In 1988, a gaggle of Hollywood artists went before Congress and urged them to pass legislation preventing the inappropriate diddling of classic films, especially those made by directors too dead to do anything about it. Of particular note is one director's impassioned speech, the gist of which can be found in this single sentence: "People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians, and if the laws of the United States continue to condone this behavior, history will surely classify us as a barbaric society."
It'd put a tear in our eye, if not for the fact that the speaker in question would later go on to do this:
"Pray I don't alter it any further."
Yep, those words flubbed right out from the jowls of none other than George goddamn Lucas, the man practically synonymous with terrible film alteration. He went on:
"Today, engineers with their computers can add color to black-and-white movies, change the soundtrack, speed up the pace, and add or subtract material to the philosophical tastes of the copyright holder. Tomorrow, more advanced technology will be able to replace actors with 'fresher faces,' or alter dialogue and change the movement of the actor's lips to match. It will soon be possible to create a new 'original' negative with whatever changes or alterations the copyright holder of the moment desires."
His next plan is to buy the rights to Congress and digitally alter the records for that last paragraph.
It worked. Hollywood's pleas spawned the National Film Preservation Act, which in turn spawned the National Film Registry -- America's insurance that films such as The Godfather or Gone With The Wind or Weekend At Bernie's will never be lost to time (or an endless succession of fiddling). Interestingly, when the Registry added the original 1977 version of Star Wars to its list years later, Lucas refused to provide a copy. Rather, he offered up a copy of the Special Edition, presumably plucked straight from the giant pile of unopened DVDs he keeps in the trunk of his car.
Robin Warder is the host of a true crime podcast about unsolved mysteries called The Trail Went Cold. Dibyajyoti Lahiri is somewhat sad that he couldn't get on this list of hypocritical celebrities, especially since he meets 50 percent of the criteria perfectly. Help him become something of a celebrity by following him on Twitter.
Also check out 5 Insane Things Otherwise Respected Celebrities Believe and 5 Seemingly Sane Celebrities With Bizarre Paranormal Beliefs.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out 6 Celebrities That Can't Figure Out Basic Human Activities, and other videos you won't see on the site!
Follow us on Facebook, and let's be best friends forever.