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Lubitsch Cut

Unearthing “The Lubitsch Cut: “What was apparently being offered for $150 was a production tape of Peter Bogdanovich’s last film, in a format demanding equipment I did not have. A curiosity, to be sure, but it would take a richer man than me to pick it up simply to use as a paperweight. There was no indication anything was extraordinary about this odd item, but when I closer examined the provided photo I spotted something intriguing.

“The tape was labeled Squirrels to the Nuts. Title changes happen. The listed running time was 1:53:00. 113 minutes? She’s Funny That Way was 94 minutes. Even if it was just a cruddy-looking work print with sound issues, a time stamp, and a temporary music track, I possibly would see this troubling film at an earlier stage, perhaps getting at last a sense of what the original intention was, no matter how frustrating the final product… It didn’t take long to realize this this was something very different. Sinatra. “New York, New York.” Manhattan. Brilliant sunrise. Peter’s bold, ‘brand-new start’ mentioned at the top of this piece. And this proved no workprint. It was crisp, HD image, fully finished… No one on Earth but me knew what was on this tape.”

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