We’ve watched both versions (ie O’Toole/Hepburn and Stewart/Close) only a couple of weeks apart. What thinks Doperdom?
First I was a little surprised that that script was, as far as I could tell, word-for-word identical - normally you’d expect a little revision, I’d think. The one exception I noticed was Henry’s line “I’m the oldest man I know, I’ve got 10 years on the Pope!” became “… a decade …”; a change I saw no real point for.
Acting: O’Toole had it all over Stewart, IMO. Stewart was weirdly stiff, especially walking around - it was like he thought he had to project some sort of regal dignity or something.
However we disagreed over Eleanor - I thought Hepburn had the edge but my partner thinks Close was more real and less ‘fussy’, whatever she meant by that.
Setting: The second was was filmed in Hungary, I believe. But they used some pretty poor special effects in some outdoor scenes, quite disappointing.
Sound: my partner didn’t enjoy the first one so much because she found the sound muddy, and I have to agree - perhaps me knowing the film so well helped, whereas it was the first time for her. Neither DVD had subtitles, which is a shame for a dialog-based movie like that.
Enjoyed both but my affections are definitely for the original.