Frank Perry

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Frank Perry

#51 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:21 pm

DeprongMori wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:19 pm
Researching further, it looks like the main problem with Last Summer is the absence of source materials. All the original elements are currently lost, there are no known 35mm prints, and only a single 16mm print (found in Australia) is known to exist, according to a report in the LA Times in 2012.
Is everyone for sure that the 16mm version is the full X-rated version? I saw this print at the New Beverly Cinema in March of 2017 and it felt cobbled together from two prints. There's a point maybe about an hour into the film where the color timing changes and suddenly the differently timed second half is far more graphic and features foul language, something not in the earlier part of the film. It's not an abstract artistic choice either, but the kind of indications I see when films are made from multiple print sources. I asked the projectionist who said it seemed to him it was also made from two separate prints as well. I remember in the first hour small shots that hinted at nudity and conversations that skirted around language, but never allowed it, unlike the very graphic finale and considerable change in language after that color change.
beamish13 wrote:
Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:40 pm
Regarding Last Summer, I was at that Cinematheque screening with Hershey, and there is some debate about whether or not even THAT is the full, completely unexpurgated version of the film that initially screened in 1969.
I can only theorize that the first half is made from a TV edit while the second portion is the uncut version.

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Dylan
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:28 pm

Re: Frank Perry

#52 Post by Dylan » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:17 pm

Is everyone for sure that the 16mm version is the full X-rated version?
Larry Karaszewski said during his episode of The Movies That Made Me that he was told there never was an X-rated version. He said he got his information from "the world's biggest Frank Perry fanatic" (could this be the member "frankperryauthor" on the second page who is writing a book about Perry?). Skip to 27:17 if you want to hear him talk about it, but I'll quote some of what he says here: "he [the Frank Perry fanatic] says they thought it was going to be rated X, so the ads and the materials were made up for it being an X, but they were late getting it rated, so they actually ran the ads in the New York Times as an X. It got an R, but the movie was doing well... so for the next couple months of the showing they just let the X lay there."

In the same podcast, Karaszewski also confirms what Dandy Fop suspected above about the last surviving print - half of it is the edited TV version, but the last reel is unedited.
Last edited by Dylan on Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Frank Perry

#53 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:34 pm

Dylan wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:17 pm
Is everyone for sure that the 16mm version is the full X-rated version?
In the same podcast, Karaszewski also confirms what Dandy Fop suspected above about the last surviving print - most of it is the edited TV version, but the last reel is unedited.
Even then, it was strange as the 16mm version is two reels, but the change between the two versions occurs about 10-15 minutes into the second reel, leaving about the last thirty minutes (or maybe less) of the film the uncensored version. It's been two-and-a-half-years, but I believe the projectionist told me the markings and film stock were also different between those two parts and that my theory made sense, so it must've been cobbled together after the print was dropped from 35mm to 16mm.

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Dylan
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:28 pm

Re: Frank Perry

#54 Post by Dylan » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:54 pm

The Elegant Dandy Fop wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:34 pm
Even then, it was strange as the 16mm version is two reels, but the change between the two versions occurs about 10-15 minutes into the second reel, leaving about the last thirty minutes (or maybe less) of the film the uncensored version. It's been two-and-a-half-years, but I believe the projectionist told me the markings and film stock were also different between those two parts and that my theory made sense, so it must've been cobbled together after the print was dropped from 35mm to 16mm.
Very interesting, and this might help to explain why WB apparently doesn't want to rely on this print for a DVD/blu-ray release. It would be a major compromise. But I would then think that they could just transfer the final scene from the 16mm print and edit that into whatever TCM aired (again, though I don't have either version at my disposal, I vividly recall the TCM version being the same version released on Key Video until the final scene, so I hesitate to call the TCM print a "TV version," but it's definitely an "alternate version"). But then there does seem to be some kind of aspect ratio issue as well, as cited by WB on Facebook years ago. If Last Summer was actually shot in 1.66:1 and not open matte, then they can't smoothly combine the 16mm material with the TCM print, which was 1.33:1.

What a mess. And so unfortunate that such an amazing film only survives in what seems to be an unreleasable state.

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