While “The Cotton Club” might not be the most celebrated film in Francis Ford Coppola‘s oeuvre, the film still boasts extravagant (and Oscar nominated) art direction and set decoration that’s worth a look, along with a big role that allowed Gregory Hines to shine. But it seems there’s even more and the director, who has previously expanded “Apocalypse Now” and “The Outsiders,” has gone back and put together a longer cut of his 1984 film.
At the time, “The Cotton Club” had a troubled production, going over budget and behind schedule, with producer Robert Evans (who was originally attached to direct) and Coppola trading barbs about who to blame for film’s commercial and financial failure. But now that decades have passed, the director has discovered there was a lot of material he left out of the theatrical version.
“‘The Cotton Club’ was sort of made on the battlefield between the various people who put up the money and the producer,” he told Associated Press. “At the time, they looked at it and said, ‘Oh, there’s too many black people in it. Can we cut out some of the tap dancing and put the emphasis less on the black people in the story?’ I happened to have a Betamax very rough copy of what the movie had been before all that happened. I realized the movie had been 35 minutes longer. Much of the film had been lost, but through hook and crook, I was able to put it back together.”
Beyond that, it’s not known if this longer cut will see a formal release, but let’s hope it does. Will you give an extended version of “The Cotton Club” a shot? Let us know below.