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Sam Peckinpah >> Everything Peckinpah and more >> Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
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Message started by Stanton on 06/13/09 at 8:07am

Title: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Stanton on 06/13/09 at 8:07am
I'm a bit curious what you guys think about the 3 different versions of Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid.

I prefer the Seydor cut, even if it has it's flaws.
But I haven't read many (if any) favourable things about it in the net or elsewhere. Most people seem clearly to vote for the Turner version and thereby are heavily despising the new version.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Mike S. on 06/13/09 at 11:24am
Well, I have to admit (Sorry, Jeff :)) that PAT GARRETT never was among my TOP 6 Peckinpah's. Therefore it is one I never knew and remembered as well as the others. I mean I saw it 5+ times in the 80's and 90's, but that doesn't say much with my background of sometimes watching two films a day.

I really awaited the DVD, 'wanted to see it in great quality finally - before that one had to get back to VHS tapes and even the LD wasn't great.
So when I saw the Seydor-Version I liked it a lot at first. It looks great. A bit more like 'BALLARD' than 'COQUILLON', but great anyway. I once spoke with him about the subject and we basically shared the same opinion: The Turner version wasn't trimmed very well, some wrong angles or takes were chosen and the colors were much to brownish (one-sided anyway).
The MGM version wasn't THAT bad, but it would have needed the cut scenes.

But the more I saw of that new version, the more strange editing decisions I watched. Although I didn't know the film by heart, I felt something was missing. Footage, dialogue and the right music at certain spots. And later on, when I read how much was actually missing I went back and compared versions again for the first time in 20 years. (there was a lot of detailed discussion on the DVDforums.com forum which covers almost everthing I'd say).

I think it was a missed opportunity. The cut plays nicely but why not using good Sam- footage and audio when it's there, working and not hurting the film? Personal judgement always is a dangerous thing. For personal projects it is a must, for something somebody else did at a certain time, it is dangerous. I think.

So all three versions have major flaws.
Fits Peckinpah's life well  :(

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Nate B. on 06/19/09 at 2:06pm
I really do love the film and I believe it is something of a muddled gem. I suspect that Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid will always exist in a permanent state of flux. Of the versions available on the DVD I tend to prefer the Turner Cut. There are issues with it to be sure but I still prefer it (with all due respect) over the Seydor cut. I seem to remember seeing a third version some 15 years or so back that I remember being fond of. For all I know, I may be remembering things wrong and it could have been the Turner cut. I keep hoping that if the film gets a release on Blu-ray, that the Turner cut  will get a better transfer and (unrealistic though it may be) that there may even be some sort of third version.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Jill on 06/20/09 at 1:18pm
I like the Turner cut. I have a dvd which has both that and the 2005 one, and what did the 2005 one make? Added a scene with Garrett's wife (which is great) and one with Ruthie Lee (which knocked out another scene), and has cut a lot, including great lines. They should've just added the two extra scenes to Turner and it would be fine.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Novecento on 07/09/09 at 4:01pm
Some interesting links:

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Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Nate B. on 07/10/09 at 1:19pm
Thank you for the comparison! Too bad the images were down..... I'll just add that there is another good (but not as thorough) comparison: Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by JEFF1950 on 07/11/09 at 2:54pm
I like the Turner version best, but I'd like to cut out the bunkhouse scene with Dub Taylor, it's not good, it isn't up to the standard of peckinpah, and it's bad acting.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Stanton on 07/12/09 at 7:11am
The 2 biggest mistakes Seydor made was to restore the theatrical credits, instead of using the preview credits, and not to return to the 1909 framing shots, which are there to close the circle. And the whole film is in it's episodical structure about circles.

These are 2 ideas nobody else would have done besides Seydor.

His best ideas are the earlier presenting of the raft scene and the including of the Knocking on Heaven's door lyrics, both like it was done in the 73 cut.
All the other changes are debatable for me.

I also think that some of the violence wasn't cut in the way Peckinpah has done this before. But Seydor hasn't tried to change it. An example is the Billy and Alias shooting of Chisum's men after the turkey chase. Here several slo mo shots are presented as a whole, whereas Peckinpah had them mostly (always?) intercut with other shots.

