I caught this at MoMA when they did their Altman retrospective a little over a year ago - wonderful film, I didn't realize it had been altered on the DVD release. This may only apply to home video releases, but apparently they had problems clearing a bit of a music.richast2 wrote:Nice! The program specifies that California Split is "a restored and uncut 35mm print of the original theatrical version."
From Jonathan Rosenbaum's retrospective review:
Some of the chance encounters in the movie are between the dialogue and various gritty songs that are sung offscreen by Phyllis Shotwell — encounters “staged” during postproduction by the film’s editor, Lou Lombardo.Her lyrics usually have only the broadest relation to the action, but sometimes they draw closer in witty surprises —- or at least they once did. Unhappily, two of the most magical conjunctions between her songs and the on-screen action vanished from the movie on its way to DVD, due to problems with music rights: “I’m goin’ to Kansas City” was originally heard over the trip to Reno, and after the heroes arrived there, Gould’s and Shotwell’s seemingly independent raps, hers heard offscreen while Charlie and Bill crossed the street towards the casino, suddenly converged on the word “nobody”, pronounced by the two voices simultaneously. But on the DVD, Shotwell’s performance in this sequence is replaced by simple instrumental music, and thanks to yet another glitch, the DVD’s commentary still alludes to the magical convergence of the two voices saying “nobody” as if this were still in the movie. (Win a few, lose a few.)SpoilerShow(Shotwell eventually appears onscreen in the movie at the Reno casino, belting out her numbers to her own piano accompaniment, but the fact that we start to hear her music much earlier in the movie, long before Reno is even mentioned, suggests an eerie kind of predestination, as if she were gradually pulling the two heroes towards her establishment like a magnet.)