It isn't exactly The Magnificent Ambersons, but there is a lost version of Woody Allen's September (which I just saw for the first time) floating around out there somewhere. Allen's Chekhovian country-house melodrama (inspired by Mia Farrow's house but filmed on a soundstage) was reshot with a cast changes after Allen was dissatisfied with the first cut. The unavailability of some actors for a second attempt necessitated changes:
The set was not all that evolved. Originally, the actors were Miss Farrow as the daughter, Maureen O'Sullivan (her actual mother) as the mother, and Dianne Wiest, Denholm Elliott (as the physicist-husband), and Charles Durning (as the neighbor). The writer was Christopher Walken, whom Mr. Allen calls ''one of my favorite actors. I used him in 'Annie Hall' and was dying to use him again. I think he's a great, inspired actor.'' But as sometimes happens between directors and actors, Mr. Allen said, after a few weeks of shooting, ''We couldn't get copacetic on what to do and decided that instead of his making concessions and my making concessions, we'd work on something else down the line.'' So Sam Shepard was brought on, and in 10 weeks the film was done. Sort of.
Sam Waterston actually wound up playing the writer who is loved by Lane (Mia Farrow), a troubled woman who has come to her family's Vermont home after a suicide attempt. Waterston's Peter has eyes for Lane's married friend Stephanie (Dianne Wiest), who is spending the summer at the country house due to a case of vague marital unhappiness. On the heels of this retrospective post about Farrow at HND, it's not too much of a stretch to declare that September is Lesser Allen. Farrow gives a good technical performance, but she's saddled with a heavy backstory involving a childhood incident with the lover of her celebrity mother (Elaine Stritch). It's difficult to imagine Lane or any of these characters (including Jack Warden as a physicist and Denholm Elliott as an academic) caught up in their Allenesque crises (meaninglessness of existence, blah blah) existing outside of these small rooms. There are a million cliches about Allen and New York (or the European capital of your choice), but they're cliches for a reason. Watch Hannah and Her Sisters or the scene in Manhattan where Allen sprints down the street to try to catch Mariel Hemingway; his characters need that grounding in urbanity and culture that September doesn't have.