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The Driller Killer (1979)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (96 min.)
  • Pre-release version (101 min.)

The notorious filmmaker Abel Ferrara made his directing debut with The Driller Killer in 1979. In 2016 Arrow Video released the film on Blu-ray where it included the theatrical cut of the film and never-before-seen pre-release version of the film. Arrow Video included an booklet with the Blu-ray/DVD release where the longer cut is addressed:

“While restoring The Driller Killer for Arrow’s release, it became apparent that the film’s negative represented an earlier cut, running 100m 52s, which included five minutes of material excised from the prints (95m 51s) shown theatrically and used for all previous video and DVD transfers. Abel Ferrara confirmed that it had been his decision to remove the footage in question, but gave us permission to provide the option of watching this “pre-release version” on the disc.”

Source: The pre-release version by Brad Stevens The Driller Killer Blu-ray release booklet by Arrow Video

The director’s preferred edition: Theatrical Cut

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Nightbreed (1990)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (102 min.)
  • The Cabal Cut (144/145 min.)
  • Extended VHS Cut (159 min.)
  • Director’s Cut (120 min.)

Clive Barker’s Nightbreed was drastically cut by 20th Century Fox when it was released theatrically in 1990. For many years fans asked and pleaded to writer-director Clive Barker to release his director’s cut of the film. And it finally happened in 2014 when Shout Factory released it on Blu-ray and DVD with wealthy extras. Originally Shout Factory promised to include an 144/145 minute long cut of the film called The Cabal Cut but it didn’t come to fruition. A 159 minute long cut of the film on VHS has also surfaced but has not been released on any form. The theatrical cut of the film was released on the original Blu-ray release from Shout Factory in an limited edition set. The theatrical cut is available on DVD from Warner Bros Archives.

The director’s cut of Nightbreed on Blu-ray from Shout Factory includes intro with Barker and Mark Miller, the restoration producer of the director’s cut where they state the following:

Mark Miller: We’re here to bring you for the very first time the director’s cut of Nightbreed.
Clive Barker: I made a movie some twenty years ago called Nightbreed which was based upon a novel, a short novel I wrote called Cabal. And unfortunately it got a lousy handling with the studios who didn’t like really the fact that I was making a movie about a monsters that were heroes. And that was the whole point of the movie but unfortunately when it was gutted and taken out to an audience in a really messed up form nobody was able to really understand the whole passion, the driven, the making of the movie was. So few years ago, I said to this man, “you know it would be really nice if we could find the missing pieces and put it back together again.”

Later in the intro Barker talks about the difference between the cuts:

Clive Barker: … we have 40 minutes of footage that was not in the original picture, the movie is only 20 minutes longer but that’s because there has been replacement of some footage and the addition of another 20 minutes of footage. So total of 40 minutes. Isn’t that right?
Mark Miller: That right.
Clive Barker: That’s a lot of footage.
Mark Miller: It’s an entirely new film
Clive Barker: It’s an entirely new film.

Source: Introduction by writer/director Clive Barker and restoration producer Mark Alan Miller on the Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut Blu-ray

The director’s preferred edition: Director’s Cut

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

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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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Lords of Dogtown (2005)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (107 min.)
  • Unrated Extended Cut (110 min.)

The 2005 teen skater drama Lords of Dogtown was released on DVD and Blu-ray in an unrated extended cut. The theatrical has never been released on either format. Catherine Hardwicke, the director of Lords of Dogtown, provided an intro on the DVD and Blu-ray where she talks about the unrated extended cut and how the movie was trimmed for the MPAA to avoid the R-rating:

“I’m Catherine Hardwicke, I’m the director. This is Dogtown Unleashed, it’s kinda like the unrated version, all the kind of spicy, racier, more colorful language and more illegal substances that we couldn’t show you in the PG-13 version…”

Source: Introduction to Dogtown by Director Catherine Hardwicke on the unrated extended cut Blu-ray from Eureka! from the UK

The director’s preferred edition: Unrated Extended Cut

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

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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

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Spider-Man 2 (2004)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (127 min.)
  • Extended Cut / Spider-Man 2.1 (136 min.)

