Legend:Director's/English Cut--why so long in coming to US?

Thanks to Netflix.com,I have a copy of the 80’s movie “Legend”(starring a very young,very HOT Tom Cruise as well as Mia Sarah,of “Ferris Buellar’s Day Off” and Hallmark’s “Jack and the Beanstalk:The Real Story” fame)on it’s way to my home.Up until now I’ve only seen the version that was released in the US and drooled over the day when Ridley Scott(director)would release the ‘UK version’/Director’s cut(they’re the same thing from what I understand) here in the good old US of A. Why did they wait so long in releasing it here in the US?If you’ve watched the video(or DVD…if that’s your thing),the US version has sloppy editing that makes you sit back and go ‘hmmm’.A few of the really GOOD parts are chopped out of the original US version of the movie which causes other parts of the movie to not make sense at all.
Why did they release two versions–one for the UK and one for US?Did they originally think that the US couldn’t handle some of the other scenes?Granted…I could see them cutting out the graphic love scene between Princess Lilli(Sarah)and the Prince of Darkness(played by the very dark,very spooky Tim Curry)towards the end of the film.But other scenes(such as the pixie fireside dance)were cut as well,and sloppily at that.
I realize I am not a filmmaker and I don’t know exactly WHY they cut said scenes.But I am glad that finally,they realized their idiotic mistakes and released the UK/Director’s Cut on DVD.
Thank the Goddess.:slight_smile:


Working off of memory here, so forgive me… the details of the cuts and changes for the U.S. version were detailed on the CD of the Jerry Goldsmitrh soundtrack for the U.K. soundtrack of Legend, which I have but can’t seem to find right now.

As I recall, the U.S. film house that released Legend thought it was too dark for American audiences, so they cut many of the darker scenes and re-arranged some of the others. The rationale was that Tom Cruise had just come off of a successful run in Risky Buisness and they (the U.S. studio) wanted to play up Cruise’s “pretty-boy” image. Similarly, since Tangerine Dream did the score for Risky Business, they were brought back to compose a new score for the American version of Legend, replacing Jerry Goldsmith’s music. Though I love the Tangerine Dream score of Legend on its own merits, I have to admit that Goldsmith’s score fits the film better, particularly its dark undertones.

Basically, it was a marketing decision, playing up Cruise’s new status as a “hot property” and downplaying the darker elements of the film. They tried to make it a happy fantasy (sloppily, I agree), and in doing so sucked most of the marrow right out of the film. Two of my favorite scenes – one in which Gump gets downright threatening to Jack (looking very scary) and one in which Jack sort of seduces the swamp hag before killing her – were cut right out of the U.S. version, but interestingly enough are often added back in when it’s shown on television, because the U.S. version is too short to fill two hours, even with commercials. The U.K. version is simply a better, stronger film, and a real testament to Ridley Scott’s early talent… a talent which he seems to have abandoned in recent films.

For what it’s worth, the U.K. version has been available in the U.S. for some time, though somewhat hard to find. I’ve had the U.K. version on VHS tape for about 8 years now, but I’m glad to see that it’s finally getting a more proper presentation on DVD.