What archival information is there on a Director's Cut of LEGEND from 1996 - 2002?
This question contains all of the information that the LEGEND FAQ had about a Director's Cut of LEGEND from 1996 thru 2002 when it was finally released. When this question was started we could only hope for a director's cut. Now we have one and we are very happy. The oldest entries are at the bottom of this page.
The new cover of the LEGEND Ultimate Edition DVD.
Check out the NEW Official Universal Press release from March
8th, 2002 at http://www.figmentfly.com/legend/pressreleaseofficial.html! The LEGEND Ultimate Edition DVD was released on May 21st, 2002!
May 22nd, 2002
May 16th, 2002
Last night, I (Sean) got my hands on the LEGEND Ultimate Edition DVD.
I'm breathless. The most important thing about the entire DVD, the whole reason this FAQ even exists, is the letterboxed presentation of the director's cut itself. LEGEND fans would have had little to complain about if this had been a film-only release on DVD.
Thankfully we got a whole lot more. :-).
If all you have ever seen is the panned and scanned version of LEGEND, you are in for an incredible treat visually with all of the additional information present in the frame. Oh how I would LOVE to see this projected on the big screen.
I've been looking to get a director's cut of LEGEND on DVD since I really started researching LEGEND back in 1992. This was when I hooked up with Geoff Wright and we started gathering information together for the basis of the FAQ you are looking at now. Tony Anderson beat us to the punch when he posted his LEGEND FAQ essay so we teamed up with him and brought our information into the mix and the LEGEND FAQ took on a life of it's own.
I'd like to clear up something right off the bat that I've seen in other reviews - Ridley Scott did not "recut" LEGEND to make the Director's cut on the DVD - the Director's cut on the DVD is the same cut that was previewed in 1985 and luckily rediscovered in England in 1999.
I'm not going to get into the technical specs of the disc or the image and sound quality - that has been covered extensively elsewhere. I want to talk about the questions I have had about this DVD that no reviews have really touched on. So lets get started, shall we?
What is the four goblins original opening like?
Absolutely fascinating. The footage is from a videotape and most of the sound elements are not there (i.e. a lot of the footage is silent except where some on-set dialogue is present) although the Goldsmith score does play over the footage. You get to catch patches of dialogue here and there (and I'm going to have to call on LEGEND fans to help me make a transcript of this) but it is obvious that there was still a lot of work that needed to be done this sequence to finish it.. We finally get to see Tic and he is dressed up in armor like Blunder so we never see his face. Blix drops him down a chasm after the other three cross on a vine. We see Darkness as a shrouded figure just like in the film when they bring him the horn. I cannot tell you how pleased I am to finally see this footage. This is, along with the fairy dance, a personal LEGEND holy grail of mine. Speaking of the fairy dance, the photos and storyboards are great in the recreation of the scene. Of course, I wish the original footage still exists but this is far better than nothing at all.
What's the documentary like?
Excellent - it's great to see so many of the people involved in LEGEND accounted for in the documentary with the exception of Tom Cruise and Jerry Goldsmith who both chose not to participate. There is a lot of behind the scenes footage and overall it gives a great history of the production of the film. And it's great to see William Hjortsberg doing his Ridley Scott impressions.
What extra footage is in the Director's cut?
Well, there is a lot footage present that I detailed originally when I compared the American Version with the European Version. My plan is to document the additional footage in the director's cut as well. This may take a little while but I'll be doing it in the near future. For the time being you can check out the original article here : http://www.figmentfly.com/legend/fairydust.html.
How is Ridley Scott's commentary?
Very enjoyable to listen to - he obviously really likes the film and its fun to listen to him rediscover things about the film that still impress him today, like the glitter on the snow.
I will write a little article about the tortured production that finally led up to the release of the LEGEND DVD. I hope to start all the way back when LEGEND was briefly rumored as a Special Edition Laserdisc. Politics in Hollywood are just amazing. I'll also need to go through the entire FAQ and update answers. Yikes, that'll be fun. :-)
I would like to hear from LEGEND fans when they finally get the DVD to let me know what they think of the Director's cut, the special Edition - write your own review if you want.
I can't wait for everyone to see this DVD!
May 10th, 2002
- Universal has set up a Cult Cinema site that features LEGEND among other Universal DVD Cult Cinema releases. This can be found at http://www.cult-cinema.com where you can enter for a chance to win the seven DVDs presently available. Check it out.
- Check out the LEGEND trailer in Windows Media format on-line at any of the following links :
- A LEGEND fan pointed me to the Circuit City website (http://www.circuitcity.com) where they found the following detailed listing :
Theatrical Date: 1985
Screen Formats: WSE
Produced By: Universal
DVD Sides: 2
Run Time: 204 Minutes
Features: Two full-length features: original theatrical version and director's cut.
Commentary with director Ridley Scott.
Lost Scenes "The Faerie Dance": music and storyboards depicting the lost scene
Disc 1 - The Director's Cut
1. Main Titles [2:11]
2. Darkness [3:03]
3. Princess Lily [5:02]
4. Jack [4:24]
5. The Unicorns [9:00]
6. A World of Ice [6:44]
7. Gump & His Friends [7:27]
8. The Unicorns' Plight 14:07
9. Meg Mucklebones [5:18]
10. Prisoners [5:29]
11. One of Us [8:31]
12. The Dark Lord [4:41]
13. Jack's Plan [3:38]
14. The Bride of Darkness [8:07]
15. Sacrifice [6:51]
16. Darkness Denied [4:58]
17. Promises to Keep [2:09]
18. End Titles [7:21]
Disc 2 - The Theatrical Cut
1. Main Titles [3:42]
2. Darkness [2:41]
3. Princess Lily [3:29]
4. Jack [3:53]
5. The Unicorns [5:18]
6. A World of Ice [6:17]
7. Gump & His Friends [3:03]
8. The Unicorns' Plight 12:19
9. Meg Mucklebones [3:35]
10. Prisoners 11:10
11. One of Us [3:37]
12. The Dark Lord [2:56]
13. Jack's Plan [7:15]
14. The Bride of Darkness [3:51]
15. Sacrifice [6:14]
16. Darkness Denied [1:46]
17. Promises to Keep [:07]
18. End Titles [3:45]
Disc 1 - The Director's Cut
Play Director's Cut
English 5.1 Dolby Digital
English 5.1 DTS
English 2.0 Dolby Digital
Feature Commentary With Director Ridley Scott
Captions and Subtitles
English Captioned for the Hearing Impaired
Feature Commentary by Ridley Scott
Cocteau's "Beauty and the Beast"
Bringing Reality to Fantasy
Building an Endless Forest
Assembling the Cast and Crew
Rob Bottin/Burning Down the Bond Stage
Tom Cruise/Swimming With Alligators
Looping Gump/Creating Atmosphere
Breaking into Filmmaking/In-Camera Magic
Robert Picardo: Dangerous and Funny
Billy Barty/Snubbed at the Oscars
Jerry Goldsmith at His Best
Dealing With Darkness
Levels of Seduction and Manipulation
Endangered Animals/Dramatic Lighting
Cruise's Physicality/Safety and Preparations
Mia Sara's Singing/Fairy Tale Morals
The Curtain Call
Play Commentary On
Play Commentary Off
Disc 2 - The Theatrical Cut
Play U.S. Theatrical Release
Creating a Myth: The Making of Legend
Isolated Music Score by Tangerine Dream
Alternate Opening: Four Goblins
Play Alternate Opening
The Faerie Dance
Play Faerie Dance
Lily and the Unicorns
Downfall of Darkness
U.S. Theatrical Trailer
TV Spots (Play All)
TV Spot A
TV Spot B
TV Spot C
TV Spot D
Images of Legend
Bryan Ferry "Is Your Love Strong Enough" Music Video
Cast and Filmmakers
Tom Cruise as Jack
Mia Sara as Lily
Tim Curry as Darkness
David Bennent as Gump
Alice Playten as Blix
Billy Barty as Screwball
Cork Hubbert as Brown Tom
Directed by Ridley Scott
Captions and Subtitles
English Captioned for the Hearing Impaired
- May 1st, 2002
- The following images of the Ultimate Edition LEGEND DVDs were originally found at http://www.davisdvd.com/News/discart.htm.
- Two new reviews of the LEGEND DVD : The first is spread over two pages at http://dvd.ign.com/articles/358/358327p1.html and http://dvd.ign.com/articles/358/358327p2.html.
"Legend: Ultimate Edition
Ridley Scott's fantasy epic finally arrives on a packed two-disc set. Our multi-page review.
May 01, 2002 - Here's a DVD with a bit of history. Originally due for release quite a while ago, Ridley Scott's Legend has been a mythical DVD on the top of many DVD collector's list. Not only because a very good version of the movie doesn't exist right now, but also because this DVD edition promised the original cut of the film that includes a Jerry Goldsmith score.
This two-disc set contains the Director's Cut on the first disc complete with a scene-specific audio commentary by Ridley Scott and Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS soundtracks, while disc two is fully packed with the theatrical cut of the film, an isolated score track, featurettes, and much more.
Legend is basically a children's storybook brought to life on the big screen, with a huge budget and Ridley Scott behind the camera. The Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry who is barely recognizable under layers of makeup) captures a pure princess (Mia Sara), and a forest dweller (Tom Cruise) must embark on a quest to save her.
Even after all of these years, Legend still is visually impressive. The movie was made well before the advent of CGI effects, and using the huge James Bond soundstages in the UK for the elaborate sets, the movie really looks like a storybook painting brought to life.
The forest scenes are full of texture with small particles floating around in every shot, then snow later. The early scenes in the forest are some of the most impressive, and all of it was shot live on a huge soundstage. Later in the film it gets a bit darker and the lighting is excellent as well with the only source of light being the hot orange light of fire.
In the original theatrical cut, there were some abrupt edits that caused some scenes to not make much sense and made some of the transitions a little jarring. This new director's cut fixes all of that with about twenty-four minutes of footage added in.
While there are bits and pieces of new scenes added (such as more footage with the Unicorns), the majority of the changes flesh out the movie. They fix those abrupt edits in the original cut; make the film flow better, and overall make this Director's Cut the definitive edition of the film. It's like comparing an unabridged novel to an abridged one. You still get the same story in both cases, but one is just a little fuller.
There really shouldn't be any large fan separation on which version is better. This isn't like the Blade Runner situation as the original theatrical cut had many problems that almost everyone agreed on that are now fixed in the director's cut.
Legend has a very simple story, but that's probably part of it's charm. But, like another childhood favorite of many (Willow), Legend is an either love it or hate it film. Myself, despite the simple story, I enjoy the movie if only as a visually stunning piece of film back before CGI invaded movies, and this director's cut is even better.
8 out of 10
Both versions of the film feature 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers, and in the case of the Director's Cut, the film has never looked better. Ever.
Honestly, the clarity of the transfer and the richness of the colors make some scenes (especially close-ups) look as if they were filmed just a few months ago as opposed to seventeen years ago. There's hardly any edge enhancement in the picture, and compression artifacts are completely absent.
The theatrical cut, while appearing better than ever on the DVD, doesn't feature the same level of clarity and color balance that the Director's Cut does. But since you won't really be watching it much it doesn't matter too much. At least it's anamorphic.
8 out of 10
Most of the time when an old mono or stereo soundtrack is remixed to Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS it sounds a bit artificial. Not so here.
