Cry of the Banshee (1970) Poster

Alternate Versions

The original US release from AIP was a re edited and cut version. AIP created a new title sequence (dumping the Terry Gilliam animated titles) and removed some violence and nudity, as well as shuffling a few scenes around. This version was rated PG and was also released on VHS on the HBO / Thorn label as well as to TV in a version with even more cuts. In 1995, Orion released an EP speed VHS tape and went back to the original negative, releasing the original UK version, seen for the first time in the US. The DVD version is also uncut and has been rated R by the MPAA.
The differences between the cut AIP version and the original edit (released on DVD in the US) are significant:
  • The AIP re-edit repositions the coven massacre scene (that occurs about half an hour into the film in the original version) as a pre-credits scene. The sequence is also slightly trimmed to eliminate some nudity and also remove the shots of Hugh Griffith observing the action.
  • The original credits are Pythonesque animations by Terry Gilliam. These animations were replaced in the AIP re-edit by stills of some of the winged creatures.
  • The music score was changed - the new music was composed by Lex Baxter. Wilfred Joseph did the original score.
  • All topless nudity was removed from the AIP re-edit. This involved trimming several scenes and re-framing others (zooming in on the "unoffensive" part of the frame). This chopped about 3m off the running time.
  • The death of Essay Persson was abridged
  • In the middle section of the film some other scenes were re-positioned in the narrative with the intent of bringing forward the appearance of the coven (in order to speed up the narrative). The version on DVD runs 91m whereas the old AIP version runs only 87m.
The 1970 UK theatrical version featured the edited US print which replaced the opening animated credits with still ones, completely altered the music score, and was cut to remove all footage of topless nudity and to tone down assorted whippings and beatings. This same print was later used for the 15 rated Guild video release in 1988. The 2008 Optimum DVD features the complete original print.

See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Connections | Soundtracks

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