The Theatrical Version (represented by the German DVD) was compared to the Long Version (represented by the American Laserdisc).
- 9 extensions, including 3x alternate footge
- Difference: 756.4 sec (= 12:36 min)
Peter Weir's empathetic tragicomedy with Robin Williams as exceptional teacher, at whom the famous line "O Captain, my Captain!" is directed, is only on the American Laserdisc for about 13 minutes longer. The DVDs and the Blu-ray all only feature the theatrical version, unfortunately, and even the "additional scenes" featured in the bonus section do not cover everything found exclusively on the Laserdisc. Rarely, this version can be found on American TV - for which it was probably meant for in the first place.
The plot scenes were probably cut to tighten pacing. There were always longer blocks reimplemented into the long version, scenes which rounden the characters sensefully and wouldn't have been wrong in the theatrical version, either. The more extensive first encounter between Knox and Chris makes it clear why he is so charmed by her later on. Todd gets more screentime, too, and there are more unconventional methods of teaching by Mr. Keating. His reaction to Neil's suicide is more evident here, and Neil's happiness earlier, when he is not yet restricted again by his father, is also apparent in a new scene.
All in all, the scenes are not absolutely neccessary for the plot, but the work is even better rounded with them. Either way interesting footage for fans of the movie, and a shame that it should be hard to see this footage at all these days.
Runtime designations are ordered as follows:
Theatrical Version in PAL / Long Version in NTSC
All designated cut-lengths were converted into PAL-speed. The runtime of the 3-sided Laserdisc was summarized.
09:17 / 09:40-10:13
After the guys have said goodbye, Neil returns to the room and shortly talks to Todd. He is still relatively introverted and puts a photograph of his family in a drawer while Neil plays around with his uniform's medals.
Neil: "So, what do you think of my father?"
Shy Todd begins to say something, but doesn't manage to speak one word.
Neil: "Todd, if you're going to make it around here you've got to speak up. The meek might inherit the earth but they don't make it into Harvard."
10:00 / 10:57-13:19
Before class starts, you can see the guys in the hallway a bit longer. There is a line to Dr. Nolan's office, which is where extracurricular activities are dispensed. Again, Todd is quiet and intimdated, so in the end he has to take part in a soccer game, which he didn't want to do.
Hager calls out the guys: "Overstreet, Perry, Dalton, Anderson, Cameron."
Pitts is wondering: "Who's the new boy?"
Meeks answers: "Anderson."
Hager: "Mr. Pitts, Meeks, demerits."
Pitts sighs and gets scolded once more.
Hager: "That's another demerit, Pitts."
Inside Nolan's office, he says: "Welcome back, Mr. Overstreet. Has your family moved into that new house yet?"
Knox: "Yes sir, about a month ago."
Nolan: "I hear it's beautiful. Ahh, there you are, Mr. Cameron. How's your father?"
Cameron: "Doing fine, sir."
Nolan: "Ahh, that's nice to hear."
Mr. Nolan takes some food for the dog and feeds it.
Nolan: "Mr. Anderson, since you're new here, let me explain that at Welton I assign all extra curricular activities based on merit and desire. These activities are to be taken every bit as seriously as classwork, right, boys."
The others react: "Yes, sir."
Nolan: "Failure to attend required meetings will result in demerits. Mr. Dalton: School newspaper, service club, soccer, rowing. Mr. Overstreet: Welton Society Candidates, school paper, soccer, sons of alumni club."
Knox: "Yes sir."
Nolan continues: "Mr. Perry: Welton Society Candidates, chemistry club, mathematics club, soccer, no school annual."
Neil: "No, sir."
Nolan: "Mr. Cameron."
Cameron: "Yes, sir."
Nolan: "Welton Society Candidates, debate club, rowing, service club, forensics, Honor Council."
Cameron: "Thank you, sir."
Nolan: "Mr. Anderson, based on your record at Ballen Crest: soccer, service club, school annual. Anything else I don't know about?"
Todd hesitates as always: "Well..."
Nolan: "Speak up, Mr. Anderson."
Todd stutters: "I, I, I, I'd prefer rowing sir."
Nolan doesn't care: "Rowing? Did he say rowing? It says here you played soccer at Balincrest."
Todd: "Yeah, I did, but, I..."
