In the tragic history of maltreated cinema, I can think of no worse example than the 1994 film by Bill Forsyth, “Being Human”. The director of “Gregory’s Girl” and “Local Hero” wrote a fantastic screenplay about the gentle soul of a simple man’s journey thru the ages, seeking happiness, love, and peace. Unfortunately, the vapid suits at Warner Brothers (already infamous in my eyes for their quashing of George Romero’s “The Stand”, the screenplay of which is also available for viewing on this site) didn’t understand his vision, so they forced him to slash over 40 minutes from the film, and to add one of the worst narration tracks ever (by Theresa Russell) in a pathetic attempt to explain to the audience what they felt was necessary to keep them tuned in and “understanding” what was going on. This faux narration completely ruins the theatrical print of the film: it’s like having a mentally unbalanced woman sitting next to you in the theatre, talking happily back to the screen, until you want to take your popcorn box and shove it down her throat to shut her up. Forsyth rightly disowned the film, which got almost universally negative reviews, and with the exception of a “sequel” to “Gregory’s Girl” in 1999, he never made another film, because of his deep disillusionment.
Fortunately, the original screenplay still exists, and here it is.
This is a “fan edit” created by Stephen Dorian Kutos, which removes all of the terrible narration from the soundtrack, bringing the film much closer to Forsyth’s original vision, and it improves the film’s quality immeasurably.
REST IN PEACE, ROBIN!