Two-Minute Warning still

Two-Minute Warning (1976)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (115 min.)
  • Network Television Broadcast Version / NBC TV Version (142 min.)

The action-thriller Two-Minute Warning starring Charlton Heston from 1976 was disowned by director Larry Peerce when it premiered on TV in 1978. Universal made a deal with NBC to premiere the film on TV if the violence was soften with a new edit and new additional scenes. Almost 40 minutes of new footage was shot and edited into the film for the TV premiere. Instead of crediting Peerce as the film’s director the pseudonymous “Gene Palmer” was used.

Shout Factory! released Two-Minute Warning on Blu-ray in 2016 where both cuts of the film were included on the disc. Although the theatrical cut is in HD the TV version is only in SD. The Blu-ray distributor 101 Film in the UK also released the movie on Blu-ray where it only included the theatrical cut. Both releases include an interview with Peerce where he says the following:

“In those days NBC wouldn’t take Two-Minute Warning because of the basic theme of the film and the violence in the film. And they said, “if you will remake it and shoot a different ending, we’ll give you a three hour special network release on it,” which would mean a big deal of money obviously for the studio. And they unbeknownst to me they did this whole script. According to the rules of my union, the director of the film has to be given the chance to direct any pickups like that or reshoots that you do on a film. And they sent me the script and I read it and I said “oh my good, this is horrible,” I don’t mean to hurt anybodies feelings but it was terrible. They said “Well Larry, we want you to direct this,” but I said “not a chance, I don’t want to go near it.” So I turned it down and somebody else did it, but it was ridicules. It was appalling.”

Source: Interview with Director Larry Peerce from the Shout Factory/101 Films Blu-ray release of Two-Minute Warning

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