Glenn Anders wrote: The script version of TOSOTW I have, which actually bears the signature of Orson Welles on its title page, gives only a few indications of how the film-within-a-film is to be used, most of which I've noted.
chipm wrote:Love Murch. Though I am a big fan, I think AN REDUX is a disaster. Horribly paced. And takes the ethereal timeless beauty of the original and turns it into on the nose statements about the time it is about. Bad choices at almost every turn.
rizibo wrote:The reconstruction of The Touch of Evil by Murch didn't really improve the film for me either. I think Murch is better in making films for the first time instead of redoing them.
Roger Ryan wrote:rizibo wrote:The reconstruction of The Touch of Evil by Murch didn't really improve the film for me either. I think Murch is better in making films for the first time instead of redoing them.
But, of course, Murch and Schmidlin were simply following Welles' memo when they created the '98 "Touch Of Evil". Any change in pacing would have been dictated by Welles' "wishes" which is the exact problem TOSOTW would face if edited according to vague statements like "the film-within-the-film needs to be 50% of the running time".
To answer the earlier question, according to the script of TOSOTW, in combination with notes left by Welles, the screening room scene between Billy and the studio executive was intended to be intercut with various hangers-on arriving at Hannaford's ranch for the birthday party. I imagine the scene would show us the first images of Hannaford's film which would also be seen playing at Hannaford's ranch and, after the power goes out at the ranch, it would be shown at the drive-in theater at the film's end. According to McBride, Bogdanovich was under the impression that Welles intended Hannaford's film to be playing in the background of all these scenes, but not to dominate screen time for long periods of time.
Interestingly, the Munich Film Museum's compilation of Welles-edited scenes from TOSOTW features what I suspect is an early edit of the screening room scene that features more shots from Hannaford's film than I had previously seen, including numerous rapid-fire shots of John Dale attempting "doughnuts" on his motorcycle under what appears to be a freeway overpass. When Welles screened this scene at the AFI awards dinner, this material was cut down and the motorcycle doing "doughnuts" was gone completely. For me, this shorter version played a lot better. Did Welles feel the same way or did he simply edit the scene down due to time constraints imposed by the award show?
What we do know is that Welles was not a fan of films of great length and preferred to keep his own work to a two-hour running time or less. A 159 page screenplay would equal about a two-and-a-half hour running time. Since none of the extant screenplays detail the film-within-the-film footage, that footage could conceivably add another 30 minutes or more to the running time if the 50% rule was mandated. I seriously doubt Welles would have allowed TOSOTW to run for three hours! Whatever footage exists, I would imagine it best to keep the final cut to around two hours and include the rest as DVD extras.
Tony wrote:It seems a truism, but we will never have Welles's version(s) of anything he didn't finish. Anything else is just BS.
Glenn Anders wrote: Roger, you are correct in answering rizibo's question that ". . . the screening room scene between Billy and the studio executive was intended to be intercut with various hangers-on arriving at Hannaford's ranch for the birthday party." That begins on Page 20 of the script. But, in terms of Welles' intentions, the film-within-a-film is in there almost from the beginning.
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