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Old 02-20-2013, 07:22 PM
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Movies shot a long time before they were released


I'm looking for cases where the whole movie or some substantial part of it was shot two years or more before the movie premiered. Examples:

Apocalypse Now, many scenes filmed 1976; released 1979
Downtown 81, filmed 1980-81; premiered 2000
Eraserhead, some parts filmed 1972; released 1977
Faces (John Cassavetes), largely filmed 1965; released 1968
Salesman (Maysles Brothers), filmed 1966; released 1969

The King of Comedy almost qualifies, having been filmed in 1981 and released in 1983, but not quite two full years later.

Others?
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:22 PM
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Jane Russell’s cleavage in The Outlaw delayed release for five years! More recemtly, Cabin in the Woods sat on the shelf for three years before it was finally released last year.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:24 PM
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Richard Rush's The Stunt Man was shot a few years before its release.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:28 PM
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Take Me Home Tonight, starring Topher Grace and Anna Farris (Farris met her now-husband Chris Pratt during the shoot) filmed in 2007 but wasn't released until 2011.

The Anna Paquin film, Margaret, was filmed in 2006 or 2007 and was released in 2011, held up due to lawsuits.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:31 PM
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Town and Country was shot in 1998, but not released until 2001.

Elaine May's Mikey and Nicky was started in 1973 and not released until 1976.

Hotel Imperial began filming in 1936 with Marlene Dietrich and Charles Boyer in the leads. By the time it was finished in 1939, Isa Miranda and Ray Milland had replaced them, and all of the major actors from the first version were gone. Margaret Sullivan had replaced Dietrich when the latter quit the production, but broke her arm and was gone by the final version. (The time lapse is especially notable, since movies in the 30s were usually shot and released in a few months.)
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:51 PM
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Brenda Starr, starring Brooke Shields, was filmed in 1986, but not released until 1989 (in France). The USA release was delayed until 1992.

Source: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brenda_Starr_(film)
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:58 PM
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It's an animated film, so the stages of production are different, but The Thief and the Cobbler was certainly under way in the early '70s (preliminary work having begun a few years earlier). After going through several partial fundings and a couple generations of animators, it finally saw a theatrical release in 1993--but editing continued.

Quote:
With The Thief and the Cobbler being in production from 1964 until 1995, a total of 31 years, it surpasses the 20-year Guinness record by Tiefland (1954), eventually having the longest production time for a motion picture of all time.

Last edited by Peremensoe; 02-20-2013 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:02 PM
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Do you count movies that purposely took a long time to make? If so, Michael Winterbottom's Everyday was shot over the course of five years and received its initial theatrical release earlier this year.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollo Tomasi View Post
Do you count movies that purposely took a long time to make?
In that vein--the archival sequences in each edition of the Up series go back to the project's origination in 1964; the most recent film premiered last year.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:19 PM
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This one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_Pilot_(film)
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:27 PM
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Bad movie favorite The Creeping Terror (1964) was shot in 1963 or 1964, but there's no indication that it ever played anywhere until it started airing on televion in the 1970s.
The Curse of Bigfoot (1976) was a re-working of a horror film that was filmed in the early 1960s, but was never released. The footage had just sat in a closet, until the Bigfoot craze of the late 1960s/early 1970s. The two brothers who had produced it found one of the actors from the earlier shoot, and shot an intro to the movie to try to tie it in with Bigfoot.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:23 PM
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What do you mean by "shot". Principal photography? Some background second unit shots? Stock footage?Some specific shots? Because it can vary and movie can have shots made in several different years.IIRC each of the Star Wars prequels began shooting 2 years before release. However they each had very extensive reshoots over the year following principal photography. The very last scene (or at least several frames of it) were shot 5 years before it was releases in Revenge of the Sith.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy had by the time of the the Return of the King several shots shot 3 years before release.

Last edited by AK84; 02-20-2013 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:00 AM
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River Phoenix was filming the movie Dark Blood when he died of a drug overdose in 1993. The film remained unfinished for 19 years.
Now, according to Wikipedia:
Quote:
It premiered to a private guest audience on September 27, 2012, at the Netherlands Film Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands. The film was shown twice more, publicly, on October 2, 2012 at the festival. It is scheduled to be shown at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2013 and at the Miami International Film Festival in March 2013.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:25 AM
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These are all great answers, thanks. The Outlaw and Jet Pilot are really good ones - what was it with Howard Hughes?

The films purposely shot over a long period films are interesting - I didn't think of that angle.

