Edited for television: Best and worst

I’m glad other people have already picked on Blazing Saddles. I’ve seen so many hack jobs of the fart scene, sometimes they’re burping, sometimes horses are whinying throughout the scene, why bother.

Mel Brooks movies are doomed in general. I caught part of Spaceballs on TNT yesterday. The scene where the president transports and winds up facing his ass was cut entirely. Why? It’s hardly racy by today’s standards. And don’t even get me started on what they do to History of the World Part I.

On last night’s Pulp Fiction (local station) they kept changing “motherfucker” to “my friend”. Much nicer don’t you think?

Anyway I am glad that in the scene where the guy breaks into to the room where the two guys are raping the other guy, guts one of them with a samuri sword, then watches while the raped guy shoots the other one on the crotch and watches him writhe in agony while he describes the horrible tortures he will perform on him- I’m glad they had the presence of mind to change the “fuck” in the dialouge to “damn”. For the sake of the children.

I saw an airing of The Big Lebowski on USA network (I think, could’ve been TNT) in which the expletives were deleted and replaced with…nothing. Example:

in the original, Jeff Bridges as the Dude: “I hate the fuckin’ Eagles!”

edited for television: “I hate the…Eagles!” You still see his mouth form the word fuckin’ but the word itself is muted. The whole movie was like that. It actually made it funnier, I thought.

I can’t believe no one’s mentioned Ghostbusters yet! Everyone knows the famous scene that goes like this:

But in the edited for TV version, Ray says “Wally Wick” instead of “dickless” and Venkman says “This man is some kind of rodent.” What was once a killer joke becomes total nonsense.

Another movie of mention is Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. In the original, Bill finds out Ted’s not dead, so they hug each other, and then quickly jump back and say “Fag!” On TV, they say “Fool!” And then, of course, there’s the piece de resistance, which is appropriate because it’s Napoleon we’re talking about. When Napoleon tries to bowl and falls flat on his face, he yells “Merde!” repeatedly, with “Shit!” repeated a dozen times in subtitles. On TV, they change the “Shit!” to “Damn!”, but, here’s the kicker, they censor Napoleon’s French swearing!

Just the other day I saw Billy Madison on USA, and expected to see a few cuts. The one that got me was the scene where Adam Sandler calls Steve Buscemi and apologizes for how he treated him in high school. Steve says, no problem, and after he hangs up, he looks thoughtful, and then takes a marker and crosses out Billy Madison’s name from a list hanging up on the wall that says “people to kill.” But on TV, the list just had the names; the “people to kill” was blanked out. This is violence? I also noticed two scenes I’d never seen before, and I’ve seen this movie a lot. I guess they had to fill in the time for all they cut out.

I remember watching “Fletch” on TV years ago, and in one scene where the line was something like “shut up, ass-face” it was changed to “shut up, owl-face”. Owl face?

By any chance do you remember which episode it was? I have a lot of them on tape.

Get Shorty was shown on Saturday night, and every single utterance of “fuck” was just silenced. Bye bye background noise! Hello people moving their lips for no reason! Right near the end, with Danny DeVito directing the scene where the guy opens the locker, the guy opening the locker turns around, moves his mouth for a few seconds, but nothing comes out. Absolutely absurd. From what I could tell he said “fuck you, mother fucker”, but it’s hard to tell.

It started at 9:30 pm, this bit was around 11:30 pm, but on another channel movies starting at 8:30 had everything left in. Odd.

Both, of course, had the same “bad language is here, cover your ears!” at the start…

PBS just last night talked over the solution scene in the movie Return of the Thin Man, where Jimmy Stewart has to give his alibi to William Powell.

They did this for no reason whatever, ruining the scene, when 5 minutes later the credits were running to dumb music.

I can’t believe no one has mentioned Fargo! If I recall correctly, funny stuff for dubbing was used purposely. I can’t recall what they were dubbing over, but the best “new” phrase I heard was “frosted snow demons!” Made watching the cut version even funnier than the uncut…for a different reason.

Also, watched High Fidelity on an airplane. They changed every “asshole” to “airhole”. Completely sucked. Plan to rent it to see what they cut out that would make it better.

Two of my favorites:

I watched Crocodile Dundee the first time it aired on network television. When Dundee says, “You can live on it, but it tastes like shit”, the TV version replaces the word “shit” with the word “dung”. (Dung? I guess this was before “crap” was so popular, or something.) Anyway, they did such a terrible job replacing the word…it sounded several octaves lower than Paul Hogan’s voice, and the word sort of “rung”, as if the person were imitating a bell while saying the word. Geez, they might as well have used the word “excrement”, for all it stuck out. I think they’ve fixed it a bit in later showings, but they still use the word “dung”.

In Stand By Me, there is a scene where a bunch of kids are chanting, “LARD-ASS! LARD-ASS! LARD-ASS! LARD-ASS!” The first time I saw this on television, the “ASS” was deleted, but you could still see the kids mouthing the word, so the chant sounded like “LARD-! LARD-!” The second time I saw it on TV, they spliced the film so that you couldn’t see the kids mouthing the word “ass”. This sped up the chant significantly–“LARDLARDLARDLARDLARDLARDLARDLARD!” It was pretty funny.

I saw Thelma and Louise a while back and in the scene where a guy assaults one of them in the parking lot, they changed “I should have fucked her” to “I should have touched her”
The cut version I saw of Seven was so badly mangled it should have been called Six. I couldn’t even figure out what was going on for a while.

This may have been the same TV version I saw, in which the rapist tells Lousie to “clean my clock” rather than “suck my cock”. Thelma later calls her husband and says “go fry yourself”.

One of the Dallas TX stations used to show a badly edited version of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. At one point, Nicholson refers to someone as a “god damned cunt”. The censor deleted “god” but left the “cunt” part in! DOH!

The only instance I can recall of vulgarity in MST3k was in the short lived film version. There were a couple of scenes where ‘shit’ was thrown around, simply because it could.

Didn’t Data do the same thing in the first Star Trek:TNG film?

Yes, Data did utter that word. Why? Because the writers THOUGHT it would be funny.