Compared are the cut Revival Version from 1985 and the uncut Original Theatrical Version from 1954 (both available on the German Blu-ray by Koch Media)
- 5 cuts
- Difference: 234.1 sec (= 3:54 min)
This wounderful classic from the 50s, probably because of the music and cameos of famous artists (Louis Armstrong, Gene Krupa) and the huge interestant in the audio track, was newly mixed in Stereo and revived in 1985. During the process, apparently without many people noticing, any home theater release on VHS and DVD only contains the shorter Revival Version. Regarding the airings on TV, the master had been replaced soon.
The German Blu-ray by Koch Media, released on 07/24/2014, provided a remedy because it is the first release worldwide that contains the uncut Original Theatrical Version, available as "Extended Version" in the bonus material. The so-called Regular Version aka Revival Version is also available. The complete original English audio track could be found as well.
It is unclear whether or not the cuts have a censorship background. Either way, there is a pattern which affects audience's preception of the movie: only scenes in which Helen is giving Glenn a pep talk regarding his dream because he has his doubts about it. Of course, this is an issue in the Revival Version as well but the removed footage makes especially Helen's character look much stronger. Her influence on Glenn's success is more transparent. By implication, Glenn appears to have higher self-esteem in the new version because he doesn't need Helen to pursue his dream.
Following some attempts of interpretation in thread on hometheaterforum, in which the cuts had already been an issue in 2012, they might also be a result of several disputes in court between the actual Helen Miller and Universal regarding e.g. the soundtrack rights. At least, her influence could be played down by cutting those scenes.
In the booklet of the Koch Media Blu-ray on the other hand, it is mentioned that, according to Universal Pictures, James Stewart demanded the cuts. There is no explanation though but this also seems more or less likely. Perhaps, he intended to make his movie character look stronger. Anyway, as the booklet also says, there is no official statement of him which means it remains pure speculation.
Whatever the reasons, the Blu-ray finally makes it possible to watch the picture in its uncensored and uncut Original version. One can only hope that Universal will release more famous pictures that have been censored at some point uncensored and uncut. Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" for example.
Time index refers to
Revival Version Blu-ray / Extended Version Blu-ray
22:05 / 22:05-22:49
After Helen calmingly said that Glenn would find his new sound, the scene doesn't end yet while they are instaneously being interrupted by Chummy in the Rivival Version.
Glenn: "You are?" (also in the Regular Version)
Glenn: "How do you know?"
Helen: "Oh, I don't know, just a hunch. No, it's more than that. It's a feeling you get. You know, when someone really wants something way inside and they want it hard enough, they usually get it. And that's why I think you will."
Glenn: "Gee, Helen, there are so many things I wanted to say to you and I haven't said any of them, have I?"
Helen: "No, you haven't."
Glenn: "But I don't have to, do I? You know...
Chummy is honking in the background which makes Helen turn around.
30:37 / 31:21-32:09
After "The man I just married.", the following conversation in the car is longer.
Helen: "The one I haven't seen or heard from in two years."
Glenn: "Don't you like him?"
Helen: "Well, I suppose I must. He just picks up the telephone and I come running like a little idiot."
Glenn: "Well, I think you did pretty well."
Helen: "I don't know. Don't you think our romance has been a little unusual?"
Glenn: "Unusual? What do you mean?"
Helen: "Well, for one thing, when you promised to love me in the church it came as quite a surprise."
Glenn: "Surprise? Why?"
Helen: "You never mentioned it before."
Glenn: "Well, did I have to? Didn't you know?"
Helen: "Well, that's the kind of thing a girl likes to hear."
Glenn: "Well, I knew you love me all the time, I knew that from the very first."
Helen: "Well, then you knew a lot more than I did then."
Glenn: "Yes, I..."
43:42 / 45:14-45:58
The middle part of the conversation in front of the locker is longer. Helen has made a critical comment about Glenn's new sound which won't be found in his current work. A very important scene because this detailed explanation will make her character looks differently when she admits she was disappointed of Glenn.
Helen (there are intercuts to Gleen while she is speaking): "You know the night Ted Healy drove me into Denver, he asked me a question. He asked me why. Why I felt that way about you. I didn't know why then. But I do now. You were exciting. You had a goal. You were aiming for something you might never reach. Gosh, to me that was much more exciting than making a lot of money or owning a lot of real estate. Hmmm, I guess I was wrong. Do you know in...in all the time we've been married you've never once mentioned that sound?"
57:15 / 59:31-60:34
The conversation at Helen's sickbed is longer.
Glenn: "Oh, we had tough luck, plenty of it, but so did everybody else. I just kept kidding myself we were different. Well we weren't, we weren't any different. We sounded like a dozen other bands."
Helen: "But you were learning."
Glenn: "Yeah, I was learning what not to do! I never, never got that thing I was looking for. I never...got that sound. I'm right back where I started."
Helen: "So we start all over again."
Glenn: "Oh, no, not another band. Not after this one."
Helen: "Glenn I won't listen to that kind of talk. If... if that sound was worth trying for eight years ago it's still worth trying for. I don't care what's happened."
Glenn: "You really believe that, don't you?"
Helen: "Yes I do. And if you don't, I'm ashamed of you."
Glenn: "Well I suppose I believe it just out of stubbornness but I don't see why you should."
With the following "I'm broke...", the versions are back in sync.
59:47 / 63:06-63:41
Sy Schribman's conversation with Helen is longer as well.
Sy: "Well, what is he trying to do? Get a band like everyone else, no?"
Helen: "No, not like anyone else is. That's just the point. He... He's trying to get a band with a different sound – a sound of its own. That... that's the thing that's important to Glenn. It... it's the whole band, not... not just soloists."
Sy: "You know I think he's got something there, Mrs Miller. This interests me. A band such as this could be like a... like an institution. If you can get a style the kids like, it could go on for... years maybe! No matter who’s in it, it keeps right on going."
Helen: "Well, now that’s just exactly the idea."
Finally, a little comparison of the images of the two Blu-ray versions. The full screen images of the Revival Version shows more information on top an bottom while the Extended Version contains a bit more information on the left and right.