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Director’s Cut: 10 Theatrical Versions Vs. The Filmmaker's Final Vision

Features
by The Playlist Staff
April 2, 2014 2:55 PM
61 Comments
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Brazil

"Brazil" (1984 "Love Conquers All" Edit) vs. 1985 U.S. Theatrical Cut vs. 1985 European Cut
Synopsis: In a dystopian retro-future, Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) is a low-level bureaucrat who dreams of a mysterious woman (Kim Greist), then meets her while trying to rectify an error after a terrorist was mistakenly identified.

Background: Three years on from the success of his fantasy "Time Bandits," Terry Gilliam returned with an ambitious and visually extravagant fantasy with an impressive cast (most notably Robert De Niro as air-conditioning repairman/terrorist Harry Tuttle). Co-written with regular contributor Charles McKeown and playwright Tom Stoppard, the film was produced by Arnon Milchan's Embassy International Pictures, but Universal snapped up the rights for the U.S. (20th Century Fox distributed in much of the rest of the world). But as happened all too often with Gilliam, the director quarreled with executives: with test screenings scoring poorly, and worries about the two-and-a-half hour running time (longer than the studio had approved), Universal head Sid Sheinberg commissioned his own edit of the film, trimming 48 minutes and giving it a happy ending (hence the withering "Love Conquers All" nickname for this version). The film was delayed as Gilliam and Sheinberg fought over the cut (the director wrote to the executive at one point, saying "As long as my name is on the film, what is done to it is done to me… I feel every cut, especially the ones that sever the balls… if you really wish to make your version of 'Brazil,' then put your name on it"). Eventually, the filmmaker took matters into his own hands: he took out an ad in Variety reading "Dear Sid Sheinberg, When are you going to release my film 'Brazil'?, Terry Gilliam," and surreptitiously screened the film to critics, resulting in the Los Angeles Film Critics Association giving it their Best Picture award. Their hand forced, Universal agreed to release the film, albeit in a compromised version with a few changes. Internationally, audiences got to see Gilliam's original cut (which he later refined further for the Criterion release). The Sheinberg take occasionally aired on TV in the U.S., and also was issued as part of the film's deluxe Criterion edition.

Brazil

Differences: At nearly 94 minutes, around 50 minutes shorter from the definitive take, Sheinberg's cut is obviously wildly different. Much of the violence and swearing is gone, along with many of the fantasy sequences. The plot is spelled out as if to a particularly dim child (including on-screen text read aloud by a voice over), while the romantic elements are played up, not least in the conclusion, which sees Sam and Jill escaping to the countryside together happily. Meanwhile, the longer European cut restores a few extra sequences—a post-coital scene between Sam and Jill, a metal-detector sequence, an interrogation sequence and another with Peter Vaughan's character Helpmann dressed as Santa. The American version also opens and closes with shots of clouds (some of which were borrowed from "The NeverEnding Story").

Which Is Better And Why: Well, the "Love Conquers All" cut certainly isn't the best: it's essentially nonsensical, with the plot making very little sense, much of the film's thematic weight gone, and a generally cobbled-together, slapdash feel to the whole thing. It's a disaster, and you can see why Gilliam fought it so hard (and why he was so delighted when it eventually saw the light of day and everyone could judge it for themselves). But of the better versions, we'd argue that there's not a whole lot to differentiate the European and American cuts—the former is more complete, but does drag a little more. But in deference to Mr. Gilliam, we'd go with it, as it's his preferred version.

Apocalypse Now

"Apocalypse Now" (1979) vs. "Apocalypse Now Redux" (2001)
Synopsis: A loose adaptation of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" that follows Army Captain Benjamin Willard (Martin Sheen), who's enlisted on a secret mission to head to Cambodia to find Special Forces Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who reportedly lost his mind and is now commanding his own private army.

