Monday, January 31, 2011

Curse of the Demon (1957)

Dana Andrews said prunes ... oh, nevermind.

Shortly after Columbia released Night of the Demon in the UK, they released it as "Curse of the Demon" in the US. But could they leave well enough alone? Noooooo. They had to edit it. Somewhere along the way I got the impression that the American version was hacked up, shortened, edited for content, and tinkered with. I have no clue where I got that impression. But it was wrong.

We Americans are funny with Christianity. Some in the fold see threats everywhere, especially in Hollywood. I suppose I put one and one together and presumed that the edited version purified matters for our tender eyes and ears. The day after I watched Night I watched Curse. I noticed a couple scenes were shortened, conversations abbreviated, and one scene missing. But the film, for the most part, was intact.

The twelve deleted minutes were simply an attempt to tighten up a few scenes. I saw no hint of editing for content. If given my druthers, I would absolutely choose the original. The movie did not need shortening, but the harm was minimal.

Oh, and the reason for the name change? Studio execs didn't want to confuse it with Night of the Iguana. Not sure if they meant the story that was published nine years earlier or the movie that was released seven years later. Had this been the full version, I'd have given it a higher rating, but it isn't, so AMRU 3.

"You could learn a lot from children. They believe in things in the dark, although we tell them it's not so. Maybe we've been fooling them."

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