It’s come to light that the version of Back To The Future Part II that was available on Netflix had a clumsy edit in it to tone one moment down.
UPDATE: Netflix has said that the version of the film it added to its service was the wrong version, and the proper version is now in place. However, the points we’re about to make still stand.
We’re huge advocates for physical media here, for an abundance of reasons. One of them is the slowly growing trend of cuts to movies happening by stealth, and another is the quality of presentation.
Take a look, for instance, at City Slickers on Netflix UK. Not only is the picture quality on the shabby side, but the film has taken us back a couple of decades to the age of pan and scan…
Now, though, viewers in the US are reporting that the version of Back To The Future Part II on the service over there have been spotting an edit made to the movie. It’s the part of the film where Marty picks up the risqué magazine ‘Oh La La’. The censored version removes the shot of the magazine’s cover, and the moment where Marty repeats the name of the magazine too.
This follows, of course, the recent instance of Splash appearing on Disney+ with digital techniques used to cover up slight rear nudity on Daryl Hannah’s part. The difference though is that Netflix doesn’t promote itself as an outright family platform – you can watch Fifty Shades on the service for instance – so the reason for the changes isn’t clear.
Here’s a Tweet that highlights the change…
Here’s the @netflix edit of Back to the Future Part 2.
— Justin Proper 🌈 (@TheJustinProper) May 19, 2020
It’s unlikely that Netflix would have edited the film itself, instead our guess is it was supplied with a toned down edited for television version. But that’s guesswork, and as the Tweet above questions, who knows what else has been edited by stealth? Who spots changes such as this on less popular films? And who is imposing these changes?
The movie isn’t currently available on Netflix UK. It’ll be interested to see what state it’s in when it pops up again. It remains unedited on disc, of course.
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