Background: Pretty much a decade in the making (writer John Milius was first hired to pen a version of the script during the making of "The Rain People" in 1969), "Apocalypse Now" was originally intended to be directed by George Lucas, but after the success of "The Godfather" films, Francis Ford Coppola became interested in the script and began shooting in 1976. After a tumultuous production that dealt with hurricanes, the firing of one leading man (Harvey Keitel), the heart attack of another (Sheen), and the budget and schedule going wildly overboard—it finally wrapped in May 1977, having cost over $30 million—"Apocalypse Now" then spent another two years in the cutting room, with the director eventually telling his wife Eleanor that he thought "there is only about a 20% chance I can pull the film off." After much recutting and indecision, the film finally premiered at Cannes in May 1979 as a "work-in-progress," and shared the Palme d'Or with Volker Schlöndorff's "The Tin Drum." The released version was ostensibly the director's cut, but Coppola had shot much more than was included, and over a decade later he started toying with the idea of a new version of the film. He tried to persuade editor Walter Murch to return, who initially refused after spending two years on the project originally, but after working on "Touch Of Evil," Murch relented. He and Coppola set about recutting the film, often from the ground up. Actors were brought in, where possible, to re-record ADR. New music was recorded for the project, and DoP Vittorio Storaro supervised the color processing. The new version, entitled "Apocalypse Now Redux" premiered at Cannes in May 2001, a little less than 22 years after the original had done the same.

Apocalypse Now

Differences: Aside from the technical rejig described above, the 'Redux' version adds 49 extra minutes to the 153-minute original (that adds up to 202 minutes, math fans). Aside from more minor additions of dialogue or shuffling of scenes around, there are a number of major changes. Among them, we see Willard stealing Kilgore's (Robert Duvall) surfboard after his famous napalm speech, and a subsequent scene where Kilgore pursues them, with a helicopter playing a message from them. The Playboy bunnies return, sleeping with some of the men (hauntingly, Lance fails to notice a dead body in the Medevac camp where it's taking place). Most notably of all, there's an extended sequence set in a French rubber plantation, featuring a funeral sequence for Laurence Fishburne's Clean, arguments with the French family over the war, and the seduction of Willard by the mother of the family. It also restores appearances by French actors Christian Marquand ("And God Created Woman") and Aurore Clément ("Paris, Texas"), as well as cameos by the director's children: future filmmaker Roman and older brother Gian-Carlo (who sadly wasn't around for the Redux version, having passed away in a speedboat accident in 1986).

Which Version is Better And Why? Some find the later 'Redux' version more definitive, but personally we'd stick with the original. The longer cut is certainly fun for completists, but once restored to the movie, the new additions either harm the pacing (the film stops dead for the French plantation sequence) or the tone (stealing the surfboard is a weird and incongruous moment of japery, while the return of the Playmates feels, frankly, a bit misogynistic in its execution). It's still a great movie, but who would you rather listen to: the '70s Coppola who made "The Godfather" and "The Conversation," or the late '90s/early '00s Coppola who made "Jack" and "The Rainmaker"? It's also worth noting that there's a five-hour workprint version that's still eagerly swapped by collectors and bootleggers, but it's literally a rough assembly, featuring basically everything that Coppola filmed, so is hardly a satisfying viewing experience.

Touch of Evil Welles

"Touch Of Evil" (theatrical version 1958), vs. "Preview Version" (1976) vs. "Restored Version" (1998 )
Synopsis: Film noir classic about a Mexican drug enforcement agent (Charlton Heston) investigating a bombing on American soil while on his honeymoon, aided and mostly abetted by the monstrous and corrupt policeman Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles),

