I have pretty strict rules when watching beloved movies on TV. If I really want to seriously watch it, I won't watch an edited or censored version, like the versions we get on MTV and Sundance* and other basic cable stations. To me, you fuck with the art then you lose the essence of the movie. Give me HBO or STARZ or IFC (yes, IFC has commercials but they don't edit for time or mess with the movie at all). And if I'm really jonesing, I'll pop in the DVD or Blu.
But if I just want something familiar or comfortable on in the background while I'm working or otherwise dilly-dallying, then the VH1 or BBCA version does the trick. The funny part is, non-network stations aren't subject to FCC regulations so they can air swears and tittles whenever they want (that's why you'll see an uncensored TEAM AMERICA on Comedy Central late-night sometimes). However they don't want to scare advertisers away so they either mute the swear or use one of those awful edits** that's like the aural equivalent of George Lucas adding stupid shit to the Original Trilogy.
So the other day, I see that one of my all-time favorites and the subject of my first official movie review is on CMT, STAND BY ME. The movie is always going to Shawshank me no matter how much time is left so I threw it on with a few minutes left because Chris Chambers (River Phoenix) just disappearing into the ether will always get to me.
But in the movie's final scene when Richard Dreyfuss was finishing typing on his then-modern computer, I looked up to notice that CMT actually edited the word "Jesus" out of the rhetorical question that ends the film.
Uhh, wut? His name wasn't being used in vain or in a derogatory way. Christ, it wasn't even said. It just appears, "Jesus, does anyone?". But CMT's censors saw it otherwise (of course, that chatter about Annette's jugs was fine). Apparently, they don't trust their audience to figure it out for themselves. I guess this will have to suffice now:
P.S. Here's that review:
*---I've never understood how a channel inspired by independent film does this to movies. Completely contradictory.
**---Having said all that, there have been some classic family-friendly edits over the years like "Yo, what do I look like, Christopher Columbo?" from VACATION and "You think I got these scars on my face from eating pineapple?" from SCARFACE. Share some more in the comments.