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'Burbs, The

Comparison:

  • Original Version
  • Workprint
Release: Oct 23, 2014 - Author: Mike Lowrey - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
With The Burbs, director Joe Dante created a spicy comedy that did not reach as many people as it would have deserved back in the day. Not until later, the motion picture became a classic and that is a good thing. There lots of funny lines, mild slapstick and a lot of different characters properly played (e.g. Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, ...). The entire picture is very 80's but its charme is just timeless.

The British label "Arrow Video" released an amazing Blu-ray with a lot of bonus features, among them something very rare. Director Joe Dante still had a workprint. Digitalized from VHS, the workprint shows "The 'Burbs" in an earlier stage. Though most things are the same, there are many extended or alternate scenes and also a few different details (e.g. Ray has lost his job in the WP which also exlains the arguments with Carol) which is really nice to watch. On the other hand, there are things that work much better in the Original Version (e.g. the finale). Furthermore, there are scenes that are rather redundant and cutting them out was the right thing to do. But some scenes would have been a nice addition to the Original Version and it is very interesting to watch them for the first time now.

Compared are the Original Version (BBFC 12 / PG) and the Workprint (both available on the UK Blu-ray by Arrow Video).

33 differences, of it
16 scenes with alternate footage
13 extended scenes in the WP
2 extended scenes in the OV
1 additional scene in the WP
1 alternate dialogue

The Workprint is 435.32 sec or approx. 7 minutes and 16 seconds longer than the Original Version.
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Alternate Footage
0:00:00: The WP begins with an older Universal logo, follwed by a cut to the Klopek house. In the OV on the hand, the camera slowly zooms in on the globe of the Universal logo, then a zoom to the street and finally the Klopek house.
Original Version 44.24 sec longer

Original VersionWorkprint



Extended Scene Workprint
WP: 0:02:09: The WP contains an additional shot of Ray from the inside of the Klopek house, follwed by a shot of Rumsfield closing the blinds.
10.28 sec



Extended Scene Original Version
OV: 0:12:22: Bonnie tries to explain to Rumsfield that she is about to mix different flower seeds but he gives Walter a grumpy look instead because Walter hired a contractor for lawn care. Rumsfield is convinced Walter only has the best lawn in the neighborhood he trained his dog to do its business on Rumsfield's lawn.
+ 24.72 sec



Extended Scene Workprint
0:12:18: In the WP, Art whistles at Bonnie and she responds with a high-pitched "Hi!" and a smile on her face. Rumsfield does not like it of course and tells her to put on more clothes but she refuses.
10,48 Sec.



Extended Scene Workprint
0:12:42: When Ray tells Art about his plans for the week and when he shows him his tool box, Art keeps looking at Bonnie who appears on the screen for a moment. This shot is also in the OV but later. The WP is longer anyway because Ray also asks Art about the purpose of an item from the tool box.
Workprint 19 sec longer



Alternate Footage
0:14:33: The WP shows Ray and Art standing in front of the house, the OV contains another shot of Hans.
Workprint 0.08 sec longer

Original VersionWorkprint



Alternate Footage
0:14:50: When Art and Ray are discussing which one of them approaches Hans' house, the WP contains a shot of the neighbors while the OV shows Ray and Art from behind.
no difference

Original VersionWorkprint



Additional Scene Workprint
0:18:44: An entirely new scene in the WP. In the early evening, Ray is barbecuing for his family and still being bothered by his mosquito bites. Carol tells him the itching would never stop if he did not stop scratching. Ray says he had gotten bit at least twice as much at the lake and it did not mean she was right what she had said about his recreation earlier in the morning. Cut Carol emphasizes she was really proud of him because he had at least tried to get to know the new neighbor and they could not blame them for being inpolite even though he had not make it to the door. Ray thanks her ironically and Carol runs in the house gigglingly. Ray looks confused and starts the barbecue with spirit, then he frntically extinguishes the fire with beer.
61.16 sec



Alternate Dialog
0:19:48: Different dialog between Ray and Carol during the exterior shot of the Peterson house. While the OV is recycling a part of the BBQ scene (until the part with "being right"), Carol subsequently asks where Ray was going and he annoyingly answers to Paris, France or Canada. Where would he go? And yes, he also took the dog for a walk.
In the WP on the other hand, Carol asks Ray if he wanted to tell her something, at least he looked like it. Ray reacts quite scrubby nothing was going on. Then he also says he wanted to take the dog for a walk. But Carol tells him not to be long to which Ray agrees with annoyance.
no difference

Extended Scene Workprint
0:24:28: When Ray says he remembered the lemonade fountain had been taken down, he adds in the WP they had taken care of them for good. Who wanted to have ice cream if the owner was a lunatic?
4.76 sec

Alternate Footage
0:25:06: When Ray walks away from Art and Ricky, he now says in the OV he was going to do something productive and watch TV. Then the scene of him watching "Jeopardy" with Carol.
In the WP, he tells them they could stand around all night and tell horror stories about the Klopeks but he would not lose any sleep over it. Then a shot of him sitting on the stairs with a box of cereal. He tries to tell Carol something Art told him earlier (that they had bars in front of their windows because they were building a fortress) but she is way too busy tpying and does not really listen.
Workprint 24.44 sec longer

Original VersionWorkprint



Alternate Footage
0:26:38: When Art is sneaking up to Ray's window in order to lure him out, both versions contain another scene that needs to be ended - different for continuity reasons.

