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In progress The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Italian Cut Reconstruction in English)
#1
Most of us are aware of the dismal state of Leone's work on home video, and this project is intended to bring more options to the plate for fans of this iconic film. As the title says, I'm recreating the actual Italian cut, using the Mondo as the primary source (only because the Kino disc didn't recover the eradicated colors on MGM's master). Taking inspiration from PDB's great, if mildly flawed, IC reconstruction from a while back, I'll be using shots from both US Blu-rays depending on which one is easier to fit into the given sequence.

Now, about the "English" part. I'll be inserting the English title card, English "good," "bad," and "ugly," cards during the film, and the English "THE END" card. BUT, the credit sequence (barring the title) will be the Italian version. This is because I just really hate the changes that were made to the sequence for the English version. Primarily that they didn't bill Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef with Clint Eastwood at the beginning, but also the fact that the white powder splashes for the text have been reanimated as blobs. I just don't see having the English credits being worth compromising the artistic integrity of the sequence.

Now, if that isn't bad enough, I'm not even leaving the English text alone. For the title card, and for the final "and the good" card, I will be editing the footage to match the Italian footage. So, the "in" will be removed from the title card, as the Lee Van Cleef credit already says that. The title card will also be centered as it grows in frame, and it will grow a bit larger to fill more of the frame, just like the Italian title card. As for the final "good" card, I'll just be removing the "and" part from the frame. I don't really like it, and of course, the Italian shot just says "il buono."

Concerning these changes I'll be making to the film, I'm aware that revisionism isn't exactly what this community stands for, nor do I personally. This is why I'd like to ask, what options would everyone like me to release? I would gladly release "my cut" along with a version with all the original unaltered English titles put in, if some would prefer that, or if some would prefer the Italian text is left in, I could also be up for that. So for all who may be interested, let me know what you think of what I'm doing and what you'd like me to release.

Now, back to the point. This probably will take a little while to complete because of one roadblock. The torture scene. This scene can't be easily stuck back together the way it's supposed to be. And it's really only because of the English audio being not only shorter, but with parts of the scene re-ordered. This will make syncing the English dialogue to the extended and re-ordered footage very difficult without causing some pretty jarring and abrupt music cuts, and even the music itself is a little different in the Italian cut. I'm going to try experimenting with using both the full length Italian audio and the English track mixed together, and I'll try it in a couple different ways to see if a pleasant solution can be found. So, if anyone has useful knowledge, skills, or advice for this bit of trouble, please feel free to chime in Smile

That said, I don't have the MGM disc right now, only the Kino, which has a messed up frame rate on the bonus feature, so I just ordered a copy of the MGM 4K to use the full length Italian footage from that. I'll have to wait for that to arrive before I can get started editing the beating scene. But, I thought I'd post the thread now to get some discussion going.

Last question I'm posing to anyone who has maybe done more research than I have: Is there still any footage from the Italian release that simply doesn't exist on video yet? I know about this:

https://vimeo.com/169015668

and if I have to I'll end up using that preview to include the footage, though for this:

https://vimeo.com/169704930

I may have to exclude that due to the heavy damage, sadly. Lastly, this:

https://vimeo.com/214113261

is something I'm not sure if I can fix, but I'll definitely look into it. But other than those I don't know of anything that doesn't exist anymore.

Anyway, the majority of the film will be Mondo color corrected to appear generally more like a 35mm print. And i will be making the opening background orange instead of red as detailed here:

https://vimeo.com/213306321

Unless that was exclusive to the IC, though I would assume the background colors remained the same between cuts.
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#2
Good luck, Dek. I would love to watch the final results. I'd say go with your plan as detailed.

Couple of things. If you are committed to using the Mondo, you need to track down thehutt's Mondo English sync from over on the OT. thehutt built an English sync to the Mondo using the IC LD's mono PCM (from my cap) and bits and pieces from the Italian and 98 DVD. If you want to keep the Italian torture sequence, that should eliminate that sync problem and pretty much any English audio issues. I'd send you a copy but I long since lost it in a HDD crash but maybe someone has it around here.

The other option, if you want to keep the IC parts, is to do what I did and re-cut the torture sequence into the IC flow but then you need to add the 3 or 4 shots that are unique to the IC cut. If you want to keep that particularly English sync going you will need to add the other unique IC shots at the end (the hanging and "son of a bitch" shots) but at that point you are getting away from the Italian cut.

Sadly the Mondo has it's own issues in keeping with the age of the scan.
New members: Please do not post or PM asking where to get something. Projects are for long term, participating members only. Stick around and make some friends
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#3
Actually, one of the reasons the torture scene is so messed up is because even the Mondo is missing a ton of shots compared to the Italian theatrical release. Some shots in the IC should be in the Italian cut but are not in the Mondo. One of the many problems with the Mondo. And yeah I already have thehutt's syncs for both the Mondo and the MGM extended. Even outside the torture scene, "Sorry Tuco" is in the Italian cut but is missing from the Mondo. And I think I'm going to use the "son of a bitch" shot since I'm using English dialogue.

