MovieChat Forums > The Weavers: Wasn't That a Time (1982) Discussion > Why is this film is only 73 minutes on h...

Why is this film is only 73 minutes on home video formats

Most sources always list this wonderful film as running 78 minutes, including the IMDB. However, the old VHS, laserdisc, and now the newer (April of 2011) PBS DVD versions all run just over 73 minutes. Does anybody know what is missing? I suppose some film clip or song couldn't get copyright clearance for the home video format. I'd like to know what, if anything, is missing on home video.

I did see the film first run, back in 1982. However, I can't specifically recall anything from that theatrical screening that appears to be missing from the home video versions Are there any experts reading this?


I first saw this film 20-something years ago. I vividly remember the "If I Had a Hammer" sequence featuring other covers of this song, including versions by Trini Lopez and Johnny Cash.

I caught this film last night on PBS and noticed that much of this sequence had been omitted.


Yes, the "If I Had a Hammer" montage is largely missing. My guess is that PBS found it cost-prohibitive to clear the music rights for the other artists (such as Aretha Franklin). The montage only lasts about 90 seconds I think, and that might have been a very expensive 90 seconds in terms of acquiring the rights. The Peter, Paul and Mary performance is still there, but the other artists don't appear on the DVD or on the PBS broadcasts.

The old VHS from the 1980's does have the montage intact. Music rights weren't as problematic in the older days of home video. My guess is that the laserdisc version from the same era probably also has the montage, as I assume it was struck from the same master print that yielded the VHS.

The new PBS DVD has a lighter image (than the VHS), which reveals more detail around the edges, such as the books and record albums in Lee Hays' living room.


i don't have a copy but saw it last night. the one segment i didn't catch was the '60 minutes' footage with harry reasoner. that may have fallen under the 'copyright clearance' chopping block.

" Three can keep a secret, if two are dead "


Another segment completely missing from the DVD is the montage of "If I Had a Hammer" being performed by musical artists all over the world. PBS probably wished to avoid clearing all those copyrights. That montage was included in the VHS (and presumably the laserdisc) version from long ago.