The following censorship report is combined as follows:
In 1991, James Cameron created „Terminator 2 – Jugdment Day“ which is not only an interesting action film with a different concept but also a milestone in film history that hasn’t lost anything of its fascination up to this day. For the first time a budget of 100 million Dollars was granted for a film. Only 7 years later, Cameron would also break the 200 million Dollar barrier with his film “Titanic” and this year, “Avatar” will break the 300 million Dollar budget. Today, this doesn’t raise many eyebrows, after all, even “Terminator Salvation”, the third installment of the franchise, had a budget of 200 million Dollars. In 1991, though, this was a gigantic amount of money no studio was able to afford. Since James Cameron and his school day friend William Wisher had a vision of the sequel quite early, it was clear that at least with the visualization of the antagonist there was no room for savings. Even if some of the effective shots were taken out of the planning, no serious savings could have been achieved (and surely not a better quality of the film). So Arnold used his contacts (and his muscles, maybe) and brought producer Mario Kassar, with whom he already worked on “Total Recall”, into the production. Kassar said that he would organize the budget, but only as a co-producer and teamed up with a second financier. Finally, the French studio Canal+ was found to fill the gap. Kassar will surely never have regretted his decision to finance Cameron’s cyborg sequel since ” Terminator 2 – Judgment Day” broke box office records and managed to convince critics worldwide. The highest award: 4 Oscars for the SFX-team which managed to mix up well-tried trick techniques (animatronics, back projection, etc.) with absolutely trend-setting CGI so convincingly that it even today, almost 20 years later, still looks satisfying.
For Cameron, the Terminator-saga was completed with the two films – even though different quotes exist to that fact. Only Arnold returned as T-850 in 2003 for the sequel “Terminator 3 – Rise of the Machines”. In 2009, he lent his face for McG’s “Terminator Salvation”. Furthermore, a short-living TV series named “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and various spin-offs (as comics or videogames) followed but couldn’t live up to the financial or artistic success of the predecessors.
Originally, the story of „Terminator 2 – Jugdment Day“ didn’t vary from the completed film since structure, process and topic were clear from the beginning, but in the course of the production, massive elements of the story had to be cut out, changed or combined with other storylines. This is a short overview of the most important storylines that finally didn’t make it into the final film (out of various reasons):
II. a) The new age
The biggest change in contrast to the original script can be found in the opening sequence of the film. In the film version, Sarah Connor’s voice introduces us to the world of the film. We see a part of the post-apocalyptic Los Angeles where a battle of the future war against the machines is being fought. John Connor watches it from a hill. Originally, Sarah Connor wasn’t supposed to introduce the viewer but the voice of a male soldier. The following battle was meant to be the final fight against SkyNet and the day of victory against the machines – July 12th, 2029.
After we witnessed a gigantic battle the film focuses on a group of young soldiers who fight their way through the ruins. Every one of them fights eagerly until suddenly all machines stand still. The T-800s, which tried to destroy every human in sight just a second ago, do not show a single movement. The helicopters crash on the ground and the tanks stop driving. Some moments later, the Colorado Division radios the salvation: the war is over, SkyNet is destroyed.
This is followed by a longer storyline taking place inside of SkyNet. Together with his closest companion Fuentes, John Connor secures the time travel of Kyle Reese, whom he just met shortly. After the successful time travel, Connor’s technicians learn that SkyNet did send a second Terminator – the T-1000 – back in time before being destroyed. Totally surprised by that and without any preparation, a second time travel is induced by the technicians. Only Connor doesn’t seem to be surprised by that. Without much thinking, he chooses the Terminator model that should be sent back: the T-800.
After the two successful time travels, the film switches back to present time when the T-800 arrives at the Corral Bar.
It’s very sad that this storyline had to be removed but it is understandable. This would have cost at least 20 minutes of runtime and wouldn’t have promoted the story. Furthermore, the film was very expensive even without that and a convincing realization of the final battle against SkyNet would have needed the biggest part of the budget.
