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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives


Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Now Available from RiffTrax…

Download it here.

19 Replies to “Now Available from RiffTrax…”

  1. Joel Lillo
    Ignored
    says:

    During the question and answer section of their first live show in 1992 (the one where JatB riffed “World Without End”) someone asked if they ever would riff a good movie. The general consensus of the cast was that they wouldn’t. One of them (I’ve forgotten who) said something like, “What could we say during It’s a Wonderful life? ‘Jump! Jump!'” Laughter from the crowd ensued.

    I’m looking forward to this!

       4 likes

  2. Sitting Duck
    Ignored
    says:

    For those who have never seen it and have always been bothered by how Mr. Potter got off scot-free, here’s the “lost ending” that was screened on Saturday Night Live.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw89o0afb2A

       7 likes

  3. goldanyranger
    Ignored
    says:

    For those wondering, it’s not a “Just The Jokes” version. It’s the public domain cut that used to air on every possible channel.

       6 likes

  4. Kenneth Morgan
    Ignored
    says:

    Joel Lillo:
    During the question and answer section of their first live show in 1992 (the one where JatB riffed “World Without End”) someone asked if they ever would riff a good movie. The general consensus of the cast was that they wouldn’t. One of them (I’ve forgotten who) said something like, “What could we say during It’s a Wonderful life? ‘Jump! Jump!’” Laughter from the crowd ensued.

    I’m looking forward to this!

    I remember that as being from one of the ConventioCons. When the question was asked, Mike answered that he wasn’t sure how many laughs they’d get from “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Paul then started going, “Jump! Jump!”, with Mike tossing in an exaggerated, “Please don’t hit my ear again, Mr. Gower!”. And the audience did, indeed, have a big laugh over it. I’ll have to check the fan recordings for that one.

       3 likes

  5. jay
    Ignored
    says:

    It would seem that, according to the IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE mythos that we spend the afterlife dressed in the clothes of the time when we died. Thus the angel’s “old lady underwear”. Pity the poor folks that died in 1977 dressed in “good buddy” cracker clothes with inflated Cupcake hair which no halo would ever fit over.

       5 likes

  6. goalieboy82
    Ignored
    says:

    now if they could get this for next year:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_(1990_film)

       1 likes

  7. Sitting Duck
    Ignored
    says:

    There are a massive number of people who were involved with It’s a Wonderful Life who have MST3K connections, hence why it took me so long to compile this. So strap in:

    Frank Hagney (Mr. Potter’s Bodyguard) was the juvenile court bailiff in Teen-Age Crime Wave. Stanley Andrews (Mr. Welch) was Farmer Collingwood in Untamed Youth. Brooks Benedict (Military Officer in Montage) was a pedestrian in I Accuse My Parents. Al Bridge (Sheriff) was a White Rose sailor in The Phantom Creeps. Marian Carr (Jane Wainwright) was Eva Martin in Indestructible Man. Lane Chandler (Policeman) was a henchman with Rankin in The Phantom Creeps and Darius in Undersea Kingdom. Tom Coleman (Building and Loan Customer) was a reporter in Rocketship X-M. Dick Gordon (Photographer with Sheriff) was the Judge in X Marks the Spot and a Wedding Guest in The Corpse Vanishes. Joseph Granby (Elderly Man) was the President in Invasion U.S.A. John Indrisano (Man in Fantasy, also stunts) was Thor in The Human Duplicators. Eddie Kane (Building and Loan Depositor) was the District Attorney in The Corpse Vanishes. Jack Lomas (Bar Patron) was the Wise Guy in Bar in Invasion U.S.A. Frank O’Connor (Military Officer in Montage) was one of the cops at Helen’s apartment in The Brute Man and a cop in The Corpse Vanishes. Suzanne Ridgeway (Nick’s Waitress) was a party guest in The She-Creature. Cy Schindell (Nick’s Bouncer) was a crowd control policeman in The Brute Man and a Khan’s guardsman in Undersea Kingdom. Cinematographer and camera operator Joseph F. Biroc was also cinematographer for SST: Death Flight, Kitten with a Whip, and The Amazing Colossal Man. Makeup supervisor Gordon Bau was makeup supervisor for Untamed Youth. Orchestrator Herschel Burke Gilbert was score composer and music director for Project Moon Base. Orchestrator Nathan Scott composed stock music used in Radar Men from the Moon. Stock music composer Leith Stevens also composed stock music used in Women of the Prehistoric Planet, The Human Duplicators, The Phantom Planet, Hercules and the Captive Women, and Teen-Age Crime Wave, and was conductor and composer for World Without End. Orchestrator David Tamkin was orchestrator for The Mole People.

       12 likes

  8. MonkeyPretzel
    Ignored
    says:

    goldanyranger:
    For those wondering, it’s not a “Just The Jokes” version. It’s the public domain cut that used to air on every possible channel.

    No. It’s a unique edit made by RiffTrax that leaves out everything that is copyrighted, which is explained on the RiffTrax site as the parts that are from the short story “The Greatest Gift” which It’s a Wonderful Life is based on, and some music in a few scenes. What this means is that the entire part with Clarence the Angel showing George Bailey what it would have been like had he never been born is gone, so that the movie jumps from George being desperate after he rescues Clarence from the river to George running through the streets with joy at being ‘alive’ again. It makes you realize how much of the movie was flashback.