In the OV, Art knocks at the window and Ray leaves Carol who he was watching Jeopardy with.
In the WP, Ray tells Carol Art also said the Klopeks were the reincarnation of evil but Carol believes Ray was way too smart for that. When he then hears a noise at the window, he goes away which Carol does not really realize because she is tying.
Workprint 23.28 sec longer

Original VersionWorkprint



Alternate Footage
0:27:25: When Ricky tells his girlfriend what Art and Ray are up to, his descriptions differ. Ray's role in the research is different as well.

In the OV, he tells her about Ray, the sceptic, the realist, who refuses to believe his neighbors are up to something weird because he then had to deal with it. And then there is Art who thinks the Klopeks are actually evil and that they are building a dungeon down in their basement. He goes on he and Rumsfield had decided to keep an eye on them during the night.
In the WP, Ricky only describes Art and he does it in an entirely different way. According to him, Art's wife was gone at the moment which is why he was off. And the disgusting stories he kept telling, he was really losing it. When the girlfriend asks what was happening at the very moment, Ricky explains the other guy - Ray - believed the neighbors were up to something so they had decided to keep an eye on them.
Original Version 0.56 sec longer



Alternate Footage
0:28:16: Basically, the dialog differs here. When Ray says he had went overboard with it, Rumsfield asks sooner in the OV if he did not have the guts. It is more direct in the WP.

OV: "Oh what are you, a 'fraidy cat?"
WP: Ray first says his vacation was ruined when Carl caught him on the lawn in the middle of the night and Rumsfield then says: "Are you pussy-whipped?"
Workprint 3.12 sec longer



Extended Scene Workprint
0:33:44: Tracking shot of the Peterson house in the WP.
7.24 sec


Extended Scene Workprint
0:34:46: The conversation of the two garbagemen is longer in the WP. While the one with the hat says his advice could be the solution for his colleagues's back pain, the other says angrily says his colleague with the hat could be the solution. His colleague (the one with the hat) explains he just wanted to help and his anguished pal roughly hands him the garbage can and tells him to actually do it.
In the OV, the shot of Art storming out of the house begins earlier.
1.44 sec

Original VersionWorkprint



Extended Scene Workprint
0:35:18: Significantly longer shot of Art going thruogh the Klopeks' trash. He does not find anything though. The helpful garbageman gets the last trash. He and Art are fighting for it but then Art has it and says it was the last one and there had to be something horrible in it. But he opens the bag, his startled look only reveals there is nothing horrible in it at all. Being really angry about it, Art even attacks the garbagemen and asks them what they had done with "it". They do not know what Art is talking about of course so they respond with equal hostility and they are after each other.
38.04 sec



Alternate Footage
0:36:20: Carol's argument with Ray is basically the same except the WP sticks with them all the time while the OV cuts to the dof. Moreover, the WP is longer because Carol also says she had warned her mom he could be that bitchy.
Workprint 14.92 sec longer



Alternate Footage
0:39:08: When the neighbors check Walter's house, both versions contain an entirely different sequence.

OV: Ray knocks, Bonnie hopes Walter is alright and Art thinks Ray's idea to call the cops does not a lot of sense. Ricky sees movement inside the house but it turns out to be Rumsfield who get in through the window military style. They take a look around, a chair is lying on the floor and the TV is still on. Signs of a struggle? Ricky suggests to take a look arund upstairs. Perhaps Walter hit his head on the tub and is now lying up there covered in blood. Ray tells him not to touch anything. Meanwhile, Bonnie and Queeny are looking for food while Ray and Art keep arguing about Walter's possible death. Bonnie's shriek makes everyone go to the kitchen. But what Bonnie believes to be a rat turns out to be a wig. Art is hungry again so he goes through the stuff in the fridge while Rumsfield conspiratorially says old men would never leave their house without their wig and he assumes Walter had left the house in a hurry. When Ricky enters the kitchen through another door and makes Art drop the cookies, Ray has had it and pushes everyone to leave because they had broken enough laws already.




WP: In the WP, they are standing next to the house and argue about what happened to Walter. Rumsflied climbs up a ladder while Ray tries to trivialize his observation (the Klopeks digging) from the previous night. But Art is convinced is all makes sense now. In addition to that, he explains Walter was a loner and wonders if anyone would notice if he was gone some day. Then he points out there was no way he was inside the house. Ray explains they were all overreacting, Walter was old and had probably just forgotten that his dog was still straying outside. Ricky suggests Rumsfield should smash the window which he does, despite Ray's objection. Rumsfield gets inand Bonnie mentions Walter could have hit his head on the tub. She adds a TV show had reported it happens to old people all the time. Ricky explains it was too late anyway if that was really the case and he liked Art's theory that the Klopeks had killed Walter. Ray says Art had a steak knife lying on his nightstand as well (which is why he was rather open-minded for horror stories like that). Then Rumsflied leaves the house and says Walter was not there and there were no sign of a struggle either but he had found the wig and without it, old men would never leave the house. He comes to the conclusion that Walter had left the house in a hurry, that it was an unplanned departure, if you will.
Original Version 17.48 sec longer

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