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Welcome to New York

Comparison:

  • US Version
  • Original Version
Release: Jul 26, 2015 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
Compared are the US Version ("Alternate Cut") and the Original Version (both available on the UK Blu-ray by Altitude Film Distribution)


128 differences, including
* 59 scenes with additional footage in the US Version
* 43 scenes with an alternate order of events
* 7 zoom effects
* 4 recuts

Length difference: 16:00 minutes



Background


With almost 40 years of experience, Abel Ferrara had a lot of unpleasant encounters with the MPAA and other international rating boards. Examples are motion pictures like The Driller Killer from 1979, which became a member of the Video Nasties Club in the UK, Ms. 45 (1981), King of New York (1990) or Bad Lieutenant (1991). With Welcome to New York, he made a move about the Dominique Strauss-Kahn incidents resp. he rewrote the events with fictional characters and intentionally hired Gérard Depardieu, who is known for his issues with the press, as lead.

The subject itself led to smaller controversies. For instance, Ferrara did not find a distributor for the French market and the he did not get a slot in Cannes either. Strauss-Kahn himself felt denunciated of course and intended to keep the movie from being released which is why it was only available via VoD at first but the US market was another discomfort for Ferrara. As he pointed out in furious statements, the studio insisted on an R-Rated Version resulting in a 16 minutes shorter version. This was also available via VoD and after home theater releases of the uncensored version - e.g. in Germany or the UK on 03/27/2015 - it was supposed to get a theatrical release in the US as well. As we reported a few months ago, Ferrara took legal action against the distributor IFC resp. he tried to stop the US release. IFC simply stated they had received the R-Rated Version from Wild Bunch in France.

In Germany, the uncensored Original Version (rated "FSK 12") was shown in theaters and it has also been released on Blu-ray/DVD. But the issues Ferrara had to deal with remains interesting and the censored R-Rated Version is available as so-called "Alternate Cut" on the UK Blu-ray - next to the uncensored Original Version of course. The following comparison lists the differences and as one can already assume by the huge amount of differences (listed at the beginning of the intro), the alterations required for the R-Rating are not the only differences. For that reason, the term "Alternate Cut" is somewhat justified.



The Versions


First of all, the censorship responsable for the turmoil beforehand should be pointed out. Almost any sex scene resp. escpecially the rather rough oral sex at the beginning and the orgy are distinctly shorter. A further case of abuse in the second half of the picture, during which the victim could escape, has been entirely removed from the US Version. The abuse of the maid on the other hand is missing from where it actually takes place in the Original Version but it appears a little later in the US Version - almost identical.

What strikes attention when it comes to the censored scene, is a substantial factor regarding the US Version: there is a lot of alternate footage, some is rather interesting, some not so much. As expected, it begins with more harmless takes when it comes to nudity, but it basically affects the entire movie. Sometimes, different takes have been used and every now and then, there are some reaction shots changing the focus.

As a consequence thereof, the US Version contains a lot of additional footage. Even though it is more than 15 minutes shorter, there are almost 15 minutes of exclusive footage which makes the US Version interesting for fans. Especially Jacqueline Bisset has more scenes here, e.g. she thinks about her screwed up relationship in her car or negotiates about Deveraux's new crib. Some of it appears to be fill-in footage as it is not uncommon for US TV Versions but some of it is really appealing and would have been nice in Ferrara's longer Original Version.

Almost as random and yet remarkable in individual cases are several removed plot scenes for pace reasons whose meaning is not always obvious. Definately an improvement in particular cases is the lack of fill-in footage without real relevance but it also takes away some characteristics every now and then. One of these scenes would be the conversation between Deveraux and Marie on a fair prior to their fling.

Last but not least, I would like to mention zooms and recuts which finally proves that different cutter set their priorities differently but the effect can barely or not at all be noticed by audiences. Thanks to its rather episodic structure, the differences are hard to spot anyway. But someone certainly put some thought into it.

All in all, the US Version is not an epic failure as one could expect given Ferrara's angry comments, but the Original Version is definately prefarable - not only because it lacks any kind of censorship. Who was thrilled by the Original Version will find sommething new that does not make the US Version completely superfluous.



Time index refers to
US Version Blu-ray / Original Version Blu-ray
1 of 4
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00:36 / 00:36-00:40

When Gérard is being asked why he accepted the role in the first place, he initially reasoned he did not like the guy.

4 sec




01:03 / 01:07-01:08

Another shot of Gérard that starts earier. His comment that he did not like "these people" in politics, is also in the US Version - a bit earlier during the previous shot.

This is also a nice little introduction to later alterations due to pace reasons which will only be writen in small and without any ilustration via screenshots.

1.4 sec




04:35 / 04:40-04:51

The exterior shot of the buiding starts distinctly earlier.

11 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage in the US Version
04:39-04:50 / 04:55-05:17

The exterior shot is longer. For some reason, the interior footage begins unaltered resp. the shot of the hallway is different. Only the Original Version shows Roullot approaching the door at the end of the shot. As a result, the beginning of the following shot os shorter.

Original Version 10.3 sec longer

US VersionOriginal Version




06:12-06:16 / 06:39-09:20

The shot of Roullot begins earlier in the Original Version. But then again, it is insignificantly longer in the US Version. Then the scene ends (no screenshots).

