenly theaters for a few years now. I can't really say because I wasn't born in the late 60s or early 70s yet.. The international 165 min version was re-released in theaters here again in 1977 and my dad saw that and he can assure it was the very same version I've seen on vhs and multiple different dvds since.
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray)

Postby Tim_Rogerson » 28 Jan 2013 09:59

Now checked both the UK SE 2 disk version and the Italian dvd.

Both have the scene of Harmonica rising and it is identical in each - it ends with him walking out of frame after picking up his carpetbag. Intrigued to know what extra 7s (if any) have been put on the Blu Ray release. Will be getting at some point.
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray)

Postby Jyri_Lehtinen » 07 Feb 2013 22:08

Ahh crap! You were indeed right about the SE's being sourced from the same restored 2003 transfer and the Italian cut sharing the rising scene with the SEs. I can confirm The US SE is identical to the UK SE.
BUT.
I became so frustrated about this case I asked a Norwegian friend of a friend to help me out before I ended up swinging at the end of a rope. ( lol not seriously)
He's a real movie buff and a huge Leone fan(atic), currently owns roughly 25 copies of the movie in several different formats. To my own surprise, he later confirmed many of the Scandinavian and other European pre-2003 non-UK releases WERE MISSING the rising scene after all, except for a couple DVD, VHS, Betamax and Laserdisc releases which were essentially the same than the restored 2003 version, sans various other minor cuts in the European versions, probably according to each region's domestic censorship regulations at the time.

That means I was right too, sort of, and that brief scene really was cut from majority of European home video copies at some point and from all the domestic copies I've ever seen more times I can remember, until the SEs including it came out globalwide. For some damned reason I mixed up the UK SE with one of the older versions, I believe because I still remember the movie with Harmonica appearing at the trading post without explanation what happened to him after the gun fight.
I hadn't seen the movie in years prior to comparing the SEs only earlier this week so I blame just my stupid self for getting all these weird hallucinations about scenes missing when they weren't. Apparently my mind is not to be trusted anymore... I used to remember every little detail about movies I like without seeing them in ages. I guess I've got old -> no blue or red pills for me anymore.
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I'll see if I can get my friend to compile details of at least the old DVDs in the near future. According to him some of the pre-2003 DVDs are cheapo vanilla releases (no extras worth mentioning) with inferior quality transfer, most likely sourced from video and a few bootlegs too with even worse transfers but a selected few from Eastern Europe and Asia do have pretty good transfers, probably sourced from the '94 US laserdisc. I doubt I can get him to join here any time soon tho, he's even less social online than I am (and I hate social networking of most kinds outside a few movie and music forums and blogs :-? ).
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray)

Postby Tim_Rogerson » 08 Feb 2013 13:46

Two shots of Jack Elam (15s) are restored to the train station opening, and Harmonica's 'resurrection' after being shot in the opening sequence is extended by 7s.


The Harmonica 'rising' scene is not 7s longer at the end in the new UK Blu Ray by any means - it does appear to be very slightly longer at the end but it can't be more than about 1s at most. (unless I am loopking at the wrong part of the scene)

I didn't spot any new footage in the opening scene either.

I'll see if I can get my friend to compile details of at least the old DVDs in the near future. According to him some of the pre-2003 DVDs are cheapo vanilla releases (no extras worth mentioning) with inferior quality transfer, most likely sourced from video and a few bootlegs too with even worse transfers but a selected few from Eastern Europe and Asia do have pretty good transfers, probably sourced from the '94 US laserdisc.


Sounds interesting. I'd be interested in a DVD which was a different cut to the ones I have at the moment.

Even more, is there actually an uncut version of For a Few Dollars More anywhere (other than the old Warner UK VHS which luckily I own).
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray)

Postby Paul_Lewis » 08 Feb 2013 15:03

Tim_Rogerson wrote:Even more, is there actually an uncut version of For a Few Dollars More anywhere (other than the old Warner UK VHS which luckily I own).

The new German BD, due out later this month, is claimed to be 'uncut'. I'll believe it when I see it, but hopefully it'll be an improvement over the MGM releases.
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray)

Postby Jyri_Lehtinen » 08 Feb 2013 15:59

It's possible the German bd is still the same version than the German Paramount dvd; longer than the MGM discs but still missing a few scenes. I'd be happily surprised if it really was a fully uncut version with all the missing scenes reinstated.
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray)

Postby Paul_Lewis » 08 Feb 2013 18:12

Jyri_Lehtinen wrote:It's possible the German bd is still the same version than the German Paramount dvd; longer than the MGM discs but still missing a few scenes. I'd be happily surprised if it really was a fully uncut version with all the missing scenes reinstated.

Definitely. Even if it's the former, I'll probably still buy it - especially if it contains the original sound mix.
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray) NOTE ADDED

Postby Samuel_Scott » 27 Apr 2013 18:26

I added Paul's post to the overall.
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Re: Once Upon a Time in The West (Blu Ray) NOTE ADDED

Postby Tim_Rogerson » 29 Apr 2013 13:44

I have got the German Blu Ray of For a Few Dollars More. Its longer than the German SE DVD (which itself was longer than the UK SE DVD).

In the scene in which Eastwood and Van Cleef are beaten-up, the Blu Ray has an extra 12s or so after Indio stops laughing but before he jumps off the wall to conclude the event. The footage consists of Eastwood being pinned to the ground by a foot on his back intercut with shots of the gang members and Indio. This footage was missing from the German SE DVD which cut from Indio ceasing to laugh to him jumping off the wall. After Indio jumps off the wall and starts his conversation with Groggy ('why let them live?') the quality of the picture on the Blu Ray drops dramatically from about 10s or so until we reach the point where the UK SE DVD resumes the scene. The UK SE DVD cut from Indio stopping laughing to him in mid-conversation with Groggy subsequent to the fight being stopped ( a cut of about 25s).

The scene in which Indio laughs manically at the end of the prison break is also about 2s longer on the Blu Ray and Indio gives an extra laugh although it is not the correct laugh (i think they have repeated the soundtrack from earlier) that I have on my copy of the old Warner pre-cert DVD.

As far as I could tell footage of Eastwood entering the saloon in his first scene is identical between the German Blu Ray, the German SE DVD and the UK SE DVD.
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