In search of Goodbye Uncle Tom / Addio Zio Tom

I hear there is, in fact, a third version of this mondo movie that Nicholas Winding Refn owns.

This version of the film supposedly has a different, re-ordered, structure to it as well as some alternative scenes such as an underground railroad and slave revolt (which could, possibly, be re-shot footage). There were also, supposedly, scenes from the Italian cut included.

The version I seek was purportedly shown at BFI London some years ago to help promote Refn’s exploitation film and poster book. Does anyone have this at all?

Morning, mondo fans!

Just as an update somewhat, I have managed to find an Italian language version of the film - however, the scenes referred to of the plantation being burnt down, seemingly during the revolt, don’t appear to be present in this version of the film… which almost confirms to me now that those scenes were likely re-shoots added later.

It appears that the Australian trailer for Farewell Uncle Tom includes these scenes, so it’s quite possible that an Australian version of the film is what we’re looking for (though its not impossible that the film could have shown something in the trailer not to be found in the film of course).

1 Mi Piace

Maybe you already know that, but the real original version was released only in Italy. Then was seized. When the film came back to the cinemas they shortened the lenght e change the ending. The latter was the one released abroad.

1 Mi Piace

I don’t think they went back to the US/Haiti for reshoots, this was not a Marvel movie! What’s sure is that they shot a lot of footage, I don’t remember the one you mention but I’m sure that in the German trailer, there are some shots that you won’t see in any released version.

Not exactly. According to the late Giampaolo Lomi, the real original version was the one that is now available only in English. The so-called “Italian director’s cut” is a subsequent edition, of which two versions exist.

The shorter, true original version was even aired with an Italian dub on Mediaset until the 00s, I believe. I’ve never seen it unfortunately.

3 Mi Piace

Rodar, pls English only in this section.

Hi Baron, to which film & book are you referring to?


I believe there is a Super 8mm release in German which we could collectively attempt to track down and see if there are any differences.

I believe there was also talk of a 33 minute (?) special feature regarding Goodbye Uncle Tom - from a Super 8mm release - featured on the German Il Decamerone Nero release. I wonder if anyone here has that feature at all for us to compare against?

1 Mi Piace

The book he was promoting at the time was The Act Of Seeing released on FabPress I believe:

1 Mi Piace

I was misremembering things I read more than 10 years ago, now I managed to find the old Facebook posts by the late Giampaolo Lomi (“organizzatore generale” for this film, who unfortunately passed away in 2021) and here’s what I understand about the different versions of Addio Zio Tom:

There are basically two main versions, the original 1971 (let’s call this Version 1) cut and the Zio Tom cut (let’s call this Version 2).

Version 1 is the one with the time travel commentary. The Lalaurie sequence was supposedly cut before release but was fully dubbed and scored.
This is available on the Blue Underground “American version” DVD, albeit with some cuts also according to Lomi, and was aired in Italian in a censored version by Mediaset (Iris, and I think Rete 4) up to at least 2011.

Version 2 is the so-called “director’s cut”, this is the longest one with the modern-day footage. According to Lomi, it was recut by the distributor against the directors’ wishes and features the Mondo Cane-style commentary.
This exists in the longer Blue Underground DVD and in a slightly shorter Italian theatrical edition called “Zio Tom”.

So, maybe, what you’re looking for is the complete Version 1. This should be the version Mediaset aired up to 2011-ish, minus some censorship cuts. I think I’ve seen a sequence (the slave talking about his “benefits”) dubbed in Italian on Youtube ages ago, so somebody probably recorded it. This was screened supposedly fully uncut in April 2016 in Barga.

Lomi talked about this movie extensively on Facebook, and this is more or less what he kept saying. The information about the BU American Version being cut was only mentioned once I think. He also said that negatives for both versions, plus the dubbed and scored Lalaurie sequence as intended for Version 1, were kept at Technicolor Italy before they went out of business. I don’t know if they saved them, but them being Medusa/Mediaset properties I suppose they are still available somewhere.

1 Mi Piace

I recorded it.
Next week I will visit my parents and try to find it among the hundreds of old vhs I keep at their house.

1 Mi Piace

Great! I am not sure if there is actually additional footage compared to the American version, but since Giampaolo Lomi said the Blue Underground DVD had some cuts and that the Mediaset broadcast version only has censorship cuts and is otherwise the true, original version, it could hide some surprises.

Blue Underground announced a 4k version in 2021 but they haven’t talked about it since. Who knows what they wanted to release.

1 Mi Piace

@Kakyoin I have this version from Lomi, however, if you view the Australian Trailer for the film here:

You’ll notice that at the end of the Trailer (from 1:29 - 1:47), there are scenes not to be found in either the American Cut, nor Director’s Cut, and also not Lomi’s version of the movie.

It is known that these scenes exist, and there are comments online from the showing of the film by Winding Refn that seem to indicate this is the version they saw - containing the plantation burning - but from what I can tell you the scene shows an extended section of the Slave Revolt themes of the Movie, a scene showing Plantation Slaves in the Antebellum Era South revolting, massacring their White Masters and burning down the Plantation.

1 Mi Piace

Yes, I got it, what I meant was that since Mr Lomi said the Blue Underground DVD misses some footage, it could be the one seen in that trailer. Where did you get this version?

I think I’ve also seen that 30min super8 version from that DVD and I remember there not being any additional footage, but it’s been a while.

In any case, the easiest thing to do would be to track down the Australian Video Classics VHS titled Farewell Uncle Tom. Personally, I doubt this scene was actually part of the movie but who knows.

2 Mi Piace

It has also crossed my mind that perhaps all things shown in the trailer perhaps did not get shown in the movie itself - it’s certainly not unheard of - but it would be quite unusual none the less. If it wasn’t included in any version of Goodbye Uncle Tom - then my next curiosity would be, where was it taken from, and why?!

1 Mi Piace

Not that unusual actually.
So since you have it, what are the differences between the English DVD and the original 1971 Italian version?

2 Mi Piace

@Kakyoin An Australian contact of mine with the Video Classics Gold VHS has agreed to send me a copy of his movie. I will await its arrival, and then once with me I shall do a write-up of the different version (Including Lomi’s own Italian language version).

This may possibly give us the most complete idea of the different versions that exist!

2 Mi Piace

Just as an update for you guys, I have viewed the Australian VHS version from the Video Classics label earlier today and can confirm it’s run time is just over 1hr 58mins, but the plantation burning scenes were not present. It is essentially the English version of the film.

1 Mi Piace

Thank you, I’d be very curious to know if the Lomi version is simply the international cut dubbed in Italian, as aired on Mediaset in the 2000s and maybe less censored

1 Mi Piace

Hello Kakyoin,

Please check messages.

I have today reached out to a contact regarding the negatives for the deleted scenes we have discussed earlier in this thread. Let’s roll the dice and see what can be made available.

3 Mi Piace

Have you tried the German versions out, or the American X-rated one?

1 Mi Piace