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July 1997, Week 2


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"D. R. Smith" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 9 Jul 1997 11:27:27 -0400
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    I think this kind of thing (scenes in trailers that aren't in the
movies) happens all the time, and it *can* get frustrating.  I've always
suspected that it had to do with the trailers being made before the final
edits to the movie are made.  In a recent article in "Entertainment Weekly"
about the new Julia Roberts movie, there was a mention of a line of
dialogue  ("we think she's a lesbian") that was in the trailer but that
didn't make it into the final cut of the movie because of the test audience
response to it.  Apparently, the dialogue before this line produced such a
big laugh that the line was almost, but not quite, drowned out, so the
audience became confused as to whether or not Julia's character was a
lesbian.  They said that they tried to move the line somewhere else in
order to keep it, but couldn't find a way to do so, so they ended up
removing it completely from the final cut.
    Another trailer tactic that (slightly) bothers me, although I
understand it, is the use of another movie's music as the soundtrack to the
trailer.  I was watching a preview for a new Helena Bonham Carter movie
(from a Henry James novel, I think, but I can't remember the title), and it
used the soundtrack from Branagh's "Henry V".  The trailer for "Hamlet"
(yes, Branagh's) used the same music.  I've noticed that the soundtracks
from "Henry V", "Willow" and "Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves" are often used
in trailers (in fact, the trailer for "Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves" used
the music from "Willow"!), and that's probably because they contain music
to which audiences respond.  Do the soundtrack composers get credit for
this type of use?  Is this type of tactic unethical? I don't really think
so, but it still seems a little underhanded to me.  What do you think?
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