SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

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AndyDursin
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SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#1 Post by AndyDursin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:09 pm

Awesome announcement from the Warner Archive...not that I'd ever prefer this over the theatrical cut, but the extra footage IS kind of fascinating to watch. Being able to see it in widescreen, and HD too? Wow.

Here's hoping II and III are next!

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Eric Paddon
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Re: SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#2 Post by Eric Paddon » Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:32 pm

That I did not expect. Especially since whenever TV cut footage from 70s movies are presented its usually in beat-up quality or can never be shown in theatrical level quality. Will have to get that for certain!

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Re: SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#3 Post by jkholm » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:51 pm

SUPERMAN is the first movie I remember seeing on TV and noticing footage that wasn't shown in the theater. Nice that they're including two versions although I still prefer the shorter theatrical cut. Donner's movies always seem to go on too long.

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Re: SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#4 Post by AndyDursin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:23 pm

Yeah the theatrical cut is still the best (and you need the boxset to have it). Just as it is for SUPERMAN II despite the fanboys who think the terrible "Donner Cut" is better (or have convinced themselves it is).

Would be great to see Warner release the TV cuts of II and III plus SUPERGIRL which isn't on Blu still at all.

Why the Warner Archive continues to churn out 50s movies one after another on Blu Ray is utterly bizarre....must have some cheerleaders working there who select these things, especially given how obscure some of the selections are. This SUPERMAN release is the most exciting format release of the year from them by far.

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Re: SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#5 Post by Eric Paddon » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:30 pm

My understanding is that Warner Archive doesn't release a title or take charge of one unless the regular Warner Home Video division says they're not *ever* going to touch a title. That's what keeps Warner Archive from doing certain TV series as well so as a consequence Warner Archive will be doing the lesser titles first.

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Re: SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#6 Post by Monterey Jack » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:32 pm

This is a fascinating release, especially considering how bad-looking those extra scenes added for network TV broadcasts often look when included on DVD/Blu (like those horrid-looking, 1.33:1 scenes from the TV broadcast of The Towering Inferno). Full 2.35:1 and HD? :shock: :D The theatrical cut is the best version just to watch as a movie, but it'll be a terrific piece of preservation just to have ALL of the available footage from the film in HD.

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Re: SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#7 Post by Eric Paddon » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:39 pm

We do need Supergirl on Blu-Ray (it's a much better film than III or IV IMO) and preferrably both cuts of that in HD! It was a pleasant surprise getting two of them back in the DVD days.

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Re: SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#8 Post by AndyDursin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:00 pm

It would be interesting to know how this is being assembled. They included a handful of the deleted scenes on the previous releases and they were in scope and looked good. Are they just inserting them into the Directors Cut? I guess that's why they are also including that in this release because it's been packaged a handful of times already...doesn't seem like it needs to be there.

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Re: SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#9 Post by AndyDursin » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:37 am

Eric Paddon wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:30 pm
My understanding is that Warner Archive doesn't release a title or take charge of one unless the regular Warner Home Video division says they're not *ever* going to touch a title. That's what keeps Warner Archive from doing certain TV series as well so as a consequence Warner Archive will be doing the lesser titles first.
Whatever the case may be they seem most interested in getting some very odd 40s and 50s titles out in high def and I can't imagine there is much of an audience there for those titles. Given how few catalog releases their "retail" division even puts out these days (any?) It is a strange situation.... as much as the WAC does great work the choices are odd.

I have no doubt Superman will be a bigger seller than pretty much anything they've released this year.

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Re: SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#10 Post by KevinEK » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:45 am

I'm likely to pick this up just for the curiosity. I remember seeing the ABC version on TV back when it aired, and I still have a VHS copy of that. I'd be happy to pick up a Blu-ray of it for the novelty.
Some of the material is fun - like the Kryptonian Guard getting wiped out on his way to visit Jor El, and some of it is flat-out goofy, like the people playing in the water after Superman stops the flood with the boulders.

I would indeed like to see the longer cut of Superman II, for things like the boy being sirened out by Non and Ursa's gleeful reaction. Maybe if this one sells, they'll let us have that one.


That said, I've greatly enjoyed the Superman Anthology Blu-ray set (as I did the DVD set before it). Even if we never get another Blu of the Reeve Superman movies, that set is beautifully comprehensive to me. I'm very happy to have both cuts of the first two movies. I'm very happy to listen to Mark Rosenthal's hysterical commentary on IV. And the making-of documentary is great stuff.