I had seen for many years only the theatrical version, and it was always Peckinpah's second masterwork for me. Due to it's episodical structure the film wasn't as damaged as Major Dundee (still is) and the shorter versions of the Wild Bunch. It wasn't as complex as the longer versions, but PG&BtK already worked in this version. And you could see what it was about, you only had to look a bit closer.

When I first saw the Turner cut I was a bit disappointed as the film had, apart from the new opening scene, not improved as much as I had it expected. I still think the pacing of the Turner cut is not good, and that's why I prefer the Seydor version. Even if some beautiful moments are gone, the film leaves a much greater impact.

I would cut some of the violence different, I would use of course the preview credits and the preview ending, and I would maybe put some minor pieces back to the Seydor cut.
Then it would be perfect. Unfortunately this all will never happen.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Stanton on 07/12/09 at 7:20am
What do you guys think of the bunkhouse scene. It obviously is in breach with the rest of the film, as it was the only scene without Garrett or Billy.

But if this is so obvious, why was it written and shot in the first place?

Really only to be removed later?

Poe represents the darker side of Garrett, who is the real center of the film, the compromise, all that what Garret hates himself for, while Billy, in all his violent innocence, represents Garrett inner (and former) ideals.
But even with this scene Poe still remains a minor character, and the bunkhouse scene doesn't tell us anything we don't already know about him. The scene at the Chisum ranch is much more important.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by JEFF1950 on 07/12/09 at 4:34pm
The bunkhouse scene which features Dub Taylor & co. is poor by Peckinpah's standards and Don Levy is embarrassingly bad.
Peckinpah would shoot a sequence like this and the raft scene knowing one would have to go, the studio would order these removed because they did little to progress the story forward, Peckinpah would create hell to keep them both, then a compromise would happen where he'd agree to loose one scene, the bunkhouse scene, the one he intended to loose anyway thus keeping the scene he wanted in the first place. Sam would have got one over on the studio, he'd have loved that.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by JEFF1950 on 07/12/09 at 4:45pm
Paul is a friend of mine, and just because I prefer the Turner cut I don't think he'd hold it against me, but he had done some interesting work on the film, most importantly to me anyway is the place where the directors title appears, Paul has put it in where it should be, where the scene dictates it to be.
I have my reservations about Paul cutting Sam's cameo down, I love to see Sam on film, he would have made a hell of an actor especially in westerns where he would have been most comfortable.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Gachade on 01/24/10 at 2:35pm
Just thought I'd post the discussion that is going on on that subjet on the Home Theater forum:
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Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by triberooter on 04/13/10 at 2:10pm
Has anyone ever seen a version of the movie that included the scene with Garrett and his wife?

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Mike S. on 04/14/10 at 6:20am
Don't you have the WarnerHome DVD??
The scene is included in the 2005 cut.

But not all of it, I guess it'sabout 2 minutes.
I have a video tape of a US TV screening from the 80's. There the scene was 4 minutes long.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by triberooter on 04/14/10 at 9:52am
Thanks and I see that there is a reference to this version earlier on the thread. I have always felt that Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid was a flawed film that contains some incredible work. It was a very personal film for Sam and a very dark one at that. I always felt that this film really had to contain that scene with Mrs. Garrett to make it work for me.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Stanton on 04/18/10 at 9:10am
But it is one of the weaker scenes of the film. There is too much meaningful dialogue, which is not on the high level of most of the rest of the film.
I'm glad that I was able to see this scene, but in fact the film would have worked the same with the shot of Garrett hesitating at the garden fence of his house. There is nothing important in the scene with his wife, which this little shot hadn't told me. And it's more sublime.

But the scene should be in the longer version for the sake of completeness.

Mike what do these 2 extra min contain?

Is there more extra material unseen in the known versions?

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Stanton on 10/16/11 at 9:57am
It seems that the TV version  also contained a scene which is in none of the 3 versions, and which Seydor described in his Peckinpah book as one of the missing scenes of the theatrical cut.

From the Criterion forum:
"The TV version is yet another animal and yes it does contain at least one long scene (and many odd shots) that are not in any other version. Prepared by CBS Television for network broadcast around 1976-7 it has apparently dissapeared from the face of the earth. I have an audio cassette recorded off air and about a page and a half of detailed notes from a local affiliate broadcast. Perhaps I could post them here or on a more specific thread if there is any interest.

