Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Jem
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 11:03 pm
Location: Potts Point

Unfinished Films by Famous Directors

#1 Post by Jem » Tue May 17, 2005 3:24 am

I was reading about Eisenstein's Que viva Mexico! last night, and it made me curious about any other unfinished films by famous directors. (unfinished or in planning stages before death)

Did anyone have any tales of other famous films that never came to be.

{Please delete this post if covered before}

User avatar
Dylan
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:28 pm

#2 Post by Dylan » Tue May 17, 2005 4:11 am

There are countless by Orson Welles, which are all described here.

Another that immediately comes to mind is Federico Fellini's "Journey of G. Mastorna," which Fellini himself believed may have been his greatest film, but during pre-production he fell ill (in part due to an uncontrollable feeling that something bad would happen to him during the production). Sick for many weeks, he closed it down indefinitely, and never returned. A documentary by Fellini himself was made about it (and can be found on disc two of the "8 1/2" DVD), and around a year before Fellini died, he produced a graphic novel of the screenplay (which I haven't been able to find, but I'd love to have it).

User avatar
david hare
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller

#3 Post by david hare » Tue May 17, 2005 4:38 am

It's All True. Far from dealt with. Not to mention Sternberg's Claudius (but the 20 minutes of edited footage look superb.)

Does this extend by definition to "butchered"? IN which case Greed, The Wedding March, Queen Kelly, The Chapman Report, Ambersons, Bezhin Meadow etc etc.
And not even started Dreyer's Jesus, Sternberg's day in the life of a City, etc.

Arcadean
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 5:33 am

#4 Post by Arcadean » Tue May 17, 2005 5:01 am

Does Renoir's A Day in the Country count?

Renoir was unable to complete this film. Shortly after the Second World War, while Renoir was in the U.S.A., other hands gathered together the footage that existed and respectfully assembled it in the form he intended.

User avatar
Lino
"Without obsession, life is nothing"
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:18 am
Location: Sitting End
Contact:

#5 Post by Lino » Tue May 17, 2005 8:11 am

Kaleidoscope by Hitchcock. Started but never finished. I would literally kill to see a finished version of this one. Sadly all that remains is not enough to edit a full length feature film. Oh, well. Guess my killing days are yet to start.

shumpy
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:32 pm

#6 Post by shumpy » Tue May 17, 2005 12:48 pm

Was Jerry Lewis' The Day the Clown Cried ever completed? He's the only filmmaker on this list who could still wrap things up.

User avatar
dx23
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Puerto Rico

#7 Post by dx23 » Tue May 17, 2005 2:32 pm

Terry Gilliam has the unfinished The Man Who Killed Don Quijote, which can also be finished if he ever gets the funding he needs. The project was chronicled in the wonderful documentary, Lost in La Mancha.

GulleyJimson
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 11:53 pm
Location: Leicester, UK

#8 Post by GulleyJimson » Tue May 17, 2005 2:41 pm

Von Stroheim's Queen Kelly was abandoned 1/3 of the way through filming. A partially-reconstructed version was released in the mid-80's.

David Lean was in pre-production on Nostromo at the time of his death.

Sergio Leone had secured financing for a film about the siege of Leningrad prior to his death.

RW Fassbinder was found dead with an unfinished screenplay about Rosa Luxembourg by his side. He was going to offer the lead to Jane Fonda.

The second part of Ralph Bakshi's version of Lord of the Rings was not completed due to the financial failure of the first part.

User avatar
Steven H
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:30 pm
Location: NC

#9 Post by Steven H » Tue May 17, 2005 3:32 pm

I think David Gordon Green filmed half (?) of an adaptation of A Confederacy of Dunces last year. Not sure about the casting of Will Ferrell as Ignatious, but Mos Def and Lily Tomlin were great choices. I think the Weinstein's cut funds, but I don't recall the reason.

User avatar
Faux Hulot
Jack Of All Tirades
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:57 am
Location: Location, Location

#10 Post by Faux Hulot » Tue May 17, 2005 3:37 pm

shumpy wrote:Was Jerry Lewis' The Day the Clown Cried ever completed? He's the only filmmaker on this list who could still wrap things up.
In 1971, producer Nate Waschberger asked Jerry to direct and star in 'The Day the Clown Cried', based on Joan O’Brien’s book by the same name, about a German clown who was arrested by the Gestapo, interred in a concentration camp, and used to march Jewish children into the ovens.

Jerry lost close to 40 pounds to play the role. The shooting began in Stockholm, but Waschberger not only ran out of money to complete the film, but he failed to pay Joan O’Brien the money she was owed for the rights to the story. Jerry was forced to finish the picture with his own money.

The film has been tied up in litigation ever since, and all of the parties involved have never been able to reach an agreeable settlement. Jerry hopes to someday complete the film, which remains to this day, a significant expression of cinematic art, suspended in the abyss of international litigation.
Spy Magazine article / Film Threat article and plot synopsis / Download the complete screenplay as a Word document

User avatar
dx23
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Puerto Rico

#11 Post by dx23 » Tue May 17, 2005 4:08 pm

I think David Gordon Green filmed half (?) of an adaptation of A Confederacy of Dunces last year. Not sure about the casting of Will Ferrell as Ignatious, but Mos Def and Lily Tomlin were great choices. I think the Weinstein's cut funds, but I don't recall the reason.
Roger Ebert got David Gordon to explain why Dunces was put on hold in his bi-weekly answer man column.

User avatar
cdnchris
Site Admin
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:45 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

#12 Post by cdnchris » Tue May 17, 2005 4:51 pm

I read that this morning and was quite upset. That was one movie I was really looking forward to.