Background: After a decade in semi-exile in Europe, Welles hoped to make his glorious Hollywood return with this film noir. Some suggest he was brought on to direct at the insistence of star Charlton Heston, having initially been only pegged for an acting appearance, while others maintain that the project came out of a dare between Welles and producer Albert Zugsmith, when the "Citizen Kane" filmmaker wagered that he could make a great film out of even the most terrible script that Zugsmith had. Either way, Welles shot the project in 1957, a shoot that seemingly went smoothly and came in on time. But Welles was never speedy when it came to post-production ("I could work forever on the editing of a film," he said to Cahiers du Cinéma in 1958. "I don't know why it takes me so much time, but that has the effect of arousing the ire of the producers, who then take the film out of my hands"), and after he finished a rough cut in July 1957, Universal indeed took over (even reshooting some scenes and adding others, helmed by journeyman B-movie veteran Harry Keller), and Welles went to Mexico to prepare for his version of "Don Quixote". He finally saw the studio's cut in December '57, and submitted a 58 page memo to the studio pleading for changes (read the full text here), most of which were eventually ignored. The released version, running 30 minutes shorter, made it to theaters two months later, as the lower half of a double bill with Keller's Hedy Lamarr vehicle "The Female Animal." It basically disappeared in the U.S. (though was taken to the hearts of the Cahiers du Cinéma crowd in Europe), and was mostly forgotten until 1975, when Universal discovered a longer 108-minute cut in their vaults, originally used for test screenings. It was re-released, heralded by the studio as "the complete uncut and restored version," but that wasn't accurate: Welles had no involvement in the cut, and though it came after his memo the director wasn't consulted about the re-release. Finally, after Welles' death, interest in something closer to a director's cut grew thanks to the work of critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, and the great editor Walter Murch was hired by the studio to restore the film as closely as possible to Welles' original intention. It hit theaters in 1998, though not without trouble: the filmmaker's daughter Beatrice caused a Cannes premiere to be cancelled after threatening to sue over a failure to consult her over the restoration.

Touch of Evil Heston

Differences: The 1970s cut runs 108 minutes, thirteen minutes longer than the released theatrical cut, without some of Keller's reshot moments, and with some of Welles' scenes restored, most notably a long scene between Welles' Quinlan and his partner Menzies (Joseph Calleia) that sets up the characters, and their differences, much better. Various other tweaks existed too: certain scenes ran longer, or lines of dialogue or shots remain different. The Murch and Rosenbaum 1998 cut is only three minutes longer, and doesn't contain much in the way of entirely new footage, but feels like a different movie: the rhythm of the film, particularly in the opening scenes, is very different, and much more consistent (particularly with the credits and music removed from the legendary opening shot, per Welles' intention). The print and soundtrack also got a modern polish.

Which Is Better And Why: Welles scholars still argue over this one, and all of the versions are pretty decent: the release version has storytelling issues, but can't do too much to mess up what Welles shot. And it's important to remember that the 1998 version isn't definitive, or a director's cut: Welles was making compromises with the studio in his memo, and his ideal version of the film likely would have been different if allowed to complete it. All that said, that's certainly our favorite: the intention of Murch's changes is well thought-out, and the film is much more satisfying as a whole, as subtle as many of the tweaks are. All three versions are available on the Criterion and Masters of Cinema release, so you can judge for yourself.

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61 Comments

  • Max Fraley | May 14, 2014 1:26 PMReply

    I recently was "blown away" with William Freidkin's 70's existentialist film, THE SORCERER.
    Freidkin presented it at the TCM Festival in the Hollywood Grauman's IMAX theater. The near capacity audience was quickly caught up in this refined edition and their serious appreciation for this "rediscovered" gem was quickly circulated throughout the festival's many activities. It deserves a recognition long overdue. I know a Blu-Ray edition has recently been released with many enhancements over the original DVD.

  • ROBIN | May 11, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    What about Das Boot? The Counselor? Blood Simple? I almost said Godfather 3, but forget I said Godfather 3. Legend? Dawn of the Dead? Amadeus? Terminator 2? And if anyone's seen them, All The Pretty Horses and Wild At Heart?

    Wonderful article by the way. Thank you.

