Freddie Mercury - The Untold Story


'By Those Who Knew Him Best'


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Freddie Mercury 'The Untold Story'

Released as part of the 'Freddie Mercury: Solo' boxed set in 2000, and later reworked for the 'Lover Of Life, Singer Of Songs' DVD in 2006.
Length 112 minutes (both versions).


Directed by Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher
Produced by Rudi Dolezal and Jim Beach
Narration written by Simon Witter


This is the first major documentary profiling the life of Freddie Mercury, telling the story of his early life in Zanzibar and India, his early days in England, his life in Queen, his solo projects and collaboration with Montserrat Caballe, and his illness and death. It features contributions from many people closest to Freddie, including his mother Jer Bulsara, sister Kashmira Cooke, Brian May, Roger Taylor, long term partner Jim Hutton, former girlfriend and longterm friend Mary Austin, personal assistant Peter Freestone, best friend Peter Straker, and numerous other people who knew Freddie socially or through Queen projects.

There are two full versions of the documentary, but it was also edited and adapted for TV Broadcast, aswell as a short trailer, released on the Italian and Dutch 'Guide Me Home' CD single. Essentially the two full documentaries are the same, but there are differences, as they feature different narration (the re-released documentary has narration by actor Sean Pertwee) and have a slightly different selection of interviews.

The original documentary was released in November 2000 as part of the 'Freddie Mercury: Solo' boxed set. It features the documentary in normal sound, and also features a DVD-Rom section, featuring an interactive 'Freddie Mercury Photographic Exhibition', where viewers can 'walk' around a virtual photographic exhibition.

The re-released documentary was released in September 2006 as part of the 'Lover Of Life, Singer Of Songs' DVD. The disc adds a 'Making Of The Untold Story' 18 minute featurette, which has behind the scenes footage of the filming of the documentary. It also adds subtitles (in English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian) and four sound options: normal (stereo), normal (without narration), 5.1 surround sound, and director's commentary (by Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher).


The guide below aims to highlight the differences between the documentaries, with the headers identifying the chapter points for each. The footage highlighted in blue only appears in the original documentary, while the footage highlighted in red only appears in the reissued documentary. The chapter names are as they appear in the original documentary.

One item of particular interest is a short extract of Man Made Paradise which appears to be an early version which is unavailable elsewhere.

 

Original DVD Chapter 1 / Re-release DVD Chapter 1
Spice Island Dawn (early days in Zanzibar and leaving for boarding school)

Re-release DVD Chapter 2

Re-release DVD Chapter 3

Original DVD Chapter 2
Strange Discipline (journey to Boarding School, about the city and school)

Re-release DVD Chapter 4

Original DVD Chapter 3 / Re-release DVD Chapter 5
Culture Shock (the family's move to London and Freddie's time at college)

Original DVD Chapter 4
The Draftsman of Ealing (Freddie's drawing and designs)

Original DVD Chapter 5 / Re-release DVD Chapter 6
Musical Awakenings (Smile, Ibex and Wreckage)

Original DVD Chapter 6 / Re-release DVD Chapter 7
Love Of My Life (Mary Austin and Freddie's Sexuality)

Original DVD Chapter 7 / Re-release DVD Chapter 8
Bacchus And Aphrodite (Queen & Freddie's wild parties)

Original DVD Chapter 8 / Re-release DVD Chapter 9
Butterflies and Peacocks (Freddie's image and stage costumes)

Original DVD Chapter 9 / Re-release DVD Chapter 10
A Day At The Opera (Freddie's videos, opera and Barcelona)

Original DVD Chapter 10 / Re-release DVD Chapter 11
My Kind Of Towns (Life in Munich and New York, and about the Mr Bad Guy album)

Original DVD Chapter 11 / Re-release DVD Chapter 12
Last Days (Freddie's illness and last days)

Re-release DVD Chapter 13

Re-release DVD Chapter 14

The documentary includes many piano versions of Queen and Freddie tracks, performed by French pianist Thierry Lang or Mike Moran.


Enhanced Trailer Version


Only available on the 'Guide Me Home' Dutch and Italian Enhanced CD singles, released in 2000.
Length 12:52.

Directed by Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher
Produced by Rudi Dolezal and Jim Beach

This is a short 'taster' version of the original documentary, with content as follows: