Thursday, April 01, 2021

Speak Easily - 1932 - Editing Exercise - Sequences 11 and 12 blend for The Climax and We're OUTTA HERE!

At times, portions of the final section of Speak Easily seem to predict the climax of A Night at the Opera, with Keaton swinging from the rafters across the stage.  Originally, it ran like this:

The class went nuts.  Armetta was out! OUT! and Keaton needed to have a tighter focus and not drag out his time on the diorama.  In addition, an editing continuity had them rerunning the sequence where he stumbles from the catwalk, apparently on the right side of the stage, and then swings onto the stage from the left.  Using the miracle of digital editing, that was adjusted as well.  And who puts a fade out in the middle of a comedy climax!?!?

And whoosh! It is over at last.  

While 20:20 hindsight is always an easy thing, we cannot fault everyone involved in the production of Speak Easily with its shortcomings, but we can use it as an exercise on how not to put together a comedy.  By today's tastes, Speak Easily doesn't hold up very well, but we must remember that in its 1932 release, it made more money than any of Keaton's silent films ever did.  So like Pixar and its Cars series, MGM felt it was making the right decisions based on what truly mattered to Louis B.  and Irving T.

1932 - 8 minutes, 2 seconds

2021 - 6 minutes, 25 seconds

The complete, entire original film - 81 minutes 

The class edit project final length - 72 minutes

Next we're going to work on either Intolerance or Gone with the Wind.  Or perhaps invest in a popcorn machine.

Complete assembly of the Speak Easily "Redux"  is on --

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