Did TCM refurbish the original 1973 version?


The original was narrated by Cliff Robertson, but a recent screening by TurnerClassicMovies used a print with Sydney Pollack narrating. The opening credits also looked revamped, with a different opening that included "TCM Preents". What gives?

Meanwhile, IMDb's featured "user comment" here is describing a few little tidbits that are missing from this recent TCM telecast. (the details of he lost his eye, the business of an accidental death in the dentist chair)

What gives?

The same night TCM two other installments of THE MEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES. The one about Hitchcock looked unchanged, with Roberston's voice and the original opening sequence.
(Incidentally, they also aired a documentary about Sam Fuller under the banner THE MEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES ... but this was obviously a newer "addition" to the original series, produced in 2002 by TCM)


||||||
||||||

reply

[deleted]

The original versions might have contained a little more material, but I shouldn't complain as if they were sacrosanct. I mean, they weren't without flaws.
For instance, they chose the wrong film clip to run during a short section of Hitchcock's interview, just as he was describing the difference between photography and cinema. His point was that some directors treated film like it was moving photography -- picture-taking that just happens to also MOVE. But to illustrate his point he briefly listed a view examples (and without naming names was also criticizing certain filmmakers who specialized in Westerns) -- "But pretty scenery and running horses -- that's not film, that's just picture-taking." Well, the documentary people decided -- hey, since he's mentioning HORSES -- to show a clip of the frantic horses running loose during the phone booth sequence of THE BIRDS. So his own point gets muddied with mixed signals. He's obviously being critical about something but when you SEE runaway horses just as he's TALKING about runaway horses, the message is lost. (I thought he was dissing his own attempt to film this scene!)

I also learned from this series of documentaries that this is a good way to quickly learn about films but also a good way to have them ruined.
I was young and had a lot of movies to catch up to. After the Hitchcock installment, I was keen to go out and see SHADOW OF A DOUBT and STRANGERS ON A TRAIN -- except I would now know what would happen to Uncle Charlie and Bruno. I hadn't even seen PSYCHO yet, but knew there was something shocking about a shower scene. So it's not a big problem that they'd show that clip; the film's big surprise was already ruined by its own groundbreaking fame. But this documentary also began with Arbogast walking up the stairs -- so the only other good blast I might have got from PSYCHO was defused by this show.

I used to have a great companion-book to this series. Don't know how I let that one get away from me.

||||||
||||||

reply