Is this film cut on TCM?!


I just watched this film on TCM (after having seen it twice in theaters). It seems to me two moments were missing/cut out. The first is major: I swear I remember an onscreen kiss between Finch and Head (which elicited gasps when the film first opened in 1971). The second is a line of dialogue from the charades party. I recalled a line when the drunken woman starts to unbutton her blouse, someone shouted out: "Oh, no--here come those tired old tits again!" (...& I believe it was Finch who said the line). Neither of these moments was in the print that was shown on TCM (10/2014). Am I crazy or is this a somewhat edited version of the film that's being shown?

reply

No, you are not crazy! I just finished watching this film (one of my all-time favorites) on TCM on Demand and, even before reading your post, noticed the elimination of the two deleted moments you mentioned. I also believe a very brief glimpse of Glenda Jackson and Murray Head discreetly nude lying by the fireplace was cut out but may be mistaken (I still have the copy of the British film magazine Films and Filming that published a still of said scene). And I'd like to know what idiot performed such surgery on a movie that is perfect as is. I hope TCM is aware that they are showing a butchered print of SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY and rectify this matter. Also, the official running time for the movie is listed as 110 minutes in every credible source. I timed the version on TCM, and it came in at 108 minutes. Even so, the movie not only holds up since it was initially released in late 1970 but is still, 44 years later, way ahead of its time. And, on this umpteenth viewing, I'm now convinced the much-maligned Murray Head is perfect in his role. Casting a more dynamic British actor at the time (Malcolm McDowell, Michael York, Nicolas Clay come to mind) would have thrown the film completely out of whack. Mr. Head's laid-back passivity does in fact convey that he does indeed care to some extent for his two lovers (when Glenda Jackson explodes with anger when he tells her he is moving to New York, he suggests that she come along with him--and why the hell doesn't she? Having just quit her job, she has nothing better looming in her dreary London life.) But that's merely my opinion. The only thing depressing about watching SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY today is to realize how filmmaking has deteriorated since its release to, as of this writing, an all-time wretched low.

reply

YES! thank you! Now I know I am not insane or pre-alzheimers - I did see this film when it came out, and oh boy - do I remember Finch and Head kissing, I had never seen anything like it before and I was quite young and it was the early 70's. Just to say I am perfectly OK with that now, but at that time it was pretty shocking - and then I saw it the other night for the first time in 35+ years and NO kissing, I thought oh, maybe I just missed it, but really what is TCM doing??? I just don't get it?!?

vivling

reply

My thanks to YOU, vivlinglee! That now makes THREE of us of a certain vintage who are definitely not crazy, insane or pre-alzheimers in our vivid memories of SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY and the ridiculous cuts in TCM's recent showing of this timeless masterpiece. I must have been about 25 when I saw an early screening of the movie (I was writing for the long-defunct Show Magazine at the time) at the UA screening room in NYC, and even the jaded movie critics at that screening gasped when Finch and Head kissed. I think I was a bit shocked too, but when I saw the movie a second time, that scene no longer shocked me. In fact, I found it rather touching and sweet since it was one of the few scenes in the film showing genuine affection between two of the characters. So it's quite crucial to the movie, and for TCM to eliminate it is censorship of the worst kind. I imagine Robert Osborne and the Manckiwicz (sp?) guy are too busy promoting themselves than to have the time to check out the prints of the movies they show each month, but surely a lowly research assistant or SOMEONE at TCM should screen the films before they are telecast and reject a crudely edited print, especially in the case of such a landmark film as SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY.
So thanks again for assuring me that I haven't succumbed to early-dementia!
I may be what is today called a "geezer" but I have yet to lose my marbles.