  • Kyle | May 10, 2014 11:03 PMReply

    Fascinating article and I'm very glad you went with the original cut of Apocalypse Now, I was mightily disappointed to see that extra footage had sapped the life from one of my favourite films.
    As far as suggestions go for the next one...
    1) Alexander - I deliberately sought out the 'Final Cut', bypassing the theatrical and director's cuts, and found it to be a sprawling historical epic that sufficiently entertains...as long as you can get past Colin Farrell's blonde wig.
    2) Gladiator - I can't even remember the theatrical cut since I only own the extended one!
    3) Donnie Darko - Haven't seen the director's cut but any version of that film sounds intriguing.
    4) Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 - Some of my favourite sci-fi films, although the more interesting story for Alien 3 is the initial wooden monastery-planet idea. That would have been brilliant!
    5) Daredevil
    6) Kingdom of Heaven - Another Scott extended cut which felt more like an epic to me with slight hints of Lawrence of Arabia.
    7) King Kong - Is PJ over-indulging? Almost definitely yes, but is it better?
    and finally...
    8) The Lord of the Rings trilogy - Hard to say anything about these films that hasn't been said but even though I adore them and I only watch the extended editions now, the added footage seems to run the gambit from enthralling narrative addition and insight, all the way to bizarre cheerful comedy (Aragorn and the soup!). Still love it though.

  • JK1193 | May 9, 2014 8:06 PMReply

    Personal Favorites (Alphabetical Order):
    The Abyss
    Aliens
    American Gangster
    Blade Runner
    Kingdom of Heaven
    Legend
    Robin Hood
    Sucker Punch
    Terminator 2: Judgment Day
    Tombstone
    Watchmen
    Zodiac

  • JK1193 | May 9, 2014 8:14 PM

    Forgot the Alexander directors cut, which is a huge one in my opinion.

  • Eric M. Van | May 6, 2014 3:33 AMReply

    I have to chime in, in advance, on Donnie Darko, an easy choice for your next round of this fabulous feature. Richard Kelly's Director's Cut has aspects that are unquestionably superior: the restoration of a bunch of great and valuable scenes, and of the originally intended pop-music cues. It's also true that the DC gives answers to the film's mysteries; only the original cut has Lynchian ambiguity and is open to multiple interpretations, and a lot of people value that, and for good reason, and mourn its absence from the DC. Hence the common opinion that the original cut is better.

    The unasked question, by too many, is: how good are the answers Kelly provides? Kelly didn't want to make a Lynchian ambiguous film; he wanted to make a fairly rigorous time-travel-paradox sf film that would serve as a metaphor for (and examination of the nature of) free will. And the thing is, the answers are brilliant: next to DD/DC, "Twelve Monkeys" (a very good film) is the work of a small child on an Etch-a-Sketch.

    So we have a strange pair, where the Donnie Darko DC is unquestionably less satisfying than the original as ambiguous weirdness, but perhaps makes up for it by being the best science fiction film ever made -- if you're willing to do the work. (It's closer to Shane Carruth's Primer than to anything by Lynch.) I've been meaning to write a blog post unpacking the film's literal and thematic meanings, and maybe this is a good excuse to finally do so.

  • Rick | May 1, 2014 4:22 AMReply

    What's with 'Star Trek' and especially 'Dance with Wolves'?!

  • jaime | April 29, 2014 1:30 PMReply

    I could have used the Blade Runner piece a few years ago when I desperately searched and inquired as to which version was best. Finally went for the Final Cut, thankfully.

  • Benny Profane | April 25, 2014 9:56 AMReply

    US and European versions who co-exist : "The Shining" by Kubrick and "Dawn of the dead" by Romero.

  • Chris Renaud | April 24, 2014 12:05 PMReply

    My memory of the Sid Sheinberg cut of Brazil is that nearly every edit in the movie seems to have been revisited, and becomes more awkward - even in simple dialogue scenes. I'm not sure that would make sense (it would certainly be more work and $$$) nor would it make sense from a technical (negative cutting) standpoint (separating glued negative, potentially losing frames of image) - but I do remember being confounded by hamfisted editing rhythms. Time to sync those things up again. Summer project.