The Director's Cut features both Dolby and DTS 5.1 mixes, and while there isn't a huge difference between the two tracks, they both feature surprisingly good use of the surrounds and LFE with no distortion or "artificial sounding" effects added in.
On the other hand, the Theatrical Cut simply features a Dolby Digital 2.0 track, so if you decide to watch that version it would be ProLogic time.
8 out of 10
Disc One of the set hold the Director's Cut as well as a feature-length commentary track by Ridley Scott. Now, you can listen to this track normally, or you can jump to a specific chapter in the commentary via it's own scene selection menus.
I really like Ridley Scott commentaries. He tends to ramble a bit here and there while recounting conversations he had in the past, but it draws you into the track where he also gets pretty technical explaining how certain shots were done as well as camera techniques that were used to create some of live effects.
He also talks a lot about the cast, including the boy who played the main elf in the movie who had a German accent, but a studio exec demanded it changed because he said the movie couldn't have a "Nazi elf". He then comments on how he wishes that that original dialog track were still around just to see how it would compare to the existing one.
The score issue is also addressed in a couple parts of the commentary with Ridley mentioning how the Jerry Goldsmith score was closer to what he wanted to the film and how it should have stayed in the US release of the movie.
Moving on to disc two, we find a horde of great extras in addition to the film's US Theatrical Cut that also includes an isolated Tangerine Dream score.
"Creating a Myth: The Making of Legend" is an newly produced featurette that runs for nearly an hour and features interviews with nearly everyone involved with the movie with the exception of Tom Cruise. The featurette covers everything related to the production and includes some very, very, rare behind the scenes footage and photos sprinkled throughout the special. It's excellent.
"Lost Scenes" includes two: an alternate opening that was actually completed as well as the lost Fairy Dance sequence. The latter is shown via the original audio track, still photos, and storyboards. It was one sequence that fans of the movie always heard about it, and although the video doesn't exist, at least it's on the disc in some form.
The Storyboards section contains artwork for three sequences: "Lily and the Unicorns", "Jack's Challenge", and "Downfall of Darkness". You then get both the US and International Theatrical trailers shown full screen, four TV spots, three photo galleries (Publicity Photographs, Images of Legend, and Continuity Polaroids), the Brain Ferry "Is Your Love Strong Enough" music video, and a DVD ROM script-to-screen.
As the packaging claims, this really is the "Ultimate" edition of Legend. Both cuts of the film, both lost scenes, commentary, and an excellent documentary. Highly recommended.
10 out of 10
-- Jeremy Conrad
The Director's Cut fleshes out the original film, filling in the gaps where the editing was jarring. It's the definitive version of the movie. - 8
While the Theatrical Cut's video isn't anything to be impressed with, the Director's Cut transfer is excellent. - 8
Dolby Digital and DTS mixes on the Director's Cut are very good. Theatrical Cut is stuck with Dolby 2.0 - 8
An excellent commentary, and equally excellent documentary, lost scenes, storyboards, the script, and more.- 10
Overall Score (not an average) -8
- The next review can be found at
"Legend: Ultimate Edition (2-Disc Set) (1986)
Director's Cut - Region 1
Magnificent, superb, brilliant.
These are all words I want to use after watching the Directors cut of LEGEND, and lest we get confused, I am not using these terms in relation to the film, which sadly I am not a fan of, but more in the fact that Universal went the extra mile to give us a two-disc set which should appeal to both the fans and the non-fans alike.
Simply put, its a magnificent set.
The movie LEGEND stars Tom Cruise and Mia Sara as young lovers in a mythical fantasy realm. Sara Plays Princess Lily, heiress to the throne who seems more content to live her days in the woods playing with the mythical creatures of the realm. Jack (Tom Cruise) is the man of her dreams. He lives in the forest and communes with nature, yet he does not seem like the other magical denizens of the woods.
Darkness (played to perfection by Tim Curry and fantastic make-up by Rob Bottin) wants to take control of the land. To do this he needs to get rid of the two creatures that still have the power to bring light and magic back to it. His henchman Bix manages to slay the Unicorn steed, but he botches the job on the mare and it is left to Jack and his ragtag group of warriors (for lack of a better word) to save the mare as well as his bride to be Lily.
Now, here is where I have to say once again that I never cared for the film, but I also have to admit that I can see where it is a very important piece of history. Ridley Scott did a fantastic job in recreating the forest with camera angles and the right sets. This particular bit of information seems even more impressive when you add the fact that the studio they were filming in burned down mid production, and they had to reproduce the sets from scratch in other locations.
The finished film was then shown to test audiences who felt it was too long and they didnt like the orchestral score by Jerry Goldsmith. Thus the result was a film that was willingly trimmed by 24 minutes and the score was replaced by a hipper score featuring the music of Tangerine Dream, which was something of the flavor of the month.
This two-disc set does the impossible. It gives you both versions of the movie. Disc one includes the 114 minute Directors cut with an audio commentary by Ridley Scott and the original (thought lost) score by Jerry Goldsmith. Disc two gives us the 90 minute U.S. Theatrical cut with the soundtrack by Tangerine Dream. Here is where this disc really impresses me because they could have gone with just the Directors cut, but there is a large allegiance of fans who prefer the alternate cut, and I think it was damn nice of them to include those people. Now I do have to admit that a lot more attention was paid to the Directors cut. The color seems sharper, the quality seems better and the audio is much richer, but as the package does attest, this is a Directors cut and I suppose he does have final say. In fact he mentions in the liner notes that he now feels this masterpiece is complete.
Disc one presents the film uncut in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and the print is almost stunning. The only minor complaint I might have is that blacks are too dark in certain segments. Other than that though, this is a film that features light against dark, and the light scenes are rich and robust. The audio on this version is presented in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS, and both tracks take full advantage of the orchestral score which is so well done. The soft scenes almost put you to sleep and the action sequences make you come to attention. I realize its supposed to be that way, but lets be honest in saying that certain scores have a better tendency to do that. The disc also features a commentary from Ridley Scott who does know how to give good commentary. He knows what to say and when to say it, and he knows that you dont have to blabber on to get your point across. All in all, a very good commentary with a good mixture of behind the scenes anecdotes and technical data.
Disc two features the U.S. Theatrical cut of the film with a remastered score by Tangerine Dream done in Dolby Digital 5.1. This score is rich and sounds good (and yes, I will admit that I have always been a fan of their work, flavor of the month that they may be!) The audio track on the film however is remastered in Dolby 2.0 and it leaves a lot to be desired when compared to the soundtrack. The film is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen but this version is more flat and lifeless.
Disc two also features a nice array of extras. First up is an impressive 51-minute documentary called CREATING A MYTH: THE MAKING OF LEGEND. And with a title like that, you might be tempted to shy away from what could be a lavish pat of the back piece. But fear not, because this is a well done documentary that discusses the pitfalls of the production and they dish some dirt in there too. The whole thing benefits from creator and cast interviews that include everyone from Ridley Scott to Mia Sara. The only noticeable no-show is Tom Cruise who apparently was too busy doing the Jerry Maguire pat-a-thon.
Next up is thirteen minutes of lost and deleted scenes. The famed Four Goblins opening and the Fairy dance scene are included and the video elements are poor. The audio is Dolby 2.0. Following that we have three storyboard sequences: Lily and the unicorns Jacks Challenge and Downfall of Darkness. These are all presented with full commentary describing the action.
The discs also include a healthy still gallery which is full motion, as well as a good bit of publicity photos and press clippings. The music video Is your love strong enough by Bryan Ferry is presented in its entirety and there are some extensive cast and production notes as well as two theatrical trailers and four TV spots to round out the package.
DVD-ROM features include a script viewer which allows you to see the original shooting script by William Hjortsberg.
Standard features include English close captions and French and Spanish subtitles.
Bottom Line: Like it or hate it, this special edition has something for everybody. Its an ultimate edition all right and Universal deserves two huge freaking thumbs up for making this masterful package that will surely appeal to all fans.
And even one non-fan!
- April 30th, 2002
Second review of the LEGEND DVD is online at http://www.dvdreview.com/fullreviews/legend.shtml.
Review by Guido Henkel
Universal Home Video
Length: 114 mins.
Format: Anamorphic Widescreen · 2.35:1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Trailers and TV Spots
and much more
Ridley Scotts fantasy film "Legend" has been one of those DVDs that were announced numerous times and then delayed one time after another. Finally however, Legend" is giving up its "vaporware" status and we actually have the final disc in front of us. Universal Home Video has prepared an "Ultimate Edition" release of the film that comes on two discs and features every incarnation of the movie you could have asked for most notably however, a completely new Directors Cut, a re-edited version of the film with 24 minutes of additional footage that finally allows the director to show us the film the way he had always intended.
Most viewers in the US are only familiar with the 90-minute version of the film that includes a synth-score by Tangerine Dream. While European audiences like myself have always had the pleasure to be treated to Jerry Goldsmiths masterful orchestral score of the film, everyone will now be able to decide for himself which version is the better one.
The new directors cut adds significant detail to the film. Not so much in terms of the plot which remains the same but in many details and character facets. Somehow the story feels a bit more cohesive, as we learn more details about this stunning fairy-tale world and the characters. It gives the film more depth, more direction and more plausibility in a way while taking away nothing of its original charm and beauty.
So, how does it look, after all this waiting? It depends, which version youre viewing. Evidently, Universal has paid much more attention to the new Directors cut and it is presented in a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio in an anamorphic transfer that displays near-pristine quality. The print is free of defects and blemishes and grain, though slightly evident occasionally, is held in check. The definition of the print is very good and reveals all of the spectacular details that the filmmakers have inserted into every single shot. Colors are vibrant and strong without ever appearing oversaturated. Given that this film in particular is exhibiting some almost impressionistic lighting setups and color schemes, proper color rendering is vital for the experience and universal certainly has paid attention to this detail. Blacks are very deep and firmly root the image while the balanced highlights create a strong contrast for the image that always feels natural and well-rounded. Shadows are perfectly delineated and never lose detail or lose themselves in pixel break-ups. All in all this is a great presentation for a 17-year old movie.
The theatrical cut on the other hand shows some shortcomings. The image appears notably grainier and exhibits less detail and occasional speckles. Color reproduction while still vivid is not nearly as vibrant and rich as in the Directors Cut. Although blacks are also well rendered, they do not have the deep quality either, creating an image that is clearly less dimensional and rich in appearance.
From the specs alone it is apparent that Universal shows the same preference for the Directors Cut, which his coming with 5.1 channel Dolby Digital, DTS and a Dolby Surround audio tracks, while the theatrical is relegated to a Dolby Surround track only.
The surround usage on the multi-channel tracks is surprisingly restrained despite the fact that some scenes could easily have accommodated more aggressive and flashier surround usage. As a whole however, the tracks are great with good frequency response that gives the presentation a very natural quality. Basses are well reproduced and have a good LFE extension that create a solid rumble, and high ends are without distortion or sibilance. The dynamic range is also very good, making sure the film has a much depth as it needs without going overboard. Dialogues are well-integrated and are never drowned out by the sound effects or the music and they also seem to have been slightly corrected to accommodate a wide frequency response that takes of some of the harshness that is evident in the theatrical version.
