Edited for television: Best and worst

Ooh! Ooh! A local station played a Cheech and Chong movie with all of the drug references taken out! They filled the rest of the slot with commercials. Many, many commercials.

Our Fox affiliate, before it became a full Fox station, show “Network” intact, which is more than PBS will do.

I usually avoid watching movies that have been edited for television because they chop them up so damn much.

Several years ago, during my teen angst period, one station showed the Breakfast Club over and over. And I watched it over and over. They changed “fuck” to “flip.”

“Flip you!”
“No, Flip you!”

Really loses it punch, IMO.

It’s usually that or

“Forget you!”

Which is also lousy but makes a tiny bit more sense.

I don’t know about Pulp Fiction, but “melon farmer” was the motherfucker epithet replacement of choice for Repo Man. One of the few movies which, if anything, became even better when edited for TV, as it merely added a bit more to the surreality.

Sigh. I remember when the Bravo channel (this is the Merkun one, I know the Canadian one’s still cool) showed movies unedited and uncut. Nowadays…I first noticed it when I was watching “I Claudius” and noticed they were carefully panning and scanning the picture to avoid showing Messalina’s breasts. Hey, guys, it’s Messalina, she wouldn’t mind, she was a whore! You know when you can see more on PBS than on cable something’s screwy. Lots of “Why the HELL did they bother to even show it now?” movies on there nowadays. And so many commercials…sheesh.

But the absolute worst thing I ever saw was “Glengarry Glen Ross”. The background noises would suddenly cut out for a second and you’d hear ‘Jack Lennon’ or ‘Ed Harris’ say, “Dang you!” or “I won’t listen to this nonsense!” or some such. My favorite cut involved Jack turning around in a rage and waving his (clothed) butt at Kevin Spacey, and yelling, “Kiss my act! Yeah, stupid, kiss my act!” :confused:

However, I would disagree that taking out such language always ruins a movie–I saw “Primary Colors” on TNT the night before Election Day, and it didn’t matter that they were now saying “That’s bull!” or whatever to each other because the movie could make its point without it.

Speaking of the UK, I know a guy who really loves “Married With Children” and Sky used to show it before the watershed and censor it a lot. All references to Peggy’s maiden name, Wanker, were cut out. This was especially hard in scenes when she’d talk to her mother on the phone, or remember her high school days, or her father came over to visit…

Done on purpose to play up the campy spoof nature of the film.

We used to have a channel in KC called Kansas City 62 (catchy name, eh?) but it became a legit station about 7 years ago, and a UPN or some other tiny-work affiliate a few after that, but it used to have Ray Adams’ Saturday movies or something like that, and they showed uncuts.


The mention of PBS above made me remember my days in Salt Lake City. You can pick up two PBS stations – the one associated with the University of Utah (KUED) and the one associated with Brigham Young University (KBYU). On KBYU they would cut out any nudity. So the nudity in I, Claudius or the movie “Diva” or even an episode of Sherlock Holmes would be snipped. But you could switch channels and see it al on KUED. (KUED also ran commercial-free “Rocky and Bullwinkle” – an unusually enlightened Public Broadcasting Station.)

I was watching Family Plot on AMC. They were showing a version in which there were a lot of very funny substitutions. My favorite was ‘ricecakes’ for ‘christsakes.’

“Fer ricecakes! Are you trying to kill us?”

My favorite so far was George Clooney in “From Dusk 'Til Dawn” declaring himself to be 'one mean motor-scooter"

They may have some silly epithets to replace the real ones, but the worst editing for TV involves some of the older cartoons. I remember one Chuck Jones cartoon where the final gag was that the cat was to dive into an empty swimming pool as a payoff. Cut completely. The cat and the audience were left in midair.

Better not to show the thing than to make stupid cuts like that.

Cartoons are big casualties of editing. Every last scrap of blackface humor, so far as I’ve seen, is now on the cutting room floor. Often, it totally eviscerates the joke.

Can’t we all just recognize that the cartoons were products of the time in which they were created and leave 'em alone?

Breakfast Club is a vault of wonderful bad edits (or, as my wife and I refer to it, as the “Channel 9” version - 9 being the home station for WGN).

There’s the aforementioned “Flip,” used when Michael-Hall’s character is talking to Claire:

“Well flip you, Claire! Flip you!”

Or when Judd Nelson’s character is interrogation Claire about her sexual history:

Original line:

“C’mon, level with me, sport. Does he slip you the hot beef injection?”

Edited line:

“C’mon, level with me, sport. Does he slip you some hot wild affection?”

Much as I love the real movie, the editing in this is a perverse pleasure.

My favorite of all time has to be from The Late Shift, which was a movie originally made for HBO. When Comedy Central showed it, though, they changed the line “Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.” to “Thank you and the horse you rode in on.”

I guess any replacement for the f-word in that sentence would sound ridiculous, but that one takes the cake. :smiley:

Channel 20 in the S.F. Bay area used to show movies like Walkabout un-cut.

I swear there was stuff in it that wasn’t in even the theatrical release! (Mostly nudity.)

Perhaos one of you U.S. cnetizens can help me here: I disussed the merits of the Highlander movie with an american a couple of years back, and realized that he didn’t get the “It’s a kind of magic” reference (you know, where the Highlander kisses Rachel on the forehead before going out to fight the Kurgan) at all. Apparently the WWII scene where the Highlander shoots the Nazi and rescues 6-year old Rachel has been cut - or has it ?

I’d consider it quite a central part of the plot and as movie violence goes, it’s certainly not graphic.

Is this scene cut ? - and why ?

S. Norman

Rats, a search engine is a wonderful thing.

Apparently, the scene was cut from the US theatrical release as well. I’m still trying to figure out why…

S. Norman

I’m watching “Major League” on Comedy Central right now. When Roger Dorn and Rick Vaughn are conferring on the mound at the end, and Dorn originally says “Strike this motherfucker out!” the edited version is “Strike this guy out.” Very inelegant. If they were going to replace a multisyllabic word like “motherfucker,” they should have found another multisyllabic word, like maybe “gooberhead.”

I saw Predator a while a ago; when Arnold finally sees the Predator, he said “You’re one ugly ------fucker”.

Much as I hate to admit it, I do understand the rationale (Though don’t entirely agree with it) for editing the old WB cartoons . . . it’s one thing to accept them as being products of thier times, but it’s another to expect very young childeren to understand that. Would make more sense to just not show the more inapropriate ones, though.

Course, the IDEAL situation would be to stop using them a s the default children’s programming, as they’re really not intended for young children. But that’s not going to happen.

And cutting them for violence seems to me to be nuts, considering most of the networks that show them also show Tom & Jerrry.

You think american cartoons get cut badly, think of what gets done to anime . . . They’re trying to cram Vision of Escaflowne into a saturday morning slot. Every important plot thread involves either someone’s death or adultery.

Oddly enough, in one episode of MST3K I’m pretty sure a very obvious “Shit!” snuck past the censors. (in the movie being watched, not buy M&TB) Then again, SF networks BS&P is pretty random.

To say nothing of . . .

“Is that stud, coming?”

Our slightly odd high school psychology teacher showed One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest in class every year. Of course, the school authorities insisted he use the edited for television version, which had all the “naughty words” blanked out. The problem is that there were so many of them. At one point, I swear, Nicholson’s lips were moving for well over a minute without a single sound coming out. It actually made the movie funny rather than disturbing, which of course wasn’t the intent at all.