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Sandler Movies Get Special Editions

16 Nov, 2004 By: Fred Topel

Although other Adam Sandler movies have made more at the box office, it's his first two starring vehicles, Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, that fans remember best.

Both are now getting special edition DVDs due Nov. 30 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment, and the films' directors speculated on why these two films still define Sandler's career.

“I think there was something about the freedom that we had and the innocence of youth,” said Madison director Tamra Davis.

Gilmore director Dennis Dugan added, “Between the two movies, he showed not only is he really funny and can be really crazy, but he also started showing that he's a really good actor, too.”

Both collections include outtakes and deleted scenes, which both filmmakers said were easily retrieved from the studio vaults.

“Since the advent of the huge video aftermarket, it's now not that hard to find because we store it,” Dugan said.

“The studio did it all,” Davis said. “They had all the old stuff on file.”

Both directors agreed that many of the deleted scenes are just as funny as the material in the film. They were only cut for pacing reasons.

“There's always some stuff that maybe was your favorite little darling that has to go just in pursuit of making a better, funnier, faster movie,” Dugan said.

Davis credited Sandler himself with knowing what needed to go to serve the greater picture.

“He had such an idea of the timing of a joke,” she recalled. “I think it was from doing standup so well and just knowing how to deliver things. Even if a scene had two beats, even if both those beats were funny, if it hurts the first joke, we would have to cut off [a second joke that] was still totally great.”

Billy Madison also features a director's commentary, which Davis approached with nearly 10 years distance from the project.

“I tried not to watch the movie before doing it, so that I would be really fresh,” she said. “After you finish making a movie, you've seen the film like 100 times. The torture of going through all the test screenings — you almost have to go to therapy after that. That's why it was kind of fun to do it because I hadn't seen it in a while.”

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