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A Slightly Edited Dream Movie
on 4 January 2009
If you bought a 500 page book with pages missing here and there for a total of 75 pages, you probably would have a hard time following the story. That seemed to be the case with the U.S. version of this movie. I am now set up to be able to watch movies from any region whether NTSC or PAL, and this is one of the first ones I bought from Amazon UK. [I live about 120 miles from Amazon.com world headquarters in Washington State. It was listed as an 85 minute version; when I ordered it, I received a copy with a different cover and it was only 73 minutes. If this ratio was accurate, that means that nearly 15% of the movie had been cut to make the 73 minute version. The longest I can find anyone else showing the movie is 77 minutes, and that from several different sources, which would make this U.K. version cut by about 5%. When Amazon UK checked into it further, they found that the 85 minute listing was in error, and without my asking, refunded my money.
Both my wife and I noticed several times when there were obvious cuts in 'Valorie,' such as where two lines of subtitles were on the screen less than 1/2 second. Cutting movies for the U.S. market is fairly common with European movies. The most massive cuts I've seen so far are with 'Crusade: A March Through Time' where the Netherlands version is 138 minutes, the German version is 125 minutes and the U.S. version is only 100 minutes! My best guess now is that the U.K. DVD issue of 'Valorie' is cut by only four minutes from a previous VHS version.
My best judgment now is that 'Valorie' in its theatrical run was 85 minutes. Since it was a movie from a Communist country, Czechoslovakia, it wasn't preserved in a proper manner for the twenty-plus years it would take for the country to be freed. Therefore, when it was able to be made into VHS or DVDs, eight minutes were too far deterioted to be used. Four more mintues were questionable, and might have been used in some versions. This was pared down, because of questionable quality, to make the 73 minute DVD that now seems to be the current version. Therefore, it would seem reasonable that many viewers would find the movie chopped up and confusing since it appears that about 15% has been lost from the theatrical version.
To comment on the movie itself, I would say that if you are a person who remembers your dreams and likes to think about them when awake, you'll find this movie familiar material, and you'll probably like it. If you don't remember your dreams, or ignore them because they seem so nonsensical, you probably won't like the movie.