Compared are the German DVD Version (FSK16) and the German TV Version (ARD 02.04.2006) .
The classic film "The Tin Drum" (directed by Volker Schlöndorff, based on a novel by Günter Grass) is a really tough issue: maybe you already noticed that all DVD releases worldwide have a running time of 136 min. in PAL (so does the US DVD, released by Criterion, when you transfer the running time from NTSC in PAL). That means that the DVD Version runs 3 min. less than the German (Free) TV Version.
The question is: why are the DVD Versions cut? First of all, the cuts don't seem to be made for censorship reasons. Furthermore, the DVD Version was produced in cooperation with the director Volker Schlöndorff. That and the fact that the DVD Version is complete, were emphasized by Kinowelt (who released the German DVD).
Another aspect is the director's commentary. It's seems very unlikely that a director records a commentary for a cut version. By the way, the TV Version is cut as well: parts of Oskar's voice-over are missing in 4 scenes. That makes one think that the DVD Version is the Director's Cut and the TV Version is kind of a "Preview" Version. Unfortenately, there's no confirmation for that.
The time index refers to the DVD Version
- ARD: 137:05 min plus credits (139:04 min credits included)
* 4 scenes with deleted voice-over
* 2 jump cuts
- DVD: 133:44 min plus credits (135:47 min credits included)
* 11 cuts
* 1 scene with alternate footage
- difference: 200.6 sec (= 3:21 min)
In the DVD Version, the "Argos Films" logo at the beginning is missing.
In the TV Version, a part of Oskar's voice-over is missing here. He also says that sth. moved in the horizon and that sth. jumped there.
Again a missing part of Oskar's voice-over in the TV Version. While Joseph and Anna are setting off, he also mentions that his grandfather was a firebug in several cases. He adds that, everywhere in West Prussia, sawmills offered the tinder for the revolution of patriotic Poles.
Again, a missing part of Oskar's voice-over in the TV Version while Agnes and Jan are leaving, followed by a cut to Alfred Matzerath. He speaks about Alfred Matzerath and that he became very popular among the nurses.
That's the reason why Mario Adorf's sentence is tough to understand in the DVD Version.
After the complaint during Oskar's birth, a part of the voice-over is missing again.
A part of the scene at the beach is missing. The shot of the vomiting Agnes is extended (approx. 1 sec), and then a shot of the fishes. Last but not least a shot of Agnes, some vomit runs out of her mouth.
The black image is extended in the TV Version.
A part of the attack of the Polish post office is missing. The DVD shows the scene where a Pole's picking up some papers.
First a tracking shot of the room, e.g. two Poles try to push a closet in front of a window to block it. Then a shot of another room, Jan and a further Pole are in it. The Pole breaks a window with his gun, Jan only checks the room.
In the meantime, Oskar hides his drum in the basket he was lying in before.
After that a shot of two Poles carrying a wounded. They put him down in the room where Oskar's hiding.
Cut to Jan, who gets a gun and walks to the window (against his will). He gets hit immediately and holds his wounded hand.
For some reason, the DVD Version contains alternate footage and the scene's also 3 sec longer.
Bullets hit the shelf, then a tracking shot of the shelf. A Pole stands at the end of the room and prays. Earlier beginning of the close-up of the praying, flames in the foreground. The TV Version starts with the guy tending to the ground.
External shot; a tank drives by, the Germans around him fire some shots, some explosions.
+ 3.1 sec
The beginning of the scene with Maria and Oskar at the beach is missing. Maria orders sth. to drink, but Oskar wants some ice cream. Maria tells him that there was no ice cream for him that day. Both are walking across the beach, shot through white bars.
The beginning of the undressing scene in the cabin is cut. She puts off her dress and pegs it. She looks at Oskar seductively and puts off her shirt as well. The DVD Version begins with the close-up of her pulling the shirt over the head.
After Greff, who "loves the boys more than the girls", was shown, the DVD Version goes on with the shot of Alfred and Maria.
A shot of Oskar, who's in Greff's wife's bed, is missing. He gets up, closes his zipper, gets his drum and the jacket and leaves.
22 Frames are lost in the TV Version, probably a jump cut.
+ 0.9 sec
A short scene is missing when Oskar and Roswitha watch the sea hand in hand.
Bebra plays the accordion while he's driving with the unicycle. In the meanwhile, Roswitha is being helped to get dressed, she claps when the accordion in the background gets silent. The following shot of Oskar, Bebra and the trumpeter begins slightly earlier.
Earlier beginning of the shot. Bebra offers the soldiers sth. to eat. He adds that he's got to stay in shape. The soldier appreciates that and thanks him. Bebra mentions that he likes being on sea and raises his glass.
Missing shot of the burning city hall of Danzig plus a woman and Alfred, who say goodbye to Mother Truczenski and her companion. Those put all their stuff on a carriage, Mother Truczinski whines. The woman on the road wishes good luck and gives them a bottle of wine and sth. to eat to Alfred. The woman on the right side of the carriage shouts "Alfred, Alfred!", when the carriage starts they shout that presumably, they were going to each see each other again. The woman waves, then Alfred and her go to Oskar and Maria on the other side of the road.
Jump cut in the TV Version.
+ 1 sec
A short sequence is missing here. A Jew stands in front of his shop, some Germans are looking at him. He enters the shop and shuts the door. Then he turns the "closed" sign around.
Finally a comaparison of the images; sometimes different colors are used in the DVD Version. On the one hand, the images of the opening credits are brighter. Bot on the other hand, loads of images are darker in the film itself (even though the huge difference, as seen on the last screen, is really rare).