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Re: SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#11 Post by AndyDursin » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:30 am

Watching this now for the first time in widescreen...a couple of bad edits in the main titles (someone at WB thought they were doing us a favor by putting the music in stereo, but they sourced it from the Rhino CD and made several poor editorial choices resulting in glitches) but otherwise it's fascinating as always to see what wasnt used.


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Re: SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#12 Post by KevinEK » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:32 pm

I took two nights to go through the disc - 90 minutes each night.

(And by the way, that Cheerio's shot is interesting - you can clearly see the front of the box from the inside angle. But when they cut to the view of Martha's face through the window from outside, the front of the Cheerio's box can clearly be seen there too. So either that box has two fronts or we have encountered a significant paradox in the space/time continuum.)

This edition is essentially an editor's assembly with all the moments and connective pieces left in. Much of the footage that was cut are additional beats, lines or shoe leather tying various scenes together. Some of it is fascinating. Some of it is cringe-inducing. Donner clearly picked and chose which of these moments he wanted to restore for his DVD edition, and to my mind he made the right choices there.

Among the differences, many of which I'd forgotten from the ABC version I still have on VHS up in my attic:
-During the lab scene where Jor-El puts the baby into the spaceship, we now see him place the blue/red/yellow foil blanket in there first.
-The destruction of Krypton is really stretched out to show people being squashed by walls and pillars (and to allow the use of John Williams' cue for this)
-The football sequence at Smallville High is stretched out to show a couple of minutes of the practice and the cheerleaders working before the whistle is blown
-Clark's discovery of the crystal is stretched out to show his full passage through the barn to uncover it
-Martha's morning routine before spotting Clark at the edge of the wheatfield is stretched out to bring her downstairs and through the house before she gets to the window
-Clark's journey to the north pole, the creation of the fortress and his entrance into the structure is doubled in length - to the point that the music cue is repeated twice
-Daily Planet scenes are extended to show more of Clark and Lois at work, and to show Jimmy Olsen getting a guy farther down the food chain to go make coffee for him
-The Otis pursuit is nearly doubled in length, mostly just extending out the gag that Otis is always eating. The extended cut clarifies that this was a running gag throughout the movie that they were really pushing.
-Both scenes with "The Babies" are included - they're my favorite comic moments for Hackman in the Superman movies, but they're really in the so-bad-it's-good vein
-Superman's first night of heroics is extended in each scene of the sequence - the helicopter crash has a bigger windup, the window burglar's climb is doubled (including a shot of him apparently climbing out of the place he robbed, but unfortunately putting that shot into the middle of the sequence so that it doesn't make sense), the police/crooks car chase is at least doubled in size, the cat out of the tree gag is doubled in size and the Air Force One rescue gets more dialogue in the cockpit
-Superman's dialogue scene with Jor-El is a little longer here than it is in Donner's special edition. I didn't see additional dialogue - just longer takes of the two faces and the scene does not begin with the dialogue being heard from outside the Fortress
-Lex Luthor's swimming scene is doubled in size, so we see Otis doing more eating and taking a photo of Miss Teschmacher (although it looks like he takes the photo backwards, so it's an accidental selfie) before giving Luthor the robe early, and then trying to wring out the robe as they step out of the flooded area
-The gambit of changing the missiles' flight plans is actually tripled in screen time - the crash setup is extended, the Army convoy material is extended, the in-ambulance beating of Otis for screwing it up is extended, and then there's an added scene where Luthor and company are watching the Army convoy arrive at their base before Luthor decides to now go after the Navy convoy. The material with Otis and then Miss Teschmacher messing with the missile controls is extended as well.
-Superman's arrival at Luthor's lair is, as seen thankfully in Donner's DVD edition, complete with the gauntlet Luthor tests him with before he gets to the main room
-The scenes of Lois and Jimmy in California on their story and at the Dam are extended out
-Superman's scenes at Luthor's lair are extended by various shots, including telling looks Luthor is giving to his team and a little more time before Miss Teschmacher decides to do the right thing
-Superman's pursuit of the missile includes the bit where the one missile evades him; there's what I think is an additional shot of the two ranch hands working on their fence as the missile and Superman zoom by overhead
-There's additional footage of the military guys in the control room losing control of the situation and one totally left-field moment where someone asks "What's in New Jersey?"
-There's an added beat of the President being notified of the mess from the bottom of a sand trap
-The earthquake and destruction material in California is easily doubled in length, if not tripled. Footage includes the girl scouts at the collapsing Hollywood sign (this is where cringe-inducing comes to mind) and some really fake-looking footage of people jumping out of building facades on something that looks like a small backlot somewhere. The high speed train footage now includes a server carrying drinks who of course will spill them all over himself. The Jimmy Olsen/Dam footage is really extended out, including a really odd moment where Superman helps Jimmy take a photo of the collapsing dam rather than continuing to try to save people... Jimmy's run through the aftershocks on the dirt road is easily doubled as well. And there's an added coda from the dam burst to show the water finally getting back to the Indian reservation.
-The aftermath scene of Superman/Lois/Jimmy is roughly doubled in size, including an inexplicable beat where Jimmy is taking photos of Lois only to realize he forgot to load any film. (Which begs a BIG question about all the other photos he was taking...)

