Barbra Archives ON A CLEAR DAY pages

“Clear Day” — The Road Show

Cut Scenes from “On A Clear Day”

Streisand profile

Barbra Streisand combined the kooky and classic sides of her personality perfectly when she played both Daisy and Melinda in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, a Paramount Pictures film. Designed to be a sumptuous musical in the tradition of Gigi or The Sound of Music, On A Clear Day was prepared by Paramount as a “road show” release to movie theaters.

A “road show” film was a special presentational format that stressed movie theater showmanship —virtually unheard of in today’s multiplex, automated theaters. The film was shown with an overture, an intermission, an Entre Acte and, finally, “walk out” music. Barbra’s first film, Funny Girl, followed that format in its original 1968 release and, again, in its 2001 re-release. Movie theaters also sold handsome keepsake movie programs featuring photos and articles about the film.

On A Clear Day, before it was released in the summer of 1970, was closely adhering to the “road show” format. However, the world of movies was changing. In April, Jack Nicholson (cast as Tad Pringle, Daisy’s stepbrother in Clear Day) was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the counterculture film, Easy Rider. Barbra’s ex-husband, Elliott Gould was also nominated for his role in the couple-swapping movie Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. 1970 was the year Patton, MASH, and Five Easy Pieces were released. American films were tackling modern topics. Paramount, lacking faith in Clear Day, decided to abandon the “road show” format and delivered it to movie theaters running 129 minutes long without an intermission.

The preview screening at the Directors' Guild had an unscripted intermission when [ ... ] it turned out that the print screened for review was not the final 129 min. version but a longer 143 min. answer print with four additional scenes, including a song by Nicholson and the pictures most elaborate musical production number, all of which were subsequently cut.

— Variety, 1970 review

That meant, of course, that something had to be edited out of the film. Clear Day lost several musical numbers, subplots, and scenes. For this reason, On A Clear Day has attained a status among Streisand fans somewhat like the “lost” version of Judy Garland’s A Star is Born. Unlike A Star is Born, however, Clear Day has not been restored. The cut scenes, in fact, have never seen the light of day. Unless the Minnelli estate had them preserved —or Streisand herself saved the excised scenes—it is doubtful the footage exists.

Based on what is labeled as screenwriter Alan Jay Lerner’s “2nd Revised First Draft” (dated October, 1968), it is possible to reconstruct what is missing from On A Clear Day You Can See Forever. Still photographs of the scenes, as well as lobby cards and even audio recordings have helped fill in the blanks, too.

Cut Scenes: The Opening Number

Streisand's hand touching flowers Hurry It's Lovely scene

The opening number of Clear Day—“Hurry, It's Lovely Up Here”—was written as a longer song, with additional lyrics not seen in the final film.

Alan Jay Lerner's screenplay kept Daisy's first screen appearance a mystery. In the opening song she did not appear on screen—only her hands. The final film does the same, however Streisand is revealed singing and marching through the rose garden halfway through the song.

[* Lyrics to “Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here” that were cut from On A Clear Day]

Filming the flower scene

(Above and below: Streisand sits on the edge of the camera dolly, filming the opening flower sequence as a point-of-view shot.)

Minnelli - left - directs Streisand, sitting on the camera dolly

 

“Tad Pringle” — Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson as Tad Pringle

Jack Nicholson as Tad Pringle added some box office “youth” to On A Clear Day

Nicholson as Tad Pringle

Producer Robert Evans wrote in The Kid Stays In The Picture, “... I couldn't help but turn down everybody I had seen film on who was a contender for the part of Tad, Barbra Streisand's stepbrother in the flick ...” Nicholson—a casting suggestion that peaked Evans interest—was out of the country attending the Cannes Film Festival. Once he was tracked down and a meeting arranged, Evans offered Nicholson ten thousand dollars for the role, and Nicholson, according to Evans, negotiated until $12,500 was agreed upon.

The role, as written, had Tad renting a room in the building where Daisy lived (which explained why he was always around!). The screenplay established him early (right after “Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here”) and made it clear that his interest in Daisy was more than step-brotherly.

Tad’s next big scene was snipped out of the final cut, even though the beginning and end of the scene were included. Following the scene in which Chabot and Daisy eat dinner, the cut scene took place on the rooftop. Daisy’s fiancé Warren worries because he forgot to tell her the dinner with Chemical Foods was called off. Tad confronts Warren about Daisy. “We’re really going to be happy,” Warren says. “I don’t think so,” Tad relied, “You don’t know who she is.”

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