The Dollar Westerns - UK Cuts Comparison

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Detailed discussion on UK and worldwide film cuts.

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The Dollar Westerns - UK Cuts Comparison

Postby m35541 » 07 Aug 2008, 21:52

The following is my detailed comparison for the Dollar Western film cuts..............

A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS

Both the Baxter massacre and the Eastwood beating-up were differently edited.

(a) Beating-up

The BBFC cut version basically shows the first half of this scene and cuts most of the second half. The version on the VHS (i think the US release) essentially does it the other way wrong. Both prints have footage that the other doesn't. BBFC version missing all shots of Eastwood's hand being stomped on (i think it's there in the US print). The US print bizarrely misses non-violent shots of Ramon and gang going to the door after Eastwood sneaks out that the UK print includes. When Eastwood kills the guys with the barrel the BBFC print removes the shot(s) of their bloodied bodies and also some close shots of Eastwood's face.

(b) Baxter Massacre

The US print although heavily cut is more complete than the BBFC cut version. In the BBFC print you don't see Consuela Baxter falling back after she's shot, shots of the Baxter's gang being killed present in the US copy are missing as is shots of Eastwood's bloodied face observing proceedings and some dialogue at the end of the sequence (these cuts are in addition to all of the cuts made in the US print removing all the slow motion footage and footage of guys on fire etc).

(c) Other cuts

The BBFC print is missing the bit when Ramon jabs his rifle butt into Silvanito's groin.

The BBFC print removes the footage of Ramon coughing up blood after he's been shot.

BBFC print missing both close shots of Esteban's face after he's been shot.

US print I think retains the first shot. In the BBFC print it's not all that clear who's been shot at this point since the face shots have been removed.

As you can see this film really was cut to ribbons - about 4m to 5m of footage were removed for the Uk theatrical release.


FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE

BBFC cuts to this one for theatrical release were:

* most of the beating-up was removed. After a few whacks we then cut to Indio getting off the wall and stopping it (ironically this later footage is missing from the latest UK DVD). Scene more extensively cut than on the old DVD release (the American version).

* the entire second flashback scene near the end was removed (even though a third to a half of it is a recap of what we've already seen - again I think this was just the distributors taking the easy way out rather than try and edit out offending shots).

The USA "M" version was differently cut and also had a couple of distributor edits.


THE GOOD THE BAD & THE UGLY

I also saw this in the cinema and the BBC used to show a version with the UK release distributor cuts added back but the censor cuts still there.

Censor cuts were:

* the beating-up of Bill Carson's woman by Van Cleef was reduced to a single slap. As he prepares to hit her again we get an abrupt splice and she's already telling all.

* The scene in which Eli Wallach was beaten up was heavily cut. Essentially the whole sequence was truncated from the first shot of Eastwood and the confederate soldier watching the hut/band - from there we cut to Wallach confessing. About 2m-3m of the sequence simply removed in one chunk. I guess that the BBFC asked for a "significant reduction" without specifying and it was all too difficult for the distributor to do any kind of editing to it (as the deletions including non-violent dialogue shots and most of the shots of the band playing).

* the footage of Wallach banging Mario Bega's head against a rock was deleted. In the cut version it looks as if Brega has been killed in the fall from the train.

The film (international cut 161m version) was also cut by the UK distributor to get in an extra screening a day for the theatrical release. These cuts were:

* the entire gunsmith scene with Eli Wallach was completely removed.

* All footage of the union commandant of the prison was removed. This includes his dialogue scene with Van Cleef and shots of him observing the prisoners arriving earlier

* The footage of union soldiers posing for a photograph at the station prior to the arrival of Wallach and Brega was removed.
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Re: Fistful of Dollars - BBFC cuts

Postby Luke » 08 Aug 2008, 13:42

Great post m35541, I only knew that they removed the shot of Tequila been rubbed into Eastwoods wounds before reading your post. This I only knew from listening to the films Audio commentry thougth i knew the film had been edited heavily for its U.K release thanks to Richard Schikels CE biography.
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Re: Fistful of Dollars - BBFC cuts

Postby Mark Meakin » 09 Aug 2008, 14:13

Yes thanks for those Tim.I would agree with you totally that the film was very lucky to evade a rejection,thanks to the casting of Eastwood & not Nero.
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Re: The Good the Bad and the Ugly - cinema cuts

Postby Mark Meakin » 09 Aug 2008, 14:15

Luke wrote:Its a shame the extended edition didnt include the full torture sequence in the film instead of being used as an extra.