  • AddictedAICN | April 9, 2014 8:26 PMReply

    Here's a few ideas:
    1. Donnie Darko
    2. Kingdom of Heaven
    3. The Abyss
    4. Mimic
    5. Payback
    6. Almost Famous
    7. Zodiac
    8. Anchorman versus Wake Up Ron Burgundy
    9. Watchmen
    10. Margaret
    11. Little Shop of Horrors
    12. Dark City
    13. Alien
    14. Terminator 2
    15. Aliens
    16. Osterman Weekend
    17. Touch of Evil

  • Glint | April 8, 2014 11:49 AMReply

    I'd be interested in the first three Alien films' theatrical versus directors cut/special edition.

  • Raul | April 7, 2014 5:15 PMReply

    How about a writer's cut? Quentin Tarantino's True Romance was supposed to have a jumbled story line just like Pulp Fiction. The studio didn't trust him enough for directing duties and Tony Scott ended up taking the helm. Sometime before the movie was released he panicked and put it all in chronological order unfortunately. I was able to find the script and edited the scenes in their right order though! Even took a while to find alternate scenes that worked better with Tarantino's vision!

  • Bill | April 6, 2014 9:27 AMReply

    Daredevil. The theatrical version is dreadful, but the directors cut is a wholly different film and vastly superior.

    Payback, another one wher the director's cut is a different film. The entire second half is replaced, even some of the cast.

  • hank | April 4, 2014 3:27 AMReply

    The Paul Seydor cut of Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid is an abomination. As you said, completely speculative and more in line with what a studio stooge of an editor would want to see rather than Peckinpah.

  • Chris138 | April 4, 2014 1:12 AMReply

    Heaven's Gate is a mess. The longer director's cut is unbearably long. The film represents the full blown self-indulgence that Cimino only flirted with in the first hour of The Deer Hunter.

  • Alex | April 15, 2014 2:24 AM

    Heaven's Gate is odd. There's a lot of great in it and those parts are really great but there's also a lot of bloat and dullness. The Directors cut is better but even then it could benefit from a lot of fat trimming. Overall it would've benefitted from the director/editor/screenwriter doing the unthinkable and that's dumbing it down.

  • MistaTMason | April 5, 2014 12:54 AM

    I haven't seen heaven's gate in either form, but maybe one day I'll give it an afternoon. As for The Deer Hunter, the first hour plus, before they go to Vietnam is the best part of the film. Everything feels real and tragic. The wedding scene is gorgeous, without feeling like a Hollywood set piece. It's like the cathedral is this shining temple in their run down industrial PA town. The characters are fleshed out as the kind of friends who are almost brotherly. They can be complete drunken assholes to each other, playing off one another's emotional weaknesses, but they stick together because they are a family.

    While the second half is still good, a lot of the Vietnam stuff goes off the rails. The first battle scene with Green Beret De Niro running while firing a machine gun and throwing a grenade in to the hideout bunker of a Vietnamese family is so unrealistic and obnoxious it's reminiscent of some twisted Chuck Norris Movie. And the Russian roulette really works at first, but that final scene with the "just one shot" line is pretty melodramatic. Cimino was much more effective on the story at home.

  • dan | April 3, 2014 10:53 PMReply

    Once upon a time in America. The theatrical version was a joke, incomprehensible. The director's cut is a masterpiece--in my opinion the greatest gangster movie ever made (even better than The Godfather).

  • Theo | April 15, 2014 9:09 AM

    I love that movie! It makes me angry that the theatrical version ruined its reputation and so it isn't considered the brilliant epic that it should be, but at least the director's cut was released eventually.

  • Alex | April 15, 2014 2:15 AM

    Omg. You are so right. I remember as a kid trying to watch the original version and being really lost and confused. Years later I got to watch the extended cut and saw a beautiful masterpiece that makes sooo much more sense. When I tell people how great that movie is people don't believe me or blow my opinion off because it's not one of those movies with a "must see" reputation.

  • My life in movies | April 3, 2014 2:58 PMReply

    The 1992 "director's cut" of Blade Runner is the best one. The Final Cut is cut too tight and the Final Cuttish color correction is unnecessary. 1992 version has the best rhythm and atmosphere too.