II. b) Patient 82
The scenes with Sarah taking place in the Pascadero Sanatarium were originally more drastic. In one scene, Dr. Silberman orders an electroshock therapy for Sarah. This scene was to show that Sarah Connor, the mother of the soon-to-be savior and liberator John Connor, is no more than a wreck, a human test object with no influence on her own life nor on the “storm” that’s to come.
Cameron finally decided not to film the scene because it didn’t drive the film and wouldn’t place John Connor in the middle of the story. Furthermore, the martyrdom of Sarah Connor was handled very well (especially by the extended scenes of the Special Edition) so that the electro shock therapy would have possibly missed its effect.
II. c) Patient Silberman
After the T-1000 and the T-800 destroyed the Pascadero Sanatarium, the police arrive at the scenery. Dr. Silberman sits totally shocked in front of the sanatarium, almost having a mental breakdown. He stumbles: „... it was all true and we're all going to die and the changed, I saw him change!“ He then gets a sedative while the T-1000 enters the scene and steals a police car.
Another short scene that looks interesting on paper but would not have contributed much to the story: Silberman’s fate didn’t need to be followed because his character wasn’t relevant for the story. The return to Pascadero would have been a fallback as well. The storyline was completed with Sarah Connor’s escape.
II. d) Sal(vation)
After Sarah, John and the Terminator started their journey to Miles Dyson, Enrique Salceda did not escape, although Sarah advised him to do so. The T-1000 finds his hideout and forces him to give him the information about Sarah’s and John’s whereabouts. When Sal refuses to tell him that, the T-1000 starts torturing him. Sal knows that he’ll not survive this and lets some hand grenades explode. This kills him and immobilizes the T-1000 for a while because his head is ripped off. When he gets it back, he goes to Sal’s wife and kids who finally tell him where Sarah and John where heading to.
This scene was not shot because it would have slowed down the film and because it would have included the second suicide in a very short time. Furthermore, the T-1000’s arrival at the house of Miles Dyson was explainable in a different way.
II. e) Grant
Originally, Enrique Salceda wasn’t the only former military companion of Sarah Connor. In the film, John mentions a green beret with whom he and Sarah lived together for several years. This mercenary was originally supposed to appear and a very large part of the Sal-scene should have taken place there. Grant would have given them the truck, weapons and ammunition – and the T-1000 would have also gone to Grant and tortured him.
Finally, this scene was removed completely and mixed into the Sal-material because of the reason that it would not have served the storyline.
II. f) Atomic Dreams
Shortly before Miles Dyson activates the detonator of the explosive charge and by that explodes together with Cyberdyne Systems, he was supposed to pause and look into the future of his family. Here, he sees his wife and kids burn to death in agony in a nuclear firestorm. This was supposed to work as another motivation why Dyson kills himself. In a later draft, the nuclear explosion was removed and he just saw his family playing on a sunny day. Later, this was removed, as well.
This scene was not implemented because the Jugdment Day (August 27th, 1997) was already mentioned in two other scenes. The makers didn’t want to make it trivial by repeating it too often.
Sarah Connor’s second apocalyptic dream was originally going to show not only the destruction of Los Angeles but also an abstract rocket launch by which the missile silos were supposed to be located directly underneath the playground and release the rockets.
II. g) Alternate effect shots
The film making process is vital and creative. In its course, planned shoots, shots or scenes are changed, extended or completely removed out of various reasons. It was no exception with “Terminator 2 – Judgment Day”. Here, sometimes totally opposing ideas concerning the realization of effects existed; special moments of the film weren’t planned but were developed right in the middle of the shooting. James Cameron, for example, spontaneously decided that the roof of the driver’s cabin of the truck should get ripped off during the chase. The future war was supposed to be much longer and should also have included the so-called Spider Tanks. The realization of those would have been too expensive regarding the budget and time, though. The death of the T-1000 was planned to have more effect shots, for example, it was planned that he would jump out of his hot metal bath and hold on desperately to some tubes hanging above him while his underbelly melts away. Finally, he falls back downwards.
