Comparison between the Theatrical Version (R-Rated) and the Director's Cut (Unrated) (both from the German Special Edition DVD)
Theatrical Version: 92:34 min without ending credits (98:31 min including ending credits) in PAL
Director's Cut: 92:59 min without ending credits (98:57 min including ending credits) in PAL
- 12 changed bits, including 7x alternative footage
- Difference: 26,1 sec, consisting of
* Additional footage DC: 41,3 sec
* Additional footage TV: 15,2 sec
Paul Verhoevens Science-Fiction classic from the year 1987 spawned two sequels, a TV series and two cartoon series in which the satirical undertone as well as the explicit violence of the brilliant original were watered down more and more.
The MPAA did not at all like Verhoevens first big American work as a director. What is called "NC-17" since 1990 was called "X" back then and this was exactly the rating the Director's Cut received. Since an R-rating was demanded by contracts, Verhoeven had to trim the movie accordingly - several times without success. Eleven different versions received the infamous "X" which is mentioned in this clip for example.
The MPAA especially did not approve of the gory presentation of the prototype ED-209 and Murphys execution. the bloodiest shots were cut out of the first scene and a lot of alternative footage was used in the other - only the DC shows Murphy loosing an arm in the gunfire. On top of that, alternative footage has been used for the car chase at the beginning as well as in the finale.
The censorship of the ED-209 scene torpedoes Verhoevens initial intention. the scene was deliberately planned as comically exaggerated to get some laughs out of the audience with the "Somebody want to call a paramedic?" line - the dark humor is watered down in the edited version, as Verhoeven criticizes himself in the audio commentary. During Murphys execution an interesting dolly camera pan was cut along with the gory head shot where an elaborate Peter Weller dummy designed by SFX expert Rob Bottin had been used.
For home cinemas first a Laserdisc and the a DVD from Criterion containing the DC were released. Both releases are long since out of print - but fortunately the DC has been released on several DVD as well as on Blu-ray by now.
Running time data presented in the following order:
Theatrical Version in PAL / Director's Cut in PAL
11:30 / 11:30-11:31
Before he lands on the table, Kinney is further shred apart by gunfire.
11:32 / 11:33-11:37
The scientists try to deactivate ED-209 while the machine continues to blast Kinney to pieces.
15:34-15:35 / 15:39
The DC contains a 0,4 sec long close up of Bobbys leg being shattered by gunfire.
In the Theatrical Version the following shot starts 0.6 sec earlier and we see Bobby getting hit from farther away.
Theatrical version 0,2 sec longer
21:09-21:15 / 21:13-21:19
For a few seconds similar but completely alternative shots.
In the TV we see Clarence and his men, then Murphy on the ground, then Clarence again, stepping to the side.
The DC shows Clarence and his men longer and he already steps to the side before a different shot of Murphy is shown in which we see his bloody stump.
Clarence line "Well, give the man a hand. He's all yours." is identical in both versions.
no time difference
21:23 / 21:27-21:29
A shot of the laughing thugs.
21:34-21:35 / 21:40-21:42
In the TV, the long shot after the first gunshot is one frame longer before we see the gun barrel from which another shot is fired.
The DC shows Murphys arm getting blown off, followed by the laughing goons.
DC 1,4 sec longer
21:40 / 21:47-21:48
In the TV the shot of the shooting goons is one frame longer.
The DC shows another shot of Murphy screaming and taking a bullet in the chest.
DC 1 sec longer
21:41 / 21:49
The front shot is two frames longer.
The DC offers another shot from the side where be can gaze at the stump where Murphys arm used to be.
DC 0,7 sec longer
21:52 / 22:01-22:09
After we see Murphy screaming in agony, Clarence lights a cigarette and Emil says: "Hey, Clarence! He is still alive!"
22:01-22:05 / 22:18-22:24
the final head shot is much more explicit in the DC.
In the TV, we see Murphys face, then Clarence aiming and finally the hit.
The DC shows the execution in one alternative shot in which the camera pans from Murphys face to the goons - also, the hit itself is much bloodier.
DC 1,4 sec longer
22:47 / 23:06-23:13
The DC features a shot of Lewis kneeling beside Murphys shredded body.
88:54-88:57 / 89:20-89:23
After RoboCop pulls the thorn out of Clarence's throat we see a close up of his bloody face in the DC while the Theatrical version features a long shot.
no time difference