  • MAL | April 3, 2014 1:15 PMReply

    I have never seen the "newer" version of Cinema Paradiso because of all the reasons you mention. There were such perfect mysteries in that film that I knew would destroy the emotional impact if ever revealed. That said, I originally had reservations about viewing the full television version (almost 5.5 hours) of Fanny and Alexander. But Bergman is a much more controlled filmmaker than Tornatore, so when I finally did, I was even more in love with the film. In fact, I can't watch the theatrical version anymore because of all the added richness and depth that would be missing. (And it would be great to have your take on Fanny and Alexander in your next essay on this subject!)

  • Josh O | April 3, 2014 7:46 AMReply

    The 'Kingdom of Heaven' director's cut is a masterpiece; it's a completely different movie and far superior than the theatrical edition.

  • Steven Applebaum | April 3, 2014 6:24 AMReply

    I would like to see you guys discuss the various cuts of David Lynch's Dune film, but it probably wouldn't fit the scope of this article as he never produced a "director's cut." Hopefully one day he will.

    Ridley Scott's Legend of Kingdom of Heaven (especially the latter) would both be great films to delve into.

    Probably the strangest would be Highlander II.

  • Alex | April 15, 2014 2:18 AM

    I have the director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven but I actually really like the extended cut of Dune better. The beginning is not as slick and artistic but overall it explains the movie much better. As someone who hasn't read the book it's a more satisfying experience.

  • bohmer | April 6, 2014 3:59 PM

    Yes for Dune and Kingdom of Heaven. I might had Oliver Stones' Alexander also.

  • fabian | April 3, 2014 6:23 AMReply

    Kingdom of heavan. Or any other new Ridley Scott epic. Ie. american gangster, robin hood, Gladiator. All these have director's cuts. Especially kingdom of heaven, is amazing.

  • JK1193 | May 9, 2014 7:58 PM

    Ridley Scott is the modern day master of director cuts. For the life of me, I've yet to see the Gladiator cut, but the others are top-notch. Haven't watched The Counselor directors cut (haven't had time), so I really want to see that one.

  • ED | April 2, 2014 10:30 PMReply

    "“I want more life, f8cker” which is changed to “I want more life, father” in one of the Final Cut’s more pointless alterations."

    God, that is so painful. Thanks for the reminder. God, horrible.

  • MMS | April 2, 2014 7:01 PMReply

    Re: THE NEW WORLD

    "the movie's 65 mm splendor" is largely, if not exclusively limited to the "mushroom sequence" (only present in the Extended Cut) where Ms. Kilcher's character sees eye-to-eye with a near-suicide, until being distracted by beautiful bird singing from the adjacent tree above her.

  • FRANK | April 2, 2014 6:26 PMReply

    Donnie Darko

  • Steven Applebaum | April 3, 2014 6:07 AM

    Definitely. The two cuts are radically different in execution. Most people I've encountered seem to prefer the original.

  • droop | April 2, 2014 6:10 PMReply

    Miami vice theatrical vs. extended cut for next feature?

  • Donella | April 2, 2014 5:39 PMReply

    I'm interested in your thoughts on the theatrical release of Aliens vs the version with about twenty-five minutes added back.

  • joel | April 2, 2014 5:03 PMReply

    once upon a time in america

  • Bruce 100 | April 3, 2014 5:45 AM

    Just what I was thinking. Though isn't the non-chronological version more of a European cut rather than, strictly, a directors cut?

  • Jamie | April 2, 2014 4:30 PMReply

    I really hope that someday Hooper will let us see the four hour version of Les Miserables. The flow of a great film was hurt by edits to get it down to distribution size and I would love to see some of the scenes that were chopped.

  • DaemonX | April 2, 2014 4:13 PMReply

    BTW, the article is great, but i very miss Dark City from this list. But it's good to see the Richard Donner's Supe is here. In my opinion, this is the best Superman movie ever. Oh, and sorry about my bad English.

  • DaemonX | April 2, 2014 4:11 PMReply

    So where the hell is Dark City (Director's Cut) ?
    It is one of the best sci-fi movies ever made.

