Director's Cut VS. Theatrical

Is there a favourite movie of yours (or any movie you’ve seen both versions of for that matter) that you’ve seen both the theatrical version and the director’s cut (or “Unrated” as the trend seems to be right now) and actually prefered the theatrical because of time, flow, or any other reason?

I was disappointed by the director’s cut of Blade Runner because they removed things that didn’t need to be removed, and added nothing of any value (unicorn dream? feh). Unfortunately, when it gets periodically televised, the stations tend to go with the director’s cut.

The extended version of Terminator 2 was pretty cool, I admit, but the added scenes aren’t really all that necessary to the plot and they make the movie 17 minutes longer. I’m okay with the shorter theatrical version.

I completely agree. That was what I was going to put in the post but I couldn’t remember it for some reason when I submitted it.

Aliens is tighter in the theatrical release.

Generally I prefer the Director’s Cut of all of James Cameron’s films with few exceptions. The Abyss is basically a completely different film with the director’s cut.

I should probably be prohibited from even talking about this film anymore–but, as bad as the theatrical version Return of the King was, the director’s cut was worse.

::shuddering in memory of the over-literalized mouth of Sauron::

The theatrical cut of the original Dawn of the dead is much tighter and better than the directors cut…Romero also agrees.

The Fourty Year Old Virgin was a tad bit too long in theaters. Adding in an extra twenty minutes or so of scenes not funny enough for the final teatrical cut didn’t help matters for the DVD release.

And the worst part of it is is that the movie had some very funny scenes that had been cut. They just spliced in the wrong scenes for the final Uncut DVD. The extended speed dating scene had me rolling.

Do you happen to know how long the theatrical version you are refering to is? There are more cuts to that movie than I can count.

The theatrical version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture was better (well, it was slightly less plodding and talky) than the “expanded” version shown on TV, which I believe is also the preferred DVD version (someone correct me if I’m wrong).

I almost always prefer the theatrical release version rather than the unedited.

There’s a reason those scenes wound up on the cutting room floor in that more times than not, the scenes that were deleted added little or nothing to the arc of the story.

Cases in point. When network TV shows the Sixth Sense, they add in the deleted scenes which include Cole’s interaction with some older German guy and then a scene where he starts bawling to Bruce Willis’s character. Net result? 15 minutes of fluff that detract from the cumulative, build-up of suspense that maintains the drive of the original version.

The Exorcist’s director’s cut is laughable. They inserted little flashing, semi-subliminal, demon faces that are scattered about in random places that add nothing in the way of menace. Then the infamous spider-walk scene, a strikingly bizarre visual which didn’t make the original cut is placed back in. Though fun to watch, it actually doesn’t add much.

As for the only uncut version I do enjoy, it would have to come from the Godfather series. ({Parts One and Two only of course). Since I’ve seen the original versions dozens of times, it’s interesting to see the deleted scenes placed back in sequence. Good for the aficionados but in reality, had they been in the original release they would have done nothing but make a couple of already very long movies that much more lengthy.

Virtually every single example. I have never seen a “Director’s cut” that wasn’t substantially worse than the original.

Editors are there for a reason. Most director’s cutd are bloated, overlong, and feature weak scenes.

I have the DVD version of Pulp Fiction, and there’s a bunch of deleted scenes on it - but not cut into the movie. Each scene is introduced by Quentin Tarantino, and in each case he says something to the effect of “I really like this scene. As a scene, by itself, it’s really great. But in the movie, it’s not. It slows it down too much. So, out it went.” That’s the difference between a “director’s cut” and the theatrical release; it may have more good SCENES, but it ain’t a better movie.

Apocalypse Now vs. Apocalypse Now Redux is a no contest. Why add 50 minutes of crap to a masterpiece?

Last of the Mohicans - Director’s cut is tighter, but screws up two of the most dramatic scenes. Five minutes shorter and doesn’t add much of anything.

I saw Donnie Darko at the movies with my teenage son. We both loved it and had a long, long animated discussion over a meal about what the movie was about. It did very little box office here in Australia and none of his friends saw it until it came out on DVD (in fact neither of us knows anyone else who saw it at a cinema). We watched the director’s cut with some of his friends and it seemed to me to have been “dumbed down” so that the equivocal plot points were all made explicit. We both found it far less involving.

I have intended seeing the original cut again to check this impression but have never got around to it.

It might be interesting to note that the “Director’s Cut” of Blood Simple is actually shorter than the theatrical edition (though not by much).

I was going to add that one. One big problem with it is kinda subtle: at the beginning of the film, you see a sign that has the colony’s name on it and its population, which is around a hundred to a hundred and fifty people. In the theatrical cut, it just seems like there’s an endless horde of the things. but knowing how many aliens are on the planet takes a lot of the suspence out of the film. There’s only a hundred aliens there? Considering how many they splatter during the course of the film, especially with the autogun scenes added back in, by the time they take off there must have only been a dozen or so left.

and of course, Star Wars, the original release defined movies for a generation. The director’s cut… didn’t.

Count me in as preferring the theatrical releases of Blade Runner and Aliens, especially the former. As for Return of the King, the extended edition was better, but both were excellent films.

I’d say the expanded cut of Alien Resurrection (which is really just an alternate version, not intended to improve on the original, so it’s a bit different situation). The very first scene of the film is a silly, badly-CGI’ed slapstick bit that practically ruins the movie before it even starts.

Among the Lord of the Rings films, I’d say The Two Towers is most improved by its extended edition, and The Fellowship of the Ring is the least improved. I like the extended cut too, but there’s a wonderful tightness to the theatrical version of Fellowship that gets a little lost in the extended cut. Return of the King’s last act feels a little rushed in the theatrical version, and the extended cut improves it in that regard, but it also adds a lot of flab earlier in the film.