Monday, April 20, 2009

Edited for TV

Thanks to an anonymous tip I was alerted to the brilliant editing job to make Snakes on a Plane safe for tv. "I have had it with these monkey fightin' snakes on this Monday to Friday plane!" I can't begin to explain the brilliance involved here. After three or four minutes of imagining snakes and monkeys battling it for the entertainment of weekday airline passengers - another budgetary move by a cut rate airline not wanting to spend the money on an in flight movie, I snapped out of it. That's when the lightbulb went off and I realized the brilliance of putting a completely nonsensical line into a preposterous movie. What could be more fitting. I feel like Homer Simpson as I'm imagining monkeys recreating the Civil War.

Then I started thinking about what, in my mind, is the worst editing job I have ever witnessed - Die Hard 2. I KNOW that several of you are way ahead of me and know I'm talking about the infamous 'yippie kay aye mister Falcon' scene. Not only was this one of the dumbest things I've ever heard, but for that one line, Bruce Willis' voice inexplicably changes completely. I immediately set out searching the internet for this wondrous video. In my quest to find this clip, I found a list of several other great edits including the amazing, "You racist melon farmer!" from the venerable Samuel L Jackson in Die Hard With a Vengeance, tying the whole thing together. But even more fascinating is that according to this same site:

Mr. Rupert "Stretch" Armstrong Falcon III was a network censor responsible for
editing the dialogue of popular films when broadcast on television, in order to
make them safer for children who would undoubtedly become drug users and
murderers if obscene language fell upon their innocent ears. Falcon was hired by
the networks to edit out the offending language and replace it with alternate
dialogue. He was remarkable for his ability to substitute an obscenity with a
word that was offensive to nobody and always made absolutely perfect sense, and
to imitate the voice of any actor with no less than 23% accuracy.


So the Die Hard 2 edit really is a fitting tribute to his hard work. And as luck would have it, I found a clip of several quality edits from Die Hard 2. The original unedited scene is shown followed by the safe for television version.

And I've said many times before that I do my best to avoid reading any comments on the internet, especially on youtube, but I broke my rule and was quite amused by one gentleman who said that he first say this on the TBS feature movies for guys who like movies ... with no boobs, blood, or swears.

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