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 Posted:   Apr 15, 2014 - 11:58 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

We had a screening of OUR TOWN on Saturday at the Shadowland in Ellenville. I own a very rare original print and it looked and, more importantly, sounded fantastic. Such a pitifully neglected film due to its P.D. status. And I'm sorry, I don't believe the dream ending ruins the experience. Yes, it's a compromise but I think it works.

BTW - for aficionados, I spotted character actor Harry Hayden among the "dead" during the graveyard sequence. He was a name player then, so he must have had a role that was cut prior to release (picture only runs 90 minutes).

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2014 - 4:21 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

And I'm sorry, I don't believe the dream ending ruins the experience. Yes, it's a compromise but I think it works.


According to an article written by producer Sol Lesser in the New York Times, Lesser worked very closely with Thornton Wilder to modify the play. Lesser wrote that Wilder was informed of all changes to the original play, and no change was made without his permission. Publicity materials contain much of the correspondence between Lesser and Wilder, including Wilder's consent to change the ending of the play.

In the original play, the character of Emily dies in childbirth. Wilder wrote Lesser: "Emily should live....In a movie you see the people so close 'to' that a different relation is established. In the theatre, they are halfway abstraction in an allegory, in the movie they are very concrete. So, insofar as the play is a generalized allegory, she dies-we die-they die; insofar as it's a concrete happening it's not important that she die; it is disproportionately cruel that she die. Let her live--the idea will have been imparted anyway."

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2014 - 1:47 AM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

OUR TOWN is a wonderful film condensation of a classic play - it deserves much wider acclaim and remembrance. It contains many of the Broadway original cast with indelible performances by Martha Scott as Emily and Frank Craven as the Stage Manager, plus a great Aaron Copland score .

Unfortunately no decent print has ever appeared on dvd or any other format - most are grainy and / or ragged. Too bad a rare original print has not been made available for general viewing so that more that film buffs might enjoy this classic .

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2014 - 2:06 AM   
 By:   chriscoyle   (Member)

Our Town is scheduled to air on TCM Friday May 9th at 10:15 am.

 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2014 - 3:27 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Hopefully the TCM print will be as good as mine. Even a gorgeous 16mm print can make a very good transfer.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2014 - 5:14 AM   
 By:   chriscoyle   (Member)

Hopefully the TCM print will be as good as mine. Even a gorgeous 16mm print can make a very good transfer.

I hope so too. I love the opening. That is an America long gone if it ever was. Every film music collector should have Copland: Music for Films. Beautiful album.

 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2014 - 12:51 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

In addition to the recent complete score recording, I have the Decca Little Orchestra Society recording, which is close-miked and has a wonderfully intimate quality to it.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2014 - 1:18 PM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Hello Ray. Slightly off topic, but one of the memorable evenings at a Broadway Show for me was seeing 'OUR TOWN' for the very first time; other than this film I mean. Lucky because of the part of 'The Narrator' being played by Paul Newman.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2014 - 5:16 PM   
 By:   JEC   (Member)

Hopefully the TCM print will be as good as mine. Even a gorgeous 16mm print can make a very good transfer.

I hope so too. I love the opening. That is an America long gone if it ever was. Every film music collector should have Copland: Music for Films. Beautiful album.


Copland's score to OUR TOWN was used to very good effect in a 1988 documentary about the Kennedy assassination called "JFK: A TIME REMEMBERED."

 
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