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The Director Shot First!

Han Shot First

A trend started in the movies several years ago. DVDs started appearing proclaiming themselves to be “longer and uncut!” or “what they wouldn’t show you in the cinema!” Now, there is some truth is some of those claims, but certainly not in all of them.

Some of the stuff was cut simply because it wasn’t good enough and put back in because it increases DVD sales. Some seems to have been cut in order to reduce the cinema certificate rating and restored for the DVD release meaning some films can only be seen as they were meant to be seen on DVD.

Personally, I find this to be a largely irritating exercise and partly blame Ridley Scott and his 27 versions of Blade Runner. As far as I am concerned, once a film is released then that is it. That is the version.

There are only probably two exceptions to this rule:

  1. Cleaning/enhancement of the original picture to make it was it was.
  2. To restore a film to the original cut before damage/interference from a third party (ie Metropolis and most Orson Welles films).

Aside from that there isn’t much else. There is no need for adding new scenes or for cutting things. Sure, there might be some times a slight alteration or two can make a film better, but most of the time people end up “doing a George Lucas.” And we all know what that means.

So, in short leave the movies alone. Nothing ever gets better by constantly potching with this or that bit. That path leads to madness and chaos. If you’ve done it right well done, if not then tough. It is time to move one.

Final cut should mean final cut.



2 thoughts on “The Director Shot First!

  1. I can sort of see the logic in Lucas wanting to make the original Star Wars films into what he originally wanted but couldn’t afford to make,but I’d rather see the films as a finished product of their age.

    The equivalent would be that, because the Klingons were originally intended to have crinkly foreheads in the Star Trek series, going back and editing the foreheads in. At some point you’ve just got to move on.

    • Lucas is the worst culprit.

      If he wants to mess around with his films then fine, but at least release the original versions (which people clearly prefer) in the highest quality possible.

      But to be perfectly honest, I don’t really buy that at all. The most prominant example being Han shooting first. that wasn’t there due to budget limitations. He has wrung out every single dollar he could and has made another fortune selling it to Disney to wring out some more.

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