Nolan: "You'll like soccer here Mr. Anderson. All right, boys, dismissed."
18:41 / 22:23-25:17
The shot is longer, Knox keeps going into the room and you can see an entirely new scene in the Danburrys' house. Intimidatedly, he is sitting at the table with the family and is being formally introduced to the blonde girl (Chris). The two get to know each other a little better, she then immediately disappears with her boyfriend, the lazy Danburry-son, though.
Joe: "Have you met our daughter Virginia? Virginia, turn it down, will ya?"
Mrs. Danburry: "Virginia, say hello."
Ginny is lying on the floor with her homework and says: "It's Ginny, Mom. Hi."
Joe skeeps talking to Knox: "Did he ever tell you about the case we had together? He didn't tell you what happened?"
Knox: "Uh, no, no."
Joe: "Oh, well, we were really stuck, I was sure I had lost the biggest case of my life and then your father came to me and told me that he could weasel a settlement, but only if I gave him the entire fee from our client. Uh, that son of a gun. You know what I did?"
Knox watches feet at the steps and then shortly answers: "No, no."
Joe laughs excessively: "I let him have it. I was so desperate, I let your father take the whole fee."
Mrs. Danburry: "Excuse me while I see how things are going for dinner."
Chet and Chris come down the steps.
Chet: "Dad, can I take the caddie?"
Joe: "What's wrong with your car?"
Mrs. Danburry: "Chet, where are your manners? This is my son Chet and his girlfriend, Chris Noel. This is Knox Overstreet."
Knox: "Yes, ma'am, we sort of met, almost."
Chet interrupts: "Yes, hi. Uh, Dad, come on, why is it always such a big deal?"
Joe: "Because I bought you a sports car and suddenly you want to take my car all the time."
Chet: "Yes, I know, but Chris' mom feels safer when we're in a bigger car, right, Chris?"
Chris: "It's okay, Chet."
Chet: "No it's not okay. Dad, what's the problem?"
Chris: "It's all right."
Chet: "No, I don't think so."
Joe goes to him: "Now, now, look Chet, we need to talk about this. No, no, no, I'm not giving in this time."
Joe and Chet leave the room, Knox remains there with Chris.
Knox: "So, ah, Chris, where are you in school?"
Chris: "Ridgeway High. How do you like Henley Hall Ginn?"
Ginny answers from the floor: "It's okay."
Chris: "That's your sister school, right?"
Knox: "Sort of."
Chris kneels down on the floor next to Ginny: "So, Ginn, are you going to go out for the Henley Hall play?"
Ginny: "Ahh, maybe."
Chris: "They're doing A Midsummer Night's Dream. You know you really should, Ginn, you would be great."
Ginny: "I don't know."
Knox: "So how'd you meet Chet? I mean, I mean, ah..."
Chris: "He plays football for Ridgeway and I'm a cheerleader. He used to go to Welton, but he flunked out."
Knox: "Yeah, I know."
Chris, to Ginny: "Please try out..."
Chet comes back, with the car keys in his hand: "Chris? Come on, Chris, let's go, I got it."
Chris says goodbye: "It was nice meeting you, Knox."
Knox: "Bye Chris."
Ginny grins already, Knox goes to the window and notices Chris and Chet kissing in the car.
Ginny: "Something wrong?"
Knox: "No. No, no, no, nothing's wrong."
27:19-27:24 / 34:17-35:02
In the theatrical version the scene in the cafeteria ends with the boys being startled in the same shot (the yearbook is being put away), Mr. Nolan can be heard saying "that boy there, see me after lunch!" offscreen.
The long version switches to a close shot of Charlie, and a conversation with Mr. Nolan starts.
Charlie: "Here comes the beak."
Nolan: "Enjoying your meal, Mr. Perry?"
Neil: "Yes sir, very much."
Nolan: "Our Mr. Keating; finding him interesting, boys?"
The boys murmur: "Mmm hmm, yes sir."
Charlie: "We were just talking about that."
Nolan: "Good, he has a very impressive record, he was a Rhodes scholar you know."
The boys remain silent after that and Nolan leaves: "Carry on."
Charlie whispers: "Carry on ripping."
The boys laugh and mumble: "Rip, rip, rip."
Long version 37.8 sec longer
78:30 / 88:19-89:53
After Neil has observed the stage, he is shown in the evening, sitting in front of his window, memorizing the play's lines in anticipation.