And AK84, the Star Wars ones are worthy of consideration... I wasn't aware of how extensive their production schedules turned out to be. I would say, for the purposes of the question, if there's more than a few shots in the film - like an entire scene - filmed outside of two years prior, that's fair game.

Now, here are a couple more I have - one I need help with:

1. Rebel Rousers, starring Jack Nicholson. A biker movie filmed in 1967, but not released until 1970, after Easy Rider was a hit.

2. I caught some of this on TV not long ago, but I need help in identifying it. It was a movie about a sort of scrawny young guy who decides to become a professional wrestler. Fairly low-budget, and had the look of being shot in about 1974 though I think it was officially released around '78...? Anyone?
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:04 AM
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When We Were Kings was shot in 1974 and released in 1997. It's a documentary about the Ali - Foreman "Rumble in the Jungle" in what was then Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo).
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:32 AM
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To get an idea of how long the Star Wars production schedule was, Ewen McGregor did principal photography for Attack of the Clones went and wrapped shooting on Blackhawk Down. The later was released in September 2001 and Ewen went back and continued to do shoots for Clones until early 2002.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:09 AM
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Muhammad and Larry (1980) documenting the upcoming fight between Ali and Holmes was shot but never really aired. It finally aired in 2009 as one of the ESPN "30 for 30" episodes, with newly added interview footage interspersed.

Also, if you go back to television pilots, the uncut version of "Star Trek's" "The Cage" with Jeffrey Hunter didn't become available until the mid 1980s.

Also, the pilot for "Gilligan's Island" didn't air until maybe the mid 1990s.

Orson Welles' The Other Side of the Wind (1972), if it is ever edited, and released will be another long time. It was shot in the early 70s, so it's 40 years and still going.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:40 AM
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Fatty Arbuckle's film Leap Year was completed in 1921, but never shown in the US until a special screening in 1981 (it was shown in Finland in 1924). It's since been shown a few more times.

The Virginia Rappe scandal caused the studio to shelve the completed film.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:28 AM
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I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're describing as these were shot for another movie but in 1999's The Limey there are a number of scenes of Terrence Stamp as a much younger man playing the guitar, hanging with wife and friends, etc that are incorporated into the movie as flashbacks. These scenes originated in 1967's Poor Cow.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo Tomasi View Post
Do you count movies that purposely took a long time to make? If so, Michael Winterbottom's Everyday was shot over the course of five years and received its initial theatrical release earlier this year.
I'd say this was the case for Eraserhead, which the OP listed. IIRC, Lynch spent almost five years shooting it in dribs and drabs.

I think The Adventures of Pluto Nash was edited at least twice and took some number of years to actually reach the screen. (I may be in a small minority, but I thought it had its redeeming qualities.)

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 02-21-2013 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:39 AM
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Does The Blair Witch Project count?

How about The Manchurian Candidate?
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:40 AM
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Performance, with James Fox and Mick Jagger (his only good acting effort), was filmed in 1968 but not released until 1970, I think. Doesn't seem like a long time these days, now that cultural change has slowed down to a crawl (in the "Western world," that is), but in the late 60s, that was a long time. By the time the film came out, Mick looked different (shorter hair, no longer dyed black), James Fox was in some Christian cult, and I think one of the actresses (a very young French girl who was apparently treated shabbily by the filmmakers) was a drug addict or maybe even dead, I can't recall which.

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Old 02-21-2013, 10:44 AM
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The Day The Clown Cried-41 years and counting.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:44 AM
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Doesn't seem like a long time these days, now that cultural change has slowed down to a crawl (in the "Western world," that is)...
My goodness. What color is the sky on your planet?
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:48 AM
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The Day The Clown Cried-41 years and counting.
Is it an absolute certainty that this film was ever truly completed? Is it an unfinished work or a cinema-ready cut that Lewis has locked away?