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

#13 Post by zedz » Tue May 17, 2005 5:05 pm

Andrzej Munk's Passenger, which I've never seen but would love to, is his acknowledged masterpiece, even though he died halfway through production. I believe the story has two layers - a contemporary story and flashbacks to Auschwitz - and the elegant solution was to use stills and voiceover to convey the modern part of the story. Thus there was no pretence of a completed work. More info here.

User avatar
Jem
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 11:03 pm
Location: Potts Point

#14 Post by Jem » Tue May 17, 2005 7:37 pm

Does this extend by definition to "butchered"?
Yes, why not? Leone's intended 227-minute version of his masterpiece "Once Upon a Time in America" , was cut by ninety minutes for U.S release.

I have read reports that the original director's cut (which may have been released briefly in Europe) is reputed to have been about 10 hours! More here.

User avatar
ben d banana
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:53 pm
Location: Oh Where, Oh Where?

#15 Post by ben d banana » Tue May 17, 2005 9:20 pm

I've been dying to see The Day The Clown Cried ever since that issue of Spy. This is exactly how I feel.

Arcadean
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 5:33 am

#16 Post by Arcadean » Wed May 18, 2005 2:52 am

Jem wrote:
Does this extend by definition to "butchered"?
Yes, why not? Leone's intended 227-minute version of his masterpiece "Once Upon a Time in America" , was cut by ninety minutes for U.S release.

I have read reports that the original director's cut (which may have been released briefly in Europe) is reputed to have been about 10 hours!
Leone's cut debuted at Cannes in the cut that is 227 minutes. The extra hours you talk about do exist but do not have any dialog dubbed on them and never did. I think that the film was butchered only for American release and not elsewhere in the world. Leone's director's cut is still one of my favorite films of all films I have seen.

User avatar
Theodore R. Stockton
script girl
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:55 pm
Location: Where Streams Of Whiskey Are Flowing

#17 Post by Theodore R. Stockton » Wed May 18, 2005 3:34 am

Can someone elaborate on Kaleidoscope by Hitchcock I have never heard of this? :lol:

User avatar
Cinephrenic
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:58 pm
Location: Paris, Texas

#18 Post by Cinephrenic » Wed May 18, 2005 3:57 am

Wasn't Bunuel's Simon of the Desert cut short due to financial restraints on budget?

User avatar
milk114
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:38 pm
Location: Mar Vista, Los Angeles

#19 Post by milk114 » Wed May 18, 2005 4:09 am

does Kubrick's Artificial Intelligence (A.I) qualify under this heading? The only difference I remember from his pre-production stage and Spielberg's film is entering the pleasure city through female genitalia instead of lipstick-laden mouths. Maybe the Pinocchio references would have been excized if Kubrick had lived.

User avatar
Poncho Punch
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:07 pm
Location: the emerald empire

#20 Post by Poncho Punch » Wed May 18, 2005 4:13 am

Peckinpah's The Osterman Weekend?

Kubrick's AI?

Speaking of Kubrick, I believe he had long wanted to make a film on Napoleon, and possibly even written some scripts or treatments.

User avatar
Theodore R. Stockton
script girl
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:55 pm
Location: Where Streams Of Whiskey Are Flowing

#21 Post by Theodore R. Stockton » Wed May 18, 2005 5:18 am

On a re-release of 2001 vhs there was a gatefold that had a Kubrick interview in which he said that if he was alive in 2001 he would make a sequel. AI was to be a thematic sequel. In the interviews on the disc it is said that Kubrick thought it wo get into too many special effects and was in doubt of it so he turned the project over to Speilberg because he was impressed by Jurassic Park. Undoubtly, if Kubrick had made it there would not have been the obvious Pinochino refrencses or such a buisy set design.

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

#22 Post by colinr0380 » Wed May 18, 2005 6:16 am

GulleyJimson wrote:RW Fassbinder was found dead with an unfinished screenplay about Rosa Luxembourg by his side. He was going to offer the lead to Jane Fonda.
That is very interesting - is there any connection to the 1986 Rosa Luxemburg that was directed by Margarethe Von Trotta and starred Barbara Sukowa?

User avatar
exte
~_~
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 4:27 pm
Location: NJ

#23 Post by exte » Wed May 18, 2005 9:31 am

Poncho Punch wrote:Speaking of Kubrick, I believe he had long wanted to make a film on Napoleon, and possibly even written some scripts or treatments.
You can DOWNLOAD the script for Napoleon.

Mysterypez
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:12 pm

#24 Post by Mysterypez » Wed May 18, 2005 11:15 am

Theodore R. Stockton wrote:Can someone elaborate on Kaleidoscope by Hitchcock I have never heard of this?
In a very general sense this was too be Hitch's(the director.... not Will Smith) new wave film. A kind of response to the more adventurous filmmaking that was coming out of Europe.

The footage amounts to little more than tests. Hitch seemed to be playing with light, using available light. I remember the camera being hand-held. The footage was rough.... more intimate, not the expected Hollywood gloss.

The content was rather generic. A woman... and maybe man.... in a dimly lite bedroom. I recall the woman being somewhat scantly clad.... I recall a shots of breasts... but this could be my memory fillling in. There was no sound and I took it that no sound was captured at the time. In any case it is clear in the footage that I saw no dialogue was taking place.

The footage to KALEIDOSCOPE is at the Academy Film Archive.
Last edited by Mysterypez on Wed May 18, 2005 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Cinephrenic
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:58 pm
Location: Paris, Texas

#25 Post by Cinephrenic » Wed May 18, 2005 11:39 am

I always wondered if Kubrick had done Aryan Papers. Would have been something I think. He was planning it around the time of Schindler's List, but never got done.

Post Reply