  • Mark | April 2, 2014 4:08 PMReply

    The Abyss. STILL unavailable on Blu. I mean, what the hell?

  • Alex | April 15, 2014 2:21 AM

    The directors cut is a better movie that actually improves the story and adds more suspense.

  • Xian | April 2, 2014 6:05 PM

    Cameron is too busy playing on Pandora (the planet, of course). Sigh.

  • burt | April 2, 2014 4:19 PM

    Seriously

  • drawing | April 2, 2014 4:02 PMReply

    You guys have, per uge, got your facts wrong on The New World. The theatrical cut is still very easy to find on DVD, and can be had through Amazon for 8 bucks, new. Plus a million used and new copies on eBay. So, yeah, one does have the choice. Both extended and theatrical are readily available in the US (150 minute cut is another story). I prefer the first act of the extended cut, but the second and third acts of the theatrical. Both are wonderful

  • Frank | May 7, 2014 4:40 PM

    The 150 minute cut (PAL = 144 mins) is (or was) available on DVD in Italy (I own it).

  • James | April 2, 2014 4:00 PMReply

    I only nitpick out of love:) The New World 150 min cut is on DVD in Italy. It's a two disc set with the wide release cut.

  • James | April 2, 2014 4:02 PM

    You also got it for a few months as a digitl down load with the US extended cut DVD, but I suspect that was an accident. You've accidentally combined those two facts.

  • rhunt | April 2, 2014 4:00 PMReply

    If I remember correctly, Cimino had nothing to do with the shorter, theatrically released "Heaven's Gate". As for "Pat Garrett", I prefer the "Turner" version, but I'm not convinced that it can truly be called a "Director's cut". It's missing the scene with Garrett's wife, which was added to the 70s tv cut,.. but more mysteriously, it's missing Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" , which Peckinpah reportedly loved.

  • yer | April 2, 2014 3:59 PMReply

    The New World has to be one of the most reversed opinion films from release to post-release ever. I remember it being on every other 'best of the decade' list when those lists were being made a couple of years ago. Brilliant film.

  • James | April 2, 2014 3:59 PMReply

    I was lucky enough to see the 150 min version of The New World twice on the big screen in Los Angeles. It's by far the superior version, in my mind. The shorter one eviscerates the movie and removes an absolutely KEY shot of an eskimo girl on a beach in Iceland in the final portion, who looks just like Pocahontas, showing how much John Smith still thinks about and loves her. The extended cut adds most everything back, but also adds some unnecessary stuff and also some jarringly modern jump-cuts.

  • Spoiler alert! | April 2, 2014 3:50 PMReply

    Better get ready for a new cut of the New World... coming soon on a Criterion blu-ray near you.

  • MMS | April 2, 2014 7:22 PM

    Very good to know. Oh, and so am I.

  • SPOILER ALERT! | April 2, 2014 6:54 PM

    MMS, not joking. Too old for April Fools.

  • MMS | April 2, 2014 6:48 PM

    SPOILER ALERT! --

    Seriously, you better not be joking. If this is true, both TNW and ToL re-cuts out on Criterion Blu-ray's in the near future - well, I'll be one goddamned happy guy.

    "Coming soon" - like, before years end..?

  • James | April 2, 2014 4:53 PM

    April 1 was yesterday.

  • Spoiler alert! | April 2, 2014 4:21 PM

    Nope, no joke. It'll be announced alongside the extended edition of the Tree of Life.

  • halb | April 2, 2014 4:05 PM

    Joke I'm not getting?

  • James | April 2, 2014 3:47 PMReply

    Great article! However there's no Criterion release of "Touch of Evil", though Universal is releasing it on Blu-Ray next week.

  • James | April 2, 2014 3:47 PM

    Oops, I meant in two weeks.

  • Sebastian | April 2, 2014 3:43 PMReply

    Great article. I loved reading it so much. Great job!

    Here are some cuts that might go into a follow up: (1) The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (2) Once Upon a Time in America (3) Payback, the Mel Gibson movie (4) True Romance (5) Sin City

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