The music is simply fabulous. It was the first time I had the chance to witness the Tangerine Dream score for myself and I am glad I did have the opportunity before to see the film with Goldmans music. The synth-score just doesnt do it for me and waters down the experience, making it too contemporary while at the same time dating it quite seriously. Orchestral scores are much more timeless and especially in the hands of a master like Jerry Goldsmith music becomes an integral part of the films vocabulary. Although opinions may and undoubtedly will vary, to me Goldsmiths score is underscoring the fantastic, whimsical quality of the film and the story and drives home the demonic menace much better that the Tangerine Dream score.
With all that out of the way, lets see what extras are part of this package. First off, the Directors Cut is accompanied by a great audio commentary track featuring director Ridley Scott. It is a fine commentary and it is clear from the first seconds that Scott is very excited to finally see this cut of the film brought to life and being able to talk about it in length. The track is very insightful as the director explains his thoughts, intentions, the history of the film and other things that are related to the movie and its release. It is definitely a commentary track fans of the film should not miss to listen to as it explores many aspects of the movie previously untouched.
On the second disc the one featuring the theatrical cut of the film we find a slew of other extras, all of which are of the highest imaginable quality. An audio track featuring the isolated Tangerine Dream score is here albeit I am sure fans would have preferred an isolated version of the Jerry Goldsmith score instead.
Look out for "Creating A Myth: The Memories Of Legend," a documentary that covers the production of the film as well as its history as one of the most unfulfilled directors dreams. The origins of the story are explained here as well as the process how the idea was pitched to studios is explored here with new crew interviews, while cast members share their memories about their affiliation with the project. It sheds a lot of light onto the production aspects and problems associated with the creation of a fairy movie before the digital age. Running for 50 minutes, this documentary is the documentary fans have been waiting to see despite the fact that Tom Cruise sadly did not participate.
The disc also contains previously lost scenes, such as an alternate opening sequence. Presented in non-anamorphic widescreen the footage is exciting to watch, although it is in pretty bad shape. It is the content however that is important and fans will love the chance to watch this opening here on the DVD. The mythical "Fairy Dance" can also be found here. Sadly the actual footage has been destroyed but the scene has been recreated using the original audio recordings that is accompanied by photos and storyboard drawings of the events. Wow! Now, thats some dedication.
Three of the movies key scenes are also presented in storyboard from on this DVD, giving viewers the chance to see how these scenes were planned and how they ultimately turned out in the final film.
Hard core fans will love the Photo Gallery that includes not only publicity stills and photos related to the film but also a large number of continuity polaroids that are used to make sure characters, props and settings are arranged the same way between various shooting stages.
The Brian Ferry music video "Is Your Love Strong Enough" is also part of the package, as well as a selection of trailers, TV Spots, Production Notes, Biographies and DVD-ROM features.
This now, finally, is the DVD everyone has been waiting for, for so long. Was it worth the wait? You bet it was. "Legend" is coming as a spectacular presentation on this DVD with an assortment of extras that cover all aspects of this film. Since the history of the film is particularly interesting, these features are an important document of how the film evolved over time and turned into the cult object it has become. Never before have we had a chance to learn so much about the film and the people behind it or the facts about its troubled history and this DVD release most certainly deserves the name "Ultimate Edition." This is a perfect example of a release that shows how DVD can extend and complete the experience of a movie as a whole!"
- April 29th, 2002
First review of the LEGEND DVD is online at http://www.dvdfile.com/software/review/dvd-video_4/legend.html. Thanks to Rickard, Joe, Charlie, Ryan, and Kenny for the info!
Universal Studios Home Video / 1986 / 90 and 114 Minutes / Rated PG
Street Date: May 21, 2002
Reviewed by Peter M. Bracke on April 28, 2002.
Sometimes I wonder...is the massive success of the DVD format really a good thing? I suppose you can't blame DVD entirely for the "revisionist filmmaking" craze sweeping Hollywood these days, but would so many filmmakers be this gung-ho to remake, recut, re-CGI and repackage their movies like carnival barkers if the format hadn't taken off?
When I see millions of dollars being wasted unnecessarily on redoing such classics as E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial and Star Wars, films that are perfectly fine without newfangled CGI effects, I have to wonder if half of Hollywood hasn't fallen off their rockers? Maybe I'm only reveling in the misfortune of others, but I was heartened by the disappointing box office returns for the new E.T. reissue, not because it isn't deserving of success, but because maybe Hollywood might finally realize that such great films don't need CGI to be "resold" to the moviegoing public? Can't a great film simply be great and left alone?
Then I see a film like Legend, or director Ridley Scott's own Blade Runner - films that were so mucked with to appease mainstream audiences - that I think maybe DVD is the greatest thing ever in the history of motion pictures. There has been plenty of would-be epics that have suffered from marketing meddling or just plain bad decision-making, and Legend has become, well, legendary for its myriad of reported cuts and edits. And now, 17 years later, the long-thought-lost "original cut" of Ridley Scott's failed masterpiece has been reassembled, remastered, and finally released for the world to see.
Billed as a true "director's cut" on the packaging, I've been a fan of the film for years, but have only seen the U.S. theatrical version until now. So, what to expect? Originally running a little less than two hours, Scott felt the film "wasn't immediately connecting" with the audience, so willingly made significant changes to the film for its worldwide theatrical releases. In the U.S., gone was Jerry Goldsmith's near-legendary original score, replaced by a "hipper" Tangerine Dream redux that no one seemed to particularly like. Also gone was about 20 minutes of lost footage, and while the basic structure remained, for many the heart of the film seemed lost and the characterizations flat. As Roger Ebert commented in his original review, "All sound and fury, signifying nothing..."
Having now finally seen this newly-restored Director's Cut, I can say that the 90-minute cut version is not so much a travesty as simply a music video version of the real film Scott intended to make. There aren't any grand new scenes per se in the Director's Cut, but what is new is added depth, detail and whimsy. While I don't think the Tangerine Dream score is particularly bad on its own, Jerry Goldsmith's score is simply much, much better, even with the Enya-esque hymns and oddly, in a scene near the climax, two themes that are lifted completely and without alteration from Goldsmith's own Psycho II score. But Goldsmith's work adds subtle depth and mystery to the film; no longer is the action spelled out and underlined like in the Tangerine Dream version. And Scott's small edits, scene extensions and character additions make the film more meditative, even allegorical, and thankfully "less commercial." Dare I say the film is even more "European?" It is now clear that Legend was a transitional film for Scott, a mix of the oblique, esoteric angles that preoccupied Blade Runner, and his more mainstream approach in later works such as Someone To Watch Over Me, Black Rain and GI Jane.
So, is Legend now a found masterpiece? Not really. Ironically, I think this new Director's Cut will polarize audiences even more. If you already liked or loved Legend already, you'll now love it even more. If you didn't care for it, well, you're really gonna hate it now! Its epic and grand, but also overly-earnest and geeky. Scott really goes out on a limb with the treacle, and it's a shade of his artistic palette he hasn't explored before or since. The film lacks action which is even more pronounced with the Director's Cut, and the usually charismatic Tom Cruise is all but lost amid the pyrotechnics; only Tim Curry as the mesmerizing Darkness registers through the makeup. Yes, it is visually spectacular, and still stands as one of the most visually alluring films of the 80's, but the effects and fantasy milieu overwhelm the dull story.
Yet, like being confined to a very tight space then finally let loose, Legend now lives and breathes, and requires a second or third viewing to fully take it all in and appreciate it. But, like Scott's own Blade Runner, the rewards are worth the effort. Love it or hate it, I'm afraid if you think seeing Legend once was enough, you're wrong. You're just going to have to see it again.
Video: How Does The Disc Look?
This long-awaited two-disc set contains both the 114-minute Director's Cut and the 90-minute U.S. Theatrical release version, but the Director's Cut certainly gets the preferred treatment. Aside from the audio commentary with director Ridley Scott, disc one only includes the Director's Cut, while the U.S. Theatrical version gets crammed onto disc two with all the extras. And, the prints used for each transfer are also noticeably different, and can vary widely in quality. The Director's Cut comes out way ahead and is certainly the preferred visual experience.
Despite some problems, the Director's Cut version looks quite good. First, the positives. The print is remarkably clean and free of dirt, speckles and other blemishes. Even the heavy effects sequences (long before the advent of CGI) look remarkably clear and match more or less seamlessly with the more straightforward shots. Black level is also just about perfect; I was surprised at low little fading, if any, I noticed throughout. Colors are also vibrant and well-saturated, although occasionally I detected a slight amount of bleed and minor noise. Still, this is still a very colorful and eye-catching image. The transfer is also quite sharp even with all the stylized lighting and filter work with a tad bit of softness here or there, and edge enhancement is generally minimal.
However, I did find the transfer to be a bit too dark at times for my taste. "Outdoor" scenes are gorgeous, alive and bright, but the nighttime and dark interior sequences (which comprise the majority of the film) often look too contrasted with shadow delineation wanting. "Falloff" to black is very sharp, and there were a couple of shots where I just still couldn't make out what was going on. But despite this occasional dankness, this is still a very fine transfer and certainly better than the film has ever looked on home video. And, it's also the first time you can see it in 2.35:1 widescreen (and anamorphic to boot) on video, so that alone is cause for rejoicing!
Now, if you are a bigger fan of the U.S. Theatrical version, you'll likely be disappointed. While colors are still strong, this transfer is much more noisy and flat-looking than the Director's Cut. The print also looks much more faded; just compare the scene where Mia Sara dances with her dark alter ego and note the differences. Blacks often look gray, detail is lacking, and compression artifacts are far more noticeable. While not terrible, skip the U.S. version. Just in terms of the quality of the presentation itself, the Director's Cut is the way to go.
Audio: How Does The Disc Sound?
Like the video, the audio is also clearly one-sided in favor of the Director's Cut. The U.S. Theatrical cut only includes an English Dolby 2.0 surround track (plus the Tangerine Dream score isolated on its own.) Compared to the full-blown Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 tracks on the Director's Cut, it's certainly wanting. Well-mixed for its time, it is still a primarily front-heavy track, with decent dynamic range and fidelity, and its nicely balanced between music, effects and the dialogue. But low end is flat and there is just little ambiance to the U.S. Version, so like the video, it's all about the Director's Cut.
The full-blown 5.1 mixes are both surprisingly good, especially for a new recut film that's nearly 20 years old. Dynamic range is quite good; highs sound warm and clean, and lows spacious and airy. Overall separation of the front three channels is impressive. Dialogue is well-anchored in the center channel with the score and the effects nicely spread out across the entire front soundstage. I was also impressed that the dialogue was not overwhelmed in the mix; as is often the tendency with older remixes, the effects and score have not been artificially pumped up to overcompensate.
Surround use on both the Dolby Digital and the DTS tracks is good, though could have been a bit more aggressive for my taste. Occasionally we're treated to a striking discrete rear effect, such as Darkness roaring about or the sonically impressive armory battle scene with Jack and his gnome helpers. However, the score is a bit too front-heavy for my taste, and the mixes overall lack ambiance. I compared three scenes with the Dolby Digital version - the opening scene, Lily's desecration of the unicorns, and the final battle with Darkness - and the DTS is slightly fuller in the rears with a barely-noticeable improvement in imaging. And I found that, surprisingly, the .1 LFE is comparable on both tracks. I would have liked a more enveloping presentation overall, but either of these mixes will certainly fit the bill.
