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HIVE EXCLUSIVE: A ‘Goonie' Opportunity for Richard Donner

27 Jul, 2001 By: Fred Topel

After the success of his Superman special edition, director Richard Donner went back to another of his classic films to create a special edition of The Goonies.

The new DVD (out Aug. 21) features deleted scenes, a six-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, a cast and director commentary withoptional video footage and two Cindy Lauper music videos.

Donner told Video Store Magazine about his reunion with The Goonies as he recordedthe commentary track with the cast.

“They all reverted, in a matter of minutes, to the 10-year-old Goonies,so there's a good piece of film behind the camera,” Donner recalls.

“There were a lot of arguments, which you'll see: ‘Oh, I remember.' ‘No,it wasn't like that.' ‘Yes it was like that.' It's the exact same thing they did [on set].”

Among the deleted scenes will be the legendary octopus scene, the subject of many Internet fan sites and conspiracy theories.

“The problem with the octopus scene was, in those days... that piece of machinery was not the very best,” Donner explains. “It's a funny scene.It's a cute scene, but when I looked at it on the big screen originally I didn't fall in love with the octopus. Therefore, he hit the floor. But now he's back and we figure people will forgive us.”

Donner regrets the brevity of the behind-the-scenes featurette. Most of the ‘B'-roll footage of bloopers, stunt work, makeup tests and more were not saved after filming wrapped.

“Nobody saves anything,” Donner laments. “You don't know what we had to go through. Studios have been so stupid over the years, they archive nothing. To try and find some of this material was so disappointing. You'd think they have all these people on staff to archive it, save it and transfer it and have perpetuity to something like this but nope, nobody does.”

Donner may put together a DVD for his personal labor of love, Radio Flyer, a fantasy about young boys imaginatively escaping their abusive real life. His specific memory of the scenes he cut was vague, but he'shopeful the studio will help him in a restoration effort.

“I don't remember [specific scenes] now, but I know it's well archived,” Donner says. “Sony's very good at that.”

Positive response, including feedback from his colleagues, encourages Donner to pursue his DVD dreams. “Last night I got a call from Jim Brooks,” Donner says. “I hadn't seenhim in years but he called and says, ‘I just want to tell you I ran Superman the other night with the commentary.' It was just the greatestcompliment. He called just to say what a high he got out of the commentary.

“Honestly, I don't even remember doing it, so I just ordered one this weekend. I'm going to look at it and see what I said. I may be liable. I may have gotten myself in a lot of trouble. I don't ever regret anything I say because I just say it. All my life I've gotten in trouble, but atthis point it's not going to bother me.”

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