Monday, 11 January 2010

Sex and the Other Woman : A Tale of Two DVDs

Finally had a chance to compare the UK and US Discs of Sex and the Other Woman over Christmas. As already mentioned the US disc is shorter than the UK one (the running time of the US DVD is 1:19:46 compared to the UK running time of 1:23:41), but that is only half the story as the film has been substantially re-edited for its US release.

The first difference between the two versions is that both have different title sequences, the US titles play over stills of Felicity Devonshire (billed as Felicity Devon in the US titles), while the UK titles play over footage of Henry being dragged around shopping by his wife, as a result the US version is missing some footage from the opening scene and only cuts to the scene when Richard Wattis’ narration kicks in. The credits in the US version are also allot less extensive than the UK version, depriving you of a cheap laugh over the name of the film’s production secretary.

The first two episodes have been flipped for the US release, originally the film opens with the Maggie Wright story then the Jane Cardew story, which is the way it plays on the UK disc, but evidentially the US distributor thought that Jane Cardew’s bits should be more erm… upfront, so its her story that appears first in the US version.

Flipping the two initial stories about results in Richard Wattis’ intros being re-edited, and cut short for the US version, but most of the cuts in the US version actually take place during the Maggie Wright story. The US version cuts from her arriving home from playing tennis to her and Reggie, the character she is having an affair with, taking off in the plane, deleting in-between sequences of her plotting to seduce him (whilst miming playing tennis in a mirror), the pair of them driving to the airfield and the plane starting. After the airplane sex scene (“please report your exact position”), the US version deletes part of the following scene at the photo shoot, removing a conversion between Maggie and the other model and the camp photographer issuing orders to the pair of them (“tits out, fannies up, tums in”).
The ending of the story is also cut short in the US version, the US version ends with her telling Reggie she is leaving him, whereas the scene goes on longer in the UK version and sees him trying to stop her from leaving and getting kicked in the balls for his troubles, Wattis’ comment about this “well, I suppose he asked for that” is also absent from the US version.

As well as the Wright story being cut down, the film has been re-scored for the US version as well, with different music and sound effects used for the Wright, Cardew and Felicity Devonshire stories, whoever did the re-scoring must have got bored towards the end though as the music in the final story, is identical in both versions. I can only guess that the US distributor considered the original UK score to comic or early 70s in tone (I don’t think the film was released in the USA till 1980, when this re-editing and re-scoring must have taken place.)

Picture quality on the UK disc is far superior as well (the print used for US disc is very dark), so if you’re interested in seeing the film, the UK DVD is really the way to go.

No comments: