In search of Goodbye Uncle Tom / Addio Zio Tom

Do you have any information about the cuts contained in this blu ray version ?

Same two versions as the old DVDs.

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Hey Lutho, good to see you’re here also.

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Just as an update:

I have now checked out the German special feature, and it is essentially the same as we are already of, with the original ending and sequence of the axe murders in the bedroom and Nat Turner squeezing the beach ball in front of the child on the beach. The plantation burning/slave revolt sequences etc were not present in this feature.

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@Kakyoin My colleague Lutho and I have tracked down the 3rd version, with plantation burning scenes amongst others!





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This sequence does not appear in the other two?

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No, categorically not! There are others also you’ll be pleased to hear that don’t appear in either the theatrical nor “directors cut” versions.

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Wow, is this in Italian? This looks like the “train burning” scene that is mentioned in the book as being shot but never edited, or maybe not. Please tell us more :smiley:

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No, not in Italian I’m afraid, my understanding now is that after the film was withdrawn from circulation in Italy due to the J.C. Furnas legal dispute, a version was released in West Germany on the 27th Jan 1972 which had a different order of sequences and narration, other more familiar scenes shortened, but perhaps most interestingly scenes of a slave revolt and plantation burning (as well as other short scenes) that don’t appear in either the theatrical, nor ‘directors cut’ of the film we’re familiar with. It’s interesting for these elements alone.

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Curiously still I don’t recall seeing the Madame Laurie scene included, despite Giampaolo Lomi insisting they were shot and edited, these don’t seem to appear which I somewhat had hoped they would do.

EDIT: We have it, though somewhat brief:


Perhaps more curiously still, this scene shown in the Italian trailer was not present either on first watch:


Despite it being used in both the Italian trailer for the film, and also used for promotional purposes on the German release. Very interesting indeed.

EDIT: This scene categorically does not appear in this version of the film, it appears to only be seen in the Italian trailer, as no other version seems to include this.

This version, again somewhat interestingly, also includes the two separate scenes with Jacopetti and Prosperi named as travelling photographers.

In the theatrical and directors cuts of the film, they each contain only one of these each, but this 3rd version includes both. Fascinating.

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Perhaps @A_N @Schramm @Frank_n_Furter @Kakyoin @Pitt_Doenitz @Mondo_Boy @mondoboy @mondo_cane @almayer will also find interesting that this newly acquired version runs at approximately 95m 15s.

I would be interested to discover if the scenes of the whipping post, and amputations, appear in any other version(s) you’re all aware of?

At the moment I am trying to establish a rough timeline of the events, dates, censorship issues, and other worthwhile information concerning the film and its variant versions.

If anyone feels there are corrections to be made, or information to the contrary, please feel free to comment and share as this could be vital to us understanding the larger picture around the films timeline and subsequent changes made for the alternate versions.

The film went to censorship for the first time on September 6th 1971. The recorded footage was 3690 meters, which equates to 134 minutes and 30 seconds at 24 frames /sec (35mm., Ntsc system, Blu-rays) and 129 minutes and 8 seconds at 25 frames/sec (Pal system).

The film was released quickly and screened on the 9th September 1971, at the Manzoni Cinema in Milan, followed by the latest violent defamatory campaign against Jacopetti. The film was authorised for public screening by over-18s, due to “the sequences of particular violence – of an erotic nature – which cannot be allowed to be seen by minors”. Euro International Films, headed by the Countess Marina Cicogna, did not appeal.

The film’s release was then further delayed due to a legal dispute raised by J.C. Furness surrounding an Italian version of an American novel also sharing the name Addio, Zio Tom. The production company was forced to withdraw and reprint the posters, promotional material and edit the opening titles – with the film now known simply by ‘Zio Tom’.

In mid-October 1971, trouble began. A police report reads: “In the past few days in Bologna, the screening of the film in question provoked protests from university students from the movements Lotta Continua and Potere Operaio and from black students, who view the film as racist. Upon the evening screening on the 7th October 1971, around a hundred students gathered outside two theatres, attempting to bar entry to spectators.” The result: the film was seized on October 16, initially in Rimini on the orders of the State Prosecutor, who defined it “obscene and racist”, then in Bari, for being “against good moral conduct and ethical and social responsibility due to the frequent scenes of vulgar sexuality, the exasperated representation of race hate and the tragic and bloody massacres of race battles portrayed in the name of entertainment.”

It appears that the film was then released in West Germany on the 27th January 1972, and this version I can confirm has scenes not presented in the ‘English Version’, ‘Directors Cut’, nor the one from Giampaolo Lomi. This makes it very interesting indeed in my opinion. This version of the film is only approximately 95mins long, so much shorter than the original 135mins version, yet it contains footage previously unseen along with a different ordering of sequences. The scenes of a plantation burning appear before a sudden jump cut to the present day and of Nat Turner reading from his book you’re all no doubt now familiar with.

On March 21, 1972, the film was released from seizure in Italy, due to it having been acquitted having established that no crime had been committed, and the production company was once again forced to present the film to the revision commission on 27th March 1972.

This Italian “second edition” titled Zio Tom has a running time now 139’54" (24 f/s) or 134’18" (25 f/s). It’s been totally re-edited with the addition of scenes of current events (the funeral of Martin Luther King, Black Panther and hippy marches, pilgrimages and historical re-enactments, the New Orleans Mardi Gras, clashes between protesters and the police in Washington) and the elimination of certain sequences (a slave trader, a professional whipper, a Northern agitator). The film was cleared with a ban for under-18s, but its fate had already been compromised, and its duration on the big screen was brief.

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You will find what you’re looking for in Stefano Loparco’s book, including a very detailed report on the production and BTS photos for deleted scenes.

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uhm. frankly speaking, not that much. I’ve always despised this one, which is imho the most boring of all alongside with mondo candido and albertini’s diptych

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Did you manage to locate this Mediaset version at all, @Frank_n_Furter ?

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I forgot :pensive:

Please send me a reminder in the second half of July, guys!!!

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There’s no need to look! It was confirmed even in this forum that it was just a censored version of Lomi’s telecine.

Then just to confirm: The scenes of the whipping post that appear in the Italian trailer, and is also shown in the German lobby card set and poster art, are not present in any known version of the film by collectors?

Not that we know of, no.

I think that the version you found is the true American version (end credits state “Prepared for American release by Ken Dewey and Tom Kennedy”), since according to Loparco the original English version was written by Kathryn Snedeker and Mike Billingsley.

Is it an edited version of the original, impossible to find 1971 release? Could be, as I find the extra scenes to be vastly inferior to the rest of the movie, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were deleted while the movie was out and not going too well at the box office.

I love these mysteries.

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The version found recently, perhaps most interestingly of all, was from the West German release… so actually within six months of the original Italian version as Addio Zio Tom, and predating the Italian second version under its title ‘Zio Tom’.

This one occurs in between the two.

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The attached images are taken from promotional material for the film.

Is anyone aware of a release that contains the below scenes at all?

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