Yes as the footage was apparently damaged yet the rest of the film has been nicely restored ! :?
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Re: The Good the Bad and the Ugly - cinema cuts

Postby m35541 » 10 Aug 2008, 12:51

I thought the quality of the extended scene was OK myself although I think the shorter scene is a bit better integrated in with Morricone's score (eg bit when Wallach is repeatedly punched after which the soldier with the violin stops is scored for more impact in the shorter print).
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Re: Fistful of Dollars - BBFC cuts

Postby m35541 » 11 Aug 2008, 08:50

I find the Django rejection a bit odd (the BBFC record its rejection as late as 1969, 2 years after Fistful) - i'd have thought that this would have been cuttable for an X with possible only about 1m of cuts.

* Opening whipping scene would probably lose a few shots
* the ear severing would have to be cut - presumably cutting direct to the guy being shot or removing his killing altogether (as in Django Kill where the indian's scalping is completely gone so the guy just diosappears from the film)
* shots of Django's hands being crushed by the horses hooves would have to go

Can't thinbk of much else - this is about 1m i think.
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Re: Fistful of Dollars - BBFC cuts

Postby bes » 11 Aug 2008, 11:24

Yes there's more cuttable material in Fistful so it's odd they chose to ban Django. They must have banned it because it offended them [i.e. the ear hacking/eating] and they wanted to make a point.
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Re: The Good the Bad and the Ugly - cinema cuts

Postby Luke » 11 Aug 2008, 16:04

I thought it could have been included in the film, maybe their waiting to restore this and the sorroco sequence to the Blue-Ray DVD release of the film :roll: .
Taken some time for the BBFC to lower this one it could have been 15rated in the 90s along with the rest of the series of Clint/Leone Westerns.
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Re: The Good the Bad and the Ugly - cinema cuts

Postby m35541 » 11 Aug 2008, 16:28

The Sorocco scene is still missing as far as i know. In the SE DVD they 'recreated' it using a single shot from the French trailer and various stills.

The French trailer on the SE DVD has other interesting shots not in the final print (including a shot of Wallach attempting to engage in a cannon duel with Eastwood prior to the cemetery sequence).
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Re: Fistful of Dollars - BBFC cuts

Postby Mercury » 11 Aug 2008, 19:47

In SHOCK EXPRESS published some years ago there was an interview with Franco Nero and it also mentions the BBFC's rejection of Django. It also goes on to say the following regarding the film:

"Potential distributors were told in the early 70's that, given the controversies arising from such films as Straw Dogs and A Clockwork Orange, it might be better left unreleased. When the question of its release arose again in 1974 and the distributor was informed that a number of major cuts would be necessary, all plans for its release were shelved".
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Re: Fistful of Dollars - BBFC cuts

Postby Luke » 12 Aug 2008, 12:40

Thanks for that m35541 I know the remastered VHS release was also cut in the same way as the current Region 2 DVD, the older bare bones Region2 DVD was also cut in the same place shame they made such a mess up of a fine DVD release.
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Re: Fistful of Dollars - BBFC cuts

Postby m35541 » 12 Aug 2008, 15:30

The older bare bones DVD and the remastered VHS were taken from a US print and the US print had been cut to get an M rating. The SE DVD then attempted to restore the cuts to this print but messed it up although some stuff was restored. The old Warners p/s VHS released in the 1980's was the only ever uncut release of this film and included everything. The Italian DVD is also a cut print.

I dunno whether uncut prints turn up on UK TV although last time I saw parts of this it was on a t time slot on C5 and loads of stuff was missing including the entire climatic flashback.
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Re: Fistful of Dollars - BBFC cuts

Postby Luke » 13 Aug 2008, 09:12

I have seen the uncut version screened on ITV a good few years ago on a latenight slot, the C5 version was a waste of time no idea why they tried to screen this at the time they did.
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Re: The Good the Bad and the Ugly - cinema cuts

Postby bes » 25 Aug 2008, 21:40

Having watched this again the Tuco torture scene is still strong stuff IMO and still brutally impactful even 42 years later. I think it was this scene which kept the film at an '18' for so long; the knee slowly crushing Tuco's throat; repeated punching and kicking of Tuco's head and body; Tuco's face smashed bloodily into the floor, dislodging his teeth; the attempted eye-gouging of Tuco in particular was a BBFC no-no and in itself ensured the '18' for so many years IMO. The film is of course fine as a solid '15' by today's standards and could have been downgraded for it's DVD release in 2004 really.
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Re: The Good the Bad and the Ugly - cinema cuts

Postby Luke » 26 Aug 2008, 13:50

I also found the sequence where Van Cleef shoots the guy in bed very disturbing also whilst nto graphic its certianly a nasty sequence and must have been much rawer to watch in the 60s.
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