Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Deep Red versions straw poll

A quick question:

If you've seen different cuts of Deep Red / Profondo Rosso, which do you prefer overall, if you have a preference, and why do you prefer it?

* The English-language version(s), which omits much of the romantic comedy subplot and interplay between Marc Daly and Gianna Brezzi.

* The Italian-language version, which includes all of this material.

* The Japanese Suspiria 2 version which, although I have never seen it myself, is apparently in between the English and Italian versions in length.

* Another version I'm maybe not aware of, e.g. in French or German; if so, can you also say a little bit about what it best compares to in content and length.

There is a somewhat obscure logic behind this question, which I will explain if anyone wants to know it before answering and once the results are in in any case.


Anonymous said...

I think the perfect edit is the spanish version, wich takes part (but not all) of the romantic subplot. It's a pity that the DVD looks blur and it's not 2'35" framed.

Keep the good job!
Greetings from Barcelona!

Anonymous said...

I only know the US and (restored) Italian/Anchor bay versions and an older German version. Out of these, the German one is slightly shorter than the Italian cut and missing most of the gore (=forgettable) and the US one has always been my favourite - far better pacing and the romance subplot hasn't aged well at all IMO, so I don't miss the scenes that were edited out.

I'd never even heard of the Spanish and Japanese versions, sounds interesting.

Maxime Duguay said...

I only ever watched the American Anchor Bay edition which seems to be the cut Argento always wanted. I consider the romance parts to be kind of essential to this movie. It serves the main plot, as it pushes the viewer to be aware of Marc's sexual ambiguity and puts the battle of masculinity vs. feminity at the center of the movie.

Sure, on my first couple of viewings I felt those romance scenes were slowing the pace of the movie. But after a while, I began taking attention to the dialogues and to many other details of Deep Red and realized it was just perfect like this.

Anonymous said...

Well, most of the scenes that I recall missing in the shorter American version aren't that essential with regards to masculinity vs. feminity (which I never thought of as a particular strong theme in the movie anyway) or Marc's sexual ambiguity, what's missing are mostly the "comedy scenes" (Gianna's car, the arm wrestling, which I suppose could be seen as significant though, although it's certainly a rather clumsy attempt at depth if done so) and a few seconds here and there which really don't make much of a difference plot-wise.
On the positive side, the shortened version has a much better flow and while the missing parts aren't necessarily bad in themselves, their absence doesn't really hurt the movie and even improves it IMO.

K H Brown said...

Thanks for the comments guys; I'm not going to reply yet and will give it a little bit longer in case anyone else wants to contribute.

coffeebaker said...

I like the Suspiria 2 cut, although I haven't seen it for some time. I dubbed a rental tape while in Tokyo in the early 90's, and for me at the time it was revelatory: after seeing the original in NYC upon its initial theatrical release, I (along with many others) had suffered multiple times through the fullscreen "Hatchet Murders" rental VHS release.

The quality of the R1 DVD was such that I was never tempted to watch my old dub again...perhaps I will now! In general? I think a pristine-looking Suspiria 2 cut would be the one I'd watch more, and the one I'd use to attempt to sell someone on Argento. I mostly like (and am now accustomed to) the romantic byplay etc in the longer cut but it definitely undercuts the film's velocity...and the language switches take me out of the story a bit even now after multiple viewings.

EricNS said...

Hi Keith,

For your information: the shortest edit of Profondo Rosso was the French VHS released by VIP under the title "Les Frissons de L'angoisse". This edit was only 80 minutes long! It was a sloppy version, with an awful image quality and a pathetic out of sync French dubbing.
That's how I saw this movie in the late 80ies. back then I didn't liked it that much. I though it was a so-so giallo with better than average scenario. The creativity of Suspiria, the tension of Tenebre and the atmosphere of Inferno were all missing, and it had nothing else to offer.
A few years later I got myself the almost complete VHS version released by Redemption (120 minutes). It was a totally different experience! Suddenly I was in front of a masterpiece! One of my favorite movie ever. I could finally enjoy its complexity, its atmosphere and the astonishing camera work.

The missing bits from the first French and US editions are, in my opinion, key elements. The layered deceptive introduction, the ambiguous characters, the subplots, the humor and the romance between Marc and Gianna are all essential. Profondo Rosso feels unbalanced with only the action and the horror. From all the Argento movies, I always though that Profondo Rosso had the strongest plot, and I don't want to miss one bit of it! My favorite version is now the French DVD from WildSide with an excellent image quality and a beautiful packaging (At 126 minutes, I think it is the full version).


Benjamin Hall said...

I first watched it as the cut version on one of those cheapo dollar dvds. I was just starting to get into Giallos and thought it was largely laughable with a few great scares.

I later read the version I saw was heavily cut and sought out the uncut version years later as my tastes in foreign horror had become more refined.

The uncut version is much, much better. I really, really enjoyed it and use it now as a standard.

Abuelo Igor said...

Am I the only one who wants to know the "obscure logic" behind the question?

K H Brown said...

Fair enough:

It's connected to Edgar Allan Poe's essay on the Philosophy of Composition, from which the oft-cited “death of a beautiful woman” quote comes from. Poe argues that a governing principle in making an art work is “unity of effect,” that the artist should decide what effect he wishes to have on his audience and then make his aesthetic choices on that basis.

It's something I was first thinking about in relation to the final sequence of Opera, and whether that could be made to accord with Poe's principles. I concluded that it could, if the effect Argento wished to have on his audience was unease or uncertainty, specifically over Betty's sanity.

Then I started thinking about it in relation to Deep Red and how the cut down version of the film which eliminates most of the screwball comedy / battle of the sexes material perhaps works better to produce a unitary effect of terror, and the various cuts of the film in circulation.