Included on the Director's Cut version are English and French 2.0 Dolby surround tracks, and on both versions also feature English Captions and French subtitles. No true Closed Captions are provided, nor is Jerry Goldsmith's score isolated on the director's cut.
Supplements: What Goodies Are There?
Well, here it is. Legend has been one of Universal's most-requested special edition titles ever, and it's only taken 17 years, but now it has finally arrived courtesy of Scott Free Productions and DVD producer Charles de Lauzirika. Bearing Universal's "Ultimate Edition" label, for once here's one that lives up to the lavish billing. Aside from both cuts of the film, we get two discs brimming with extras, and although perhaps nothing could quite live up to such pent-up expectations, I think fans will be more than pleased.
First, a note on the packaging. Legend comes housed in the same plastic-y thing all the other Universal Ultimate Editions come in, which to be honest is not my favorite style of packaging. It looks nice, but wears out easily. Better is the 8-page fold-out that includes the domestic key art poster design, a chapter stop listing, and a short text introduction by Ridley Scott.
Now, onto the extras. It's clear what all involved considered was the real jewel in the crown, the extended cut of the film. It gets a disc all to its own, with disc two featuring the truncated U.S. Version and the majority of the supplements. However, don't ignore the first platter! Ridley Scott has long been known for contributing fine audio commentaries to his laserdiscs and DVDs, and this screen-specific audio commentary is no exception. (And, in a nice touch, the commentary gets its own chapter stops, too.) Obviously jazzed that his lost cut of the film has now been restored, Scott is, as always, witty, intelligent, well-spoken and almost methodical in his detailing of the challenges in making a film as epic and ambitious in scope as this. Scott touches (sometimes lightly) on just about every aspect of the production, from the development of William Hjortsberg's concept and script, the massive sets (including the infamous fire that nearly shut down the film), the benefits of "real" effects versus CGI, the casting of Tom Cruise, Mia Sara and Tim Curry, a cute little Billy Barty story, and of course, the new edit. I'm also glad Scott pulls no punches when it comes to discussing the change in scores, the reediting of the film, and what still does and doesn't work. Luckily, as good as this commentary is (and make no mistake, it is a must-listen for fans of the film) there's even more...
From documentarian J.M. Kenny comes Creating A Myth: The Making of Legend, an excellent 51-minute documentary presented in full frame and 2.0 stereo. First up, that spoilsport Tom Cruise opted not to take part in this for whatever reason, but thankfully the doc doesn't suffer because of his reluctance. More than making up for his absence are all-new interviews with director Ridley Scott, producer Arnon Milchan, writer William Hjortsberg, editor Terry Rawlings, director of photography Alex Thomson, makeup artists Rob Bottin and Peter Robb King, production designer Assheton Gordon, set director Ann Mollo, stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong, Universal chief Sid Sheinberg, and actors Tim Curry, Alice Playton, Billy Barty, Cork Hubert, Robert Picardo and the still-stunning Mia Sara.
What's exciting about a film like Legend is that making it was an adventure in and of itself, so it all makes for a great documentary. While I have no problem with "talking heads" docs (tell me an interesting story and I'll be enraptured for hours) this really benefits from solid editing and the inclusion of rare production footage, stills and makeup and camera tests. Certainly, the film is infamous for its arduous production, including a costly fire that burned down a large chunk of the sets, but also its amazing makeup effects and the fact that every single line of dialogue has to be dubbed. And, of course, there is the re-edit of the film, the dueling scores, and a pot-addled test screening that didn't help boost reactions to the film. I've also always thought Bottin was and is a genius, and just the segments on the amazing makeups alone I found to be endlessly fascinating... won't Keith Richards be proud? Like the commentary, if you like Legend at all, this is a must-watch. (The only weird thing about this doc is that maybe it's just me, but does everyone look a little too pink? Or is there just a bit too much fairy dust in front of my eyes?)
But wait, there's still plenty more. Way cool is the Lost Scenes section, featuring a rough 13-minute video assemblage of the alternate "Four Goblins" opening, long thought lost to the dustbin. Presented in bad 2.35:1 non-anamorphic widescreen, sure it looks crappy, but fans have been paying ridiculous amounts of money for it on eBay, so here it's almost as a freebie. Also included is another lost scene in storyboard form with the original audio intact, the fabled "Faerie Dance" sequence. Running 3 minutes, this of course can't compare to actual footage, but at least it's still here in concept if not final execution.
Up next are three storyboard sequences, "Lily and the Unicorns," "Jack's Challenge," and "Downfall of Darkness." Thankfully, descriptive text is provided explaining what it is were about to see, and all told these segments run over 20 minutes and offer a nice peek at how Scott conceptualizes some of his famed sequences. More still-based extras include three still galleries, "Publicity Photographs," "Images of Legends," and most interesting of all, "Continuity Polaroids." All told, about 100-odd stills are included, and like the storyboards are all automated, so have that "Pause" button handy. And fans take note of the Continuity Polaroids section... there's some rare and cool shots of the cast in creepy makeups (probably due to the harsh Polaroid lighting) and Rob Bottin's rather amazing creations, so don't skip this one.
Rounding out the extras are some promo items. For a nice dose of 80's cheese, check out the Bryan Ferry "Is You're Love Strong Enough?" music video, in full frame and 2.0 stereo. Notable for a slightly longer intro to the song than found on the single or the soundtrack, unfortunately Mr. Ferry has seen better days. I like the song, but my, aren't 80's videos bad? (Nice leather pants, by the way.) Some fairly good production notes and pithy cast and crew filmographies are also included, and last but not least we have the film's U.S. and International theatrical trailers (alas both only in full frame) and four TV spots.
DVD-ROM Exclusives: What do you get when you pop the disc in your PC?
Aside from a nice custom interface, there isn't too much in the way of ROM extras. Included is a script viewer with two versions of the screenplay, the original Hjortsberg first draft and the final shooting script. Each can be accessed by chapter and printed out in their entirety, and a handy script-to-screen function allows you to watch the corresponding sequence. While I'm sure most of you out there usually just pass over these script features, if you're a fan of the film, don't! The changes between William Hjortsberg's original and the final shooting script are sizable, so check this out.
Well, here's a no-brainer. If you're at all a fan of the film or Ridley Scott, finally here is an "Ultimate Edition" that earns the label. Not one but two cuts of the film, a fine audiovisual presentation, and great supplements all make for a must-buy. Yes, it's taken forever, but wait no more...just get that preorder in and enjoy!
(Note: The Video rating below applies to the Director's Cut of the film only. If you are interested in the U.S. Theatrical version, knock the Video portion down to about a 2.5.)
- Two-Disc Set
- Region 1
- 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Dolby Digital Formats:
- English 5.1 Surround
- English 2.0 Surround
- English 5.1 Surround
- English Captions
- French Subtitles
- Interactive Menus
- Scene Access
- Screen-specific audio commentary with director Ridley Scott
- Lost scenes
- Music video
- Storyboard sequences
- Three still galleries
- Production notes
- Theatrical trailers
- TV spots
- April 4th, 2002
Check out these Ultimate DVD menu shots (originally posted on http://www.davisdvd.com/images/menus/menuscreens2.htm) :
- March 9th, 2002
IT'S OFFICIAL. Check out the NEW Official Universal Press release from March 8th, 2002 at http://www.figmentfly.com/legend/pressreleaseofficial.html! The LEGEND Ultimate Edition DVD release date is May 21st, 2002!
- February 27th, 2002
Still no official Universal announcement but here is an ad that appears to be legit. Thanks to Zor X and HEctor De Leon for the heads up about the information on http://www.dvdfile.com which was reposting the image from http://www.dvdargentina.com :
- February 23rd, 2002
Thanks to Josh Snyder for the following information :
"I can remember if the specs of the upcoming ultimate edition legend dvd have been posted on the faq since the original press release, or if they've changed since then, but I thought I'd let you know about the following recent post at the DVDfile website located at http://www.dvdfile.com/software/dvd-video/index.html#02122002:
"February 22 - 24
Is your love strong enough? - 1:00pm
Alrighty, while the Region 1 specs and street date have not yet been announced for the oft-postponed Ridley Scott epic Legend, the official specs for the Region 4 release have been announced, so it is likely the Region 1 version will also have similar if not the same features. What's gonna be on this puppy? The two-disc set includes the new 1 hour, 54 minute director's cut on disc one with DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround tracks, French and Spanish subtitles, and a new audio commentary with director Ridley Scott. Disc 2 features the 1 hour, 30 minute theatrical cut with an isolated score by Tangerine Dream, the new "Creating A Myth: The Making Of Legend" documentary, deleted scenes, still galleries with storyboards and publicity photographs, the Bryan Ferry "Is Your Love Strong Enough?" music video, trailers, TV spots, and ROM features. Can't wait for the Region 1 version! For more info and the full scoop, check out DVD Argentina (http://www.dvdargentina.com/)."
Sean here - The LEGEND Ultimate Edition DVD was delayed (and has a rumored release date of May 21st, 2002) and this allowed extra time to find additional material for the official release. I don't want to start rumors about what will be on the disc until Universal releases an official listing, but the DVD is going to rock. Trust me. :-)
- February 22nd, 2002
Special thanks to Antony Jackson for the following scans of the new R2 DVD release of LEGEND.
Wrap around cover of the Region 2 DVD release of LEGEND provided by Antony Jackson.
Inside cover of the Region 2 DVD release of LEGEND provided by Antony Jackson.
The Region 2 DVD release of LEGEND image provided by Antony Jackson.
Menu Screen image of the Region 2 DVD release of LEGEND provided by Antony Jackson.
- Thanks to Andy Dursin for the JPEG of the LEGEND DVD cover that he downloaded from Amazon's Japan site and the following information about the DVD :
"The DVD will have a 94 minute running time and 2.35 transfer (16:9 enhanced), plus 2.0 English Dolby Surround (no 5.1), optional English and Japanese subtitles. There could be a trailer on it, too, but we'll have to confirm that.
If anyone is interested in buying it, I heartily recommend CD Japan's website (www.cdjapan.co.jp), very reliable and fast (the disc would cost apprx. $42 US shipped). I ordered LEGEND along with the Special Edition of CONAN THE DESTROYER (don't laugh!) in one shot to save on the shipping, which is a bit high."
- February 20th, 2002
Thanks to Steve Hammatt for alerting us to the R2 DVD review of LEGEND on the R2 DVD website at http://www.r2-dvd.org/article.jsp?sectionId=4&articleId=3555.
By Tristan H
Look at any top ten "most wanted" lists for DVDs that are currently unavailable and you'll almost certainly find the obvious films like "Star Wars", "Back to the Future", "Indiana Jones" and probably "E.T". However, perhaps rather surprisingly Ridley Scott's "Legend" is often listed in such top tens. In fact it would be fair to say that this is one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of the year, especially for fans of fantasy adventures.
Being released after back to back successes with both "Alien" in 1979 and "Blade Runner" in 1982 expectations must have been sky high for Ridley Scott's next film "Legend" (1985). It was to be a pure fantasy adventure aimed squarely at younger audiences with princesses, fairies and unicorns all featuring heavily. It was certainly a change of direction for Scott after his two previous films delved deep into a dark world of science fiction and were firm favourites with adult audiences. So the question that everybody wanted to have answered was whether he could create a world of fantasy for children as effectively as he could do for adults.