    It is very jarring to watch if you’re familiar with the movie, but this is the only way they could offer a VOD. Being old enough to have watched the movie many, many times when it was a staple of late-night movies and on low-budget independent TV stations, I just wanted to clear up that it’s NOT what used to be on TV, or is still shown I guess once a year? In fact, RiffTrax has a copyright notice on this at the very end that they added to the final cast credits, because it’s a unique derivative work.

       7 likes

  9. Kenneth Morgan
    Ignored
    says:

    MonkeyPretzel: No. It’s a unique edit made by RiffTrax that leaves out everything that is copyrighted, which is explained on the RiffTrax site as the parts that are from the short story “The Greatest Gift” which It’s a Wonderful Life is based on, and some music in a few scenes. What this means is that the entire part with Clarence the Angel showing George Bailey what it would have been like had he never been born is gone, so that the movie jumps from George being desperate after he rescues Clarence from the river to George running through the streets with joy at being ‘alive’ again. It makes you realize how much of the movie was flashback.

    It is very jarring to watch if you’re familiar with the movie, but this is the only way they could offer a VOD. Being old enough to have watched the movie many, many times when it was a staple of late-night movies and on low-budget independent TV stations, I just wanted to clear up that it’s NOT what used to be on TV, or is still shown I guess once a year? In fact, RiffTrax has a copyright notice on this at the very end that they added to the final cast credits, because it’s a unique derivative work.

    Makes me wonder if they’ll eventually do a “just the jokes” version in the future for the stuff that had to be cut. If it’s just that one sequence, I suppose it could work. Just synch it up to one particular spot in the original version, then run it.

       1 likes

  10. Ray Dunakin
    Ignored
    says:

    BTW, Uncle Billy’s pet raven in “It’s A Wonderful Life” was played by Jimmy the Raven, who was also in the RiffTrax short “Wing, Claw and Fang.” Often billed as “Jimmy the Crow”, Jimmy appeared in over 1000 feature films and countless shorts. During his peak years MGM had him insured for $10,000. Actor Jimmy Stewart called him, “the smartest actor on the set” because he needed fewer retakes than the human actors on the set.

       3 likes

  11. Sampo
    Ignored
    says:

    MonkeyPretzel: No. It’s a unique edit made by RiffTrax … What this means is that the entire part with Clarence the Angel showing George Bailey what it would have been like had he never been born is gone, so that the movie jumps from George being desperate after he rescues Clarence from the river to George running through the streets with joy at being ‘alive’ again. It makes you realize how much of the movie was flashback. It is very jarring to watch …

    Boy, I’ll say. But overall I approve. The part that was cut is some of the most depressing, mawkish film making ever. AND if I had my way I would cut at LEAST this much from the original, which is gratuitously too long.

       7 likes

  12. Joel Lillo
    Ignored
    says:

    Sampo: Boy, I’ll say. But overall I approve. The part that was cut is some of the most depressing, mawkish film making ever. AND if I had my way I would cut at LEAST this much from the original, which is gratuitously too long.

    Thank you so much for chiming in, Ebenezer!

       3 likes

  13. jay
    Ignored
    says:

    Joel Lillo: Thank you so much for chiming in, Ebenezer!

    Bah, Humbug you old Savings and Loan!

       4 likes

  14. touches no one's life, then leaves
    Ignored
    says:

    “someone asked if they ever would riff a good movie. The general consensus of the cast was that they wouldn’t”

    So what was “Casablanca,” an honorary Golden Turkey winner?

    I wonder if they’ve considered riffing “Citizen Kane” (presuming that they haven’t already done so and I missed it). Charles M. Schulz and thus Snoopy thought it was one of the best movies of all time yet Rachel Karen Green declared it to be a total snooze. ;-)

    ===

    “What this means is that the entire part with Clarence the Angel showing George Bailey what it would have been like had he never been born is gone”

    After one out of five (or so) Joel-era MST3K episodes used riffs from that sequence? Such ingratitude. That was half the plot of the contemporary sequences right there. Out those pixies go…

    ===

    “For those who have never seen it and have always been bothered by how Mr. Potter got off scot-free”

    Scot-free for what? Uncle Billy GAVE him the money, remember? ;-)

    If Billy hadn’t felt the need to be all smarmy, to confront and heckle Potter (even comparing him to “the rats” in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, and how was THAT called for? while Potter was doing legitimate war-effort work as head of the draft board, how was BILLY spending HIS time? throwing tea parties for squirrels and ravens?), Potter would never have had the money in his hands to begin with.

    Once Potter was in the office and he realized what Billy had done, he had himself wheeled up to the door and he MIGHT have even given it back if he hadn’t seen that Billy was running around in a dither over it, which gave Potter a good chuckle, and why wouldn’t it? From Potter’s viewpoint, that was Billy getting his just desserts for harassing an old man in a wheelchair. Hey, some people can’t run around AT ALL, did you ever think of that, Billy, huh? HUH?!