Because if we're going to count substantially shot but unfinished films, both Welles and Hitchcock would swell the list quite a bit. (As they would by their personal bulks alone...)
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Peremensoe View Post
It's an animated film, so the stages of production are different, but The Thief and the Cobbler was certainly under way in the early '70s (preliminary work having begun a few years earlier). After going through several partial fundings and a couple generations of animators, it finally saw a theatrical release in 1993--but editing continued.
I was coming in to mention this one, but the real tragedy of the film is that the released version leaves out a lot of the original material, and adds badly animsated stuff, in addition to adding Jonathan Winters voice-overs. There a fan-compiled version that is the closest we'll likely get to the original vision

Quote:
In 2006, a filmmaker, artist and fan of Richard Williams' work named Garrett Gilchrist created a non-profit fan restoration of William's workprint, named The Thief and the Cobbler: The Recobbled Cut. It was done in as high quality as possible by combining available sources, such as a heavily compressed Audio Video Interleave copy (taken from a high quality PAL VHS copy) of Williams' workprint that was posted anonymously on eMule and better-quality footage from a Japanese widescreen DVD copy of Arabian Knight. This edit was much supported by numerous people who had worked on the film (with the exception of Richard Williams himself, who wishes not to have anything to do with the film any more), including Roy Naisbitt, Alex Williams, Andreas Wessel-Therhorn, Tony White, Holger Leihe, Steve Evangelatos, Greg Duffell, Jerry Verschoor and Beth Hannan, many of whom lent rare material for the project. Some minor changes were made to "make it feel more like a finished film", like adding more music and replacing storyboards with some of Fred Calvert's animation.[27] This edit gained positive reviews on the Internet. Twitch Film called it "the best and most important 'fan edit' ever made".[40]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Theif_&_the_Cobble


Incidentally, that Wikipedia page lists two other ultra-long cartoon production histories
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:51 AM
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Is it an absolute certainty that this film was ever truly completed? Is it an unfinished work or a cinema-ready cut that Lewis has locked away?

Because if we're going to count substantially shot but unfinished films, both Welles and Hitchcock would swell the list quite a bit. (As they would by their personal bulks alone...)
It was rough cut in 1979, but Lewis claims it is ready for release.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieu View Post
I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're describing as these were shot for another movie but in 1999's The Limey there are a number of scenes of Terrence Stamp as a much younger man playing the guitar, hanging with wife and friends, etc that are incorporated into the movie as flashbacks. These scenes originated in 1967's Poor Cow.
They did the same thing with Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), with footage of Parachute Jumper from 1933.

And Sunset Boulevard (1950) used footage of Gloria Swanson from Queen Kelly (1929)

Mad Wednesday (1947) starts out with footage of Harold Lloyd from The Freshman (1925).

There are probably many other examples of this happening, but I don't think they count, since the reused footage was released.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:16 AM
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I'd say this was the case for Eraserhead, which the OP listed. IIRC, Lynch spent almost five years shooting it in dribs and drabs.
Because he kept running out of money, if I'm not mistaken. Not purposely, the way Everyday and the Up series were actually planned to be made.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:24 AM
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Does The Blair Witch Project count?

How about The Manchurian Candidate?
No and no. Blair Witch was shot in 1998 and released in 1999. The fake documentary within the film takes place in 1994 - perhaps that's what you're referring to.

Manchurian Candidate was shot and released in 1962, I'm pretty sure.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:29 AM
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Manchurian Candidate was shot and released in 1962, I'm pretty sure.
Yes. It was withdrawn after the JFK assassination.

Probably because it showed the Grassy Knoll shooter or something.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:39 AM
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Not sure if this counts, but... in 1964, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters traveled cross-country in their bus, and filmed the experience. The footage was never compiled into an actual film until a few years ago, resulting in the documentary Magic Trip, released in 2011.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:42 AM
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Because he kept running out of money, if I'm not mistaken. Not purposely, the way Everyday and the Up series were actually planned to be made.
Something similar happened with Frank Henenlotter and his first big film, Basket Case, which purportedly took a long time to film because they were chronically short on cash. I can't find anything on how long it took on the internet right now, but I think it was at least five years.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:43 AM
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My goodness. What color is the sky on your planet?
I won't hijack this thread. Instead, I'll direct you to two threads where the relatively fast pace of much of Western cultural change c. 1964-1973 is discussed.

It's true that this applies more to some cultural things (music, especially) than others, and even within music it is most applicable to rock music and less so to some other genres where change and development occurred during other periods. This thread is about films, where the most obvious change was probably the switch to color films during that same period...but films capture so much else within them (slang, fashion styles, car designs, and of course music as well), that they inevitably reflect the overall pace of change.

You can tell immediately if a film was made in 1965 vs. 1970, but can you tell if a film was made in 2005 vs. 2010? I doubt it. The big changes these days tend to be in countries which are "catching up" to the West (Malaysia, e.g.), or else have to do with technologies (smartphones, GoogleMaps...) which occasionally appear in films but don't tend to dominate their look and sound.

