Compared are the US DVD by MGM and the UK Blu-ray by Signal One.
Paul is a successful for commercials but he is in a personal crisis currently because his wife Sally divorced him. He asks his friend John if he could watch him during his first acid trip. After getting the drug from their common acquaintance Max, Paul takes the acid in John's luxury apartment and starts tripping. He has all kind of visions - some good, others not so much. He encounters his wife, has incredible sex but also has to deal with sinister events - such as being tortured. Still tripping, he runs out of the apartment and finds himself in the glittering nightlife and the acid only makes it more intense. He meets another woman and the spends the night with her until the drug is slowly wearing off...
The open-mindedness with drugs in the hippie culture in the late 60s inspired Roger Corman to make "The Trip". The screenplay was written by Jack Nicholson who was just divorcing his wife Sandra Knight. In order to get prepared for this film, Nicholson and the actors Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper did some acid themselves. Contentwise, the film is not exactly top-notch. Basically, it only shows Paul's trip. Much more interesting however are the surreal scenes, the light effects and all the colors accompanied by psychodelic music which makes "The Trip" so unique and worthwile.
A film about an acid trip without moral pointing finger was a no-go back in 1967. As a result, alterations were required for its theatrical release. Apart from a warning at the beginning of the film, the effect of bursting glass was put over the final image of Paul. This alteration is supposed to illustrate the negative influence of the drug while there is an open ending (of the trip) in the Director's Cut. In the last third of the film, Paul visits a night club in which a quite revealing dancer encourages the guests. The Director's Cut contains a few more scenes of the club footage.
So far, any release is based on the altered Theatrical Version. MGM restored the Director's Cut in HD and Signal One released that version on Blu-ray in the UK. A US Blu-ray by Olive film will be released in March 2016.
US DVD: 79:25 min
UK BD: 81:34 min
In the Theatrical Version, a warning about acid pops up right after the MGM logo.
Theatrical Version: 45 sec
The Director's Cut contains more party footage instead. Primarily of the painted, half-naked dancer who also gets carred around on a party guest's shoulders. Meanwhile, Paul tries t get through the crowd.
Director's Cut: 1:12 min
In the Theatrical Version, the image of Paul shatters. It does not in the Director's Cut.
Theatrical Version: 6 sec
Director's Cut: 6 sec
After the end credits but before the MGM logo, some music is missing.
Director's Cut: 1:41 min