An offer by Sunrise Family Video in American Fork to edit out two steamy scenes from the video version of "Titanic" is magnanimous, though it ventures into uncharted waters and may be torpedoed by Paramount.
The service should not be discontinued as long as patrons desire it. Once a movie on videotape is in private hands, altering it at the owner's discretion would seem a legitimate right. If it is shown only for home use, as copyright laws mandate, there appears no infringement upon artistic license. Editing a movie for commercial showing would be another matter.The fact that Sunrise is charging $5 to trim nude and sexually explicit scenes is not an issue. Considering that it takes more than 30 minutes to surgically alter each tape, it cannot be making money on the deal.
Consider the cleanup a community service blended with promotional potential that surely will pay off over time. Sunrise sensed a niche and was the first to fill it. That's merely good business.
Unfortunately, that niche never should have existed in the first place. Patrons streaming into the American Fork business are merely another scrap of evidence that Hollywood does not need to inject its products with sex and violence to do well in the mainstream marketplace. As of the end of last week, Sunrise had more than 500 copies on hand with more flooding in from throughout Utah and across the nation.
A Gallup Poll some time back found that 83 percent of Americans would prefer less sex and violence in entertainment. Yet Hollywood continues to toss in what it views as obligatory scenes that degrade and desensitize young and old, lowering public standards of taste and decency. It doesn't have to be that way. The popularity of movies edited for television, airlines and campus showings - and of many "family" feature films - proves that profits would not suffer if such scenes were left on the cutting-room floor in Hollywood rather than American Fork.