Last edited by JKellyMap; 02-21-2013 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis Aponte Jr. View Post
I'm looking for cases where the whole movie or some substantial part of it was shot two years or more before the movie premiered. Examples:

Apocalypse Now, many scenes filmed 1976; released 1979
Downtown 81, filmed 1980-81; premiered 2000
Eraserhead, some parts filmed 1972; released 1977
Faces (John Cassavetes), largely filmed 1965; released 1968
Salesman (Maysles Brothers), filmed 1966; released 1969

The King of Comedy almost qualifies, having been filmed in 1981 and released in 1983, but not quite two full years later.

Others?
"Clifford" completed in 1990, but not released until 1994 (some would say it escaped)
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:22 PM
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I won't hijack this thread. Instead, I'll direct you to two threads where the relatively fast pace of much of Western cultural change c. 1964-1973 is discussed.
I think you're being enormously selective about what constitutes cultural change.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:26 PM
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Principal photography for Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods ended in May, 2009. Release was scheduled for February 2010, then delayed for 3D conversion. Next, MGM went bankrupt.

Lionsgate eventually took over & the film premiered in March 2012.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:45 PM
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Ciao! Manhattan (1972) the psychedelic, semi-sorta- autobiographical film about Edie Sedwick was another long in the making, released after being changed and fiddled with over a long time film.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:47 PM
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Ciao! Manhattan (1972) the psychedelic, semi-sorta- autobiographical film about Edie Sedwick was another long in the making, released after being changed and fiddled with over a long time film.
That's right. The black-and-white scenes were filmed in 1967, the color scenes in 1970.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:57 PM
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Orson Welles's version of Othello began shooting in 1949, but took three years to complete because Welles kept running out of money. It was premiered in Cannes in 1952, but Welles continued to work on it for the US market. The American version came out in 1955.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:10 PM
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Fudd says: "Jane Russell’s cleavage in The Outlaw delayed release for five years! "

But that's only if you count the 22 months between Febuary 1941 when filming was completed and January1, 1943 when the film opened as 5 years.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:41 PM
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Sorry if this has already been mentioned:

The recent remake of Red Dawn went into production in 2009 and was scheduled to be released in 2010. Due to the MGM financial troubles, it was shelved and wasn't released until November 2012.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:07 PM
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Does it count if the movie premiered at a special event but has not been made available for regular commercial audiences to see?

I'm thinking of Andrew Adamson's Mister Pip, which finished filming in 2011 and "premiered" at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2012, but AFAICT has yet to offer any ordinary moviegoer the chance to view it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:46 PM
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Fudd says: "Jane Russellís cleavage in The Outlaw delayed release for five years! "

But that's only if you count the 22 months between Febuary 1941 when filming was completed and January1, 1943 when the film opened as 5 years.
It was only shown in a handful of theaters for less than a week before it was pulled for violations of the Production Code. It didn't get a proper release until April 1946.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:03 PM
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Yes. It was withdrawn after the JFK assassination.

Probably because it showed the Grassy Knoll shooter or something.
I knew it was Angela Lansbury.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:11 PM
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Return of the Musketeers was filmed in 1988, but due to the death of a cast member was not released until 1991, and then as a made for TV movie on USA.

The movie has look of having been post-produced by the bonding company - a poor 'double stands in for the dead cast member, other cast members look downright pissed off in the scenes where the double is being used (esp. Oliver Reed). Other times there are obvious shortcomings such as a lack of SFX (a blacksmith in the foreground has his hammer falling silently in one scene.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:17 PM
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While not a a massive delay, several movies were pushed back because of 9/11. Big Trouble being one example where the plot was a little too close to home.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:20 PM
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Coffee and Cigarettes was shot over a period of 17 years. I assume a significant portion was shot over two years before its release. I remember seeing the Steven Wright segment on SNL in the late 1980s. And then the movie itself came out in 2003 and I'm all, WTF??
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:24 PM
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Wizard of Speed & Time. Parts filmed in 1979 for Disney. Then a feature filmed around it in 1983. Released in 1989
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:43 PM
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Return of the Musketeers was filmed in 1988, but due to the death of a cast member was not released until 1991, and then as a made for TV movie on USA.

The movie has look of having been post-produced by the bonding company - a poor 'double stands in for the dead cast member, other cast members look downright pissed off in the scenes where the double is being used (esp. Oliver Reed). Other times there are obvious shortcomings such as a lack of SFX (a blacksmith in the foreground has his hammer falling silently in one scene.
Ironic, then, that Reed was given much the same treatment later, when he died during the filming of Gladiator.
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