Compared are the Theatrical Version (represented by the German DVD) and the Special Edition (represented by the US-LD)
- 43 differences, 2 recuts
- Difference in running time: 1251.9 sec (= 20:52 min)
The turbulent comedy directed by Stanley Kramer in 1963 can certainly be considered one of the big classics in history of motion pictures. Like many other movies, this one is relevant for our page due to the enormous cuts. While a so-called Preview Version with a length of 210 minutes resulted from a 5-hour-long workprint, Kramer himself made further cuts for its theatrical release resulting in 192 minutes (PAL). But that still wasn't enough for United Artists because they intended to show the movie in theaters as often as possible on one single day. As a result, the studio made further cuts on their own and the "final" Theatrical Version was only 154 minutes (PAL)almost the only option to watch the movie, even these days.
Almost the only option because MGM and United Artists made the effort to edit a "Special Edition" in 1991. This Special Edition contains footage found in the archieves. Unfortunately, only 20 minutes of the footage could have been reconstruced but not any missing minute. So technically, the Special Edition isn't the original Director's Cut but Kramer was involved in the process. And so was screenwriter Tania Rose. The resulting version runs more smoothly and should be prefered. Admittedly, the new footage often differs from the rest and it's been reinsert roughly. Nevertheless, the positive impression overbalances.
Also very recommendable is this article with substantial information about the restauration process.
Unfortunately, the longer version has only been released as US-VHS and US-LD so far. The DVDs and the recently released US-BD (which looks pretty amazing by the way plus it contains the correct aspect ratio 2.76:1 for the first time) only contain the Theatrical Version. Besides the US-VHS and US-LD, the only possible but rare option would be the US-TV. Though the US-DVD/BD contains "Extended Scenes" as bonus but that's not the real deal either.
Time index refers to
Theatrical Version in PAL / Special Edition in NTSC
Please note: the length of the cut footage has been converted to PAL. Despite the conversion, the length of the 4-sided LD completely adds up. Screenshots taken from the LD have been edited to a 16:9 aspect ratio to have unitary pictures (except the fullscreen shots in the beginning).
The MGM logos at the beginning differ.
Theatrical Version 5,1 sec longer
00:11 / 00:06-03:09
Directly after the logo, the Special Edition features a short introduction. A speaker says that the deleted scenes of the movie were considered lost bur recently found in a depot. In cooperation with Stanley Kramer, MGM has reconstructed the footage and was able to reintegrate the 20 minutes into the movie.
An exclusive ouverture follows.
00:11-04:10 / 03:09-07:18
During the opening credits, the background color in the Special Edition sometimes differ from the static red one in the Theatrical.
no difference in running time
11:18 / 14:44-14:58
After the detective has asked for a possible last message from Grogan, the following shot starts earlier and there is more dialog.
Lennie says that Grogan told Melville that it would not make any difference anymore. He says that Grogan told Melville because he had mistaken him for his aunt Bell. The detective is a bit annoyed by this unnecessary detail and asks what "it" was.
The Theatrical starts again with the sentence "Officer, he didn't make that clear.", which also fits the last question before this insertion.
13:00 / 16:45-17:01
The two detectives talk longer.
The assistant says that they were actually only 2-3 minutes behind Grogan. His colleague (Norman Fell) tells him to check for possible news from the HQ in the car and says he would keep the coyotes from the corpse in the meantime.
23:32 / 27:59-30:19
The scene continutes after Mrs. Marcus hits Melville with her purse.
Dingy and Benjy can be seen, then Melville complains and an argument starts. Finch only agrees every few seconds with various people and after a while everybody is talking at the same time.
The following scene at the police station starts earlier as well. One of the policemen tells Culpeper that the people at the dry cleaning told him the hat was ruined. Culpeper answers that they should bring the hat to his car, which an assistant does.
He talks talks to the sheriff on the phone and learns that all involved people stopped only meters from the accident site and are chatting there. Culpeper orders them to be followed further and is told that all the cars' license plates are from California. The chief enters and Culpeper calls him.
Another colleague can be seen on the phone, then the two versions are in synchronicity again.
24:03 / 30:51-31:06
Due to continuity reasons, the next shot of the adventurous group starts a bit earlier, too. They are still debating, however, Benjy manages to calm them down and tells them to listen to Melville. He says that he will only try one more time and that the plan is actually quite simple.
31:02 / 38:23-39:07
A policemen watches the group driving around way too fast and reports both the order of the cars and the direction, in which they are driving. Aloysius has to give Culpeper money back at the HQ because they had a bet in which direction the group would drive. Culpeper wants to bet again but Aloysius declines the offer.
36:23 / 44:42-46:37
A sequence of scenes is missing here. The scene in italics is featured at a later point in the Theatrical Version.
Lennie gets on his bike and follows the car.
Melville and his wife Monica can be seen in the small plane earlier – it is in a very bad condition and while Monica says that she does not want to enter the pilot admits not to have a licence. Monica asks where the passengers are supposed to sit and when she wants to enter the front part of the plane in reaction to the pilot's answer, an animal jumps out of it.
Finch, Emmeline and Mrs. Marcus try to convince the owner of the shop to give them the truck in front of the door, which he says he needs for the big opening the same day. The only solution is to include Mr. Hawthorne in their plan, however, Mrs. Marcus insists that he should onle receive 10%.
Finch goes outside to tell Hawthorne about the money.
37:27-38:01 / 47:43 bzw 45:39-46:14
After Melville and Monica have entered the plane, the Theatrical Version shows the chat in the small shop that was mentioned earlier.
+ 34,3 sec
39:40 / 49:26-49:42
Another shot of Melville's and Monica's plane. Another plane appears and starts chasing them.
The pilot of the second plane says he had never seen such a lunatic.
43:59 / 54:12-54:15
The shot starts a bit earlier. The employee can still be seen on the ground next to the tire while Meyer asks Ray in the off, why they had built the store so far outside the city.
45:35 / 55:55-56:07
After Ray has left, the two can be seen a bit longer. Irwin is panicking and says that they should hit Lennie again in order to keep him from waking up.
49:42 / 60:25-60:37
The fight is a bit longer and actually explains how Irwin ends up on Lennie's shoulders:
He is waiting up on a steel tube and wants to hit Lennie but eventually loses his balance.
50:00 / 60:55-60:59
Ray and Irwin can be seen a bit earlier outside.
50:07 / 61:06-61:21
The shot is longer, Ray and Irwin are walking further. Lennie is still throwing things around and the waiting policemen can be seen a few meters away. The two officers also cannot quite understand what is happening.
The following shot starts earlier as well, Lennie is throwing a chair.
51:28 / 62:45-63:18
The policemen drive to the ruined shop. Irwin and Ray crawl out of the debris and immediately ask why the police didn’t come before, when they were still needed. One of the policemen only comments excitedly that they are still alive.
53:01 / 64:57-65:28
The scene is longer after Mr. Hawthorne has left. Finch takes some pills and then tells Mrs. Marcus, who is still standing in the telephone booth, that they shouldn’t waste any more time. From that, she concludes that Finch wants to avoid the phone call with Sylvester, resp. doesn’t want to share the money with him. Finch denies.
56:52 / 69:28-69:54
Sad Mrs. Marcus is shown again, then Finch tries to persuade Emmeline that at least she comes along. Emmeline decides in favor of her mother though, and remains, Finch begs her again, but then leaves with Mr. Hawthorne.
57:43 / 70:48-70:57
After Melville has burst through the airplane’s floor, there is a sideways show of him pulling himself up again and calms his wife resp. says several times that everything is okay.
60:02 / 73:21-74:13
The farmer is shown together with Meyer in the car. He wants Meyer to get him to his sick wife, but he doesn’t want to to save time, of course. The farmer gets loud then and orders Meyer to pull over. He then even gets rough, albeit only on Meyer’s car – suddenly he’s got a piece of the steering wheel in his hand. The farmer apologizes, but Meyer now follows his wish and pulls over.
60:46 / 74:59-75:24
Lennie asks about Sylvester again and Emmeline confirms. So Lennie has it reassured he gets his share and the two women enter. Mrs. Marcus asks how Lennie got the car as she does so; he says he borrowed it. Mrs. Marcus makes a nasty remark.
61:44 / 76:25-77:50
Sylvester and his girlfriend again, they dance around wildly and don’t hear the telephone.
You then see Lennie and Emmeline sooner in the car. She says that Finch wouldn’t have left her if she really meant something to him. Lennie calms her and says that he actually only wants to do good with the money, tending to old Mrs. Jenkins. She had taken care of him since he was fifteen. He assumes, though, that they will give him an even smaller share, because he was too stupid. In a democracy, though, everyone should get the same share, no matter how stupid they are, he says.
Finally, you shortly see desperate Mrs. Marcus on the phone.
63:27 / 79:37-80:38
Meyer desperately in another shot at the mountain, the motor dies off and he look at the farmer’s son.
Melville is shown in his airplane, Santa Rosita is in sight. He remembers that he used to be ready to share the money but now he is looking forward to having all to himself.
Finally, Meyer takes a run-up for the mountain.
64:23 / 81:36-81:50
The farmer’s boy steps into the car and gives Meyer the directions. He asks about the missing door, but Meyer doesn’t respond and drives on with a praising comment about the helpful boy.
66:57 / 84:30-84:33
In the theatrical version the exterior shot is half a second longer, Monica leaves the screen entirely.
The Special Edition switches earlier to a new first shot of the interior, Melville and Monica run through the shop.
Special Edition 2.8 sec longer
70:34 / 88:19-88:57
Monica is shown again, then Melville angrily kicks a few things aside and sits down.
Monica asks if he made it, which Melville, of course, can only deny.
71:58-71:59 / 90:25-90:39
In the theatrical version Culpeper is shown nearly half a second longer.
The Special Edition shows a colleague stepping in and hinting at an urgent matter. Culpeper puts him off, he wants to finish the talk and angrily tells his wife that she is the mother and should be capable to get the daughter on the phone.
