Cider House Rules
Here's a film where all the back stories are more interesting than the film
This film was controversial for a number of reasons. It took a pro-abortion
position, and it evoked a measure of compassion for a father guilty of incest
with his daughter. Those controversies were magnified under the glass of an
Oscar nomination for Best Picture, which was rather unusual for a film which
scored only 68% from the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and received only two
stars from Roger Ebert. On the other hand, many people loved the film for its
big heart and its beautiful photography. James Berardinelli picked it among
his top ten of that year.
As for me, I weighed the pros and cons and went with my heart rather than
my head. Here's what I wrote at the time:
"OK, maybe Cider House shouldn't have
received its Oscar nomination because of some of its faults, but faults or
no faults, I am here to ask you to
forgive all the film's flaws, cinematic and otherwise, because they just
aren't important when you consider the big picture. The film really only has
one underlying message. It argues that we should love each other more in
general, our children most of all, and we should not create children unless
we plan to love them. It delivers that message powerfully and simply, as
Irving's novel did.
And when you get right down to it,
everything else is less significant than that.
So watch it with your kids and hug them
when it's over."
Anyway, there's kind of an interesting story behind
the nudity as well. I originally saw this film on an Oscar screener, and that
version included a brief but clear topless flash from Charlize Theron. In
those days, we never used film clips, and the damned thing was on VHS anyway,
because DVD had not yet taken over, so I did some stills, made a crappy
collage, threw out the screener, and awaited the official release.
Only one problem. The full scene never appeared on any
version of the film, nor in any "deleted scenes." My crappy
collage (see below) seems to be the only record that the scene ever existed.
The film is now out on Blu-Ray, and the remaining
scene (clip one in the zip file) is still a beautiful look at Charlize
Theron's bottom and her pretty face. The other scene (clip two) simply shows
where the topless scene used to be.
Here's the zip file.