The scene I'm refering to is not the one with Garrett and his wife (Aurora Clavel), the Chisum (Barry Sullivan) scene or the "long" version of Garrett and the coffinmaker (Peckinpah) but a rather long meandering courtship scene between Billy and Maria (Rita Coolidge) from early in the film. It runs thusly: Billy spies Maria returning home with a basket of fresh laundry and tries to strike up a conversation with her. She rebuffs his advances and as they walk a crowd of children begin to follow and heckle Billy's lack of success. He plays to his young audience and when a stray article of clothing drops from Maria's basket as she slips inside he holds it up for them to see and raps on the door indicating that he will finally get her to acknowledge him. Instead an old wrinkled woman answers the knock, snatches the clothing and slams the door in his face. The children howl with derisive laughter and Billy shrugs and walks away. It's of no plot consequence and was undoubtedly an inprovised bit of atmosphere but then much of the film consists of such scenes.

I've never seen this 2+ minute scene in any version other than that prepared for CBS and which was available in syndication packages for several years thereafter."




Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Gashade on 10/16/11 at 7:18pm
Wow! I've never seen this scene either. It sure loks like a scene of no real interest for the plot, and yet it would be really nice to have it in, so that when we see Billy with Maria at the end, right before Billy dies, he's not just with some girl, but with a girl we know he was really fond of.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Mike S. on 10/17/11 at 10:13am
Is this here the scene?
I can't recall whether it is in any cut..

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Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Gashade on 10/17/11 at 7:20pm
Sure looks like it...

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Novecento on 04/06/13 at 2:59pm
I just noticed these two chapters in this book Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register. Without even reading it, I'm pretty certain I would side with Prince but it sure looks like an interesting debate!


Quote:
The Recutting of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid: Ethical Problems in Film Restoration Stephen Prince 82

The Authentic Death and Contentious Afterlife of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid: The Several Versions of Peckinpah's Last Western Paul Seydor 101


Shame the book is so expensive.


Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Sergej on 04/07/13 at 11:26am
Several years ago i was doing comparison, apaprt from writing an review of the between 3 different versions - producers, turner, and 2005 restoration - i made big table trying to compare the versions - as best as i could because it was really hard to watch three versions simultaneously -
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it is after the review - but it is only in Croatian - if there's any interest i could translate it into english and perhaps together - we could make it even better
besides that, i adore Pat Garrett - and would wote for Turner preview - and it is real shame that it didn't include scenes with Garret's wife - than it would be the best version we could hope for - i didn't like the restoration - in all the key decisions - it was following the first version - but masterpiece remains masterpiece however flawed it might be - i fell in love with this movi by watching the first version, so it wasn't all that bad - but turner version showed us at at least what it could be...

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Novecento on 04/07/13 at 4:31pm

Sergej wrote on 04/07/13 at 11:26am:
Several years ago i was doing comparison, apaprt from writing an review of the between 3 different versions - producers, turner, and 2005 restoration - i made big table trying to compare the versions - as best as i could because it was really hard to watch three versions simultaneously -
Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register

it is after the review - but it is only in Croatian - if there's any interest i could translate it into english and perhaps together - we could make it even better
besides that, i adore Pat Garrett - and would wote for Turner preview - and it is real shame that it didn't include scenes with Garret's wife - than it would be the best version we could hope for - i didn't like the restoration - in all the key decisions - it was following the first version - but masterpiece remains masterpiece however flawed it might be - i fell in love with this movi by watching the first version, so it wasn't all that bad - but turner version showed us at at least what it could be...


I'd love to read a translation if you have time  :). There is a site here that compares the Preview and '05 cuts, but without a detailed comparison of the Theatrical cut:

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Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Sergej on 04/08/13 at 2:00am
i'll do it as soon as i manage - it might not be that soon - but will be, i promise

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by The Dude on 04/08/13 at 10:09pm
I could help on this. Did something similar some years ago. I have only to find the word.doc...
I have major problems with the resoration cut. Did anyone see it with the commentary?  He may be a great Peckinpah expert, but he isn't that great of an editor. Too many of his decisions, are completely arbitrary. He's pretending to know exactly what Sam would have cut or kept. Still pissed when I think about it and I'm still waiting for a new defenitive cut!

