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The Act of Killing (2012)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (122 min.)
  • Director’s Cut (166 min.)

The critically acclaimed documentary The Act of Killing was released in a director’s cut on DVD and Blu-ray in a 44 minute longer cut. The director of the Academy Award nominated film Joshua Opphenheimer confirmed with This or That Edition his preferred cut:

The director’s preferred edition: Director’s Cut

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: Blu-ray

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1776 (1972)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (141 min.)
  • Special Edition Laserdisc (178 min.)
  • Restored Director’s Cut (166 min.)
  • Director’s Cut (165 min.)
  • Extended Cut (168 min.)

The musical cult classic 1776 has seen its fair share of different editions and cuts in theaters and home video formats. In 2015 1776 was released on Blu-ray where it included two cuts of the film: director’s cut and extended cut. The excellent Home Theater Forum interviewed director Peter H. Hunt in a lengthy and detailed interview where he talked about working with Jack Warner as a producer, and his preferred cut of the film, which may come to a surprise to some:

“What was easier in a way, was working with Jack Warner, I thought he would be a pain in the neck. I was very concern that he would eat me for breakfast every day, but he didn’t do that. But he didn’t do that. I though he was very co-operative… until it got to editing. When I left town thinking the film was locked down, he went in and did considerable damage to it.”

“Now it’s completely, complete,  if I can even say that, redundant phrase. And a couple if things that I’ve taken out, mainly for screenings and theaters because I think it’s just too long [just] sitting there waiting for the story to being. Those are going to be on a branched version on the Blu-ray, so you can see everything if you wish or you can see theoretically what is my cut and and that’s only my cut in so far as doing something that I think is right for an audience sitting in a theater. If I was sitting at home, my cut is the longer one. So this is really the theatrical cut and then there is the home video cut, if you will.”

Source: Home Video Forum interviews Peter H. Hunt, Home Video Forum

The director’s preferred edition: Extended Cut for home viewings, Director’s Cut for theater viewings

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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Saturday Night Fever (1977)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (118 min.)
  • PG-rated Version (112 min.)
  • Director’s Cut (122 min.)

The ’70s disco classic Saturday Night Fever has a huge fanbase from all the corners of the world. The dance classic was released in an edited PG-rated version two years after the premiere where the language and sexual innuendos was removed completely. In 2017 an director’s cut was released on DVD and Blu-ray. Director John Badham was interviewed by Yahoo where he was asked about the director’s cut:

How does the director’s cut differ from the theatrical release?
We were able to restore several scenes that had been eliminated from the original version. As will always happen right before a film is released, everybody gets really nervous, and we cut three or four relatively small scenes. We wanted to get the movie going and didn’t want it to run over two hours. So a few things went by the wayside that told us more about these characters. We have one new scene toward the end where Tony’s dad gets his job back, and he and his mom are really excited, jumping around in the kitchen and carrying on. Meanwhile, Travolta is just kind of standing in the corner sneering at this whole thing. It’s kind of wonderful because here is this happy moment in their lives, and he’s just really kind of cynical about the whole thing. That was part of the genius of Norman Wexler‘s script; he was able to show that our lives aren’t all happiness and light, and it also isn’t all dark. There are many ways life goes.

Is there a new Tony-specific scene that you’re particularly eager for people to see?
Early on in the film, after the first disco sequence, there’s a scene where he goes riding with his friends in the daytime, and he’s listening to them arguing about how you’ll never get anywhere in this life, and you’re just kind of stuck at the level that you’re at. He gets disgusted with them, and that’s all you hear in the original version of the movie. But in the scene that we put back in, he makes them stop the car; he gets out, they drive off without him, and he’s left standing overlooking the Verrazano Bridge. You can tell there’s a real connection just from the way he’s looking at it, and his fingers start drawing the lines of the extension bridge in the air. It’s a sweet moment that gives you a softer side of him after we’ve seen some of the tougher sides.