Add all this up and you have a movie that runs on a lot longer than it should, but has all the connecting pieces to indicate how it was constructed.


I do hope that WB will put out the longer TV cut of Superman II, as that also contains a lot of interesting footage - although not nearly as much as what we have here for STM. I'd estimate that the longer cut of SII probably has another 15 minutes or so of material, if even that, and most of that is in the same kind of scene extensions. You can always tell when they come up, because the audio for those was not processed through Post - so Sarah Douglas' voice suddenly goes up an octave in any such footage. If this Blu-ray sells okay, maybe they'll give us that one.

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Re: SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#13 Post by AndyDursin » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:45 pm

The ABC version of II does run about 15 minutes longer. Years ago someone sent me a copy of the German TV version, which adds another 10 minutes (or more, considering PAL speed-up) into that, so my guess is the TV cut if Warner released it would be even longer than what ABC aired (much like Superman itself). I transferred it to DVD and I think it runs about 150-155 minutes, and that's in PAL format.

The TV cut of III runs about 20 minutes longer (adding cheap opening credits), and SUPERGIRL's TV cut was released on the Anchor Bay DVD way back when as the "Director's Cut," but clearly was the TV assembly judging from the profanity that was dubbed over.

Warner could do a II/III TV version Double Feature which would be great to see, unless they feel they have to placate Donner by including that terrible "Donner Cut" yet again. I truly hope they don't feel they have to go there again. I mean, I'm glad we have the Brando scenes, but would've rather had them inserted into the theatrical II, which IMO is a much better film than that weird "assembly" they cobbled together, which is hard to even accept as an actual "movie".

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Re: SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#14 Post by Eric Paddon » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:51 pm

How about a TV cut of II that *also* inserts the Brando scene for the "power restoration" moment? :) (since this is a scene that wasn't reshot with York it can be left in while the York material remains). That would be the ultimate kitchen sink best of both worlds for me!

I haven't had time yet to go through the Blu-Ray. It was there just in case a certain game didn't end up a certain way and then it would have been the perfect "Take my mind off this" thing to do.

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Re: SUPERMAN 188-Min. Extended Version -- Coming to Blu-Ray!

#15 Post by KevinEK » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:56 pm

It's fairly clear to me that if Richard Donner had not been fired by the Salkinds, he would have needed to take some time to rethink Superman II and to reshoot some of what he had previously shot in the rush to get both movies done.
The Clark/Jor El scene either needed to be reshot or needed the ADR time and VFX that never happened once both Donner and Brando were off the project.
I believe Donner and Mankiewicz would have rebuilt the second half of Superman II to do some of what Lester did in his version, only with Donner's touch. It certainly needed a much stronger ending.

The longer TV cut of Superman II essentially gives us the rest of the non-Brando Donner footage, along with the trims of the scenes Lester added.
When I was a teenager, I didn't notice the obvious differences between the Donner and Lester footage. Looking at it today, the work is night and day - particularly in Margot Kidder and Mark McClure's looks.
I also remember reading a review of Superman II in 1981 that praised Lester's handling of Gene Hackman's performance as much better than Donner's work with him in the first film. Little did they know that those scenes were all done by Donner too...

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