Right, I know very little about this film. I am from the UK and we have never had a proper release of this film in the UK apart from the re-cut version which was made for most of the rest of the world upon theatrical release.
The release of the new Blu-ray supervised by Friedkin is apparently very good. But apparently it’s not without it’s faults.
One particular gripe is the subtitles not being literal translations of what is actually being said or spoken. And the subtitles are also not the original subtitles font that were used at the time of the films creation.
The French blu-ray version is a slightly better bitrate but has no English subtitles. The US release has Subtitles burned in and re-cap that the translation is not literally correct in a few instances.
With that said the theatrical re-cut version made for outside the US is unavailable on home video and although it has some poor editing. It includes 16 minutes of extra footage not to be found in the US theatrical release amongst some further plot points. Apparently there is also some improved music cues also.
This was shown on a channel in Germany called “Das Vierte” in February 2008.
Now I have never seen the film before. But it’s nice to find a film that peaks my interest.
If someone interested could obtain the European cut for a preservation as It seems that it is targeted for being erased from history. It’s hard to find anything out about it. And I do not particularly trust everything I read on movie-censorship as they always ignore the audio which is a huge part of any film.
Many people also claim to prefer the re-cut over Friedkin’s official version, due to a slow and stagnant first hour until the plot get’s underway proper.
There is also Friedkin’s complaint about the aspect ratio of the film. He himself personally said his preference was the Pan and Scan version now he calls it an abomination because you can get 16:9 TV’s so the original framing on the old DVD which also somehow managed to be released alongside the Blu-ray and got recalled.
Anyway I hope this generates some interesting discussion with a hope to saving whatever the European cut might have to offer.
I would imagine that “Sorcerer” the original cut has never been submitted to the BBFC for a age rating and that the Ludicrous PG rating would be chewed up and spat out.
It would only cost £981.31 inc VAT to submit the film for classification. Why so tight?
A bit more information regarding the court case. CIC (Cinema International Corporation) Held the international rights to the film but they went through numerous take over bids. Friedkin never had final cut outside the US and French Markets. CIC re-cut the film for the international market but since their takeover this left the ownership rights hanging in Limbo. This is when Friedkin sued for who owned the film and asked for detailed information on how much the film actually grossed financially on international market that he had no profits from.
Viacom / Paramount would seem to be the Legal Owners of the European / international Theatrical Version. Weird that they really could not decide who owned the film or perhaps Universal has rights to the European release. God only knows what a mess. Who owns the other cut?
I am also reading reports of an added gunshot totally and tonally out of place ruining the ending of the film. Friedkin claims it’s a diesel engine back firing. It was never in the original film.
Did anyone else notice that they cut the sound altogether for a split second, when the Amidou character fell between the slats on the bridge and into the water? It didn’t happen on the DVD, but I thought it was really effective to be honest.