Source: ‘Saturday Night Fever’ Director John Badham Talks 40th Anniversary Director’s Cut with Restored Scenes, Yahoo

The director’s preferred edition: Director’s Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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The Thing Called Love (1993)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (116 min.)
  • Director’s Cut (120 min.)

Peter Bogdanovich’s The Thing Called Love was released in an director’s cut on DVD in 2006, and is currently out-of-print. The theatrical cut has not been released on DVD. Although Bogdanovich never simply states “the director’s cut is my preferred cut,” he talks about the reinstated scenes with regret and emphases on how that scene would give the character a deeper meaning. Here are some of his comments on three new scenes in the director’s cut:

“This is a rather beautiful song that River [Phoenix] wrote. And one of the additions we made for this director’s cut, we added about 40 seconds to the end of this, and let him finish the song. Originally, this faded out. Right here it begins, the part we put back. I thought, he does it so well, it was important to let him finish the song. ”

“… And this shot of him waking up with her being gone was also added to this director’s cut. And I think the poem and this moment of insecurity both revea a great deal about their characters. And I always felt that the poem was a very important moment that I hope one day we could restore. So happy that it’s back.”

“That’s another piece that wasn’t in the original release. Again, all these little bits add up to deepening the characters, getting to know them better, finding out aspects of them that we didn’t know. And it just deepens the rest of the sequences. It makes it more… which makes everything clearer.”

Source: Peter Bogdanovich’s commentary track on The Thing Called Love director’s cut DVD

The director’s preferred edition: Director’s Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD

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The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (98 min.)
  • Unrated Director’s Cut (103 min.)

Clive Barker’s The Midnight Meat Train received a limited theatrical release in 2008 and was released the next year on DVD and Blu-ray in an unrated director’s cut. Early on in the commentary track on Blu-ray the director Ryûhei Kitamura talks about how the unrated director’s cut contains gore that he was forced to cut from the theatrical cut:

Clive Barker: “…And this is not a soft horror movie. And just on that note by the way, how much more is in this version than in the theatrical release?”
Ryûhei Kitamura: “It has much more bloody gore stuff.”
Clive Barker: “Was that chiefly take out by the MPAA or was that..?”
Ryûhei Kitamura: “It was the MPAA and the producers, we had a lot of struggle, because you know, we were supposed to release this movie big. So kinda they forced me to..”
Clive Barker: “Do you want to go to that now or…?”
Ryûhei Kitamura: “No, no, no…”

Source: Commentary track with Clive Barker and Ryûhei Kitamura on The Midnight Meat Train Blu-ray

The director’s preferred edition: Unrated Director’s Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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Hatchet (2006)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (84 min.)
  • Unrated Director’s Cut (84 min.)

The 2006 80’s slasher throwback Hatchet was released in an unrated director’s cut on DVD and Blu-ray. The unrated director’s cut is a little more than half a minute longer than the theatrical cut and includes gorier scenes from the horror film. Director Adam Green confirmed with This or That Edition which edition he prefers:

The director’s preferred edition: Unrated Director’s Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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Manhunter (1986)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (120 min.)
  • Director’s Cut (124 min.)

Half a decade before Anthony Hopkins captivated audiences with his performance as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, the brilliant but psychotic psychiatrist had his debut in Michael Mann’s Manhunter played by Brian Cox. Mann released a director’s cut of Manhunter in 2000 on DVD. Both the theatrical and director’s cuts are on the Shout! Factory Blu-ray release although the director’s cut is only in standard def. The UK Blu-ray release from Optimum has the director’s cut in high def.

Very late in the commentary track Mann talks about his preferred cut of the film:

“This cut was actually put together soon after the picture was released in 1986… but the cut was made, originally, I re-cut it for The Movie Channel. So that’s probably 1987, within a year of the release of the picture. And I always preferred this version to the one that had been released theatrically.”

