What 4-hour cut are you talking about? I have heard a few vague whispers of this longer cut of Prince, mostly on the IMDb boards or user reviews. However, I've never seen any kind of official confirmation that this cut exists, nor a still from or a description of some scene that appears in the longer cut, etc. I believe that the "longer cut" is simply a myth, created in the minds of people who watched the film on television in the 80s and 90s. Because of the commercials, naturally the film -- running a little under 3 hours -- would be at least an hour more, commercials included. I've even read some refer to it as a 5 or 5 1/2 hr cut! I doubt it exists, though, because there are no specifics on it to be found and that's odd even for a somewhat overlooked film like this.Antoine Doinel wrote:I finally saw Prince Of The City tonight and what a great film it is, and completely underrated. I'm really glad Al Pacino turned down the role of Ciello, as Treat Williams brings a naivete the role that makes the anguish he goes through that much more real. It's an amazing performance, and the excellent work extends right through to the supporting cast. It's amazing to see the influence this has had on contemporary films and television series' about police work. This is a procedural of the highest order and it's a shame Warner's couldn't have been bothered to give the long awaited DVD even better treatment.
Has anyone seen the 4-hour cut? Is it available on the bootleg circuit?
I'd love to watch a longer cut if there were one, though, because this is one of the most amazing epic films ever -- its length breezes right by. Even though it's actually not quite that long -- it's 167 minutes -- it nonetheless feels like a true epic, like a 3 or 4+ hour film, because of its dizzying scope, cast of 100+ speaking parts, incredible amount of exposition or information conveyed, etc. Yet it's never didactic or boring about this. To me it's in the pantheon with A Brighter Summer Day, Casino, Short Cuts, Barry Lyndon and others in terms of lengthy films which feel half their length and which I could watch at least another hour of.
And by the way, when will this masterpiece finally be graced with a blu-ray release? It took long enough to get it on DVD, I suppose, so there's no reason to hold out hope... and even when it got on DVD, it was odd -- a 2-disc set for a merely 167 minute film, with the film in two parts spread across both discs? Why? The only extra was a half-hour doc about the making of, hardly reason to split it across two discs. And this was in 2007, too. Doesn't seem like standard practice for Warner, but they did it there. Weird.
Incidentally, one of the things that's interesting about this film is how prophetic and ahead of its time it now feels. It's very much a precursor to a series like The Wire, thematically and formally, and also a formal precursor to all these other intricate, complex, non-dumbed down dramas which have casts of dozens and dozens of people, which feel like they're showing us an entire world and not just a little corner of one. I think that maybe in 1981 the way the film just dumps info at the viewer may have been alienating, but today with all the HBO (and otherwise) golden-age TV that's been consumed by most, it probably seems familiar, if anything, to the average person.