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THX 1138 "preservations"

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 (Edited)

- THX 1138: Italian Cut -

Available on MySpleen, give me a PM or ask in this thread; http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Once-upon-a-time-on-MySpleen-Open-Registration-and-FREELEECH/topic/12652/ if you need an invite.

Year:              US 1971, Italy 1976
Length:          Approx. 81 Minutes
Source:          Italian TV - broadcast
Format:          NTSC DVD
Video:            4:3 Pan & Scan (Aspect Ratio 1.33:1)
Language:     Italian Dolby 2.0 Mono
Subtitles:       English        
Chapters

 


Special thanks go to:
thxita
Leonardo
SilverWook
and Petar Karan

 

- The different versions of THX 1138 –


The official story is that when THX 1138 was originally released in 1971, Warner Bros. had cut 4-5 minutes from it without Lucas' approval. Dale Pollock describes it in his 1983 book Skywalking - The Life and Films of George Lucas, how Warner turned the film over to in-house editor Rudi Fehr - "Fehr cut only four minutes from THX, mostly scenes in the White Limbo and some of George's bizarre attempts at humor." This original theatrical release version has never officially been released on video.

In 1978, after George Lucas' enormous success with Star Wars the previous year, Lucas was able to receive final cut when the film was prepared for a limited theatrical re-release. This version reportedly restored the 4-5 minutes of previously cut scenes. It was later released on video rental in 1982. This version was widely available on Betamax, VHS and Laserdisc through the 80's and 90's, the last release was on VHS in 1996, it has not yet been released on any new video formats.

Finally in 2004, a new version was released in theatres for a short limited time and released on DVD and later Blu-ray under the rather silly banner "The George Lucas Director's Cut". Anyway, this version uses alternate takes and has much different editing which even alters the story in subtle ways, utilizing modern CGI etc,. Lucas even let new footage be shot to insert actors and to replace and manipulate existing footage. While interesting in its own way, this is the only official version currently available on modern video formats.


That's the common official story. But, a few 16mm prints and a 35mm IB Technicolor print dated 1971 show us something different, that the only differences between the original 1971 release and the re-release is that the original have SEN's conversation with the children being a few seconds longer and that there's a different arrangement of scenes...

Scene order in vintage German and Italian TV-broadcasts and 1971 English 16mm prints:

Drug evasion arrest --> LUH visits THX --> THX gets medical examinations --> Trial & "pain prods" (electro-shock batons) scene --> THX is being monitored & researched --> THX put in prison

Scene order in English home video versions and 2004 Cut:

Drug evasion arrest --> Trial & "pain prods" (electro-shock batons) scene --> THX gets medical examinations --> THX is being monitored & researched --> LUH visits THX --> THX put in prison


Italian Version:

Even though THX 1138 was released in UK and France in 1971, it wasn't released in Italy until 1976, then under the title "L'uomo Che Fuggì Dal Futuro", literally translated: "The Man Who Escaped From The Future". This cut is remarkably different and shorter than any other version of the film. The most significant difference is that the film opens with a segment of the chase sequence from the end of the film narrated by THX himself, complete with an added background story in place over the title sequence, it's like it sort of trying to tell the whole film as it was projected through THX's mind, a flashback or perhaps like THX himself describes it in the narration "I want to leave a telepathic message so that posterity will know my real story..."

Besides the different editing, the Italian dubbing is sometimes very poor with translation errors in a few places, making the plot confusing in some parts. In addition to the previously mentioned opening narration, the dubbing also alters the story and plot in many other ways throughout the film, sometimes new concepts are added to the film and sometimes the dialogue is just completely different. Much of the story differences and concepts that occur in the dubbing are most likely liberties taken by "Società Italiana Distribuzione Films" which was the distributor for it in Italy, or by the dubbers that worked on the film.




 

Original post:

Has there been any good efforts to preserve these two classics in their original form? if so, could someone please point me in the right direction. I am dying to see them again and I've searched everywhere with no luck. :( Have them on VHS of course but the quality is so bad you cannot watch them anymore and I thought there must've been some LD to DVD preservation done to them and was chocked that I couldn't find any. Any help would be much appreciated, thanks.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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There's a THX 1138 theatrical LD rip floating around - single-layer, non-anamorphic, and it doesn't look terribly great, but hey, it's the theatrical cut!