Source: Michael Mann’s commentary track from Manhunter Director’s Cut from Shout! Factory

The director’s preferred edition: Director’s Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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Salt (2010)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (100 min.)
  • Extended Cut (101 min.)
  • Director’s Cut (104 min.)

The Philip Noyce’s spy movie Salt starring Angelina Jolie was released on DVD and Blu-ray that, interesting enough, included three cuts of the film: Theatrical, extended and director’s cuts. Noyce was involved with all three cuts. Noyce confirmed with the Los Angeles Times his preferred cut:

“The “extended versions,” of course, reference the film’s DVD/Blu-ray, to be released Dec. 21. Like most of the releases in today’s home entertainment market, there are different versions of the film offered, including three separate endings. “My favorite version is the director’s cut extended version, which to me provides the most appropriate ending to the story, because it is an ending yet just a beginning -– and it’s an ending that turns the whole story on its head,” says Noyce.”

Source: ‘Salt’ DVD release stirs Phillip Noyce’s spy senses, LA Times

The director’s preferred edition: Director’s Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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THX 1138 (1971)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (86 min.)
  • The George Lucas Director’s Cut (88 min.)

George Lucas’ feature film directorial debut THX 1138 was released in 2004 in a director’s cut billed “The George Lucas Director’s Cut” on DVD. The theatrical cut of the sci-fi cult classic hasn’t been released on DVD nor Blu-ray, and most likely won’t be. In his director’s cut, Lucas made significant changes to the film: new edit, overlapping CGI and newly shot footage.

Bill Desowitz of VFXWorld interviewed ILMs DVD VFX producer Paul Hill and CG supervisor Henry Preston where they talked about the director’s cut and how Lucas was involved in all aspects of the cut:

Bill Desowitz: Lets first talk about the new footage and what it consists of.

Paul Hill: Certainly George went back in and re-edited using some outtakes and other stuff. Because of the Northridge quake, a lot of the original footage was water damaged. Thats why we knew when we went in that we were going to have to do some extensive restoration work. So before I came onto the project, George went through with the editor, picked a bunch of stuff and re-edited it slightly, just to make it more what he wanted.

Later in the interview:

Bill Desowitz: And George must’ve been very helpful in terms of remembering things, such as the main titles were the wrong color.

Paul Hill: Yeah, there are things that he remembers when he shot ithe was never happy with that, he was never happy with this. So we fixed it.

Source: Back to the Future with ‘THX 1138’, AWN.com/VFXWorld

The director’s preferred edition: The George Lucas Director’s Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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Alexander (2004)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (175 min.)
  • Director’s Cut (166 min.)
  • The Final Cut (214 min.)
  • The Ultimate Cut (207 min.)

The life and times of a Macedonian emperor Alexander the Great has never been successfully covered in a movie. Director Oliver Stone tried to pull it off in 2004 with Alexander but failed on his own accord but Stone has since then released three different cuts of the film. And it looks like he’s done. At least for now.

Alexander was panned by critics and tanked at the box office but that didn’t stop Warner Bros and Stone pursuing the dream of finding a good movie in the mess. First there was the director’s cut where most of the homosexual content was edited out. Then the Final Cut was released which is to this date the longest cut and Stone called it his definitive cut. Then to celebrate the 10th anniversary the Ultimate Cut was released on Blu-ray and DVD. In the press release for the Ultimate Cut Stone says the following:

“Originally, I did my best to deliver a thrilling movie on a very brief post production schedule, but was frustrated in the end because I wanted the material to tell Alexander’s story with greater nuance and complexity. I’ve tried throughout this process to achieve what I believe is the appropriate balance between the inner and outer journeys undertaken by this extraordinary man. Free from earlier constraints, I’ve continued to pursue this great story, and I think I have at last achieved a film that tells a story as it has never been told.”

Source: 10th Anniversary Edition of Oliver Stone’s Sweeping Epic “Alexander: The Ultimate Cut” on Blu-ray June 3 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Further more:

The director’s preferred edition: The Ultimate Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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