The Magnificent Ambersons
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Magnificent Ambersons, The (DVD)
A spat between wealthy, young Isabel Amberson and her beau, the brash inventor, Eugene Morgan, launches a chain of events that will haunt two families for generations in Orson Welles classic The Magnificent Ambersons. After quarreling with Eugene (Joseph Cotton), Isabel (Dolores Costello) marries a man she does not love and devotes her life to her son, George (Tim Holt). Over the years, Eugene becomes a millionaire in the new automobile industry; George grows into an insufferable young man; and Eugene and Isabel, both widowed, resume their relationship. Eugene proposes to Isabel, but George, who has never had to work, disdains the self-made Eugene. He bars his mother from seeing the one man she has ever loved. Yet, even though George has prevented Eugene from ever marrying Isabel, Eugene rescues George when tragedy strikes the Amberson family.]]>
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Unforgettable, inimitable, I said and I will repeat: do not deprive yourself of this great film because it was trunkated by stupid money-grabbing distributors. Maybe some day a miracle comparable to what happened with Lang's Metropolis will make Welles restored original version possible and Criterion will distribute it! That is a dream for every Welles admirer. Meanwhile enjoy what is left of the MAGNIFICIENT Ambersons!
The quality of the video is not much better then the original VHS...looks like just a transfer of the VHS to DVD.
I think it was pretty nervy of Warner Brothers to push this DVD as "remastered."
First we had to wait a long time for the movie to come out on DVD...and then, we had to wait to buy the movie by itself.
$16 bucks for such a poor transfer DVD is not that great a deal for me!
As is common knowledge, the film was taken out of Welles" control and heavily edited with the ending reworked to provide a more "upbeat" conclusion. At the previews of the rough cut of the film audiences laughed at some of the scenes intended to be dramatic. Several portions of the film, not just the ending, were cut by a total of 40 minutes. Robert Wise, editor of this film and "Citizen Kane" felt that the revised ending was an improvement to which Welles vehemently disagreed.
The excised footage was ultimately destroyed purportedly to "make room in the vaults" and a copy of the rough cut, supposedly sent to Welles while he was working in Brazil on another RKO project, is believed to have been lost.
There are no printed credits at the end of the film but they are instead recited by Welles. I noticed immediately that there was no credit for music score -- obviously the work of Bernard Herrmann -- and discovered that, because of the cuts that were made, he insisted on his name being deleted from the credits.
Even as it stands, "The Magnificent Ambersons" is widely considered to be one of the great American films and it is good to have it last on DVD