Don't know about American Graffiti.  I feel like that one would be pretty easy to "de-SE," as it were, since (IIRC) there's only one shot that's been changed.

ChainsawAsh disappears a lot - bkev

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THX 1138, that is actually a Laserdisc I do not have.

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ChainsawAsh said:

There's a THX 1138 theatrical LD rip floating around - single-layer, non-anamorphic, and it doesn't look terribly great, but hey, it's the theatrical cut!

Well, that should be better than my VHS I guess. Could you perhaps give me a PM of where I could find it please. Thanks.

ChainsawAsh said:

Don't know about American Graffiti.  I feel like that one would be pretty easy to "de-SE," as it were, since (IIRC) there's only one shot that's been changed.

Yeah, It's only the opening titles that's been altered along with a digital sky, but it's still annoying.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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dark_jedi said:

THX 1138, that is actually a Laserdisc I do not have.

 I'm actually surprised. ;)

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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That is nice d_j. ;)

Has the new Director's cut been released on blu yet?

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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It's coming in a few months, and I had hoped that it would include the original version as a bonus.

It doesn't of course.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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I just downloaded the Angrysvn preservation of THX 1138 from laserdisc and it looked fine, but could use improvement. It wasn't anamorphic, either, which made me sad.

But an American Graffiti preservation would be much appreciated. Please, please, please, please do.

 

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That's the one I have, the Angrysvn edition.  I dunno where to find it now, probably Pirate Bay or Demonoid.  There may be seeds left on Myspleen, too.

ChainsawAsh disappears a lot - bkev

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Thanks, ChainsawAsh.

I got it.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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eldiablosuizo said:

I just downloaded the Angrysvn preservation of THX 1138 from laserdisc and it looked fine, but could use improvement. It wasn't anamorphic, either, which made me sad.

But an American Graffiti preservation would be much appreciated. Please, please, please, please do.

Well, I wasn't that pleased with the capture of THX 1138, sadly it was very blocky and it have what I think is interlacing artifacts throughout. Oh well, I guess it's better than nothing.

Yes, it would be great to have American Graffiti preserved, but you'll need LD footage to restore the opening of the film as they altered not only the sky in the background but also the text in the titles, so unfortunately you cannot just use the brief footage from the DVD documentary if you want it authentic.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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What do you mean, are you saying you got another one? not the Angrysvn edition?

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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 (Edited)

The mono mix on the original THX 1138 was great, and then Lucas replaced it on the directors cut with a bogus 5.1 track.

Also the original graffiti mono mix is nowhere available on video, or the theatrical studio cut.  The video cut before the cgi was the same as the theatrical re-release.  I know American Graffiti was always intended to be mixed in stereo but the initial release was in mono.

I also believe the so called theatrical cut on THX 1138 on laserdisc and vhs has scenes that were restored for a re-release or on video, the original had trims done by warners.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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Like "put the monkeys up front". That reminds me-the new CGI monkeys are unwatchable.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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skyjedi2005 said:

The mono mix on the original THX 1138 was great, and then Lucas replaced it on the directors cut with a bogus 5.1 track.

I also believe the so called theatrical cut on THX 1138 on laserdisc and vhs has scenes that were restored for a re-release or on video, the original had trims done by warners.

Also... according to IMDB the original theatrical release had a 1-minute clip from H.G. Wells Things to Come from 1936 before the opening credits, instead of the later Buck Rogers segment we now are all familiar with.

Have the original mono mix ever been available on home video? I think I've only heard the later Dolby surround mix that was on the LD and VHS.  EDIT: Don't know what I was thinking. ;) It is of course the original mono-mix that's included on all home video releases before the '04 cut.

skyjedi2005 said:

Also the original graffiti mono mix is nowhere available on video, or the theatrical studio cut.  The video cut before the cgi was the same as the theatrical re-release.  I know American Graffiti was always intended to be mixed in stereo but the initial release was in mono.

Are you sure about this? If I've heard it correctly it was originally released in 4-track stereo and just re-mixed in Dolby Stereo for its '78 re-release where it had about 2 minutes reinserted and a slight alteration to the closing credits. Anyway, it would be great to hear the original mix vs. the re-release mix to hear if they are different in terms of content.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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dark_jedi said:

If I had it I would cap it for you.