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Stanton on 04/21/13 at 5:15am
In the new book Peckinpah Today 2 essays with about 50 pages are spent to the Seydor cut.

Stephen Prince doesn't like it and thinks that the premise for making it was already ill-fated.

Paul Seydor defends at length his decisions and also makes clear that many of his cuts were made in regard to cutting notices made by Peckinpah.
Still it is clear that the Seydor cut is an interpreatation of what might have been if Peckinpah had full control over the movie.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Gashade on 04/21/13 at 12:15pm
Both texts are very interesting, and I am much more tolerant with Seydor after reading his explanation of how the new cut went. Stil, it doesn't change the fact that the film continues to be an unfinished masterpiece that lacks a proper release. One that would include the preview cut with the missing scenes, at least as bonus material (the scene with Garrett's wife, the scene with Ruthy Lee...) and the studio cut.

There is an interesting piece of trivia in the same book, in Gérard Camy's text: apparently while shooting The Osterman Weekend, Peckinpah started drinking sake. Does anyone know more about this? I am a great lover of Japanese sake and the thought of Peckinpah appreciating sake too is tempting... But I have never seen this information anywhere else so I'm hesitating to give it much credit.

Also because Camy's text contains the worst obvious mistake of the book when he writes that it is Elita that asks Bennie to shoot "her father" towards the end of Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia. It lmay be the translator's mistake, but the book doesn't state anywhere that a translator had been needed...

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Novecento on 04/21/13 at 1:28pm

Stanton wrote on 04/21/13 at 5:15am:
In the new book Peckinpah Today 2 essays with about 50 pages are spent to the Seydor cut.


That's the very book I'm talking about in my earlier post on the page before this one.

What's the Garner Simmons essay like?

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Stanton on 04/21/13 at 2:48pm
Quite interesting.

He has interviewed Fleischman and together with his oldder interviews with Peckinpah and Fitzsimmons he has now a more differentiated sight on the genesis of TDC.
He also got from Fleischman his original screenplay which had tucked onto it 40 pages with changes.

Buy it! It's not that expensive.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Sean Mallory on 05/16/13 at 11:31am
I’ve read the book of Seydor and met him in Padua 2000. He’s a truly competent person, but I don’t understand his arbitrary cut of Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. I think that he's not a big fan of the movie and so has absurdly thought to improve it. But Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid is absolutely perfect in the rough cut of Sam!
The only positive thing in Seydor’s cut is that it’s the only one with the scene, very importantly, with Garrett’s wife. So I hope for a new edition, finally definitive, of this masterpiece…

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Richard W on 03/28/14 at 11:20pm
A thoughtful and well-writ review by one of the best western bloggers:

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Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Richard W on 03/29/14 at 1:21am
The 2005 DVD set should have released restorations of both edits. There would have been a lot less discontent and animosity toward Paul Seydor's edit if the 1973 workprint -- also known as the "director's cut" and the "Turner preview version" --  had been cleaned, timed and its missing audio and missing scenes reinstated. That's what fans were anticipating would be on the second disc -- a restored workprint. If Warner Home Video could restore both edits of Howard Hawks' The Big Sleep (1944 and 1946) and include a documentary comparing the different footage side by side, why couldn't they do as much for Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid?

The answer is that the supervisor at Warner Home Video, George Feltenstein, didn't give a shit. The cost would have been miniscule. He had three experts eager to help, but he just didn't care. Under his supervision a number of films needing a little extra input from the company were released on DVD and blu-ray without it. Feltenstein turns his back on films that don't interest him personally.

The 1973 theatrical version did not look like the 2005 edit. I saw the theatrical version literally 100 times between 1973 and 1990, beginning with its first release in Tucson and in New York, its secondary run in New York, and on through the years at repertory theaters in Los Angeles and San Diego. It remains the most beautifully photographed western I've ever seen. The color pallet was autumnal, richly saturated with a vast range of hues. It approaches an almost Gothic aesthetic in the third act. Coquillion and Peckinpah did the color timing with careful deliberation. Think of autumnal colors gradually turning black like fallen leaves as a visual metaphor for an approaching death -- Garrett's death. Those of you who didn't see the theatrical version, you can't imagine how beautiful it looked. If memory serves, Jay Cocks refers to the autumnal color in his famous review in Time Magazine, I think it was.

