Were the Metrograph guys being upfront by tweeting that the “X-rated” version of Frank Perry‘s Last Summer (’69) would play there last Friday and Saturday (8.11 and 8.12). Okay, they didn’t specifically claim that the 97-minute X-rated version would show, but they certainly implied this by describing the film as “an X-rated cult coming-of-age classic.” Their web page, however, says that the film runs 95 minutes. This indicates they showed the tamer R-rated version as opposed to the 97-minute version that the MPAA gave an X rating to.
The Metrograph showed the only existing celluloid copy of the film, a 16mm print supplied by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. The Wiki page says all 35mm prints “have been lost for years”, ditto the X-rated version.
I called and wrote the Metrograph guys about this…zip.
By the way: There’s an outfit called The Video Beat that claims to be offering a Last Summer DVD containing both the 97-minute and 95-minute versions. Their copy states that “the longer version contains full frontal and rear nudity and a brutal rape scene. The shorter version is edited to remove nudity and some extreme cruelty. We have both versions. The 95-minute version is excellent quality. The 97-minute version is very good quality but a notch below the 95 minute version. When you order this title you will receive both versions, each on a separate disc.”
I’ve written these guys to double-confirm and ask how they found and mastered the X-rated version. I’ll believe that their DVD actually contains this when I see it.
Here’s Rex Reed hailing the supporting performance by Last Summer‘s Cathy Burns (i.e., the rape victim) on The Dick Cavett Show….go to 1:10.