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Customer Review

454 of 514 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why does it say David Lynch then Alan Smithee? I'll tell ya!, February 17, 2003
This review is from: Dune (Widescreen Edition) [VHS] (VHS Tape)
A beginning is a very delicate time. In 1984, the long awaited film version of Frank Herbert's epic novel Dune came to the silver screen. What happened next? The worst box office disaster in history! Sad to say it, but mostly everyone who saw Dune hated it except for the few who actually read the book! I've always loved this movie but if I ever said that in public I was usually beaten with large rocks or a baseball bat. This review isn't really about the story of the film or it's direction. Its about the confusing truth of their actually being two editions of the 1984 film version of dune.
Now here is where the entire true purpose to this review comes in. Many may wonder, "why was I watching this on Sci-Fi channel and the director was Alan Smithee instead of David Lynch?" Well little Jimmy, the answer is complicated. David Lynch knew when he made Dune he was in trouble and cut the film down incredibly to make it fit the desired time limit. Lynch was slightly pleased with this cut of the film and hoped that that would be the last he would have to do with it... Wrong!
A few years when Dune finally was on TV, a special edition version was prepared containing an HOUR of extra footage. A new narration covers the film and practically spells out every bit of information to the audience this time. The studios were ready to show it when suddenly David Lynch says "Woa woa, I liked it the way it was!" and refuses to have credit for this new longer version. The studio then takes out Lynch's name and replaces it with the fake Alan Smithee who doesn't exist. With me so far?
The version of Dune available on DVD and VHS is the David Lynch version which in my opinion actually works better than the longer version. It cuts to the chase and doesn't drag as badly as Smithee's version does. For those of you who have never seen the Alan Smithee version, its not available to buy but it's shown on the Sci-Fi channel twice a year so there you go!
So, even though critics bombed it, audiences hated it, and David Lynch disowned the longer version, I still love this movie for some mysterious reason! If you're the type who likes weird artistic movies like 12 Monkeys, 2001, or Blade Runner, you will probably enjoy this. Also anime fans, this is right up your alley! For all you other people, get the hell out of here!
p.s. Toto's score is a masterpiece! Yea... of all bands... Toto...
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Showing 1-10 of 35 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 30, 2007 6:59:08 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 20, 2009 9:43:19 AM PST]

Posted on Feb 29, 2008 2:29:48 PM PST
In the "extended" edition, David Lynch is still the director. But because it was re-edited by the studio against Mr. Lynch's wishes, the pseudonym Alan Smithee was used in the credits as the director. Alan Smithee is a pseudonym used by directors who wish not to be associated with a film for which they would normally be credited.

Posted on May 24, 2008 11:55:03 AM PDT
A lot of the film was over my head and hard to follow as a kid used to Star Wars cartoonery. But I was totally engrossed by the film in the theatre and was smart enough to feel the genius of the movie.
There was a disconnect though I remember coming out of the theatre saying 'that wasnt very good'. Yet at the same time feeling inside that it was fantastic.
I think thats what a lot of people feel about this movie, drawn to it intensely despite what their rational mind says to them about the film and its surface flaws.

Posted on Jun 13, 2008 2:36:15 PM PDT
Rich L. says:
Right on. I did read the book, several times, so I knew what was going on, at least more than the neophytes who saw it with me. I have yet to see the "adjusted" version, but apparently it's on the flip side of the new DVD, so will get a chance I suppose. I liked this one better than the TV miniseries, but that was a good tale in its own right, but different. The three movies you cite as weird artistic are some of my favorites, so no surprise. Of course, when this came out in the theater, I had already been super-twisted by Lynch's Eraserhead, seen in the theater when originally released... I was craving more Lynch, and while not as weeeeeeird as E-head (nothing is), this was good, in my opinion. At the end, with the closing credits and the scene shown, with Toto's Take My Hand playing, I got this strange, burning nostalgic feeling I can't explain (no, it wasn't chemically induced... I don't think).

Good review.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 10:00:34 PM PDT
Thank you Jeremy, I love this movie, its just great. I cant explain it, I just love.

Posted on Apr 25, 2009 6:13:34 PM PDT
You sir, could not be more correct about this film AND, AAAAAND, its soundtrack! I do believe Brian Eno assisting with the film's score had something to do with it though...

Though I've never read the book, I've loved this movie since I was a kid specifically for that strange "mood" that it had. This film captures and encapsulates that particular aesthetic that Lynch films and many other sci-fi films of the 80's seemed to have for some reason.

This film will always be a classic in my eyes and remains, in my opinion, as a film very ahead of its time.

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2009 10:50:02 PM PDT
Yes, a classic film and a great adaptation of a long, dense novel. I'd love to have a chance to see it in a theater, with the music swelling and illuminating the action onscreen. By far my favourite David Lynch movie. The actors are all outstanding and the effects are good enough to carry the story on. Some of the technology is portrayed as very baroque giving it a Jules Verne feel- I just love the carrier for the head of the pilot's guild. Four stars and both thumbs up from me!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2009 10:56:41 AM PDT
eat a di#k? What is that? A cell phone button? But you are right Dune is a great epic. I just saw it again yesterday and I realized again what a great story Frank Herbert created and this movie followed the book closely as I recall. This epic is one that mellows and is better with age like a fine wine. I love it!

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 1:31:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 8, 2009 1:33:01 PM PDT
S. W. Burris says:
I like both versions.
Patrick Stewart as Gurney Halleck is the definitive version on that character.
After seeing Sting,as Feyd,any other rendition comes off as weak and dull.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 10:54:17 PM PDT
Danny Boy says:
Quote of the day: "Get the hell out of here."
How did you feel about the new adaption of the film or the sequel, Children of Dune?
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