That beautiful color is crushed in the 2005 edit by a brown layer. The film has been browned. This had to be the work of Ned Price, who oversees among other things the color timing of Warner Home Video releases. Price likes brown and yellow, and he infuses one or the other in back-catalog titles whether it belongs there or not. Among professionals, brown and yellow are known as the signature of Ned Price's work. He even browned the Hammer horror films. His most flamboyant and well-known offense was taking the red out of Monument Valley's ruddy terrain by infusing it with yellow so that it turned brown in the 2006 "restoration" of John Ford's The Searchers (1956). A landscape famous for its red sandstone and red rock, and Price turned it brown! The yellowing of The Searchers reaches almost psychedelic levels sometimes. At one point even John Wayne's horse has a yellow coat. Then Price lied about the reasons for it in an oft-quoted interview. Price knows he can get away it because consumers don't know how the film is supposed to look, and he knows they'll accept it on the basis of increased sharpness, clarity and improved framing. Especially if they're holding a  nice new blu-ray in their hand. Anyhow, the 2005 DVD of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid  does not preserve the color timing that the photographer and director worked so hard to achieve.

Somebody has to rescue Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid  from Warner Brothers. So long as they control the film it will never be properly restored. Not while George Feltenstein and Ned Price are running the department.

Title: John Coquillion
Post by JEFF1950 on 03/29/14 at 5:37am
I've admired Sam and his work ever since I walked out of a cinema in late 1969 after seeing The Wild Bunch. This film has remained the greatest film I have ever seen, and there are some great films out there. But The Bunch remains far above the rest. 
Now as much as I love this film, I think the collaraboration between Sam and his Cinematographer John Coquillion on the three film they worked on Straw Dogs, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid and Cross of Iron. the work they did on these three film is far superior to anything else the both did, and that includes The Bunch. The mood which Coquillion brings in his night scenes with his lighting is just incredible. I wish John was more appreciated. I know they both worked together on The Osterman Weekend and it does have its moments, especially the action sequence around the pool at night, but I'm sure Sam especially wasn't at his best and was tired. so I'll leave this one out. There should be more made of the fact that these three films look beautiful and made beautiful by John Coquillion, but the content ie... The violence is what the critics and most people who don't understand focus on. The violence was just just part of the story telling process.   

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Robert Blenheim on 03/29/14 at 8:46am
Jeff,

Believe it or not, I tend to agree with you, even though I would put the cinematography of "The Wild Bunch" as one of the best.  But, yes, I think I prefer Coquillon, ironically probably due the most to "Cross of Iron", Peckinpah's most underrated film, and -- when one considers the shabbiness of the shooting (running out of film stock as well as money, etc.) -- it looks gorgeous, and I mean that in the sense that is appropriately so for a WWII war film.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Novecento on 03/29/14 at 9:53am

Richard W wrote on 03/29/14 at 1:21am:
The 1973 theatrical version did not look like the 2005 edit. I saw the theatrical version literally 100 times between 1973 and 1990, beginning with its first release in Tucson and in New York, its secondary run in New York, and on through the years at repertory theaters in Los Angeles and San Diego. It remains the most beautifully photographed western I've ever seen. The color pallet was autumnal, richly saturated with a vast range of hues. It approaches an almost Gothic aesthetic in the third act. Coquillion and Peckinpah did the color timing with careful deliberation. Think of autumnal colors gradually turning black like fallen leaves as a visual metaphor for an approaching death -- Garrett's death.


In addition to being browner, the 2005 version is also cropped on the edges for some reason  :o


Richard W wrote on 03/29/14 at 1:21am:
Those of you who didn't see the theatrical version, you can't imagine how beautiful it looked. If memory serves, Jay Cocks refers to the autumnal color in his famous review in Time Magazine, I think it was.


Maybe I should retract my comment about not really caring to see the 1973 theatrical version  :-?

