66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
MAJOR BARBARA is from a heavily cut edition--beware,
This review is from: Eclipse Series 20: George Bernard Shaw on Film (Major Barbara / Caesar and Cleopatra / Androcles and the Lion) (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
The Criterion/Eclipse Series' MAJOR BARABARA in the "George Bernard Shaw on Film" set looks all right (not a real restoration) but has a very serious drawback. The original theatrical film runs 136 minutes, and was issued that way on New Century Telecommunications and Janus VHS a few decades ago (the Janus was a 4% sped-up PAL-NTSC conversion, so it ran 131 minutes); it was aired on TV (most recently on Bravo) at 136 minutes as well. The new DVD version was apparently transferred from a heavily edited reissue for another market and runs only 122 minutes--15 minutes edited out (there were several of these re-workings for different markets, even a US version of 100 minutes, a true abomination)! Consequently, a good deal of Shaw's crisp, brilliant dialog is gone, and the dialog continuity is like Swiss cheese. I was looking forward to this film's DVD re-appearance for a long time, and to receive it as an unacceptable, heavily re-edited version, especially under the Criterion aegis (itself transferred from a new short UK edition, is a terrible disappointment. Avoid!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 20, 2012 5:25:44 PM PDT
Michael Kaufman says:
Thanks for the information. I was going to buy this just for Major Barbara. My hunt for the uncut version continues.
Posted on Feb 15, 2013 1:40:32 PM PST
Captain Nemo says:
Thank you for pointing out the atrociously cut-down version released on this dvd. Unfortunately, I read your review too late. There should be a warning label on the dvd cover or the company should issue a full refund for their scam.
Posted on Jul 30, 2013 3:12:49 AM PDT
Michael Rael says:
This makes me think of the atrocious work done on the movie version of the Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. Tolkien's delicious dialogues were completely cut out of the movie in the favor of fight scenes:(
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