Special Edition 12.8 sec longer
72:21 / 91:02-93:28
Melville gets off the forklift, Monica asks how he is. As Melville then goes through the room, he finds the dynamite (with which they free themselves shortly after, so actually an important scene). Monica says that he has no clue about how it works and so he should better keep his hands off of that. Melville counters that it’s actually pretty easy, his wife remains angry.
Subsequently, they discover the burglar alarm, test it and Melville is shocked electrically. This part of the scene is shown later in the theatrical version.
At the end of this scene there is a small part exclusively in the Special Edition: Monica gets to Melville, who is buried under the paint tin.
75:14 / 96:28-96:33
After Mrs. Marcus was so upset about Sylvester, he is shown for a short time. He got worried about his mother and puts his hands on his head.
75:14-76:54 / 96:33 bzw 91:35-93:20
Here, the theatrical version also shows the scene with Melville and Monica from the moment on they discover the burglar alarm.
+ 100.5 sec
78:14 / 97:56-98:21
Dingy and Benjy are shown in the airplane again, overchallenged. Dingy remarks that the pilot is unconscious and asks what to do. Benjy proposes to pour water into his face – which Dingy does to Benjy, though.
80:30 / 100:43-100:45
The action in the police station starts off earlier: Schwartz tells Culpeper in an additional shot that his daughter was on the other phone line.
80:44 / 101:00-101:30
Schwartz leaves the room and Culpeper talks longer with his daughter Billie Sue.
Culpeper apologizes that he cannot celebrate her birthday with her and says she should sit down in a taxi and wait for him at hown. Billie Sue only sobs.
81:48 / 102:36-103:02
After Mrs. Marcus has called Lennie a stupid idiot, he defends himself after all. He says that he now understands how Finch must have felt and that he has had enough by now. Subsequently, Emmeline also steps out of the car, but Mrs. Marcus remains stubborn. She says that she had just as much the right to sit in the car as him, since he stole it. She added that this would be the first thing she’d tell the police.
82:57 / 104:14-104:24
After Melville has ascended the steps, they catch fire.
86:08-90:03 / 107:43-111:49
Intermission and a subsequent long music track.
The background is colored differently during the intermission. Furthermore, the background is different during the music track. It stays black in the Theatrical Version while a text box pops up in the Special Edition.
96:47 / 118:51-119:20
After his Sundae wish, Culpeper says nothing else was going to happen during the following five minutes. The secretary points to a woman who has tried to reach him again but he simply says he wouldn't take any calls and leaves. One of his associates states something had to be wrong with him. The other one (on the right side) replies he only wanted to get a Chocolate Sundae so he should get it.
101:49 / 124:35-124:48
After Meyer snatched the car, an additional scene with Lennie, Mrs. Marcus and Emmeline follows. Emmeline wants to go the cops but Mrs. Marcus insists to figure ou whether the others have already done that. Then they could go talk to the cops because getting a reward could be an issue.
107:03 / 130:16-131:48
Additional scene with Sylvester the others.
He's nagging all the time and it can only be drowned out by his screaming mom. She's upset because Sylvester didn't listen again. Emmeline criticizes Finch and Sylvester got another reason to jump down his throat. Finch calms everyone down because they were losing way too much time. Lenny considers that his cue and tries to leave instantly but Mrs. Marcus stops him in a very noisy way. Now, Sylvester wants to join him but Finch and he realize that the cars are wasted now. Lennie tries to protest but everyone get in his truck immediately, so that's that. This also explains why they're all in his truck in the following scene.
Subsequently, another shot follows. Benjy and Dingy pull the plane up in the very last second again.
109:12 / 134:02-134:37
The Colonel gives further instructions to Benjy and Dingy. In order to so, he takes the position of the pilot (still wrapped in cable) and makes some tests. Now he recommands not to use the breaks because they had all the time in the world to stop on the landing field. Another guy would like to object but he's just being ignored.
133:15-133:16 / 159:41-160:15
The Theatrical Version contains a slightly extended shot of Culpeper. He puts his radio away.
In the Special Edition, some exclusive footage follows. The group is talking to each other in their cabs, then Culpeper again.
Melville says one should have listened to him but the others refuse.
Mrs. Marcus yells at her companion because of him being criminal.
Culpeper calmly gets in his car and starts the engine.
Special Edition 32,1 sec longer
141:13 / 168:32-168:51
The shot of Culpeper starts earlier. He gets out of the cab he has hidden in. The radio announces that an arrest warrant for his has been put out one more time. When Culpeper runs around the corner, he bumps into Mrs. Marcus (for teh first time) and accidentally pushes her to the ground. While Culpeper apologizes, Mrs. Marcus figures out who he is and advises the others about his whereabouts.
144:25 / 172:13-172:18
Mrs. Marcus calls for Sylvester and complains to a cop who intends to hold her back.
151:43-154:09 / 179:54-182:20
Now the same alteration as with the intermission. First, a different colored background, than the text box exclusively in the Special Edition during the music.
Last but not least, only the Theatrical Version refers to MGM.
Theatrical Version 6,6 sec longer