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by JEFF1950 on 03/29/14 at 3:12pm
I have the original theatrical version of Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid on tape which is pan and scan, I also have the 1988 Turner preview version and the 2005 special edition. I have watched all 3 of the scenes of the death of Bob Ollinger, and the only difference is that we hear Billy cocking his shotgun before he shoots Bob. it's such a small thing it's a hard thing to notice. And in the 1988 version Billy puts the remaining barrel into the dead body of Bob, this is in none of the other versions.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Richard W on 03/29/14 at 5:20pm
I always thought the MGM vhs of the theatrical version was timed about two clicks too bright. Those tapes are now thirty years old, faded and teary, and most of them have lost the recording signal and turned to static, but no matter.

The sound of the shotgun's hammer being pulled back is important.

I haven't seen the scene where the Kid flirts with Maria since it aired in San Diego in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Once it aired twice in the same day, on a San Diego station and then on a Los Angeles station that could be received in San Diego. I saw it a few times, but that was before I owned a VTR.

I wouldn't mind seeing Robert Blenheim's fan edit, one of these days.

Last night I compared the workprint to the 2005 edit and there's no question the opening titles make more sense in the workprint. The Wild Bunch had similar freeze-frame credits except the workprint of PG&BTK takes the idea one step further. The motion freezes on the faces of all the men Garrett is going to shoot dead, tying in with the theme of a dying man's memory flashing before his eyes. It also helps us remember who they are. I'm not too stupid to make a distinction between the intertitle "Fort Sumner, New Mexico Territory, 1881" and the credits.  Peckinpah's second choice -- the western title sequence that he was forced to use in the theatrical version which is also on the 2005 edit -- would make a nice music video in the supplements.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Robert Blenheim on 03/30/14 at 8:20pm
Good posting, Richard W.  Good points, all.

I still have an old VHS of my second 'assembled cut' of "Pat Garrett" (with a few poor quality, very dubby scenes inserted -- like the full-length Garrett wife sequence and the Billy bringing Maria the blanket scene).  Today it must look awful -- these were the days we'd show VHS tapes in classrooms, so now it looks worse, but remember I assembled my first version even long before the Turner cut was released on VHS.  It's shabby, but it was fun to see in its day.

Excellent points in the last paragraph particularly -- especially the theatrical title sequence making a nice music video.  That's what it should be used for.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Gashade on 04/28/14 at 6:49pm
It seems Paul Seydor is writing a new book precisely about what we are discussing here:
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Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Robert Blenheim on 04/28/14 at 9:13pm
OMG, Gashade!  Wow.  I can't wait!

But FEBRUARY of NEXT YEAR!!!!  (Can I wait that long???)

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Stanton on 04/29/14 at 8:00am
Wow ...

But only 460 pages, how can that do justice to this complex topic. ;)

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Novecento on 04/29/14 at 9:05pm
That's great news.

Hopefully he will reproduce the editing notes left by Peckinpah and his associates in their entirety along with a detailed list of all the available footage shot. Should be fascinating...

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Stanton on 05/25/14 at 1:50pm
The newest board member is at the moment a certain Paul Seydor. I wouldn't mind to read some more thoughts on this topic from him here.   8-)

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Robert Blenheim on 05/26/14 at 8:53pm
Paul Seydor is not just a brilliant Peckinpah scholar and writer, he is also a wonderful, generous man.  I finally managed to fulfill a dream of mine a few days ago and discuss in depth PG&BTK with him, and the different scenes and versions.  Now I realize how much myth and incorrect information has been inadvertently (and sometimes mindlessly) circulated for years.  In my classes and online I have always detailed what I believed to be the truth, with a conscientious exactitude, but from the moment of the film's release so much nonsense has been propagated.  And a lot of it seems to have been the fault of Peckinpah himself.

One thing I learned from Paul was that many mistakes were made in the editing and sound of the making of the 2005 version after it had left his hands, and one of them was the editing blunder (when R.G. Armstrong is cocking his gun), an inacceptable gaff that I have been, and am still, so upset about -- and justly, I might add. 

Because of the bungles and sloppiness the 2005 version displays (such as that sequence), I remain not happy with the 2005 version and still prefer the Turner cut (with the caveat that it needs the Wife and the Ruthie Lee sequences), but now I am confident that every decision Paul Seydor made in forming the 2005 version had a valid reason for it, and was made not only with a respectful restraint, but with wisdom gained from his unsurpassed experience.

