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A demon who seeks to create eternal night by destroying the last of the unicorns and marrying a fairy princess is opposed by the forest boy Jack and his elven allies in this magical fantasy. Two different versions of this picture feature soundtracks by either Tangerine Dream or Jerry Goldsmith.Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
When it came time to assemble the full director's cut, the original session masters for the Jerry Goldsmith score could not be located. However, Mike Ross-Trevor of Hit Factory Studios in London had kept a two-track digital copy, mixed down from eight-track session masters, which he knew "would be worth preserving." Most of these tapes contained complete takes, which had to be re-edited from scratch to match the cues in the recut print. See more »
When Lily first sees the unicorns and they start running, you can the horns wobbling on those closest to the camera. See more »
Here are the differences between the European and American versions (taken from the Legend FAQ by Tony Anderson, Sean Murphy & Geoff Wright. Used with permission):
Early in the American version we see someone being tortured by demons before an open view of the star filled Void. Darkness is shown in blue with yellow glowing fingernails and he delivers a different opening soliloquy. In the European version we do not get the torture scene nor to we see more than the arm of Darkness.
When Lili enters Nell's cabin there is a shot of Nell's sleeping husband in the European version.
Lili is a princess in the European version, but called merely a Lady in the American version.
In the American version, Lili has a vision of the future when she sees the revolving figures of the clock (death chasing a maiden) become encased in ice for a moment. No ice in the European version of this shot.
The cutting of the scenes with Jack, Lily, and the stalking goblins is arranged differently between the two versions.
Lili asks Jack to teach her rabbit in the European version, whereas she asks him to "tell me our future" in the American version.
There is more footage of Jack swimming underwater to find the ring in the European version.
Lightning strikes a tree just before the unicorn falls in the American version. We also see the cutting of the alicorn in this version.
In the American version we see Jack struggling through the dark forest snow calling Lily before he succumbs. We also see an extra shot of the goblins riding in the snow. In the European we cut from Lili in the cottage to the shot of Jack sleeping in the snow.
When Gump queries Jack in the American version, Jack immediately admits that he took Lily to see the unicorns. In the European version, Jack first denies that he did anything and then admits his transgression. Gump becomes bug-eyed and threatening in the European version and makes Jack solve a riddle before all will be forgiven. The American version does not contain the riddle and is much shorter and simpler.
The scene of Blix and the goblins intoxicated with the power of the alicorn is split into two segments in the European version separated by the scene with Jack and Oona in the cave. In the American version, the cave scene is followed by the goblin scene in its entirety.
The scene with Meg is very short in the American version, whereas in the longer sequence from the European version, Jack uses flattery to distract her before killing her.
When we see Lili in the dungeon for the first time, there is a shot of Darkness that appears to be taken from the goblins fire sequence in the European version. In the American version, the camera explores the walls of the dungeon where we see to "eyes" light up.
After Lili enters Darkness' hall, the American version cuts to a scene not in the European version of an attack on Gump and Jack by what the script refers to as Pygmies.
The Dress Waltz scene is shorter in the American version and contains a flash cut to Lili suddenly wearing the dress. No flash in the European version.
The American version contains some added footage showing wine filling up a cup magically and is missing a scene where Darkness attempts to get Lili to sit on his throne (he does this twice in the European version vs. once in the American).
There are some added lines to the American version just before Darkness falls into the abyss having been defeated by Jack: "You think you have won. What is light without dark? I am a part of you all. You can never defeat me. We are brothers eternal."
When Darkness falls into the abyss it causes five shooting stars to be generated in the American version.
The scene of Jack diving into the pond for Lili's ring is intercut with the unicorn's horn being restored and his subsequent revival in the American version. These shots are missing in the European version.
One last shot of Darkness laughing can be seen in the American version.
The American version does not contain any of the songs sung by Lili in the European version, or the Goldsmith score.
To take the horn of the Unicorn is to end all hope!
Never did the phrase "a beautiful film" have more relevance than in this wonderful piece of adult fantasy. Make no mistake, this masterpiece, Ridley Scott's fourth film (it followed BLADE RUNNER) was never intended for children. Those who have written it off as a kids' movie totally betray their limitations and inability to see what is being offered here.
A youthful Tom Cruise was such a good choice as Jack, the forest dweller destined to plunge the world into darkness and then have but one opportunity to restore the light. Mia Sara is the beautiful princess, part Cinderella, part angel, all virgin! and Tim Curry? well, what a simply staggering contribution as the Lord of Darkness. Totally unrecognizable both visually and audibly but what a performance.
All the Ridley Scott trademarks are here, the back-projected blue light, the filtered scenes of wonderment, central characters in a crisis, the enigma of life itself. If anything, LEGEND is better now than when it was released. In '85 it received critical praise - just no-one went to see it! Well that's not strictly true. I attended the Sydney premiere and sat thru it entranced as others fidgeted, whispered, and generally brought attention to their limited attention spans and lowered perceptions!
Certainly it is a film that on one level children could relate to and even enjoy but it is a far deeper film with a host of reflective ideas and quite magical concepts. What really IS the Lord of Darkness? What is the significance of the Unicorns? What becomes of the innocence we leave behind in childhood? If none of this interests you, make sure you avoid this film!
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