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Watch: Darker, Angrier Unused Alternate Trailer For 'Killing Them Softly'

by Kevin Jagernauth
October 19, 2013 11:33 AM
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It seems that no matter how hard they try, Andrew Dominik and Brad Pitt can't get anyone to see their films. Their first collaboration, 2007's "The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford," suffered through a difficult editing process only to be indifferently released by Warner Bros. (Thankfully, it has attained cult status since, and is slated for a retrospective screening at the Museum Of The Moving Image in December.) Their second pair-up, 2012's "Killing Them Softly," did better commercially, but hardly the kind of blockbuster numbers one expects from a Brad Pitt movie opening in wide release (7th place in its first weekend, with a tepid $6 million) and critics found it hard to embrace the film's darkly funny, sour core. Their loss.

One can debate the reasons why "Killing Them Softly" failed to connect, as it was sold as a slick hitman thriller with much of its thematic undertones buried in the trailer. However, producer Megan Ellison herself tweeted recently a link to an unreleased version that more accurately captures the film's tone. The movie, which we called "breathtakingly brilliant and admirably ambitious," uses the backdrop of the 2008 election and financial crisis and the device of a hitman on the hunt for two lowlives to expose the ugliness that lies beneath the American Dream. And this alternate trailer certainly connects with that sentiment much more directly, but it's also clear to see why the Barack Obama quote-laden preview wasn't used (especially since the spot would've been running in the lead up to the 2012 election).

Give it a whirl below, followed by the official trailer that was used. Which do you prefer? And in case you're wondering, the song in the alternate cut is Petula Clark's "The Windmills Of Your Mind." 

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  • FilmFan | October 20, 2013 1:53 AMReply

    Megan's right-the alternate trailer is much more appropriate-darker mood and better, slightly haunting theme song.

  • Yojimbo | October 19, 2013 7:25 PMReply

    I find it interesting/unfortunate that when speaking about trailers, we neglect to credit the creatives behind them. Mark Woollen has cut some pretty mind blowing trailers, and deserves a little recognition, IMHO. I mean, look him up. Holy shit. He's cut pretty much every great trailer you can remember.

  • JJ | October 19, 2013 5:20 PMReply

    Love this film.

  • DUDDI | October 19, 2013 2:54 PMReply

    Killing Them Softly suffered the same fate as The Assassination of the Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford did some years ago. The studio dumped it on a weekend known as a dead zone for the movies, on box office terms. The movie was brave, classy and extraordinary performed from an all-star cast. I'm sure that it will be appreciated sooner or later from the mass, since it ended up being treated as a art-house movie on the year that it was released. Also as a negative factor i see the Weinstein Company's involvement on the final cut, since it was cutted from 120+ minutes to only 97 minutes.

  • Rok | October 21, 2013 8:31 PM

    Andrew Dominik said in an interview that the final cut was his cut.

  • Cameron | October 19, 2013 1:13 PMReply

    God, this film is a misunderstood, overlooked masterpiece. Mainstream audiences wouldn't know great film art if it hit them in the face. Only God Forgives as well. So many interesting auteurs making unique crime dramas these days, also including Derek Cianfrance, David Michôd, Christopher Nolan, John Hillcoat...

  • MikeD | October 19, 2013 12:08 PMReply

    What's the name of the first song ?

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