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Saturday, August 15, 2009

An aside about movies

I don't know many instances where watching an editing version and an unedited version of a movie vary so much than the experience I had Saturday night. Because I love classic movies, I bought the Mill Creek Entertainment 100 Family Classics movie pack. I watched some of these movies previously on archive.org and wanted to have a copy for myself without putting my computer out of commission for a couple of hours to burn it. The versions of these movies didn't vary until I started watching Calendar Girl. From the beginning, I knew that there was something different with this version. The credits started too abruptly and they ended with a huge splice. I kept watching, then I realized what this version had done: it completely changed the story! The original story centers around Patricia and her Irish fireman father. She meets two young men at the boarding house next door and falls in love with one of them. I'll stop there so I won't give the rest of it away.

Anyway, the edited version included in this movie pack cut out almost every scene with Pat by herself, Pat and her father, and almost the first five minutes of the movie itself. While not containing vital information to understand the plot, it turned the movie's focus from Pat to the two boarders competing for her affection. Even though Jane Frazee is listed as the star, it turns the supporting cast into stars.

As a writer, I wonder what the screenwriter thought of this edited version, if they ever saw it at all. I also wonder what person thought that this movie needed to be reedited in this way and for what purpose.

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