The story behind "Legend" couldn't be more straightforward. It's a classic tale of good versus evil infused with magical creatures. On one hand we have Jack (Tom Cruise) and the love of his life Princess Lili (Mia Sara) and on the other we have the evil darkness personified by goblins and a large devil-like creature known simply as Darkness (Tim Curry).
The film begins with Jack taking Lili to visit the beautiful white unicorns that represent the purest form of good in our fantasy world. They are sacred creatures and loathed by Darkness who decides to take advantage of Lili's interaction with them by sending one of his Goblin's to saw off the unicorn's horn. This act plunges the world into an ice-age and matters become even worse when Darkness captures Princess Lili. Jack knows that the only way to save his world and the love of his life is to gather together a band of fairies and elves to come with him in the hope of defeating the evil that threatens to destroy his world.
While often confusing and lacking in a coherent plot, there is undoubtedly a great deal of charm and dazzling beauty contained in "Legend". This is a film made before CGI and in many ways that makes it all the better. The puppets are fantastic and the magical forests and dark caves make for a spectacular setting. It shares many similarities with movies such as "The Lord of the Rings" in it's depiction of good versus evil being between goblins and elves set deep in a world of fantasy. While it's never as good as the likes of LOTR it certainly has a great deal going for it apart from the stunning sets and costumes. The Jerry Goldsmith score, for example, is excellent and accompanies the film perfectly. We also have the pleasure of seeing a young and inexperienced Tom Cruise before he hit the big time ("Legend" was made prior to "Top Gun"). Cruise shows his star potential throughout the movie and never looks embarrassed by the slightly bizarre role that he plays. In the end this is pure and simple fun for all the family and can rightly be considered as a film worthy of a place in any top ten "most wanted" list.
Fox have presented "Legend" with a 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer thereby preserving its original aspect ratio. For a film dating back to 1985 this looks very good indeed. This is by no means an easy film to transfer onto DVD as it contains numerous dark and misty scenes that require a quality presentation. Thankfully the transfer looks as though plenty of time and effort was put into it. There is very little in the way of grain, edge enhancement or colour bleeding. Print damage is also minimal with no sign of wear and tear and only the very occasional speck of dust showing up. Shadow detail in the scenes set in the darkness is generally quite pleasing, although it could have been slightly better. Colours leap off the screen with certain scenes looking quite glorious. For example, scenes showing the bright white snow landing with brightly coloured flowers in the foreground look fantastic. I certainly have no complaints about this transfer.
A Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is included on the disc and while it's never as immersive as a proper 5.1 mix, this still makes good use of the front soundstage and sounds very open. Dialogue is very clear and the wonderful score sounds great. I was mildly surprised by the amount of atmosphere that was created by a simple 2.0 audio track and can only wonder about how great a re-mastered 5.1 mix might have sounded.
Now this is where Fox let themselves down badly. After doing a very decent job in presenting the film itself, we are left with a bare bones disc that doesn't even contain animated menus. All we have is one lousy trailer. For a film that fans have been waiting on for so long to be treated so badly by a company with the high standards of Fox is hugely disappointing. This is made all the worse by the rumours that our American friends could be seeing a spectacular 2 disc set for this particular release. It's not good enough.
The Bottom Line
Well, here we have one of the most eagerly anticipated DVD releases of the year. The presentation of the film is very solid, but I must confess to feeling badly let down by the rest of the disc. A mere trailer is unlikely to satisfy the demands of the film's many fans. This will be even more disappointing if the region 1 release turns out to be a feature packed special edition. I would certainly advise caution before buying this if you have multi-region capability.
- February 19th, 2002
Mr. Lovebucket had this report about the Region 2 DVD of LEGEND :
"Just watched the R2 version of Legend. Its not due out until 4th March.. but for some reason my local HMV had it on the shelves!!! It is the European version of the film. Its in 2.35:1 (16:9), Digital Stereo (not 5.1 sadly!), has a chapter selection, lots of subtitle choices, and the American Theatrical Trailer (which i thought was bizarre) I have the UK Theatrical Trailer on video which is similar.
On the quality side... its absolutley lovely to see the film in Widescreen! A real joy. Shame that the transfer isnt great... the colours seem to bleed a little... but on the whole its a decent DVD... especially as it only cost £10!!!!"
- February 13th, 2002
Rumored LEGEND Ultimate Edition DVD release date of May 21st, 2002.
According to the Digital Bits website (http://www.thedigitalbits.com) and their Rumor Mill page (http://www.thedigitalbits.com/rumormill.html) :
"You R2 fans of Ridley Scott's Legend should be happy next month. Word is that the film will be released on DVD in Region 2 on March 8th. However, this will NOT be the special edition version currently being readied for release by Universal in Region 1. Look for that long-delayed title to be released here in the States by the summer."
This was then followed by :
"Our most reliable sources have checked in with the street date for Universal's long awaited 2-disc DVD Ultimate Edition release of Ridley Scott's Legend. Look for it to hit stores on May 21st. Expect an official announcement soon."
Hopefully we will see an official announcement from Universal soon.
- February 6th, 2002
Is this the cover of the soon to be released REGION 2 LEGEND DVD? Thanks to Jorge da Cunha and at2ecw for the following information which was found at http://www.blackstar.co.uk/video/item/7000000068253.
Tom Cruise stars in this visually stunning fantasy adventure from Ridley Scott in which pure good and evil battle to the death amidst spectacular surroundings. Set in a timeless mythical forest inhabited by fairies, goblins, unicorns and mortals, the story has Tom Cruise, a mystical forest dweller, chosen by fate to undertake a heroic quest. He must save a beautiful princess (Mia Sara) and defeat the demonic Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry, under layers of incredible make-up) or the world will be plunged into a never-ending ice age. Co-starring Billy Barty and Alice Playten and boasting stunning production design, this incredibly realised fable is the stuff movie legends are made of.
Original theatrical trailer. Scene access. Interactive menus.
Duration : 90 mins
Format : Region 2 Digital Versatile Disc
Availability : This item has not yet been released.
Release Date : 4th Mar 2002 (Pre-ordering)
Cat. No. 23207DVD (20TH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT)
- February 5th, 2002
The following information about the non-special edition release of LEGEND on DVD in Ragion 2 was provided by Steve Hammatt and can be found on The R2 Project website at http://www.r2-dvd.org/article.jsp?sectionId=2&articleId=3450.
"Official Announcements from the PR companies
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment have announced 7 titles for release on the 4th of March priced at £15.99. Here's the details:
* 90 minutes
* 2.35:1 (16x9)
* English 2.0 Surround
* Theatrical Trailer
* Hard of Hearing English, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Forest boy Jack (Tom Cruise) and his Elven allies fight against Darkness (Tim Curry), a demon seeking to create eternal night by destroying the last of the unicorns and marrying Lili (Mia Sara), a fairy princess in this magical fantasy adventure. Darkness, the personification of evil, plans to disperse eternal night in the land where this story takes place, by killing every unicorn in the world. Although he looks unbeatable, Jack and his friends do everything to save the world and princess Lili from the hands of this evil monster."
- February 3rd, 2002
The following information was posted on the Digital Bits website on 1/17/02 at http://www.thedigitalbits.com/mytwocentsa49.html.
"We've been hearing from people that Universal's Legend is being released in R2 in March. My understanding, however, is that this will be a movie-only release. There's no word on an official street date for the R1 disc yet, but I'd hazard a guess that the studio may be waiting to capitalize on the DVD release of Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down. Here's what I do know... the title will be a 2-disc Ultimate Edition and all the special edition materials are done. As soon as we heard anything, we'll let you know."
- January 16th, 2002
Hmmmmm, when it rains, it pours. :-) I had just finished posting the update below when I got the following information from Dylan in the Netherlands about the website http://www.r2-dvd.org :
Got some nice info for you:
Rumours and stories from unofficial sources
Fox's PR have cleared up the situation with the release of "Legend" in March. The disk is planned for release on March the 4th with a 2.35:1 widescreen picture, however the only extra planned at the moment is the theatrical trailer. Now you may have heard about a special edition 2 disk set that has been rumoured for release in the States. This set is being released by Universal over there and no release date has actually been set as far as I'm aware. So if you want to at least see the film again then the R2 release may be worth a purchase to tide you over until a special edition sees the light of day."
and following that:
Rumours and stories from unofficial sources
Just a quick bit of good news form Fox's PR. The version of "Legend" that they will release will be a version with the Jerry Goldsmith musical score and not the "Tangerine Dream" version. I'm sure that will please more than a few people."
Dylan said "I am from the Netherlands, and here it is released even sooner, on February 20th. I have called FOX/MGM and they confirmed that it will be released that day. This site (http://www.dvd-home.nl/release/nieuw.asp) lists :
"20-02-2002 - Legend, Fantasy, MGM Home Entertainment"
Lets hope that the European release will be the European cut of the movie (it seems to me so), and that the R1 SE will have the USA cut and the Directors Cut (and everything else that was announced ) so that all versions will be finally available on DVD."
Sean here - Rumor has it that the Region 2 release of LEGEND might be the European cut of LEGEND, which would be kind of neat since the Universal Special Edition DVD will have the Director's cut and the American version only. Time will tell.
This is what I love about the web - I post a question about the Empire magazine article and I immediately get two responses, both from the UK. I'd like to thank Netrunner (who originally provided the information below) as well as Kevin Duncan who quickly followed him up.
"Empire Magazine, February 2002, Issue 152. Interview starts Page 90 and is titled: "hall-of-fame ridley scott, iconoclast", subtitle "From Blade Runner to Black Hawk Down. movies' greatest visualist talks pictures." Article is by Adam Smith. Apart from a full page picture of Scott it includes small pictures from all his films. The one from Legend is a studio shot of the two lovers with a unicorn, title reads: "Legend, 1985 Tom Cruise with girlie hair"
You can see the majority of the Empire Magazine, (Feb 2002) interview at: http://www.brmovie.com/Articles/Empire_RS_2002_Feb.htm.
The interview focuses mostly on Blade Runner (hence why it is "reviewed" at BRmovie.com). As you are interested in Legend, I'll quote you the question and answer on that:
Empire: Immediately after Blade Runner you made Legend, which is a movie that's not much talked about...
Scott: I think I made it a bit early, actually. I'd noticed that at Christmas Disney re-released Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs or Pinnochio. And I was a great admirer of Cocteau's Beauty And The Beast. The idea was to do a fairytale, not as animation, but shot with all the style I could muster to be as rich and dense as an animated movie. I thought, "There has to be an audience for this." And I would enjoy doing it. Legend was great for me to do. There's some spectacular demonstration of craft in the film, from production design to camera and costume. But I made a terrible mistake with the score. Jerry Goldsmith's original score was by far the most relevant. But after some really not very good previews I decided that maybe the film was too sweet. So I tried to adjust that for America. And I went to Tangerine Dream, God bless them, who wrote a score in three-and-a-half weeks in Berlin. For the rest of the world I kept the Goldsmith score. The upshot was the film didn't play terribly well. But now I'm redoing the whole bloody thing for a new version. And I'm trying to find another half hour to fit back in. I thought it was good for a kid's film, but I think the demon may have been too much. I don't think we got a PG, I think it was an R. But there wasn't much I could do by then."
