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Pink Flamingos (1972) - Uncut VHS Preservation (Released)

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I present here a transfer of the 1982 VHS release of John Waters’ Pink Flamingos, which despite it’s quality, is the only full, unmatted and unaltered version of this 1972 release.

Two home media releases of this film (Criterion’s 1997 Laserdisc & the 2005 DVD) both feature the 1997 25th Anniversary recut version, which features some great quality, but different music cues that had to be changed for issues relating to copyright infringement, as well as two different crops for the widescreen matte. See images below.

When it was released on VHS, the left and right of the frame had to be cropped to accommodate 1.33:1 for standard television at the time, yet they left the frame unmatted and did not have to change the original soundtrack (which features much sleazier and fitting sounding tunes than in the 1997 mix).

This is a historical piece of cinema that unfortunately has still not been given some good treatment as of yet. Perhaps the folks at Criterion or BFI will come to save the day eventually for a beautiful BD release, but until then, I wanted to give anyone who is interested a taste of what the unaltered, 1972 version may have looked like (though still cropped to 4:3).

I’ve transferred the 1982 Harmony Vision VHS to be available to view in a .MOV wrapper on a Quicktime player, VLC or whichever is preferred. The quality of the 1997 DVD is still the best, but I simply wanted to make this alternative version available for fellow fans and preservationists out there. Plus, this is also considering that the old VHS is hard to come by unless you’re willing to spend upwards to $100, which I think is downright criminal.

PM me for links.

— cannedharmony

2005 DVD:

1997 LD (Criterion):

1982 VHS:

DVD:

Criterion LD:

VHS:









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Out of curiosity, is this from the Wizard Video or Harmony Vision release? Again, thanks!

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LucasGodzilla said:

Out of curiosity, have you considered doing an upscale of this transfer?

Currently I do not have the necessary equipment to do a proper upscale of this footage, but I will consider it in the future. Thank you!

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Charles Threepio said:

Out of curiosity, is this from the Wizard Video or Harmony Vision release? Again, thanks!

This was taken from the 1982 Harmony Vision release. Best Regards.

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SpookyDollhouse said:

The DVD and Laserdisc are the same master I’m fairly certain

They are definitely struck from the same master, but an alternate matte was applied to the DVD version. Both DVD and laserdisc share the 1997 created soundtrack, opposed to the VHS which features the original 1972 mix.

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There’s a Japanese Laserdisc with original music, released in 1986.

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CourtlyHades296 said:

There’s a Japanese Laserdisc with original music, released in 1986.

Oh interesting! I wonder if its open matte or not? Thanks for letting me know!

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Can I have a link to this?

also the Japanese laserdisc is edited, it has blurs over all instances of visible pubic hair

Raccoons

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Where can I get a link to this? Cannedharmony hasn’t been active in months and hasn’t responded to my PMs.

Project creator and film enthusiast.

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CloakedDragon97 said:

Where can I get a link to this? Cannedharmony hasn’t been active in months and hasn’t responded to my PMs.

Please post here or PM me if you get access to it. I’m very keen for this too!

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Did anyone here get the link for the original VHS? If so please send.

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Criterion recently announced a blu-ray of this film. Unsure if it’ll be the uncut version, but since it’s Criterion, its safe to assume that it will be.

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Mango said:

Criterion recently announced a blu-ray of this film. Unsure if it’ll be the uncut version, but since it’s Criterion, its safe to assume that it will be.

There’s no “cut” version on home video in America so it’ll always be uncut. Those trimmed theatrical screenings were thankfully not permanent! Unless you’re talking about the soundtrack which in this case is a wait and see.

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SpookyDollhouse said:

Mango said:

Criterion recently announced a blu-ray of this film. Unsure if it’ll be the uncut version, but since it’s Criterion, its safe to assume that it will be.

There’s no “cut” version on home video in America so it’ll always be uncut. Those trimmed theatrical screenings were thankfully not permanent! Unless you’re talking about the soundtrack which in this case is a wait and see.

Im Assume hes Talking About The Soundtrack

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PsyKovic said:

SpookyDollhouse said:

Mango said:

Criterion recently announced a blu-ray of this film. Unsure if it’ll be the uncut version, but since it’s Criterion, its safe to assume that it will be.

There’s no “cut” version on home video in America so it’ll always be uncut. Those trimmed theatrical screenings were thankfully not permanent! Unless you’re talking about the soundtrack which in this case is a wait and see.

Im Assume hes Talking About The Soundtrack

I’ve seen some confusion from others regarding a further “uncut” version because of the laserdisc’s runtime. It simply included all extra time and tacked it on. Criterion’s Multiple Maniacs has a soundalike soundtrack and isn’t “uncut” in that regard so I figured he was referring to the Laserdisc runtime.

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The Blu-ray coming from criterion has a 4K scan. The Film they scanned was the EXACT same film that John waters (The director) used to splice and edit the film together. That exact print they scanned was in John Waters’ attic for decades. unless criterion cut scenes from that scanned print (Which I highly doubt they did)
seeing that criterion released “Salo: or the 120 days of sodom”, I think it’s safe to say that Pink Flamingos will be the uncut version. thankfully.
Hope this helps.
Can’t wait to see the new restoration from criterion because PF is one of my favourite films of all time.

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Clark Teddles said:

The Blu-ray coming from criterion has a 4K scan. The Film they scanned was the EXACT same film that John waters (The director) used to splice and edit the film together. That exact print they scanned was in John Waters’ attic for decades. unless criterion cut scenes from that scanned print (Which I highly doubt they did)
seeing that criterion released “Salo: or the 120 days of sodom”, I think it’s safe to say that Pink Flamingos will be the uncut version. thankfully.
Hope this helps.
Can’t wait to see the new restoration from criterion because PF is one of my favourite films of all time.

I think you’re getting this one mixed-up with Multiple Maniacs. That’s the one John Waters had in his attic as he handled the entire production himself. Pink Flamingos was released by New Line, and its been under lock and key there (WB these days). The Laserdisc and subsequent DVD assumedly came from an I.P. which was in fact uncut. The extra running time on the Laserdisc came from combining it with the extras. There’s no reason the movie will be cut.

If the music is different at all it’s because of rights issues they couldn’t sort out, which was the case with Multiple Maniacs.

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This is just information I found about Pink Flamingos, not Multiple Maniacs. but it’s the internet, so my source may be wrong. I agree with your points, 100%.

Update: I emailed criterion asking if it was the original uncut version PF and this is what they replied…


I can confirm that our upcoming release of PINK FLAMINGOS is the original, uncut version: https://www.criterion.com/films/31320-pink-flamingos. I hope this clarifies any confusion.

Please let us know if you have any other questions, and thanks for your interest in Criterion!


So it’s confirmed that it is the uncut OG version. but I don’t believe it will have that original soundtrack due to copyright issues. But that’s ok.
I wonder if they will store those original deleted scenes?
Have a great day