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Season of the Witch

Comparison:

  • Theatrical Version (Hungry Wives)
  • Extended Cut
Release: Apr 21, 2021 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the Theatrical Version (main film titled Hungry Wives) and the Extended Cut (bonus film on the mediabook for The Crazies from Capelight Pictures).


- 15 differences, including 4x exclusive material in the theatrical version
- Runtime difference: 878 sec (= 14:38 min)

A few additional master errors with a duration of less than 0.5 sec each were not listed in the report.

 

A film fragment by George A. Romero with three titles

After George A. Romero had landed a hit with Night of the Living Dead, he first had two sobering experiences. There's Always Vanilla, a romantic comedy, falls quite out of the usual oeuvre of the legendary director, but actually has some elements worth seeing. In any case, the filming was quite problematic and Romero was completely left alone when it came to marketing, so that hardly anyone got to see the film at the time. Similar and even more chaotic was the release of Season of the Witch in 1972.

Romero originally shot the film under the title Jack's Wife and saw the drama with mystery leanings as feminist material. His rough cut here was 130 minutes long. Producer Jack H. Harris wanted to market the whole thing as softcore porn and to Romero's great annoyance he even cut the original negative. In the end, a version only 89 minutes long came out under the misleading title Hungry Wives. By the end of the '70s, the huge success of Zombie - Dawn of the Dead made it clear that Romero was a box office magnet in the horror genre, and without further ado, the same 89-minute version was re-released as Season of the Witch, this time with a marketing focus on the mystery aspects.

The reconstructed extended version of JACK'S WIFE

For years after the theatrical release, only this heavily streamlined version was in circulation, not least because the original negative had just been fiddled with. After all, parts of the material have been recovered over the years. In 2004, Anchor Bay released a 104-minute extended version for the first time in the US, in which this was added. Arrow Video then released this extended version on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK and the US in 2017, and on March 19, 2021, Capelight Pictures released its German counterpart. Here as there, the film is included along with There's Always Vanilla and The Crazies, used as the main selling point, which was Romero's next and much more successful work in 1973.

The 15 minutes of supplemental material are spread out primarily among several plot extensions in the first half. The characters, and of course Joan's career in particular, are thus a bit more comprehensible. Right at the beginning, there is more of her everyday life on display. The love interest Gregg, portrayed by Raymond Laine, is allowed to cause a bit more trouble and Ann Muffly aka Shirley also gets more screentime. Especially these two side characters definitely benefit from the additions. Otherwise, not every scene offers a great added value and you can already guess why Harris thought the film was just a bit too ponderous in this cut, so that the scissors were radically applied for the theatrical version. All in all, the Extended Cut is still recommended, even though the picture quality of the additional material drops significantly.

Runtimes are ordered as follows: Theatrical Version on German Blu-ray / Extended Cut on German Blu-ray

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Alternative overlays to start, including different movie title.

No time difference.

Hungry Wives theatrical versionExtended Cut




08:01 / 08:01-08:04

Joan stretches out in bed for a moment longer.

3 sec




08:16 / 08:19-08:29

After the view to the door, there are two more views of Joan. The following one starts a little earlier before she then pushes the blanket aside.

9.9 sec




Alternative / Exclusive footage in theatrical version.
09:15-09:21 / 09:28-12:48

The theatrical version only has a longer shot of Joan here on the psychotherapist's last comment. Then it's right on with the women's panel's discussion of witches at the cocktail party.


In the Extended, there is an immediate soft fade from the same shot of Joan to a few more scenes of her in everyday life. Joan walks through the supermarket and picks up something at the dry cleaners. At the car wash, she sits paralyzed in the car.

At home, a conversation with daughter Nikki ensues. She wants to know more about her brother, who died before Nikki was born. Joan is a bit annoyed by this, as she would have discussed this with her before. Nikki apologizes and Joan wants to know why she is even interested in this right now. Nikki just presses the issue a bit.

Jack then comes in and interrupts the conversation. He immediately complains that Joan closed the garage door. Shortly after, he says goodbye again and makes the snide comment to Nikki that she should try to stay a virgin tonight.

At last you can see the scenes of the cocktail party earlier.


Extended 194.2 sec (= 3:14 min) longer



18:47 / 22:14-22:50

Joan looks around the room of the tarot lady (Marion) for a longer time. She turns over first cards and comments that courage, willpower and determination would be strong. Then, for Shirley, "the dark, evil woman" is revealed and comments that she would probably have done some harm to another woman with dark hair.

36.3 sec




20:31 / 24:34-24:47

Shirley digs in again on the meaning of the card, as she can't place the queen. Marion suggests that she might just be wrong.

13.2 sec




21:35 / 25:51-28:18

The shot of Joan, which already seems rather choppy in the theatrical version, is longer. Marion mentions some more that other people would have already been helped in dealing with a poltergeist or prophetic dreams.

There follows another long conversation of Shirley and Joan during the car ride back. Joan is critical of the visit, saying that being a witch would probably be all the rage for housewives now. They also talk about sex without love and Joan now says that there might have been something to the card reading. She asks Shirley if she is really convinced that her husband Larry is faithful. Shirley says that she would have thought about David's wife and admits after Joan's surprise that she once felt something for a David.

147 sec (= 2:27 min)




Alternative / Exclusive footage in theatrical version.
22:45-22:47 / 29:28-32:41

When Joan asks what Shirley wants to drink, the theatrical version immediately fades to a shot of Shirley emptying her glass.


In the Extended, Joan is seen doing this for a bit longer and Gregg then prepares the women some martini. The neighborhood help is discussed critically. A small discussion breaks out about the encounter with Marion and what it would be like for Joan to become a witch. Shirley brings up that this is probably about a certain thrill. Gregg provokes the girls a bit: Some women just wouldn't be able to face the fact that they would eventually "turn to dust." He then calms the waters a bit and Shirley asks him to refill Martini.


Extended 190.9 sec (= 3:11 min) longer
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