- January 15th, 2002
There hasn't been much LEGEND news since the last update although it appears that things are beginnng to stir again. If you go to the Universal Home Video website at http://homevideo.universalstudios.com/hv_flash.html and click on their movie catalog, you find two listings at this address http://homevideo.universalstudios.com/catalog/prod_lists.html?index=L&page=3. They are
Legend (Collector's Edition DVD)
Tom Cruise stars in director Ridley Scott's visually stunning fantasy-adventure...
The More info link leads to this :
Legend (Collector's Edition DVD)
Run Time: 1 hr 29 min
Film: 1 hr 29 min
Tom Cruise stars in director Ridley Scott's visually stunning fantasy-adventure in which pure good and sheer evil battle to the death amidst spectacular surroundings. Also starring, Mia Sara and Tim Curry.
Legend (The Collector's Edition)
Rated: PG Run Time: 1 hr 29 min Format: Color/Stereo/CC International orders...
The more info link leads to this :
Legend (The Collector's Edition)
Run Time: 1 hr 29 min
Film: 1 hr 29 min
Rated: PG Run Time: 1 hr 29 min
International orders not accepted on this item.
Of course, this information is incomplete and incorrect (Legend is not rated R) but it is interesting to see it listed on their site.
- September 27th, 2001 - The following information appered on http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=10291 :
"BLADE RUNNER presented in L.A., Ridley Details a bit about the new cut coming soon!
Hey folks, Harry here. I'm very curious to see the 'new cut' of BLADE RUNNER that Ridley is putting together that will be a part of some 'super' dvd next year... and actually doubly so for LEGEND, because LEGEND is one of those films that I always felt was missing quite a bit storywise, but had loads of style and lushness. If only the rest of it was there. Here's an account of BLADE RUNNER's original DIRECTOR'S CUT that was shown by the Cinematheque in Los Angeles' screening at The Egyptian Theatre. Please note that on Halloween, Bruce Campbell is showing a certain film that you may be interested in attending... details below...
Last nite I attended the screening of "Blade Runner-The Director's Cut," which is part of the American Cinematheque's tribute to Ridley Scott. The Cinematheque is, I'm sure you know but others may not, based out of the beautiful Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Besides seeing the film in it's widescreen splendor on a giant screen, the man himself Ridley Scott will be present for post Q&A. How cool is that? Pretty damn cool if you ask me.
---Information about Blade Runner Removed---
Also, later this year or sometime early next year, we will finally see the director's cut of "Legend" with half an hour of footage restored to the film. He is either referring to the DVD that is due later this year or a brief rerelease next year."
Sean here - Ridley was referring to seeing the director's cut of LEGEND on DVD either at the end of this year or early next year. No rerelease is planned at this point, unfortunately.
- Check out the latest information on 9/6/01 straight from LEGEND DVD Producer Charles de Lauzirika's mouth! Thanks to Hector De Leon for bringing this to my attention.
DVDFILE.COM has a new interview up called "Art Of The Special Edition - Charles de Lauzirika" located at http://www.dvdfile.com/news/special_report/art_of_the_documentary/lauzirika_charles/index.html. This is a very cool interview about a lot of Ridley Scott films and DVD and totally worth checking out.
The following information is found on the 5th and last page of the interview located at http://www.dvdfile.com/news/special_report/art_of_the_documentary/lauzirika_charles/5.html :
"DF: Alright, now here's the $1,000,000 question I just gotta ask or the readers will hate me. Will Legend ever be released on DVD!? (cue sighs)
CL: No! Never! Honestly, I can't wait for "Legend" to be released, if for no other reason, so I don't have to read another "What's the latest on 'Legend?'" thread every week...but it's nice to know that the film is still very much in demand. At this point, "Legend" is almost done. Just a couple more things need to be finalized, and it's good to go. It's definitely in much better shape now than it was a year ago and I think the wait will definitely be worth it."
- According to the Dark Horizons (http://www.darkhorizons.com/news.htm) web page on 6/29/01 :
"Legend: Ultimate Edition (DVD): Ridley Scott's fantasy epic with Tom Cruise comes out August 21st."
Sean here : According to my sources, the LEGEND project is nearing completion but will not be released on August 21st, 2001. LEGEND is going to be released this year but we'll have to wait for an official announcement from Universal. I personally believe that the disc will hit the shelves in November some time but that's just my speculation.
- According to the Digital Bits Rumor Mill page (http://www.thedigitalbits.com/rumormill.html) on 5/28/01 :
"The studio's much-delayed Legend: Collector's Edition (2 discs) will now become a Legend: Ultimate Edition. You can reasonably expect it in August, to coincide with the release of MGM's Hannibal (roughly 8/21). The title will include the never-before-released, 113-minute Director's Cut of the film, featuring the full Jerry Goldsmith score. It will also have the 89-minute U.S. Theatrical cut, for fans of that version, which features music by Tangerine Dream. An all-new, 50-minute documentary on Legend will also be available, including interviews with most of the key cast and crew members on the film, a lot of rare behind-the-scenes footage and more. You can also expect storyboards and the Bryan Ferry music video among the other bonus material. And (this is tentative) audio options on the new Director's cut should include both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1."
Sean here : My sources have indicated that the LEGEND DVD will more likely be released closer to the end of the year (think November) but I wouldn't complain if it did arrive in August. Keep your fingers crossed - it will happen sometime this year.
- According to the Digital Bits Rumor Mill page (http://www.thedigitalbits.com/rumormill.html) on 4/26/01 :
"Universal's Legend: Collector's Edition is now back on track for release later this year, but it might now be a Legend: Ultimate Edition following in the footsteps of The Mummy.
- Here's an update from the Digital Bits website (http;//www.thedigitalbits.com) from (4/12/01) about the LEGEND DVD "cancellation" :
In other news this morning, one of our retail friends has informed us that Universal has confirmed that their DVD is still "TBD". Apparently, they inadvertently used the word "discontinued" in a letter to retailers yesterday, and they've acknowledged the error. So as we told you yesterday, the 2-disc set is still on the way. And it definitely promises to be the ultimate version of this film ever released on home video - it'll be well worth the wait.
- Here's an update from the DVDFile website (http://www.dvdfile.com/software/dvd-video/index.html#04/11/2001) from 4/12/01 :
"More on Legend
Well, good news for Legend fans. Yesterday, a notice was sent out to North American retailers indicating that the currently-postponed Legend 2-disc set has been canceled. We heard back from Universal Studios Home Video PR today, and though there is still no new release date for the disc, the title will still be released.
According to a Universal PR spokesperson, and the notice was "badly worded" and was issued due to the fact that Legend is such an active title that they literally have "hundreds of thousands of back orders" and the statement was issued to alert retailers to stop ordering the title until it is officially re-announced. So, it has been canceled on the retail end until a new date is announced, but not permanently discontinued. According to the Universal spokesperson, a new statement may be issued to clarify the situation.
So, when or if you do receive a notice from any retailer you preordered the title from saying it is canceled, don't worry. When it is renounced, you will be able to preorder it again. By the way, despite odd emails to the contrary, Legend was officially announced and then delayed (just check out the press release here.) Stay tuned, the glimpses I've seen of this title look terrific, so I'm crossing my fingers it will be released sometime this year..."
- According to the DVDfile website (http://www.dvdfile.com/software/dvd-video/index.html#04/11/2001) on april 10th, 2001 :
Hopefully this is not as dire as it sounds...? Universal has just issued a statement to North American retailers announcing that the Legend 2-disc Collector's Edition (original set for release last November, then unceremoniously postponed) has been discontinued. The notice is addressed to "All our valued customers" (i.e., retailers) and is dated April 10, 2001. It reads in full: "Please note that the following title will be discontinued effective immediately - 'Legend Collector's Edition DVD.' All backorders in our system will be canceled. Please notify the necessary personnel and adjust your records accordingly. Thank you for your assistance." End of statement.
So, is that it? No more Legend? Just what is going on with this title? Before getting too depressed, our calls to Universal Studios Home Video PR have not been returned as of press time to confirm exactly what this means. Certainly, fans have wanted Legend so badly for so long, I find it hard to believe Universal won't ever release this title.
To be honest, we have heard plenty of rumors on what is up with the postponement. Originally announced as a two-disc set with not one but two different cuts of the film (see the original press release for the full details,) we've heard a variety of stories behind the postponement. But what is fact is that Universal released a 89-minute cut of the film theatrically in the United States in 1985, while 20th Century Fox distributed a slightly different version overseas that same year. Thus, some have speculated that Fox may be holding up the rights for some reason tied to distribution or the fact that the DVD contains a cut of the film different than they released theatrically. Others have said Ridley Scott may be involved with the delay, or that extra features are being added, or a zillion other theories. Unfortunately, with no official word from Universal or Scott Free productions (Ridley Scott's production company), all we have to go by right now is the statement above. Stay tuned, though, and we'll post anything substantial that comes in regarding this eagerly-awaited title..."
Sean here - Just to let everyone know, sources close to the LEGEND DVD production say that the LEGEND DVD is still being worked on and the project has not been canceled. According to folks trying to decipher the Universal Press release over at the Home Theater Forum (http://www.hometheaterforum.com), the most likely reason for the "canceling" of the LEGEND SE DVD is to delete the old catalog number so that it can be replaced with a new catalog number. Remember, the whole reason for the delay in the first place to to make the LEGEND DVD the best that it can possibly be by adding additional material, even if that means we all have to wait a little longer. Keep the faith, we will get our LEGEND Special Edition DVD. :-)
And this information was just posted on the Digital Bits website (http;//www.thedigitalbits.com) today (4/11/01) :
"This is just a quick early update to clarify some news that's being reported elsewhere online, specifically that Universal's 2-disc collector's edition DVD release of Ridley Scott's Legend has been cancelled. To our knowledge, the title was NEVER officially announced. Retail orders were being solicited for a time last year (with a November 21st street date), but the title was delayed before it was announced to the media. Fans should worry not. Legend is DEFINITELY still coming to DVD. I've spoken with various people involved in the title's creation, and there has been no change in its status, as we've reported it here before. The title is being reworked to improve both quality and content, and should be released later this year. Most importantly, the 2-disc set will definitely be better off for the delay. We've been getting a lot of panicked e-mails about this today... so rest easy, folks."
- According to Michael Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org) and others :
On the Digitalbits website (http://www.thedigitalbits.com/rumormill.html) on 3/15/01 :
"Universal's Legend: Collector's Edition (2-discs) has been postponed, but we expect it to be released in August to coincide with MGM's Hannibal disc."
- We're still waiting for news of the new official released date for the LEGEND DVD. Here's what the Digital Bits web site had to say :
(LATE UPDATE - 1/2/01 - 3:30 PM PST)
...And finally, still no word on Universal's 2-disc Legend: Collector's Edition but we're still being told to expect it in early 2001.
- If you checkout the latest issue of Widescreen Review (as of 12/8/00) (http://www.widescreenreview.com) with Russell Crowe from Gladiator on the cover, you'll find additional information about LEGEND in the interview that Bill Hunt from The Digital Bits website (http://www.thedigitalbits.com) did with Charles de Lauzirika (http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/ridleyscott/scottfreeinterview.html).