reply

I LOVE GEEZERS! I don't know if there is a appropriate word for a female geezer (a feezer??!!), but I guess I am that and proud - I appreciate you verifying that I was not going bonkers yet - because at that time - I was quite young and (OK) shocked (then) (not now), and it remained forever in my mind - so is there a way we can protest. They SAY they don't edit films - but, REALLY, they obviously DO! I guess they think we are all dead by now, sdiner82. Tell me if you know where we can protest, bloody hell I'd pay extra for this, and it not only seems WRONG for a company that pretends to care about heritage films, but tells porky pies (lies) as well.

vivling

reply

I thank all you posters for verifying to me that this film has, indeed, been cut. I saw this when it first came out and I remember the kissing scene vividly. It was quite shocking in 1971 and I remember that a number of the people in the audience actually walked out. I also remember the party scene when the actress pulls out her breasts and Finch said something like here come those tired old things again. IMDB's notes for the film state that Ian Bannon was fired because of his reluctance to do the kissing scene.

Now what I would like to know is who did this? Was TCM aware of the cuts? Did the channel edit the film itself? This really worries me. I have always thought that TCM was a channel of the utmost integrity, that prided itself on showing the complete film. If they cut this, what other films have they cut?

That said, the film still holds up terrifically. What an intelligent and thoughtful script! A mature film for mature people.

reply

Another thread on this board takes TCM to task for the cut; it's titled "Shows how mainstream corporate America still views homosexuality," and I think that sums it up.

No doubt TCM fears backlash/boycott from right-wing wingnuts who think that LGBT people are sinners. Sad and sick that TCM has no guts; sad and sick that in 2014 LGBT are still stigmatized.

TCM should either have a backbone and show the movie in its entirety or be honest about its cowardice and not show the movie. I think those of us who are tolerant should be just as vocal and tell TCM that we object to its censorship and its destruction of a masterpiece.

"All you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people."

reply

I wanted to get TCM's side of the story but they never replied to my email. So disappointing.

reply

I emailed TCM to find out their policy and to find out whether there were other films they show that were edited before their showing. I got no answer. Has anyone been able to get an answer on this?

reply

Have you followed up with them? Perhaps re-send the email once a week? Let us know, and thanks.

"All you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people."

reply

No, as of yet I have received no answer to my questions but I am glad you reminded me. I may give them a call. I will post when I get an answer.

reply

the dvd version keeps intact all of what you said. thank goodness.

reply

TCM has cut many films before. They cut some male nudity from "The Night Digger" and bleeped words from "Running on Empty". However they showed "Deathtrap" last night and the gay kiss in that one was completely shown. Go figure!

reply

Millions have said this before me, but: America has some weird ideas about sex and violence. Last week I watched a rom-com-dram British miniseries from 2008, and -- appropriately, because it was about the romantic ups n downs of three couples -- there were shots of people starting to make love, and you could easily see women's breasts, men's and women's bottoms.

It was kind of amazing to me, as an American, to realize that this had been aired as normally as ABC would air Desperate Housewives. And kind of wonderful -- because I think it's a little ridiculous to see, in a mainstream US show, a coupling couple in which the man is barechested, the woman is wearing a camisole, and the sheet MUST NEVEr drop below their waists.

Oh, and there wasn't much violence -- I think that, in the entire 6 hours, one guy got punched in the face once, and one character's death-by-jumping was implied when we saw her lifeless body on the roadway.

I don't see how anyone can argue in favor of the American way -- sex BAD (unless it's exploiting/selling/objectifying women), guns and lots of gory onscreen killings GOOD.

"All you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people."

reply

TCM does not cut films. They may show a cut version of a film but those are 2 different things.

"No matter where you go, there you are."

reply

TCM does indeed cut films. They showed an edited version of "The Night Digger" and that's a film they own!

reply

Good, I'll pick it up. I owned the original on BetaMax (my mother was shocked when I told her this was among my first choices to own at age 12). Fantastic movie, and those two scenes move this film forward, especially the kiss.

reply

Considering it was 2005 before Hollywood made Brokeback Mt., this was positively revolutionary in 1971, showing a full-on gay kiss. But then, British cinema has long been in the vanguard of intellectual film-making.

reply