Forthcoming: the Magnificent Ambersons

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ByMarkClark.com
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Forthcoming: the Magnificent Ambersons

#1 Post by ByMarkClark.com » Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:29 pm

I thought I had read where Warner was working on a long-overdue SE of THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, but I don't see any mention of it on the "Forthcoming Titles" thread. Was I hallucinating?

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FilmFanSea
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#2 Post by FilmFanSea » Fri Oct 07, 2005 3:20 pm

In the March 2005 Warner Chat at HTF, the following was revealed:
[JeffWilson] Thanks; about THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, any update on the status for this? Last I heard you were looking for better elements? Also, any plans for JOURNEY INTO FEAR (1943)?

[WarnerHomeVideo] Deja vu! We're still looking for great elements on AMBERSONS & JOURNEY.
So nothing definite at this time ...

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#3 Post by atcolomb » Sat Oct 15, 2005 12:42 pm

.....i thought i did read somewhere that the film elements to The Magnificent Ambersons were in excellent condition. I have the Criterion laserdisc of the movie and i thought it looked good for a 1942 movie!

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#4 Post by porquenegar » Thu Oct 20, 2005 9:16 pm

They version shown on TCM occasionally is also pretty decent but it could definitely use some restoration work. I wouldn't mind getting a new commentary on Warner's future disc. I'm not crazy about the one on the Criterion LD.

I was recently interested to see that the grand staircase from Amberson was used in Val Lewton's Cat People.

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#5 Post by atcolomb » Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:17 am

It would be great to have a commentary on the dvd to explain the whole history of the movie and documentary would help too! It's too bad that Criterion would not have a chance to make the dvd!!

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#6 Post by justeleblanc » Fri Oct 21, 2005 10:55 am

I think there's reason to have confidence that Warner will have pretty decent special features, and I wouldn't rule out the chance of a documentary. Look at what they did with Kane.

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#7 Post by atcolomb » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:45 pm

Your are right....Warner Bros. did an excellent job on Citizen Kane so i hope they do the same to Ambersons even if Ambersons is not as popular a film as Kane.

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#8 Post by Joe Buck » Mon Dec 05, 2005 7:27 pm

I'd like a basic representation of the film, then I'd like a version where everytime there are scenes missing the film is stopped and the scenes are described to us ala Metropolis. Not a entertaining way of seeing it, but for educational sake, something that helps put the story in better perspective.

In fact, forget that, find the damned preview print and restore them. Please Lord, let them be found.

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Edit: link update

#9 Post by kinjitsu » Mon Dec 05, 2005 9:39 pm

If you want the best resource available for this film, you might consider Robert L. Carringer's The Magnificent Ambersons: A Reconstruction, an invaluable book for anyone interested in this film. There is also V.F. Perkins' BFI monograph.
Last edited by kinjitsu on Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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#10 Post by ellipsis7 » Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:55 pm

There's also an appendix from Jonathan Rosenbaum in THIS IS ORSON WELLES detailing the differences...

R2 MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS from UPV arrives 29th May...

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Magnificent Ambersons?

#11 Post by myrnaloyisdope » Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:52 pm

Any word on this? I know it's been mentioned in some of the HTF Warner chats as being due this year, but I haven't heard anything specific.

So what's going on with it? Will it be like the silents where they keep getting promised, but never delivered?

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Re: Magnificent Ambersons?

#12 Post by mikeohhh » Sat Jun 28, 2008 12:12 am

Honestly, I think someone is banking on the destroyed footage being found. That's got to be the only explanation. Good luck on that...

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#13 Post by Joe Buck » Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:02 am

Every day I wake up and hope and pray for some indication of the Magnificent Ambersons coming to DVD in the near future, and day after day I lay my head down and close my eyes to sleep and am no better off than the day before. When, Lord, WHEN is it going to be time?!?!?!

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#14 Post by J Wilson » Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:17 pm

As I mentioned in another thread on Welles, Beatrice Welles had sued Turner Entertainment a few years ago, claiming she owned the rights to AMBERSONS. That was only cleared up recently, with Turner retaining their rights, so the film should be clear to release, unless other snags have gotten in the way.

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#15 Post by myrnaloyisdope » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:58 am

Well, that's good to know. I've heard rumors of dubious origin, that the original print has been found in Brazil, and that's what is causing the delay.

But if it's simply a rights issue that has now been resolved I will gladly accept the 89 minute restored version.

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#16 Post by miless » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:42 pm

if this were truly the case, then this would be the biggest film news in years, or possibly decades. the original (2+ hour cut) is the holy grail for film fanatics and archivists... but like the grail, it probably doesn't exist (anymore).

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#17 Post by Steven H » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:45 pm

We'll get the original cut of Ambersons the day they grow asparagus on Mars.

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#18 Post by movielocke » Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:27 am

I once asked Rick Jewell (author of the RKO story) about Ambersons, and he told me he'd seen the shipping manifests that had the cans sent out to be dumped in the middle of LA harbor when researching the film. so either a zealous vault person (who somehow foresaw Welles' future reverence and didn't care if they lost their job or not) replaced the film with something else and put it in a can or unmarked can it didn't belong in or all the materials the studio wanted cut and had in their possession are lost. The only other realistic possibility is Robert Wise risked his job to preserve a personal copy of his first cut, but I think we would have heard of that before now if he had done so, probably around the time of the Lawrence of Arabia restoration. Or he sent a copy of his cut to Brazil for Orson Welles to view and give notes on. and that copy has survived somehow today.

none of these survival scenarios are very likely to result in an extant copy of Wise's rough cut of the film. but the possibility is there. I imagine the delay has to do with the rights issues mentioned above as well as searching worldwide for the best surviving prints, hoping to discover a King Kong or Kane esque pristine version in some asylum or suchlike.

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#19 Post by Narshty » Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:41 am

Warner have said it's coming this year in a HTF chat, along with Journey into Fear (which will include both versions). There's no holdup, just preparation time. The delay seems to have been to get the best possible version of Ambersons they can, so I'm half-expecting a Blu-ray edition as well.

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#20 Post by Antoine Doinel » Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:40 pm

miless wrote:if this were truly the case, then this would be the biggest film news in years, or possibly decades. the original (2+ hour cut) is the holy grail for film fanatics and archivists... but like the grail, it probably doesn't exist (anymore).
That's what they said about Metropolis...

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#21 Post by miless » Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:03 pm

but Metropolis was actually premiered with its long cut.
Ambersons was still in editing when hacked to pieces.

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#22 Post by Via_Chicago » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:18 pm

miless wrote:but Metropolis was actually premiered with its long cut.
Ambersons was still in editing when hacked to pieces.
This is correct, as movielocke has already laid out. Indeed, Bogdonavich has even gone down to Brazil in a vain attempt to locate the editing print that was sent to Welles while he was working on It's All True. Believe me, unless Warner's got it, it ain't turning up. And they don't, so it won't. Sadly. I'll be happy to eat my shoe though if I'm wrong.

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#23 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:27 pm

The discovery of Ambersons elements would be impossible to keep secret-- that missing footage is by far the most sought after film in history and someone in the chain would excitedly leak the information before a DVD release broke the news.

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#24 Post by fiddlesticks » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:35 pm

domino harvey wrote:The discovery of Ambersons elements would be impossible to keep secret-- that missing footage is by far the most sought after film in history and someone in the chain would excitedly leak the information before a DVD release broke the news.
This sudden upsurge in speculation about the lost reels of Ambersons and Metropolis makes me wonder what 125100 is up to these days. 8-)

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#25 Post by myrnaloyisdope » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:19 pm

And I bet Warners is sitting on Convention City too.

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