Widescreen Review Volume 9, Number 9, Issue 44, Pages 106-111
This first part of the interview can be found on the Widescreen Review website at http://www.widescreenreview.com/attractions/insddvd.html :
"Since we're talking about Ridley Scott films, and we covered DreamWorks' Gladiator in the last Inside DVD column, I thought it was only appropriate that we mention this disc. Legend: Collector's Edition (Universal - Tentative Street Date: November 21)
This fantastic two-disc set (Universal's first two-disc release) packs just about everything a fan of this film could ever want. As of the time I'm writing this, the title is slated to be released on the very same day as Gladiator, November 21st, however, I'm told that there's a possibility the DVD could get pushed back to December or January. If this does happen, the delay will occur so that the folks at Scott Free and Universal can add even MORE great supplemental material to the set. But we can tell you what's confirmed as far as extras at the moment. First of all, you're going to get the 89-minute American theatrical cut of the film, with score by Tangerine Dream. Then you'll be treated to a brand new, 113-minute Director's Cut, with Jerry Goldsmith's original score. Fans of this film are going to really love this - I've seen the new cut and it's terrific. Naturally, both will be included in anamorphic widescreen. Audio options for at least the Director's Cut will be Dolby® Digital and DTS® Digital Surround 5.1. You also get a terrific 60-minute-plus documentary on the making of the film, Creating A Myth: The Making Of Legend. There's a brand new commentary track with director Ridley Scott, three separate storyboard sequences, trailers, production notes, and the complete screenplay via DVD-ROM. And finally, you get a specially edited storyboard/music sequence depicting the lost "Fairy Dance" scene. All this for only $34.98 SRP. How's that for cool?"
The following excerpt from the interview can only be found in the Widescreen Review magazine :
WSR Hunt: Moving on, as most of our readers know by now, you've been working on a Collector's Edition version of Ridley Scott's Legend for Universal. When did you become involved with the project? Was it at Ridley's behest?
de Lauzirika: Well, Legend had been popping up at Scott Free for the last several years. Every once in a while, Universal would fax over a proposal to Ridley for a Collector's Edition, and this is going back to when it was only planned for LaserDisc, before DVD was even around. And every time, Ridley was too busy with other things to really get as involved as he'd like to be. What really changed things, I think, was the advent of DVD. We were wrapping things up on Alien when, once again, Universal contacted Scott Free for Legend. Apparently, Legend is their most-requested title for the Special Edition treatment, which is pretty amazing considering some of the huge titles Universal has in their catalog. So this time, it seemed like the right thing to do. And because of the Alien experience, I think Ridley just figured I would continue on with Legend. So I did.
WSR Hunt: What are some of the things you and the studio plan to include on the disc?
de Lauzirika: Actually, it's going to be a two-disc set, which will be Universal's first. Obviously, the whole thing is based around the neve r-before-rel eased Director's Cut of the film. But we'll also have the U.S. Theatrical cut for fans of that version, and also for comparison-sort of like what Criterion did with Brazil. Ridley's recorded a brand new director's commentary track for the DVD release. And there's an all-new documentary on Legend, produced by J.M. Kenny, which turned out great. I think it's about 50 minutes, and it features interviews with most of the key cast and crew members on the film. I've really got to hand it to J.M. for tracking all of these people down, all over the world. Its also got a lot of rare behind-the-scenes footage. Aside from that, we have a nice list of supplements we're working on for Legend. J.M. and I have literally spent months dreaming up the ultimate Legend DVD, hoping to make it something that appeals to the various factions of Legend fans out there, and hopefully brings in all-new fans as well.
WSR Hunt: Let's talk about the film itself. Legend "lore" describes the existence of a number of different cuts of the film. I know that you worked for a long time to find a particular, never-before-seen cut for this new DVD. What don't you describe the tremendous effort you went to to track it down.
de Lauzirika: The Director's Cut was a nightmare to track down. In doing research on this, I had een in contact with a certifiable Legend fanatic named Sean Murphy, who runs the Legend FAQ along with Geoff Wright, and based in part on his info, and a lot of background from Legend editor, Terry Rawlings, I realized that we were looking for one of three cuts. There had been a 140 minute workprint, followed by a 125-minute answer print, which was then physically cut down to the 113-minute Director's Cut, which Ridley considers "the perfect cut"...or so the story goes. A version of this 113-minute cut had been screened for a test audience by the studio, so I figured that it had to have been in L.A. at some point.
I contacted Universal's vault in England, and they sent me an inventory list of everything they had on Legend. It turned out to be a list of what seemed like thousands of picture and sound elements, but no alternate versions of the film. So then I started talking to Garth Thomas, who has worked with Ridley forever, and was an A.D. on Legend. From that point on, we split the search. Garth, who's located in the U.K., searched around London while I searched around L.A. Universal didn't seem to know where any alternate cuts of the film could be, so we hoped that someone close to the production might have one of them. And of course, Terry Rawlings gave me some great leads, but we still couldn't find it.
Weeks and months passed. Universal began wondering what was going on, and I was seriously looking at the lousy proposition that the best we could do for the Legend DVD would be to include the existing 95minute European cut, with the Jerry Goldsmith score, and maybe the 89-minute U.S. cut, with Tangerine Dream's music. But then, just when things seemed darkest, I got word that Garth had found something interesting in England. Apparently, he had been kicking around a vault when he came across a print of something that had been simply marked "RSA," which is the name of Ridley's commercial company. There was no other identifying information, so Garth figured, 'What the hell?' and took a look at it. And it turned out to be a print of Legend. So Garth held a little private screening of this print at Shepperton, and I think he was pleasantly shocked to discover that, not only was it the missing 113-minute Director's Cut, but it was also a pristine answer print, fully mixed. So obviously, we were all pretty ecstatic. Garth made a quick one-light transfer to tape so that we could all check it out. I gave a copy to Ridley and made one for myself, and we watched it over the weekend. And this cut of the film is really great. I think even Ridley was surprised, because he hadn't seen it in about 15 years.
So I told J.M. and Universal that things were looking up, and then we went about the task of trying to have the print shipped here to the States safely. Keep in mind it was, to our knowledge, the only print of this cut in existence. But then I found out a few weeks later from Jeff Cava at Universal that there was this beautiful print of the same 11 3-minute Director's Cut right here in L.A. And it seemed to be in even better shape than the one in England. So this whole ordeal ended up with the damn thing being virtually in our own backyard. Long story short, Ridley's print is safe and sound in England, and the print we're using for the DVD is the one that turned up here-that's currently with Universal. But it was a little scary there for a while. Credit really needs to be given to Garth Thomas for breaking the case. And I should also thank Sean Murphy, Geoff Wright, and Paul MacLean for all of their support.
WSR Hunt: So tell us about this 11 3-minute cut. What makes it different from the theatrical versions we've seen before?
de Lauzirika : The biggest plus of this version is that what originally felt like a compromised, incomplete film now feels more whole and satisfying. Many scenes in the film are extended ... the existing scenes are fleshed out more and allowed to breathe. Jack and Lily have a stronger relationship in this cut, for example. There's just more character development in general. You get to hear more about Lily's background, there's more with Meg Mucklebones-moments that were abridged or chopped up in the other versions make sense now. This cut we're using contains about 24 minutes of extra footage.
The really cool thing, I think, is that Jerry Goldsmith's score just works like gangbusters in this cut-even more so than in the shorter European version. And, as I mentioned, the print itself looks great. Some weeks back, I got to see the new transfer of this Director's Cut and, considering the age of the source material, it's really beautiful. The colors are incredibly vibrant. It really just pops off the screen. And as for audio, it will have a 5.1 Dolby Digital track, along with a 5.1 DTS track.
WSR Hunt: So Legend will be a two-disc set, with two versions of the film, both scores, lots of extras ... the fans should be very happy. When can fans expect to see Legend released?
de Lauzirika : If all goes well, it should be out in mid-to-late November. Hopefully, in time for the holidays ... which is actually kind of funny to me. Last year, I sent out Legendtherned Christmas cards to some friends which said "Coming Soon." Little did I know it would take a whole other year ... [laughs]
- According to information posted on the DVDReview website (http://www.dvdreview) on October 23rd, 2000 at http://www.dvdreview.com/news/PokeNews.asp?news_id=2927 :
"Some information about the delay of Ridley Scott's 'Legend'
We've gotten some further information on the announced delay of Legend: Collector's Edition from Universal Home Video. The delays, according to Matt Kalinowski of Universal Home Video, will allow time for the '...completion of additional bonus materials being developed for the title, as well as some technical issues that needed to be resolved.'
Unfortunately, Mr. Kalinowski was not able to state when the disc's new release date would be.
Additional bonus materials sounds just fine with us. When it comes down to it, we'll gladly be patient and wait for a title to be done right rather than rushed out the door. As we know many of you are anxiously awaiting this one (believe me, so are we), we'll let you know the moment we have official word. "
This is also a LEGEND DVD menu screen found at the DVDReview website :
- According to the Digital Bits (http://www.digitalbits.com) site on 10/18/00 :
"We've been hearing from a LOT of panicked Ridley Scott fans, who have read elsewhere on the Net that Universal's Legend: Collector's Edition has been cancelled. That information is misleading. Here's Universal's official statement on it:
"The DVD release of Legend Collectors Edition has been postponed until further notice."
We've been working closely with Universal and the disc's producers on an in-depth story on the Legend DVD, and I can tell you wholeheartedly that it HAS NOT been cancelled. It's just been delayed. I can also tell you that the delay isn't about legal issues. They merely need more time to finish the disc to make it as good as you all want it to be. That MAY (note the emphasis on may) include adding a feature or two, and tweaking the technical aspects of the release. The delay shouldn't be long and there's every reason to believe that the title should be out before the end of the year. So hang tight - Legend is still coming and you're all gonna be the better off for this delay."
- These shots of the LEGEND DVD menus were originally posted at http://www.dvdmg.com :
- You can now find the LEGEND Collector's Edition DVD listed at the Universal Studios DVD Page located at http://www.blamld.com/Universal/DVD/20566.htm.
- LEGEND Collector's Edition Press Release!
Thanks to John Coughlin (email@example.com) for bringing this to my attention on 9/28/00. He originally found it on the DVDFile website at http://www.dvdfile.com/news/web_wire/press_release/archive/universal/legend.html.
- NEVER-BEFORE-AVAILABLE: DIRECTOR'S CUT WITH ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK!
Ridley Scott's Masterpiece Is Reborn on Dual-Disc Release!
Universal City, California, September 26, 2000 -- On November 21, Universal Studios Home Video will release director Ridley Scott's Legend in all its stunning, visionary glory, on DVD. This 2-disc Legend Collector's Edition contains both the never-before-released, 113-minute Director's Cut - with its extraordinary original soundtrack by Oscar®-winning composer Jerry Goldsmith intact - and the version that was released theatrically in the United States. Pre-order close is October 16.
Priced at $34.98 S.R.P, the Widescreen Legend Collector's Edition
is a feast for the eyes, ears and imagination. In addition to
offering both the U.S. theatrical version (soundtrack by Tangerine
Dream) and the restored Director's Cut (soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith),
Universal's first-ever dual disc DVD boasts extensive bonus materials
including "Creating a Myth: Memories of Legend" - a
fascinating documentary featuring interviews about the making
of Legend with director Ridley Scott, writer William Hjortsberg,
producer Arnon Milchan, make-up wizard Rob Bottin (The Howling),
actors Mia Sara, Tim Curry, Alice Playten, Robert Picardo, and
many more talented individuals, both in front of and behind the
camera. It provides a candid look at the trials and tribulations
that accompanied the creation of this spectacular epic.
