Directors Cuts/Happy Endings

Inspired by the thread on the Butterfly Effect where it transpired that here in the UK on DVD release we got the Directors Cut (the original?) which I thought had an infinitely better ending than the alternate version. That by the way is a very enjoyable movie in general even if it does have at least one plothole you could drive a bus through.

My question is what directors cuts were superior to the original or not in your opinion?

Like The Butterfly Effect the video release of Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness here had the original ending where:

Ash wakes up in a post-apocalyptic future after making a mistake with the sleeping drops

It also has the “I ain’t that good” line instead of the American alternate, “Good, bad, I’m the guy with the gun.” I much prefer the former.

Then one of my favourite movies, Aliens. The original version is superior to the new version in my opinion mainly due to pacing which is just perfect. The directors cut is too stop-startish. It is also much more effective to land on the colony after the devastation has happened than to see it as a living colony beforehand.

One thing I do think they should have left in is where Ripley is told of the fate of her daughter, it adds depth to her character and better explains why she went to such extremes to rescue Newt.

I simply can’t work out how Brazil could be half as good a film without the original ending where:

The main characters mind snaps under torture, its still a happy ending in a bleak way.

This need for a happy ending is bizarre and results in the butchering of many otherwise excellent movies.

I found myself ambivalent about the Director’s Cut for Amadeus.

On the one hand, it explains some things that the original release left obscured (at least for people who hadn’t read the play). On the other hand, that is the only benefit of the added scenes, which destroy the pacing of the movie and are quite painful to watch as they involve some extremely degrading episodes.

I come out on the side of the original release, as I prefer puzzling out a little bit of backstory to making the movie harder to watch.

Appocalypse Now Redux did not work, yet I consider the original the Directors cut as that was Coppolas baby through and through. The original was completed by the great director he was when he finished it Redux was the one slapped together by the broken man he became. Same for Star Wars. Lucas first version was best, bad effects and all.

Brazil and Das Boot have superior Directors cuts. Lord of the Rings extended versions worked better as a whole as well.

Both The Abyss and Terminator 2 are clearly better (imho) as extended versions.

Not me. The original line is one of the best movie one-liners ever.

Campbell’s expression as he sticks the shotgun in his prancing, taunting doppelganger’s face and deadpans “I ain’t that good.” is priceless.

The original cinematic release of Bladerunner, with Deckard’s voice-over and that abominably tacked on happy ending was much worse than the re-released Director’s Cut: one of the rare instances where the “original artistic vision” wasn’t just an excuse to milk the fans of a few more bucks.

Alien 3 doesn’t have a director’s cut (David Fincher abandoned it after his experience with 20th Century Fox) but it does have a special edition which is a lot closer to what Fincher wanted, and makes for an almost entirely new movie. There’s a lot more dialogue and character development which actually helps you recognize the prisoners as people and gives the movie a theme of loss, which in turn elevates it from a guessing game of “which nameless bald guy gets it next.” There are one or two things the theatrical version does better, but on the whole the special edition of Alien 3 is far superior.

I can’t wait to see the director’s cut of Donnie Darko. I remember flipping through the deleted scenes on the original DVD and being overjoyed to have so many plotholes, inconsistincies, backgrounds, etc. filled in for me.

Maybe, but the quote makes the original version better IMHO.

The original cinematic release of Bladerunner, with Deckard’s voice-over and that abominably tacked on happy ending was much worse than the re-released Director’s Cut: one of the rare instances where the “original artistic vision” wasn’t just an excuse to milk the fans of a few more bucks.[/QUOTE]

I am one of the people that hate the director’s cut of Blade Runner…I much prefer the theatrical version.

Interesting, because I didn’t like any of the added scenes. I thought it threw off the pacing.

I especially dislike the scene where they flipped Arnold’s chip to Rewritable. I thought it took away from the Terminator’s gradual understanding of human behavior.

^ In refernce to Terminator 2. Haven’t seen the Abyss.

Yes, but the wonderful shot of Mozart tossed with the rest of the corpses is priceless. Uh… that’s not in the original, right? If yes, forget me. Good, bad, I’m the man with the decaying memory retention.

The Amadeus director’s cut has boobies!

The best Director’s Cut I’ve ever seen is Cameron Crowe’s so-called ‘bootleg’ cut of Almost Famous which even got a separate name, Untitled. It’s got nearly 40 minutes of extra footage and nothing, absolutely nothing, seems unnecessary.

I prefer the much more in depth character development of the extended “Abyss”, but I think the new ending is far too over-the-top. I appreciate what Cameron was trying to do but it just looks hokey and cheesy. I didn’t much care one way or the other about the extended “T2”, but liked the extended “Aliens”. I just pray Cameron doesn’t go back and release an extended “Titanic”.

Anyone else want an extended version disc where they pick which new scenes stay and which go?


I can see a bit of that argument, but I loved almost all of the added scenes. In particular, I think the chip flipping, which you dislike, is a fantastic addition, because (a) it shows John Conner starting to be a leader and make decisions, and (b) it makes everything the Terminator learns that much more meaningful and poignant, because he’s only learning it because John let him learn. It also makes other lines (“see, you’re learning already”) make more sense.

I also love the glitching that the T-1000 goes through during the end fight where he starts unintentionally copying everything he touches. The idea that he could be frozen solid, blown into smithereens, and reconstituted without it even mattering in the slightest always kind of bugged me, and it’s much more satisfying to see that that did cause him to start going on the fritz.

The “Director’s Cut” of Army of Darkness is an aberration in my eyes.

The Good/Bad line swap - I like both, that one doesn’t bug me.

But the ending - the S-Mart epilogue turns Ash into a sort of neverending hero warrior in addition to being a complete bungler. The apocalyptic one just anti-climaxes.

Hey, me too! I thought I was the only one. What the hell is wrong with a happy ending?

In the case of Bladerunner, it just doesn’t make sense. There’s pristine wilderness close enough they can fly to it in a spinner yet everyone still lives in urban grunge?

Weellll…Montana is within flying distance of Chicago, ain’t it?