Here's a comparison video that shows how chopped up the Mondo torture scene is compared to the Italian theatrical cut:

https://vimeo.com/214347921

That's why I have to wait for the MGM BD to arrive to start editing the sequence proper, since they included that bonus feature of the full length sequence that was left unrestored.
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#4
I just thought about it today for some reason, but another issue with the sound in the torture scene is a bit that isn't dubbed in English since it was cut out in the IC. At about 4:32 in that comparison video of the Italian cut's torture scene, the Union guy gives more orders to the musicians shortly after telling the fiddler to finish the song. Now, I started to think that it might be possible to keep that shot by dubbing the line in English myself, which might become amateur hour if I can't find someone with a suitable voice. Would that be best to cut out of the reconstruction, or dub it?

Also, regarding the line itself, I had some trouble making out the syllables, and this is all I got from just listening to it: "epoiotre la giù più poche," which Google translates as "and down the next few more," which would make sense if he's telling them to continue repeats at the end of the song. The previous line I can only make out as "pone finito," which Google translates as "ends finished," which would make sense if he's saying to finish the end of the song, and if the song would've ended there, he of course would tell them to repeat a few more times. This is just what I could figure and plenty of it may be wrong, so it'd be great if our local Italian insiders could chime in and let me know. If I were to fandub the missing line, I'd like to have it properly translated. Smile

EDIT: It could also be "epoiotrelaggiù più poche," which Google translates as "and then a few more," which is a bit more coherent. And if the other is "poni finito," Google translates that as "make it finished," which is also a bit more coherent.
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#5
(2019-08-31, 05:05 AM)Dek Rollins Wrote: Would that be best to cut out of the reconstruction, or dub it?

Personally, I would do what Arrow Video does and most other companies whenever something like this occurs, and that would be to just leave in the original audio intact (perhaps with minor audio mixing so the transition isn't too jarring with the assumption that the mono mix between cuts are noticeably different) and force a subtitle over the scene. Now obviously I'm not suggesting you hard-burn it onto the screen, but just make a forced subtitle file when you mix the MKV with the translated text (supposing you can get someone who can quickly translate the Italian lines for you) for those moments without English audio. It'd be a good compromise since it wouldn't mean having to resort to fandubbing which I can quickly see turning into a mess real fast (no offense).
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#6
I'd definitely like to include an audio option that just uses the Italian audio for the whole scene with English subtitles on the dialogue. I'd still like to remix the scene to keep it all English though. If I decide to make a version with the fandubbed line it won't be the only option when I release it.
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#7
(2019-08-31, 06:19 AM)Dek Rollins Wrote: I'd definitely like to include an audio option that just uses the Italian audio for the whole scene with English subtitles on the dialogue. I'd still like to remix the scene to keep it all English though. If I decide to make a version with the fandubbed line it won't be the only option when I release it.

Well if you're gonna do that, then you'll definitely need to figure out how to match the general audio timbre when you mix your dub.
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#8
It'll certainly be a challenge. I'll be using the score soundtrack for any music that needs to be placed differently, though I can't seem to find evidence of a soundtrack release that includes the recording used in the Italian cut. Only the IC music is on any of the soundtracks I can find bits of online. Having the soundtrack of both version would help a lot with remixing the music.

Looking at the footage without sound, his lip movement could suit something like "If I tell you to you'll play all day" or something similar.
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#9
Sorry for noticing this just now. Are you planning a fandub of a clip based on assumptions made on Google translate without actually knowing Italian? You know, there's at least 2 Italians in this forum that can help out. I'm one, feel free to send any clip, I already worked on the subtitles (Italian to English) for the whole film, I can certainly help out translating a single line of dialogue.

As for the fandub itself, more often than not they stick out like a sore thumb even when done professionally, it's easy to underestimate how hard it is to make something decent even on a short line of dialogue, but I'm ready to be impressed of course.
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#10
(2019-09-04, 09:05 PM)Evit Wrote: Sorry for noticing this just now. Are you planning a fandub of a clip based on assumptions made on Google translate without actually knowing Italian? You know, there's at least 2 Italians in this forum that can help out. I'm one, feel free to send any clip, I already worked on the subtitles (Italian to English) for the whole film, I can certainly help out translating a single line of dialogue.

As for the fandub itself, more often than not they stick out like a sore thumb even when done professionally, it's easy to underestimate how hard it is to make something decent even on a short line of dialogue, but I'm ready to be impressed of course.

Everything you've said is true Smile. Yeah I knew that there are Italian members, which is why I mentioned that help would be welcome in a previous post. I guess I didn't reach out directly because I hate being imposing. All I would need translated is the short line in the torture scene, if you look at the 4:30 mark in that comparison video.

And of course I'm aware that listening to the syllables by ear and Google translating them is hardly any good, but that's why I said that I could have it all wrong, since neither I nor Google is a reliable source for translation.

As far as the fandub goes, I might not even try it. Once I start editing the sequence in a couple days, I'll find out how the timing will work regarding the change from the English track to the Italian track. It wouldn't be quite so difficult if the Italian version was on the soundtrack. But if I do try the fandub, I know it'll be extremely difficult to make it not stick out. I might make a recording and then decide it's not worth using. But the first step to trying it out is knowing what line to say.
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