Additional bonus materials include Feature Commentary with
Ridley Scott, Storyboards, "The Faerie Dance" with music
and storyboards depicting the lost scene, Production Notes, Cast
and Filmmaker Biographies, Theatrical Trailer and DVD-ROM features
including the original Screenplay.
A classic fantasy-adventure about the eternal struggle between
good and evil, Legend features a stellar cast. Box-office idol
Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible I and II, Jerry McGuire, The Firm,
Far and Away) stars as Jack, a mortal with a pure heart who lives
in solitude and harmony with the magical folk and animals of the
forest. Mia Sara (Timecop, Ferris Bueller's Day Off) is Lili,
a beautiful princess who loves Jack with all her heart. Lending
his unique brand of menace and magnetism is Tim Curry (The Rocky
Horror Picture Show) as the Lord of Darkness, who seeks to seduce
the princess, kill the last unicorn and plunge the world into
Resurrecting a 'Legend'
Like so many of Ridley Scott's films, Legend has attained the
level of cult status enjoyed by a only a select group of motion
pictures. With the advent of the Internet, it has spun a whole
new "web" of enchantment among fans. But along with
devotion, there has also been a terrific sense of "what might
have been." What these fans want most is to see Legend the
way Ridley Scott originally envisioned it. "Producer Arnon
Milchan says, "If I knew about movies what I know today,
I probably would have convinced Ridley to fight for his original
cut, which I felt was more true to his vision."
Former MCA/Universal executive Sid Sheinberg explains: "The
picture was originally produced with two companies being involved,
one having the foreign rights, and the other the domestic rights.
Obviously, for reasons I don't now remember, there was a decision
made to go in two different directions." The result was two
radically different versions: a European cut with the Jerry Goldsmith
score and a reported running time of 94 minutes and a less complex
U.S. cut, aimed at a more "youthful," rock 'n' roll-oriented
audience, which ran 89 minutes and replaced the original Goldsmith
score with a new one by Tangerine Dream.
The initial cut of the film ran over two hours long. In retropect,
Scott himself accepts much of the blame for altering the film,
particularly with regard to the score: "I got totally paranoid,"
he reveals. "I started to hack away at the movie. A gentleman
at Universal literally tried to physically stop me. As opposed
to him saying, 'We've got to cut this film,' it was me....I figured
that maybe we'd been too adventurous with our expectations of
a full-blown fairy story, and therefore, maybe the combination
of the score and the visual was actually too sweet. So, with only
three weeks to redo a score, I went to Berlin and did the score
with Tangerine Dream. In three weeks they did an incredible job,
but it was completely different. It was a driving, more modern
way to go, and given what they did in the time, I thought they
did a fantastic job. On reflection, it was the wrong thing to
do, and the first score [by Jerry Goldsmith] was what it should
be, which is what we've got on this disc."
One of the world's finest composers, Goldsmith was honored with an Academy Award(tm) for his scoring of The Omen. Some of his other masterworks include scores for The Mummy, L.A. Confidential, Malice, Alien, Planet of the Apes, Patton and over a hundred more. And now, at last, one of his finest scores ever will finally be heard on the Legend Collector's Edition
The Ultimate Fairy Tale
Appropriately, Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Thelma and Louise), the director of Legend, has himself achieved no less than legendary status. Prior to Legend, his fourth film, Scott had already directed The Duellists, Bladerunner and Alien, each of which is very stylized. Before moving on to what he refers to as "modern" films with normal people in modern, normal situations, he says, "I wanted to get off my chest this notion of a fairy story."
Legend was the culmination of almost four years of research
and preparation. Early on, Scott contacted novelist William Hjortsberg
to discuss the possibility of his writing a screenplay: "I
want to do a classic fairy tale, and I want to have unicorns in
it - fastest steed on earth - and I want the villain to be called
'Darkness.'" Together they discussed the basic story elements
involving a young hermit who becomes a hero when he battles the
evil Lord of Darkness, rescues a beautiful princess and frees
the world from an icy winter curse. Scott recalls that Hjortsberg
"went away and came back with a first draft which I thought
was generally magnificent."
"One of the things that I think is extraordinary about
Legend," notes Tim Curry ("Darkness"), "is
that it's much closer to Grimm's Fairy Tales, to the kind of primal,
psychological things that disturb children, which fairy tales
were clearly intended to address...there's some really gritty,
dark, bad stuff in there, the same way that there is in life.
And fairy tales were invented to prepare children for the horrors
that they might encounter."
The script was "so beautiful," reflects actress Mia
Sara ("Lili"). "Never before nor since have I ever
read anything that had that kind of impact on me." But it
was almost too good. Editor Terry Rawlings remembers: "The
Hjortsberg screenplay I thought was absolutely incredible, but
I thought, 'I don't know how they're going to film it because
it would be costing a fortune. We had this room with storyboards,
so you'd wander the room looking at the script as well as reading
it, and you'd think, well, that's a million dollars, that's a
million, that's another million..." The final story took
three years and 15 script revisions before it was completed. Principal
shooting began on March 26th, 1984.
Forest of Enchantment
The centerpiece of Legend is its remarkable forest. Ridley
Scott had originally intended to shoot on location and scouted
out Yosemite as a potential site. But the canopy formed by the
immense trees blotted out much of the sunlight. "I would
have had to put a scaffolding rig in the trees the size of a football
field to light the picture," he says. So, at Pinewood Studios
in London, production designer Assheton Gorton set about creating
a forest whose beauty would rival any natural work of art.
Gorton's sets, all of which started life as original sketches
and models, are among the most elaborate ever built for a motion
picture and were constructed on six of Pinewood's huge soundstages.
Inside the world's largest soundstage - originally built to house
a submarine set for the James Bond picture The Spy Who Loved Me
- the vast, mystical forest came to life with giant trees, gnarled
and sinister; an undulating mossy floor with hills and dells,
meandering wooded paths, delightful forest glades and babbling
streams; a sun-gilded amphitheater and a cliff-edged pond with
bluebells and blossoms. It took 50 craftsmen 14 weeks to build.
For the winter scenes, 1,500 icicles were added. Varying in length
from one foot to eight feet, they were made of resin and hot wax
to achieve the proper texture. The special effects team, under
supervisor Nick Allder, also supplied tons of artificial snow
in the process of "winterizing" the forest set.
The forest was but one of several major sets designed by Gorton.
Another is the gigantic kitchen at the bottom of the Dark Lord's
subterranean castle. Constructed on a mammoth scale and populated
with giant demon cooks, it appears even bigger against the tiny
bodies of elves, pixies and leprechauns who appear throughout
the film. The castle's great hall is another spectacular set,
which includes the huge and menacing Throne of Darkness. Among
its other features: ominous jet-black columns, 25 feet high and
nine feet in diameter; a gigantic black marble banquet table,
and a massive fireplace adorned with fantastic sculptures.
There can be no good without evil...
No love without hate...
No heaven without hell...
No light without darkness.
Once, long ago, before there was such a thing as time, the
world was shrouded in darkness. Then came the splendor of light,
bringing life and love into the Universe, and the Lord of Darkness
retreated deep into the shadows of the earth, plotting his return
to power...by banishing light forever.
In this classic fantasy/adventure, pure good and foulest evil
will soon battle to the death. Set amid a timeless mythical forest
inhabited by fairies, goblins and other magical folk is the story
of Jack, a forest dweller who lives in solitude and harmony with
the animals of the wood...including Unicorns, who are key to keeping
light alive and evil at bay. Chosen by fate to undertake a heroic
quest, Jack must brave a host of terrors to not only save his
true love - a beautiful princess named Lili - from the clutches
of the demonic Lord of Darkness, but also rescue a captive unicorn...or
the world will be plunged into a never-ending ice age where the
dawn never comes and evil reigns supreme.
CAST & FILMMAKERS
Producer: Arnon Milchan
Co-Producer: Tim Hampton
Screenwriter: William Hjortsberg
Director of Photography: Alex Thomson
Special Make-Up Effects: Rob Bottin
Editor: Terry Rawlings
Original Music by: Jerry Goldsmith (Director's Cut); Tangerine
Dream (US version)
Production Designer: Assheton Gorton
Cast: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice
Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, Robert Picardo
Street Date: November 21, 2000 Order Close: October 16, 2000
Selection Number: #2056
Running Time: Disc 1 (Director's Cut): 1 hour, 53 minutes
Disc 2 (US Theatrical Version): 1 hour, 29 minutes
Suggested Retail Price: $34.98
Rating: PG (Director's Cut not rated)
Number of Layers: 2
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35
Language / Audio: English Dolby 5.1 Surround/Dolby Surround
DTS 5.1 Surround, English Captions, Spanish & French Subtitles
Bonus Material: "Creating a Myth: Memories of Legend,"
a documentary featuring candid interviews about the making of
Legend with director Ridley Scott, writer William Hjortsberg,
producer Arnon Milchan, make-up wizard Rob Bottin, Mia Sara, Tim
Curry; and more cast and crew; Feature Commentary with Ridley
Scott, Storyboards, "The Faerie Dance" with music and
storyboards depicting the lost scene, Original Screenplay, DVD
Newsletter, Recommendations, Production Notes, Cast and Filmmaker
Biographies, Theatrical Trailer, DVD-ROM features.
# # #
Copyright©2000 Universal Studios
Ridley Scott was on the Mr. Showbiz
Web site [http://www.mrshowbiz.com] on Feburary 1st, 1996 and he answered questions asked by people live on the Web. He was asked about a Director's cut of LEGEND.
The following is what I saw the day it happened :
- Doug Cummings from arizona.edu at 7:38pm ET
Do you think there's a possibility there would ever be a Director's
Cut of "Legend" released?
- Ridley Scott at 7:44pm ET
A recut on Legend? Yes, there was always a regret that because
we didn't preview well we cut out a half hour. I'm always passionate
about my work and the idea of doing a live action Beauty and
The Beast. I felt it might work and now there are a lot of films
being made into live action. The revival of animation into movies
are very successful. I think we were on target at the time to
do a film which in a way was for everybody and was really quite
different. A step away from a period film, a step away from the
science fiction genre. But they didn't get it. There probably
won't be a directors cut.
This is what is posted on the Mr. Showbiz Web Site :
- Doug Cummings from arizona.edu at 7:38pm ET
Do you think there's a possibility there would ever be a Director's
Cut of "Legend" released?
- Ridley Scott at 7:44pm ET
Yes, there was always a regret that because we didn't preview
well, we cut out almost a half hour. I'm always passionate about
my work and the idea of doing a live-action fairy story, which
in a way is like Beauty and the Beast; I loved the Cocteau film.
I felt it might work. Now of course there are a lot of films
being made live action, such as 101 Dalmatians. And there's been
a revival of animation movies, which have become very successful,
like The Lion King. I think we were on target at the time to
do a film which, in a way, was A) for everybody, and B) really
quite different. It was a step away from a period film, a step
away from the science-fiction genre. So in that sense, I thought
it was quite fresh. But they didn't get it. I doubt there will
be a director's cut, but I am curious how it would do if it were
Luckily, Mr. Scott does not say that he doesn't WANT to do a Director's Cut of LEGEND, just that he thinks there probably won't be one because of all that would have to go into convincing the studio that a recut should be done. There is still hope!
The rest of this interview may still be found on the Mr. Showbiz web site at : http://www.mrshowbiz.com
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