Comparison between the US Version and the Uncut Version (both on the US-DVD from Columbia TriStar)
- US Version: 100:02 min including ending credits in NTSC
- Uncut: 134:14 min including ending credits in NTSC
81 changed parts including
* 74 cuts
* 3x alternative footage
* 4 recuts
Cut duration: 2098,8 sec (= 34:59 min)
(The remaining difference derives from different credits/logos.)
For the American market Tsui Harks Eastern classic was cut severely. 35 minutes were removed from the epic about the Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-Hung, here portrayed by Jet Li. Especially the first half was trimmed down significantly and introducing scenes have been taken from nearly every supporting character. Fight scenes have been trimmed here and there too but most likely not for censorship.
The US-DVDs contain both versions.
Running time data taken from the cut US Version in NTSC
More logos in the Uncut Version.
Uncut 27 sec longer
The US Version shows credits on black ground, followed by an introducing text.
+ 71 sec
In exchange, the whole lions dance is missing, during which the exploding firecrackers are misinterpreted by the Americans, leading to shootings. Wong Fei-Hung catches the lions head before it hits the ground and continues the dance. After that he talks to the Head of State about the countries future. He receives the fan on which the contracts between the Chinese and the foreigners are written.
309 sec (= 5:12 min)
English vs Original credits.
no time difference
The first shot after the credits is missing the first few frames.
The camera stays on the street, panning forward. Christians approach, eager to disperse their teachings, to which the Chinese in the tea house respond by playing their instruments even louder.
Now follows a first scene with Old Man (Wu Ma) talking about his business with the foreigners.
Wong and Old Man want to pose for a photograph, ending in a small explosion. Wong was able to kick Old Man and his chair out of the way.
They then discuss a bit.
Gigantic cut with several missing scenes introducing Leung (Yuen Biao).
First he comes to school, wanting to be taught by Wong, but only meets Buck Teeth (Jacky Cheung) and mistakes him for Wong. After a while Kai turns up and clarifies the situation; Leung runs off.
We continue with Leungs part time job at the theater. He is distracted by Aunt Yee and knocks over his washing water.
Leung is peeking at Aunt Yee and is eventually noticed.
The theater owner bids a posed farewell to Yee, then Leung runs after her in the rain. He stops in front of a brothel and watches a show fighter. (Iron Robe Yim).
Last but not least we see the reason for the street fighting: One of the Chinese has been shot by an American.
altogether 506,5 sec (= 8:27 min)
The first scenes with butcher Porky Lang (Kent Cheng) are missing as well.
Two shots of the rickshaws are missing.
A shot of the waiters.
A bit of dialogue: the usually stuttering Buck Teeth suddenly speaks fluent English, mentioning the reservations to the waiter.
The previously removed shot of the waiters has been put back in here.
+ 7,3 sec
Why Leung runs away is missing in the US – he is chased by the Triads who have been locked out by his boss. He tries to argue but then starts fighting.
149 sec (= 2:29 min)
Leung jumps into the water and the camera pans to the runway.
Leung runs into a tea house but is kicked out again.
Between the fight scenes we see chickens running across the floor.
The shot after he guy has hit the ground is longer. Then the gangster boss smashes a board that Leung was holding to protect himself.
The shot after Porky (Kent Cheng) has landed on the attackers is longer. We see bickering people and Porky smashes a board, sending several gangsters to the ground.
The people at the tea house pour hot water over the gangsters. As they get up they can only yell at a clueless man sitting there.
After the guy has hit on the table the others are startled and the plates on the table are rocking. Then follow more fight scenes outside.
Startled, the people spit out the wine as a fighter lands on their table. The following shot of them wiping away the wine starts earlier.
Wong keeps holding Tiger (Steve Tartalia) in a closer shot. The following shot starts earlier.
The Chinese army marches outside and we see Wong running out of the way.
Wong and his disciples are having dinner in his school, discussing the consequences of the incident.
After the shot of the fan the shot of the board is missing.
