I was just reading part 6 of Jim Lane's Blog posts on THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS and he comes up with yet another new "interpretation" I've yet to see:
It was Robert Wise who "saved" the film, and it was mostly Welles's own fault for Flying Down to Rio!! I don't think even Robert Wise would believe that, as when asked, he always said the longer version was better, but to make the film play for an audience, it had to be cut down.
If there was a good version of the film for RKO to release, I'd bet on the 117 minute version shown at Pasadena. It would have also probably done much better at the box-office, because the people who hated it were going to hate it at any length.
Lane suggests that Carringer's... reconstruction reveals that nothing of substance was edited out and that... the film only got better with the various revisions. But then he includes a reference to Wise himself admitting that the 132 min. version was superior to what ended up being released!
ToddBaesen wrote:Roger, do you have any theories on the different footage counts between Pasadena and Ponoma?
mteal wrote:It's possible that they showed the 131-minute cut at Pomona, since there is no mention in the preview cards of the new scene where George finds Isabel unconscious, that that scene was "too melodramatic", or whatever. If they did show the 131 though, that would mean that Jack Moss was lying to Welles in his breakdown of the two previews (It's hard to know who might have been in kahootz with who). It's possible, but unlikely.
mteal wrote:...I also agree with you about that 148-minute rough cut, and find myself wondering what was in those 16-17 minutes; perhaps Cortez’s long walk through the mansion (which Houseman in his book claims to have seen, and considered to be one of the most striking things in the film), and the suggestive night scene between Isabel and George - just before George’s unwrapping of Wilbur’s picture - for which a frequently-used still survives...
mteal wrote:Yes, I'm convinced that Hermann even wrote music for that Isabel monologue concerning time and the sky. It would have been a very poetic moment in the film, but my guess is that Welles was dissatisfied with Delores Costello's delivery of it. I'm also fairly convinced that Cortez's walk through the mansion to Isabel's bedroom would have accompanied Welles's missing narration about Isabel's room being cut into new walls and floors, etc. I wonder if Welles eliminated it and restrutured the scene as a slap in the face to Cortez...
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