Thursday, December 18, 2014

About that interview

By now you've probably heard about how Sony Pictures shelved its movie The Interview because of the hacking kerfuffle and the purported threats of violence from... somebody: the hackers? North Koreans? Who knows. It is one of the more interesting reasons for a studio to shelve a movie, although there is in fact a fairly long list of movies that were either shelved completely, or just delayed by years in getting their release.

First up would be those movies whose principal production was never finished. Probably the best example I can think of would be Something's Gotta Give, the movie that Marilyn Monroe was making just before she died. Although her death definitively ended production on the movie, she had actually been fired from the production two months earlier and the movie probably wasn't going to get done, at least not in any way close to what the footage filmed to that point might have indicated.

Some movies get delayed because of the censors; a good example of this, I think, is The Outlaw. Howard Hughes' new discovery, Jane Russell, had a very ample bust, and that bust was used to good effect in the movie. Of course, that really ticked off the people enforcing the Production Code, because how dare anybody know that women have breasts? Production finished sometime in 1941, but the movie didn't get released until 1943. On a slightly different note, apparently 1933's Convention City did get a release, however brief. It was the horrified reaction to the more prudish critics that caused Warner Bros. to pull the movie and destroy all the copies.

Some movies had troubled productions that probably had something to do with the delay in their getting released. Greed had to be edited, becuase there was no way anybody was going to watch a nine-hour movie. The Magnificent Ambersons is another movie famous for being edited heavily after production was finished, much to the disgust of director Orson Welles, who was away from Hollywood when the editing was done. Another movie with a difficult production whose release was delayed is Night Unto Night, although the reasons for the delay were, I think, a bit difficult.

Jerry Lewis' Cinderfella was delayed for a fairly reasonable cause: the studio wanted a summer release, but Lewis thought the movie would work better as a Christmas release. So the release was delayed, and for summer release Lewis made The Bellboy whish was a smashing success.

Amd then there are movies like The Narrow Margin which had a delayed release for reasons I can't divine. Star Jacqueline White had already retired from the movies by the time the movie was actually released.

Any other interesting stories of movies whose release was delayed by a long time?

No comments: