3 thoughts on “Gremlins, Streets of Fire, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Once Upon a Time in America, 1984

  • April 28, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    Warner Bros. was so short-sighted! They were convinced that nobody could sit through a movie that exceeded 3 1/2 hours! Sergio Leone actually had 8-10 hours of footage, then trimmed it down to 6 hours. He originally wanted to release the movie in 2 parts, but the studio wanted no part of that. Then Leone edited it down to 4 1/2 hours, but it still couldn’t be released. By the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, it was trimmed to its original commercial running time of 3:49. And even though the critics labeled this a masterpiece, the studio still thought it was too long for American audiences. So they cut it down to 2:19 and re-arranged the story to make it chronological! And the result was a confusing mess that flopped at the box office!

    The 3:49 European version was thankfully released on home video. A project to restore the 4 1/2 hour version started in 2011. A version was released at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival that had 24 minutes missing because of licensing rights for the deleted scenes. So the movie was pulled from release and further restoration is now ongoing, with the help of Martin Scorsese assisting the Leone Estate in gaining rights to the missing footage. So stay tuned!

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