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 still ranks among the best superhero movies around. In 2007 an extended cut of Spider-Man 2 was released on DVD that was simply called Spider-Man 2.1. The DVD release only includes the extended cut while the Blu-ray includes both the theatrical and extended cuts. Collider interviewed Raimi where he confirms his preferred cut:

Collider: Recently Spider-Man 2.1 came out with 8 additional minutes. Were you involved in that?

Sam Raimi: Yes, that I supervised. And Sony came to me and said, we want to make a 2.1 that gives fans more of the movie. I said but well, the problem is, I want to be good to you Sony, but the problem is you gave me my director’s cut with the main picture, and I don’t want to punish you now, but that, I really liked, that was the movie I wanted to make and you let me make it and I’m thankful for it. They said well, don’t you have things we could still put in that the fans may want to see? I said okay, we won’t call it the director’s cut, but there’s some additional insight into character, there’s a few lines, there’s a few little action bits that were, maybe were unnecessary to make the point that they said the fans would want to see, so that’s what 2.1 is.

Source: Sam Raimi Interviewed – SPIDER-MAN 3, Collider

The director’s preferred edition: Theatrical 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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Fast & Furious 6

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (130 min.)
  • Extended Cut (131 min.)

The sixth entry in the Fast and the Furious franchise, Fast & Furious 6 (or simply Furious 6) was released on Blu-ray where it included both the theatrical and extended cuts of the film. Fast & Furious 6’s director Justin Lin confirms on the commentary track, one third into the film, on the Blu-ray which edition he prefers:

“This is the director’s cut, so there’s a little extra stuff that Thure had, that I really loved. It pained me, it took me till the very and, I ended up taking it out just for pacing sake, but in this cut, I’m very happy to see it back in. When they ask about doing another cut, it’s always called extended cut because I always feel like the theatrical cut is my cut, it’s the director’s cut, but this is one of the rare times where I do feel like this is the director’s cut, as opposed to extended, just to have more stuff, and it’s not an issue with the studio or anything like that. It was just that we really had so much going on that the MPAA was having problems.  They were really great to work with, and we were ultimately able to get our PG-13. The theatrical cut is my cut, but, to be honest, with some of the sound tweaks and some of the little things that I wanted for pacing, I really do think that the director’s cut is more enjoyable version.”

Source: Justin Lin on the commentary track of Fast & Furious 6 on Blu-ray

The director’s preferred edition: Extended Cut

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

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Avatar (2009)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (161 min.)
  • Special Edition (171 min.)
  • Collector’s Extended Edition (178 min.)

The adventure epic Avatar reassured everyone that writer-director James Cameron is the “King of the World”. Well, at least as the King of the box office as Avatar made over $2.7 Billion worldwide. Since its release the record-shattering blockbuster has been released in two cuts, Special Edition and Collector’s Extended Edition which were included in the Avatar Extended Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray. The Special Edition was originally debuted when Avatar was re-released in theaters in 2010, almost a year after its initial theatrical release. Speaking to MTV writer-director James Cameron talks about the longer cuts of the film:

“The ‘director’s cut’ is what we release. What we do is we do a special edition, where you could select a longer version of the film that has some scenes reinstated. But it’s really more of a fan version than a director’s version.”

Source: James Cameron Talks ‘AVATAR’ Sequel, Deleted Sex Scenes, MTV.com

The director’s preferred edition: Theatrical 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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Argo (2012)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (120 min.)
  • Extended Cut (130 min.)

The Academy Award winning Best Picture Argo was released in an extended cut on Blu-ray dubbed Declassified Extended Edition in 2013. The extended cut adds almost 10 minutes to the film and is currently only available on Blu-ray. Entertainment Weekly interviewed director-star Ben Affleck when the extended cut of Argo was released:

Entertainment Weekly: This new extended cut of the film has nine extra minutes. Now, are those scenes your darlings that broke your heart to slash for the theatrical release? Or are these scenes more supplementary, adding context to what already exists?

