Original Version from UK
Original Version from HK
Comparison between the UK Special Edition
from Entertainment in Video with the two HK DVDs
from Mei Ah Entertainment.
Running Time UK SE Disc 1 = 02:19:20 (02:12:33 without credits)
Running Time UK SE Disc 2 = 02:15:27 (02:10:44 without credits)
Running Time HK Part 1 = 02:25:23 (02:18:18 without credits)
Running Time HK Part 2 = 02:21:23 (02:16:28 without credits)
John Woo's epos Red Cliff was released twice: buyers can choose between the international version and the original version. Unsurprisingly, the movie had to be cut due to the Cinematograph Animal Act to get an approval. These cuts only consider horses falling on the ground.
Surprisingly, there are no cuts in the sequence of the first encouter of Liu Bei's and Cao Cao's troups. It includes scenes, that are very similar to the material that had to be cut out later in the movie.
In the BBFC's explanation
you can read the following sentence:
| With one exception, which has been cut from the film, the BBFC is satisfied with the company's reassurances that no horses were injured and that various provisions were made to ensure their safety during the making of the film.|
John Woo himself also emphasizes on the fact that no horse was injured during the shot of the movie (the interview is included in the bonus material of both UK releases).
Apparently, the staff of Entertainment seemed to expect more cuts: in the opening credits of the second part they deleted a scene coming from the first part that was not queried by the BBFC. Without this scene, the running time sums up at about 10 Seconds
as stated by the BBFC.
UK Disc 1:
Cut on UK Disc 2:
After Princess Sun Shang Xiang decoyed Cao Cao's troups into a trap, bowmen cause the first falls.
After that, the next row of bowmen moves forward, again horses fall on the ground.
The battle goes on until Gan Xing hits Xia Hou Jun's horse's legs, resulting in another fall. The UK Disc directly cuts to Xia lying on the ground.
For the nitpicker:
The UK DVD includes a slightly longer black screen before the credits roll (UK: 8,6 sec/HK: 5 sec). The credits themselves run slightly faster, the difference in time is not even noteworthy.
Now follows the previously mentioned alteration of the opening credits.
Within the opening credits, there is another scene of a falling horse that was exchanged with alternative material.
In the final battle, Cao Cao's soldiers ride in direction of several (cross)bowmen and throw spears at them. The (cross)bowmen shoot arrows at their opponents, several horsemen fall to the ground. To ensure a fluent passage, some footage of flying spears was cut out near the end of the scene.
We see how the bowmen are hit by the spears, some more arrows are shot towards the horsemen.
Cao Cao's soldiers throw spears and get hit by their opponent's arrows. The cuts here are a little abundant to ensure a fluent passage (compare e.g. the horsmen getting hit at the beginning of the scene).