In the Original Version, the scene goes on. Deveraux takes a sit next to the secretary and Roullot naughtily offers oral sex for relaxation. Roullot is flattered but he rejects the offer. Then, Anna is being escorted in. She takes a seat next to Roullot who is still refusing and wants to stay on topic. Finally, he says goodbye at which point he starts touching Anna. As requested, the secretary shows Deveraux her tattoo above her crotch.

Original Version 157.1 sec (= 2:37 min) longer




08:52 / 11:56-12:12

Shot of Deveraux and the woman in the elevator. She smiles, he seems to analyze the situation.

16.1 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage in the US Version
10:25-10:36 / 13:45-13:56

When Deveraux enters the room with the girl, the US Version contains alternate footage for whatever reason.

no difference

US VersionOriginal Version




Alternate / Zoom / Additional Footage in the US Version
10:48-11:16 / 14:08-14:55

The Original Version is closer to what is happening, the shot itself is the same though. Furthermore, the Original Version is longer.
Also, the US Version contains alternate footage of the scene on bed.

Original Version 19.6 sec longer

US VersionOriginal Version




Alternate / Additional Footage in the US Version
11:19-11:32 / 14:58-15:30

The rear view during the BJ scene starts earier in the US Version plus more alternate footage until Deveraux climaxes. In the Original Version, he explicitly hits her harder and orgasm itself is illustrated with rather explicite grimaces.

Original Version 18.1 sec longer

US VersionOriginal Version




11:34 / 15:32-15:40

Deveraux takes off the woman's underwear.

8.2 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage in the US Version
11:39-11:44 / 15:45-16:47

In the US Version, there is a smooth transition to a bottle of champagne on the table resp. the scene ends here.


The Original Version on the other hand keeps Deveraux busy. He grabs her breasts and slaps them a little. And after eating her, he spanks her.


Original Version 57.1 sec longer



12:00 / 17:03-17:04

For some reason, the ending of the shot is slightly shorter.

1 sec




12:05 / 17:09-17:26

And another extended scene: a silicon implant gets unwrapped and some jokes about it are being made.

17.2 sec




12:15 / 17:36-17:54

More footage at the table is missing. Deveraux has himself prepared another milk shake and the barkeeper explains it was cognac and ice cream.

17.4 sec




12:18 / 17:57-18:00

More trivial cuts.

2.9 sec


12:27 / 18:09-18:10

Before the woman gets to drink the shake right out of the blender, another tiny bit has been removed.

1 sec


12:30 / 18:13-18:17

Same here.

4.5 sec


12:34 / 18:21-18:23

The orgy gets going. But this cut is not worth a screenshot either.

1.6 sec


12:35 / 18:24-18:25

Ditto.

1.3 sec




12:38 / 18:28-18:31

Now it is getting interesting: the creamy breasts are being snuggled.

2.6 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage in the US Version
12:42-12:45 / 18:35-18:59

In the Original Version, the guy concentrates on the breasts again resp. he rubs more cream on the breasts and asks if anyone would like another milk shake.


The US Version however contains a little transition which explains why a butt is about to get "milk shaked": a girl pulls down her skirt.


Original Version 20.9 sec longer



12:50 / 19:04-19:19

More licking the mentioned butt. The host offers another milk shake what is considered a stupid question resp. "of course" the guy will have another one.

15.5 sec




12:52 / 19:21-19:24

Two rather unspectacular shots shorter at the ending/beginning.

2.6 sec



12:55 / 19:27-19:29

Another kiss on the butt.

1.9 sec




12:58 / 19:32-19:35

Deveraux looks at the woman lustfully.

3.4 sec




13:07 / 19:44-19:49

More action before the blender comes into play.

4.9 sec




13:10 / 19:52-20:00

The consequences of the dumped blender a little longer and the woman sooner before Deveraux empties the content of his bottle over her head.

8.3 sec




13:16 / 20:06-20:19

More fooling around again.

12.8 sec




13:20 / 20:23-20:26

And another completely and utterly trivial cut.

2.6 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage in the US Version
13:35-13:39 / 20:41-21:14

In the US Version, Deveraux throws something across the room and that is how the scene ends...


...while the Original Version contains a long high-angle shot of couples walking out of the hotel.


Original Version 29.5 sec longer



14:05 / 21:40-21:41

Redundant cut when the next car with more girls arrives.

1.5 sec


Additional Footage in the US Version
14:28-14:29 / 22:04

Therefore, the shot of the girls entering the hotel is briefly longer in the US Version.

+ 1.3 sec




16:41 / 24:16-24:47

Desiree and Ilyana messing around longer, including some spanking. Deveraux gives the order to get it on and he enjoys watching.

30.5 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage in the US Version
16:44-16:47 / 24:50-24:53

The smooth transition a little later in the US Version. As a result, there is more footage of Deveraux and less of the girls taking off their clothes.

no difference

US VersionOriginal Version




16:52 / 24:58-25:05

Similar to the previous alteration, there are several smooth transitions in the US Version - but only with the intention to cover up cuts.
Here, the girls slowly get on top of each other.

7.1 sec

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