Ben Affleck: No, it’s really interesting. I’ve never been in a movie where this happened or encountered it as a director. The nine minutes kind of came out all in one piece. I was screening the movie and people were really complaining that they were bored in various places but they couldn’t say what the problem was or what they didn’t like. They’d just say “Well, it’s slow. It takes a while to get going, blah, blah, blah.” And I loved the movie and I didn’t know what to do. I could tell that people were a bit less interested in Tony’s home life and so the editor and I, sort of as an experiment, said “Let’s just take out all the scenes with his wife and his kid, and just at the end, he just shows up at home on the porch. Let’s just see what happens.” And we did it and we screened it, and all of a sudden it just came together perfectly. And it broke my heart because the themes about family, responsibility, and marriage and all the other stuff were so dear to me; they were so central to why I wanted to make the movie. And Taylor [Schilling] is so great [as the wife] and she’s now on Orange is the New Black and everybody knows how great she is. But at the time, it felt like such a sh–ty thing to do — just to cut her all the way out of the movie, out of no fault of her own. And it’s such a sh–ty call because it’s like the breakup: “It’s not you, it’s me.” But it really was me! And now, I really was happy because I said [to Taylor], “Listen, I promise you, I’m going to put the whole thing back on the extended version so you’ll be able to see it. You’re really good in it.” And I’ll be interested to see if the people who do watch it share the belief that I had ultimately, that while really good, it was stuff that had to come out for the sake of the larger narrative. But it’s not just the kind of like, “Oh yeah, the bathroom scene we took out and, you know, 30 seconds from that scene.” You know, how people kind of slop stuff back in there just to be able to put a sticker on it that says “More Footage!”

Source: Ben Affleck on the new ‘Argo’ Blu-ray and the role more daunting than Batman, Entertainment Weekly

The director’s preferred edition: Theatrical Cut

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

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

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The Blues Brothers (1980)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (133 min.)
  • Extended Edition (148 min.)

The Blues Brothers is considered by fans to be a classic comedy, and come to think of it, almost all comedies are thought by someone to be a classic. But not every comedy is likely to be titled a “Catholic classic” by the Vatican.

Writer-director John Landis originally presented The Blues Brothers as a roadshow film but Universal’s owner Lew Wasserman wanted the film shortened and the rest is history. For many years the extended cut of The Blues Brothers was the only cut available on DVD until the 25th anniversary edition where it included both the theatrical and extended cuts. Landis has talked about his preferred cut of the film only a few times on the record. Most notably in an interview with DVD Talk Radio from 2005:

Scott Weinberg: Do you have a preference? Do you consider one or the other a director’s cut?
John Landis: Well, in my own head, I think both are incomplete.
Scott Weinberg: How so?
John Landis: Well, you know, my original cut was a roadshow. You know, it had an intermission and I had to make all these lifts and trims. And then more lifts and trims. What the expanded version represents the second version. The second lifts from the roadshow version.
Scott Weinberg: What happened with the original print?
John Landis: They threw away all that stuff in 1985.

Source: Interview with John Landis, DVD Talk Radio

For those who want to know a little bit more about the roadshow, theatrical and extended cuts:

“The movie originally was a roadshow; it was meant to have an intermission. And Lew Wasserman said, “John you have to cut 30 minutes out of it.” So we did big lifts, and then I had a preview in L.A. and then I made some more lifts, and that was the released version. I’ve always felt the movie was kind of strangely lopsided, because of the rhythm and how I intended it to be, that was gone. But nonetheless, I don’t know how many years ago, Universal found this exhibitor print.

In 1985, Universal threw out all of the outtakes and trims, so the negatives are gone. So, all of the other stuff that was cut out is gone. However, the print from the preview showed up. It turns out it was stolen by the theater manager’s son, and he put it on eBay about seven or eight years ago, so Universal and the FBI swooped in to retrieve it, and that so-called “Expanded Version” is that preview print. It’s not my first cut of the movie, but it has like three scenes that weren’t in the movie, and we were able to extend some songs. The John Lee Hooker number is longer. The James Brown number is longer. The Cab Colloway number is longer. It’s like 15 minutes longer, but it isn’t the movie either.”

Source: AICN LEGENDS: Capone talks THE BLUES BROTHERS, Eddie Murphy, and Ed Wood with John Landis!!! Part 2, Aint It Cool News

The director’s preferred edition: In a way, neither edition

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