Subsequently, he is shown outside at a little landing stage, rehearsing with Todd, there is some dialogue, too.
Neil: "Here, villain, drawn and ready, where art thou?"
Todd: "I will be with thee straight."
Neil: "Follow me then, to plainer ground. Ahh I love it."
Todd: "What, the scene?"
Neil, as he sways his stick around like a sword: "No, acting. Acting's got to be one of the most wonderful things in the world. Think about it, most people, if they're lucky, get to lead half an exciting life, right. If I get the parts I could live dozens of great lives. To be or not to be, that is the question! Yaaaaaa, for the first time in my life I feel completely alive. You, you should come to rehearsals."
Todd: "Oh I should?"
Neil: "Yes, it's the best, I know they need people to run the lights and stuff."
Todd: "Nah, I don't think..."
Neil baits him: "Come on, girls! The girl who plays Hermia is incredible."
Todd: "Yeah? What's she look like?"
Neil: "What, you're not coming, forget it, forget it, go back, go back, go back."
Todd: "Follow me to plainer ground. Yeah art thou there?"
Todd: "Uhh, yea, art thou there?"
Neil demands: "Put more into it!"
Todd screams with more effort: "Yea, art thou there!"
Neil: "That's it, that's it. Follow my voice, we'll try no manhood here."
A bit more fidgeting around.
80:27 / 92:06-93:47
Following Neil's father's rejection, there is an additional scene with the boys in the cafeteria. They are having Spaghetti, and they play around a little with them - everyone tries to eat with his left hand. Hager comes along and scolds them accordingly.
Hager: "Mr. Dalton."
Hager: "Are you gentlemen all normally left handed?"
The boys answer: "No sir."
Hager: "Then why are you eating with your left hands?"
Knox: "We thought it would be good to break old habits, sir."
Hager: "And what's wrong with old habits, Mr. Overstreet?"
Knox: "Well, they perpetuate mechanical living sir, they limit your mind."
Hager: "Mr. Overstreet, I suggest that you worry less about breaking old habits and more about developing good study habits. Do you understand?"
Knox: "Yes, sir."
Hager, as he grabs one of the boys' hand: "That goes for all of you. Now, eat with your correct hands."
The follow his order. Charlie provocativgely eats a big meat ball with his left hand as Hager leaves.
85:30-85:40 / 98:52-100:28
After the boys have questioned Knox about Chris and the poem, the long version shows another class by Mr. Keating. He lets the boys listen to and internalize classical music blindfoldedly. Then the bell rings and he gives off a short conclusion, only Neil remains sitting there with his blindfold on.
Keating: "Words can never contain as music does, the unsayable grace that cannot be defined. It leaps like light from mind to mind. That's it for today, boys, keep it in there."
Neil keeps sitting and Keating approaches him slowly. Like in the theatrical version, he asks "Did you talk to your father?" and Neil takes off his blindfold.
The theatrical version immediately starts off with Keating talking to Neil about the conversation with his father. After a longer shot of Keating, the shot of Neil in which he starts with his answer in the long version, is shown earlier.
Since the respective scene was missing, he doesn't wear a blindfold, of course - even though you can make it out on the table in the theatrical version later on.
Long version 83.1 sec longer
107:07 / 122:50-123:55
Keating is shown longer with Neil's book. Subsequently, he is shown in the office with McAllister. He pours a little liquor into two cups of tea and reasons with Keating.
McAllister: "Don't be so tough on yourself, John, this is not the first school to have to cope with this kind of... John, these acts of adolescent desperation can be touched off just as easily by failing exams or unfulfilled puppy love. You know as well as I do."
107:32-107:45 / 124:20-125:28
In the theatrical version the boys are shown longer onscreen singing, then they sit down.
Am Ende beginnt noch die Folgeaufnahme des Direktors etwas früher.
The long version cuts to a tracking shot through the church, the priest talks. The teachers and the boys are shown, finally Mr. Keating.
Pfarrer: "Let us pray. Oh God, of grace and glory, we remember before thee today our classmate, Neil Perry. We thank thee for giving him to us, to know and to love as a companion on our Earthly pilgrimage. In thy boundless compassion, console us to mourn and give us faith to see in death the gate of life eternal. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen."
Long version 51.5 sec longer