Moreover, I am happier still because I know now that he proved to be the erudite, intelligent Peckinpavian expert I had always considered him to be.

My dialogue on this film from now on will be drastically different, and gladly so -- and I eagerly await his upcoming book to garner even more insight into the entire Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid experience.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Stanton on 05/27/14 at 8:37am
Then, please, tell us about some of the differences in your view of the film's versions

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Robert Blenheim on 05/27/14 at 1:33pm

Stanton wrote on 05/27/14 at 8:37am:
Then, please, tell us about some of the differences in your view of the film's versions


It isn't the differences (for most of us know the differences from past discussions, or can discover them by examining the versions) but the explanation as to why.

Paul Seydor's new book will probably have most of the answers.  (If you are impatient in waiting for that book, I am too!)

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Stanton on 05/28/14 at 4:33am
That was what I asked for, the differences in the explanations.

I assume that it was your meeting with Seydor that he has signed up here?
Where did you meet him?

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Robert Blenheim on 05/28/14 at 7:52pm

Stanton wrote on 05/28/14 at 4:33am:
That was what I asked for, the differences in the explanations.

I assume that it was your meeting with Seydor that he has signed up here?
Where did you meet him?


Nothing personal, Stanton, but I'd rather not answer those questions right now.   My suggestion is: Buy the book.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Richard W on 05/28/14 at 9:35pm
What happened to PG & BTK is not an isolated case. The carelessness,  indifference, personal biases and unprofessionalism evident in the PG & BTK DVD has become standard operating procedure at Warner Home Video.

George Feltenstein and Ned Price are content to let others take the blame for their desultory attitude. They take care of the films that interest them personally, and ignore the films that don't. Hence the letter-writing campaign to release the 129-minute director's cut of Night of Dark Shadows is ignored for over a decade. Then they release James Aubrey's 93-minute cut, which not only renders the film incomprehensible, but the soundtrack is applied from still another cut, putting sound effects in the wrong place (the sound of a car starting at the dinner table, for instance) and dialog from missing scenes overlapping with out-of-sync dialog for present scenes. The color timing is also at odds with earlier releases of the film. What a mess. But it's a mess repeated time and again in other Warner Home Video blu-rays and DVD's. Orange skies in Gone With the Wind, yellow horses in The Searchers, yellow everything in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Ironically, these bungled transfers are always favorably reviewed, even by people who should know better.  When someone complains, Feltenstein and Price lie about the reasons and cite technical problems that aren't true or logical, relying on the public's ignorance of such matters to be believed.

I hope Paul Seydor takes Warner Home Video to task in the book.  In naming their names he will clear his own. They have a lot to answer for.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Richard W on 05/31/14 at 11:26pm

Novecento wrote on 04/29/14 at 9:05pm:
That's great news.

Hopefully he will reproduce the editing notes left by Peckinpah and his associates in their entirety along with a detailed list of all the available footage shot. Should be fascinating...


I've been informed that Sam Peckinpah wrote 200 pages of editing notes. Samples from these will be reproduced in facsimile in the book. Other editing notes are dealt with in the book. So you're going to get your wish.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Gashade on 06/19/14 at 7:10pm
I just ran through your Facebook page, Mike. Some great stuff there (I didn't know "La corta notte delle bambole di vetro"'s german title was "Malastrana" - which actually sounds pretty italian too, although it's a play on words based on the name of a district in my hometown, Prague, where the film was partly shot).

God, how I regret having missed out the Padua 2000 retrospective!
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Oh, and I hadn't noticed you did some extras too for the German DVD of Cross of Iron. Are they different from what's on the BRs?

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Novecento on 04/06/15 at 9:01pm
I've been thinking about how Seydor moved the river scene in the 2005 special edition.

In the Turner Preview, there is a nice audio transition from the song being sung in the outpost scene to Garrett sitting on the bank as if the lyrics to the song are in his thoughts. In the 2005 Special Edition, while there is a nice additional shot setting the scene before we focus on Garrett, the cut from the preceding scene (now the one with Billy and Alias fending off Chisum's regulators) is abrupt. We also lose a final shot in that scene that focuses on Billy's face almost as if in slow-motion. It's a great shot that adds a quiet tranquility to the end of the scene that then transitions beautifully to the scene with Garrett cooking his food on the frying pan.


Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Robert Blenheim on 04/07/15 at 6:44pm
Here is the link to my review of Paul Seydor's new book that I posted today on Amazon.com.

Everyone here should definitely get a copy.  It's a must-read!

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Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Novecento on 04/07/15 at 8:57pm
You should have posted that under the topic dedicated to the book  :P

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Novecento on 04/08/15 at 4:15pm

Novecento wrote on 04/06/15 at 9:01pm:
In the Turner Preview, there is a nice audio transition from the song being sung in the outpost scene to Garrett sitting on the bank as if the lyrics to the song are in his thoughts. In the 2005 Special Edition, while there is a nice additional shot setting the scene before we focus on Garrett, the cut from the preceding scene (now the one with Billy and Alias fending off Chisum's regulators) is abrupt. We also lose a final shot in that scene that focuses on Billy's face almost as if in slow-motion. It's a great shot that adds a quiet tranquility to the end of the scene that then transitions beautifully to the scene with Garrett cooking his food on the frying pan.


Another case to note is that of the Ruthie Lee scene. In the Turner Preview version, the owner of the brothel/saloon knocks a glass over and this transitions beautifully into one of the prostitutes turning the hourglass over. In the Special Edition we lose this nice transition because the Ruthie Lee scene has been added before it. Instead we get a decent audio transition from the sound of the glass being knocked over to the sound of Ruthie Lee knocking on Garrett's door, but it is not as strong as the original.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Robert Blenheim on 04/08/15 at 5:59pm

Quote:
Another case to note is that of the Ruthie Lee scene. In the Turner Preview version, the owner of the brothel/saloon knocks a glass over and this transitions beautifully into one of the prostitutes turning the hourglass over. In the Special Edition we lose this nice transition because the Ruthie Lee scene has been added before it. Instead we get a decent audio transition from the sound of the glass being knocked over to the sound of Ruthie Lee knocking on Garrett's door, but it is not as strong as the original.


If I understand you correctly, this has nothing to do with the Ruthie Lee scene (it's essential to the film) but due to what I believe to be the scene in the saloon being slightly cut differently, perhaps to try to make the missing scene less obvious.  No one who loves this film could sanction the scene being deleted because of a better transition...! That's like deciding not to trade in an old car for a new one because the color of the old one better matches the garage.

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Robert Blenheim on 04/08/15 at 6:02pm

Novecento wrote on 04/07/15 at 8:57pm:
You should have posted that under the topic dedicated to the book  :P


I thought this was it.  And I thought today it was cut from the other topic.   Hey, I goofed.  Does it really matter?   Gettin' old...!

Title: Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid versions
Post by Novecento on 04/08/15 at 8:41pm

Robert Blenheim wrote on 04/08/15 at 5:59pm:
[quote]If I understand you correctly, this has nothing to do with the Ruthie Lee scene (it's essential to the film) but due to what I believe to be the scene in the saloon being slightly cut differently, perhaps to try to make the missing scene less obvious.  No one who loves this film could sanction the scene being deleted because of a better transition...! That's like deciding not to trade in an old car for a new one because the color of the old one better matches the garage.


Yes, I'm not commenting on whether the scene should be there or not for narrative purposes, but rather just on the unfortunate sacrifices that were made to the editing when scenes were lifted/added/re-arranged for the two non-Preview (i.e. the theatrical and 2005 Special editions). Another one to note is during the cockfighting scene when the flurry of feathers transitions to the shot of the guy being rounded up by Garrett on his horse far better in the complete Preview version than in the shortened Special Edition.

One more interesting change is the replacement of the shot of the bucking horses when Billy walks out to the outhouse with a shot of Billy walking through some pigs. While the shot of him walking through the pigs is a nicer image, the shot of the horses ties in well with the following shot of the horses in a much calmer state immediately after Billy exits the outhouse. The horse shots bookend the outhouse sequence well and it's great how they are frantic before Billy retrieves the gun in the outhouse but then calm down once he exits as if representing the calm before the storm.

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