Wong looks down at his opponent.
A shot of the moon.
A shot of Buck Teeth.
Porky carries the pot with water a small distance but then it breaks in his hands.
The US shows Aunt Yee running through the fire with her camera (later in the Uncut), followed by a fire arrow hitting its target.
The Uncut shows Yee picking up Wongs fan and alternative shots of the attack.
Uncut 4,1 sec longer
More scenes in the burning school: Here we see the shot of Yee with her camera, but longer. As she stows her camera Wongs fan falls to the ground. She takes a picture of the burning school. Buck Teeth wiggles around aimlessly with a spear.
Wong picks up the fan.
Wong looks at the burnt part of the fan and warns Yee to mind more important things than her camera in the future.
Another shot of the Americans, then the Chinese get on their knees. Then we see the Americans discuss.
Another shot of the people on the runway.
Wong approaches Porky Lang and makes his way to the toilet.
Wong and Aunt Yee a bit longer.
The shot of the stage is longer as well.
The Americans shooting, then Aunt Yee. More innocent bystanders die in slow motion.
Spears are falling to the ground.
The priest escapes longer, followed by a shot of enemies with spears.
A close up of Tigers weapon has been removed.
And put back in, only a bit shorter.
+ 1,6 sec
Porky Lang chases off a few soldiers from the Chinese army and is reproved by Wong. Then we see Leung walking across the street. The next shot of Wongs people starts earlier; Buck Teeth picks up one of the injured people.
Two shots of the crying Buck Teeth, intercut by Wong.
Wong talks to Kai.
Before the fight in front of the fire Leung remembers that he has seen the fighter before.
The blood fountain out of the mans chest is seen longer.
In exchange, the following shots of Leung and the dead being transported are cut different and slower.
+ 0,6 sec
The sword on the ground.
A shot of Yim in the rain, then food and a kitchen knife.
First we see the bad guys dining, then Leung stealing the leftovers from a restaurant table and bringing them to Yim.
Here the US contains most of the scenes with Leung and Yim but the dining is missing.
+ 69 sec
Also cut differently.
Due to the cut at 45:03 Wong still takes Porky Lang who is kneeling in the rain back into the house.
Then Buck Teeth hands Wong his pony tail that he has cut off out of shame.
A shot of Buck Teeth and Kai.
Buck Teeth looks after Kai.
A few moves are missing.
More dialogue between Leung and Wongs men.
Buck Teeth follows Leung, saying "Stupid!", and Leung tries to get rid of him.
Women behind bars; the guards are pouring water into the cage from above.
Aunt Yee bars the door with tables.
Shot of the gangster boss, Aunt Yee kicks him back again. Two shots of Yim cutting the ropes.
The guy turns Yee around and blood drips onto her back.
Leung is nearly buried in another shot.
One of many jumps is missing.
Two shots of the acrobatics on the ladders.
More shots at Wonng who seeks cover behind a pole.
The attackers approach Porky Lang longer.
Kai finishes off a few attackers.
Buck Teeth apologizes that he forgot to free Leung. Then the Chinese army are confronted by the Americans who open fire outside.
Porky Lang and Kai are seen earlier.
A few frames are lost during a changeover.
A longer shot of Leung, then a closer shot of Yim being gunned down, then Leung again.
Wong swings from ladder to ladder. The Americans are aiming at him with a cannon while Buck Teeth uses his English skills to heckle them so an American ship is hit instead.
Leung dodges a few shots.
In the US Version the American says something on screen
The Uncut shows a camera pan towards his weapon.
no time difference
Aunt Yee looks up to the guy plummeting towards her, Wong and Leung are grabbing her arms.
The Uncut shows a shot of the ocean, the US Version shows a different shot of Wong and the General from behind.
no time difference
Leung is seen longer, thinking about his future with Aunt Yee but speaking one sentence out loud.
English vs Original credits.
In the US Version the credits roll over a still screen of the training students while the Uncut shows additional training shots and fades to black later.
no time difference