6. The Exorcist
It was recently announced production company Morgan Creek sold its film library and the rights to many popular films including “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”, “Major League” and “The Exorcist” franchise. This prompted director William Friedkin to promptly Tweet in reply: “I mention it only in passing, but I don’t believe Morgan Creek has the rights to THE ORIGINAL, only the so-called sequels.” It does appear likely we will see a remake of “The Exorcist” in our lifetime.
Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) is a girl like any other. She has a loving actress mother (Ellen Burstyn) and a missing father. No one really knows how she became possessed by “the devil”.
The movie is just as much about the journey Regan takes from loving child to vulgar, soup-spewing demon spawn from hell as it is the shocking portrayal by Blair. Willilam O’Malley, who played Father Dyer in the film, has said the movies was indeed partially true. He claims the movie did change a few details but the actual events did really happen.
Did you know the film was actually nominated for eight Academy Awards in 1973 including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress? Unfortunately it did not win any acting awards, only those for Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay. In 2000, the “Version you’ve never seen” was released in theaters including 10 minutes of extra footage.
The most famous scene which was added was the ridiculous “spider-walk” scene where Regan walks upside down on a staircase with a bloody mouth. The scene itself is only a few seconds but it completely ruins the mood up to that point and seems out of place in the characters chronology.
All the other material which was added falls into the category of “completely unnecessary” as a lot of it was just putting images on walls or inserting cutaway “demon” shots. Despite this, Friedkin considers the new version his favorite.
7. The Warriors
This 1979 cult New York street gang film follows a group accused of a murder they didn’t commit and their quest to return home fighting rival gangs and the police along the way. The film gets a lot of the period of the 1970s correct including the costumes, music and memorable one-liners. It definitely is not “politically correct” by today’s standards, so you have to watch it in that light.
There isn’t much change with the “Director’s Cut” in this case either, other than the annoying voiceover which was added by director Walter Hill which is also completely unnecessary. The other scenes which were changed were better in the original version as well. If you can find it, check this film out. You will not be disappointed!
8. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Andy (Steve Carrell) has never had sex (if you can’t already tell from the title). After accidentally telling his friends during a poker game, his buddies decide to drop everything and find someone to give their friend the ultimate “gift”. Director Judd Apatow has had a string of comedy successes after this film including “Knocked Up”, This is 40” and “Trainwreck”.
This film has a great comedic cast besides Carrell including Paul Rudd, Jane Lynch, Seth Rogan, Leslie Mann and Elizabeth Banks. This is a very funny film albeit a little long in the tooth to begin with at 116 minutes. The “unrated” version runs an additional 17 minutes and very little of it is necessary or adds anything funny to the film. There is, of course more nudity and crudity, but that doesn’t make the movie better.
Longtime German director Wolfgang Peterson (“Air Force One”, “Das Boot”, “The NeverEnding Story”) brings us the memorable tale of Greek mythology featuring Achilles (Brad Pit), Hector (Eric Bana), Helen (Diane Kruger), Paris (Orlando Bloom), Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson) and Agamemnon (Brian Cox).
Although the film grossed $135 million in the U.S., it was still considered a disappointment largely because of the budget of a whopping $175 million. Also “Lord of the Rings” trilogy which had just ended in 2003 with almost everyone agreeing those in “Rings” were better.
The original version of the film still ran a long 163 minutes with the “Director’s Cut” going up to 196 minutes. The new version was release on DVD in 2007 and featured almost 30 extra minutes. The was more nudity of Kruger, longer battle scenes including the character of Ajax (X-Men’s “Sabertooth”, Tyler Mane) and the pillage of Troy itself.
There were also new bookend scenes added which no one seemed to like. History has been more kind to this film than in its initial theatrical release with it gaining in popularity since.
10. Dances with Wolves
Most movie fans hate this movie film for only one reason: It beat “Goodfellas” for Best Picture in 1990 and director Kevin Costner beat director Martin Scorsese. This story involves a Civil War Lieutenant sent to a lonely outpost where he makes friends with the local Indians and wolves while learning to survive.
At a running time of over 3 hours, the initial theatrical release pushed the boundaries of running times already at 181 minutes; however, the subsequent other cuts increased the running time to 224 minutes (extended cut) and 236 minutes (director’s cut). Close to one million feet of film was shot for the film during production.
The nearly 4-hour version was released in Europe in 1991. Producer Jim Wilson had spent nearly seven months on this “Extended Edition” adding footage for character development for most of the major characters. Costner later claimed he was not involved in the preparation of the 4-hour cut. Huge fans of the film will find the additional scenes interesting, but, ultimately not necessary.
Few directors would spend months of their own time reediting a bad movie like Alexander several times. After this film only made $34 million on a budget of over $155 million, studio Warner Brothers for some reason gave director Oliver Stone the ability to make not one, but several new editions for the film. The original running time of 175 minutes was changed to 167 minutes, 214 minutes and 206 minutes for subsequent cuts.
The core of the film’s major flaws, including the major miscast of Colin Farrell as Alexander, really couldn’t be helped with different cuts and editing. It’s hard to believe; however, Warner Brothers had asked for Stone’s latest “Ultimate Cut” since his “Alexander Revisited: The Final Unrated Cut” had done very well on DVD. Stone spent several years on these additional cuts, saying fans had asked him to do so. Watch the movie and decide for yourself.
Author Bio: Andy Kubica is a life-long cinephile. Having spend time as a video store manager, movie theater manager and the first DVD buyer for a former rental chain he now spends every waking moment reducing his film “bucket list”.