Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wild In The Country – The Deleted Scenes

In the September 2010 issue of the Elvis The Man And His Music magazine, there is a very interesting article about Wild In The Country, documenting deleted scenes from the movie. Turns out there are nine of them, described in detail in the article.

In fact, photos from many of the deleted scenes exist, and in the magazine some of them are published, including four film frames from the original ending (where Hope Lange's character Irene had died). These frames show Glenn (Elvis) sitting on a train on his way to college, opening an envelope Phil Macy (John Ireland) had given him on the train platform.

Interestingly enough, it was Elvis himself that initiated the decision to re-shoot the ending, telling the director of the film, Philip Dunne, that he thought "the boy was getting away with an awful lot in the picture."

Dunne, taking this in consideration, wrote in a memo that "He [Elvis] is on top of the world, going to college, all expenses paid, his story is published, owing everything to her, and she is dead, and he [Elvis' character] is the one who started all the trouble by making a pass at her. She is punished for what is essentially his mistake and he gets off scot-free. The trouble isn't Elvis performance – it is in the situation as it is written."

No footage or photos from the original sequence with Elvis on the train has ever before been seen, according to the author of the article, Bill Bram. Unfortunately he doesn't elaborate as to where he's found his "movie files". But the Fox memos he's quoting offers insight into the making of the movie and the confidence the director as well as the producer had in Elvis' acting abilities.

And I agree wholeheartedly with Bill Bram that it would be nice to think that someday there'll be a deluxe DVD version of Wild In The Country with all the deleted scenes included as bonus material.

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