    ;-)

    Everyone’s the hero of their own story…

       4 likes

  15. touches no one's life, then leaves
    Ignored
    says:

    BTW, everyone gets that when Mary threw the rock and made the wish (that George would remain in Bedford Falls and the two of them would get married), she for all intent and purpose murdered George’s father, right?

    Because if George’s father hadn’t died, George wouldn’t have remained in Bedford Falls but set off on the life of adventure that he craved. Instead, he stayed out of some half-formed strained sense of responsibility/guilt.

    That didn’t even rise to the level of “accept the droppings life offers” (which is what some people think is the moral of the film) because life offered George much, much more…and he turned it down. Because Mary’s wish dictated that he remain and eventually marry her. Oh, GOOD one, Mary.

    It would’ve been interesting if Clarence had inadvertently shown George how great his life, how great THE WORLD, would have been if he’d instead set off on his life of adventure. It would’ve HAD to be inadvertently because knowing how much MORE wonderful his life COULD have been would only have depressed George more. It would have made him regret marriage and parenthood, resent his wife and children, and the only reason George intended to commit suicide in the first place was so his insurance policy would give his wife and children a source of income. Which is ironic in a way I’m not quite sure I understand yet. ;-)

       3 likes

  16. thequietman
    Ignored
    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:

    “For those who have never seen it and have always been bothered by how Mr. Potter got off scot-free”

    Scot-free for what? Uncle Billy GAVE him the money, remember? ;-)

    If Billy hadn’t felt the need to be all smarmy, to confront and heckle Potter (even comparing him to “the rats” in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, and how was THAT called for? while Potter was doing legitimate war-effort work as head of the draft board, how was BILLY spending HIS time? throwing tea parties for squirrels and ravens?), Potter would never have had the money in his hands to begin with.

    Once Potter was in the office and he realized what Billy had done, he had himself wheeled up to the door and he MIGHT have even given it back if he hadn’t seen that Billy was running around in a dither over it, which gave Potter a good chuckle, and why wouldn’t it? From Potter’s viewpoint, that was Billy getting his just desserts for harassing an old man in a wheelchair. Hey, some people can’t run around AT ALL, did you ever think of that, Billy, huh? HUH?!

    I’ve long pondered something along these lines whenever I see this movie discussed. You’re right, there’s not really anything for Mr. Potter to ‘get off scot-free’ from. He only gets the S&L money through a series of errors, and he recognizes that he wasn’t supposed to have it. You’re also right that he’s about to immediately give the money back until he sees the opportunity for a laugh at Billy’s expense. However, it’s still ultimately not his money (nor is it Billy’s or George’s) and while his character may be shrewd and ruthless, was there anything else in the movie that suggested he’d resort to keeping property that wasn’t rightfully his? I could easily imagine Potter’s character waiting until AFTER the damage was done to give the money back (“Oh by the way, this accidentally came into my possession. I hope it isn’t too late to return it!”) but given the way the film wraps up I could also easily imagine a scene after ‘The End’ where Potter grudgingly gives the money back and George then finds a way to balance the accounts with his neighbors after they all pulled together to bail him out.

    As for your theory about Mary and her wish, I recall she was all set to leave town too on her honeymoon (and potentially onward to that life of adventure) until SHE chose to sacrifice their honeymoon funds to help the business keep afloat. You pose an interesting theory on what Clarence perhaps SHOULD have shown George, but it still would have needed to come to the same conclusion. Perhaps they didn’t need to go the extreme of imagining George had never existed, but would showing George off in pursuit of Adventure (at the expense of close personal connections?) while the town falls into rack and ruin without him had the same impact?

       2 likes

  17. touches no one's life, then leaves
    Ignored
    says:

    “As for your theory about Mary and her wish, I recall she was all set to leave town too on her honeymoon”

    That was long after the wish, though. George’s father died long before Mary and George got married.

    “would showing George off in pursuit of Adventure (at the expense of close personal connections?)”

    At the expense of close personal connections IN BEDFORD FALLS. I’m sure George would have found it easy to make friends wherever he went after shaking the dust of that crummy little town off his feet. ;-)

       2 likes

  18. touches no one's life, then leaves
    Ignored
    says:

    On a separate note, regarding the “poster”/image:

    “Why is Wonder Woman lassoing Jackie Gleason?”

       3 likes

  19. thequietman
    Ignored
    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    “As for your theory about Mary and her wish, I recall she was all set to leave town too on her honeymoon”

    That was long after the wish, though. George’s father died long before Mary and George got married.

    “would showing George off in pursuit of Adventure (at the expense of close personal connections?)”

    At the expense of close personal connections IN BEDFORD FALLS. I’m sure George would have found it easy to make friends wherever he went after shaking the dust of that crummy little town off his feet. ;-)

    Fair enough about Mary. I guess it’s been too long since I last watched the film start to finish; I was a little fuzzy on the chronology. You’re right again that we could have seen George making friends elsewhere, but that would have undercut whatever message Capra was trying to send, wouldn’t it? ;-)

    Speaking of all this, you might get a kick out of the following: https://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s55wonderful.html

       3 likes

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