So, if I was able to get you a decent Laserdisc of THX 1138, would you cap it for me? Also... is American Graffiti a Laserdisc you actually own or have any interest to do a transfer of or do I have to get that for you. ;)

I would seriously try to get them if they could be preserved by someone, who have the proper equipment but I don't know what they commonly go for on e-bay or if they are susceptible to laser rot.

On these caps below you can see that they also changed the credits, not only the sky. The LD is also reported to have a quite different color-timing with warmer and much more vivid colors throughout.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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 (Edited)

eldiablosuizo said:

I just downloaded the Angrysvn preservation of THX 1138 from laserdisc and it looked fine, but could use improvement. It wasn't anamorphic, either, which made me sad.

Just to let you know, I am in the process of making an Avisynth-script to fix the combed frames on it caused by being hard-telecined I guess and I am also going to improve the overall contrast/colors, making it anamorphic, so it can at least be watchable until a better option appears. If you're interested I can perhaps upload it for you when it's done.

EDIT: Forget about it, it's just not worth it. Even though I manage to improve the video, it looks awful. I also noticed that the audio is out of sync, this version really sucks! Now, I'm really desperate to find a watchable version...

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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Time
 (Edited)

msycamore said:

eldiablosuizo said:

I just downloaded the Angrysvn preservation of THX 1138 from laserdisc and it looked fine, but could use improvement. It wasn't anamorphic, either, which made me sad.

Just to let you know, I am in the process of making an Avisynth-script to fix the combed frames on it caused by being hard-telecined I guess and I am also going to improve the overall contrast/colors, making it anamorphic, so it can at least be watchable until a better option appears. If you're interested I can perhaps upload it for you when it's done.

EDIT: Forget about it, it's just not worth it. Even though I manage to improve the video, it looks awful. I also noticed that the audio is out of sync, this version really sucks! Now, I'm really desperate to find a watchable version...

The last laser release was a japan release with japanese subtitles hardcoded beneath the widescreen picture.  Never been able to find out if it is the censored japan cut or the uncut us cut,  And i think it came out in 1994.  Was also reported to have a better picture than the us release, but since i have never seen it i just consider that hearsay.

details here.

http://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/13001/NJWL-11162/THX-1138-%281971%29

I'm not sure since i don't own it but i think this is where the cgi opening shot of american graffiti originated it is a 1998 laserdisc release called the signature collection. 

http://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/11036/42725/American-Graffiti-%281973%29

The first widescreen letterbox release on laserdisc came out in 1996, if anyone has this can they confirm if it is the original version?

http://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/07157/42726/American-Graffiti-%281973%29

All the previous releases came from the same pan and scan master as the discovision release, pretty dodgy quality but still better than the non remastered original vhs.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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msycamore, I do not have either one of those LD's, yes I know it is surprising, but I actually did not buy any of them LOL.

but from my brief checking around, THX is going to cost more than AG.

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That opening shot of AG just looks FAKE to me.  Always has. 

In fact, to me, it looks like the same ugly pastel colors that infused the PT and the SE's.

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I own the domestic release of THX on LD, and could give a DVD transfer a shot. I need to get my gas tube monster hooked back up though.

A couple 16mm prints have popped up on Ebay in the past, but unfortunately they were all full frame. :(

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook, that would be absolutely fantastic! :) Do I understand it correctly if that domestic release you own is the US 1991 Warner Home Video CLV Laserdisc - Cat. 11162 ? It doesn't seem to have any reports of laser-rot either. I would be very happy if you tried to capture it, and I'm sure many others would be too.

There's two of them up on e-bay at the moment, both seems to be in good condition but they're used though, don't know how hard it is to find some new & sealed ones.

http://dvd.shop.ebay.com/Laserdisc-/381/i.html?_nkw=thx+1138&_catref=1&_fln=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m282

skyjedi2005, I'm quite sure the '96 LD of American Graffiti is the one to get, many reports that the opening credits wasn't tweaked until the film's 25th anniversary screening in '98. But I may be wrong though.

 

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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That looks like my copy. I watched it a couple years ago, and didn't see any rot. Had to wash the Director's Cut DVD aftertaste out of my mouth. ;)

Should I record both sides in one go, or record them separately at maximum bitrates to allow someone else to work their mojo on it? That is what I did when I captured my rot-free full frame Superman disc for the KCOP Cut guys a few years back.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?