These scenes and shots are all very spectacular but their realization would have costed too much time and money. Sometimes, they were just too much.
Of course, also „Terminator 2 – Judgment Day“ has his infamous deleted scenes, something, that’s a common part of today’s DVD editions. Here, just two complete scenes can be found. Some more, little sequences are left unreleased up to this day (see below).
III. a) House search
After the T-1000 murdered John Connor’s foster parents, he searches his room for information on his potential whereabouts. There, he also finds pictures of Sarah and John during the time when they were with the paramilitary forces in South America.
This scene was, among others, removed because of runtime issues. It doesn’t add anything new to the story except the clarification that the T-1000 has the ability to scan objects for information (this was already shown when he searches the police computer).
III. b) Judgment Day
One of the best-known deleted scenes ist he alternate ending of the film. Here, Sarah Connor sits in a park in Washington D.C. on July 11th, 2029. She watches her son John Connor, who is US senator these days, while he spends time with his kids on a playground. This scene was described extensively in both, the script and the official novel and also produced completely (thus with all effects).
Finally, Cameron didn’t use this ending because it doesn’t make sense content-related and because it closes the film’s central topic („No fate but what we make!“) without interpretative space while the actual end stays open and leaves the viewer, just as like as the characters, to an uncertain future whose ending they still can affect. Unfortunately, a part of the scenes was reintegrated into the Ultimate Cut, without Cameron’s permission.
III. c) Dialogue fragments
There are countless little scenes that were cut out. Mostly, they’re just dialogue. After their escape from the Pescadero sanitarium, John starts crying and is slapped by Sarah for that. She then asks whether the Terminator could stop the T-1000, but the answer to that is unknown. The best dialogue that is missing, unfortunately, is where John realizes that the T-800 has to be eliminated as well. John tries to stop it. The Terminator turns his head, his human half of his face turns away and his destroyed left face showing the endoskeleton can be seen. He says: „It has to end here - or I am the future.“
Officially, there are only two cuts of „Terminator 2 – Judgment Day“. The theatrical version and the Special Edition were edited and approved by director James Cameron. Because of different distributors and rating boards around the world, there are much more “official” versions released on the market. Here’s a short overview of the most important versions of “Terminator 2 – Judgment Day”.
Comparison between the Theatrical Version (R-Rated) and the Special Edition (R-Rated).
V. a) Cuts
The actual censorship report. In total, 18 scenes were added.
Runtime Theatrical Version: 130 minutes and 57 seconds (PAL)
Runtime Special Edition: 146 minutes and 53 seconds (PAL)
Difference: 15 minutes and 56 seconds
(Note: The time codes on the covers and the many websites are usually referring tot he NTSC versions)
V. b) Audio differences
There are some audio differences between the two versions. Those were listed separately in order to keep the structure.
The following sources were used to make this report:
V. a) Cuts
Two care workers enter Sarah’s room and ask her to take her pills. Sarah refuses and they hit her and then shock her with a stun gun. When she finally just lies on the ground gasping, the pills are almost stuffed into her mouth.
Sarah Connor meets Kyle Reese, the time travelling womanizer from part 1, in a dream sequence. He summons her to continue fighting and to care for John who’s endangered once more. Kyle leaves the room and Sarah runs after him until she suddenly stands in front of a playground. She tries to warn the mothers and children about the future by screaming loudly but suddenly a glaring light appears at the horizon – a nuclear impact.
The T-1000 steals a police car while the firefighters extinguish the destroyed truck in the sewer.
The T-1000 leaves the house of John’s foster parents. When he notices the dog, he enters his cage, kills him and rips off his dog tag violently. Looking at it, he recognizes that he fell for a trick of the T-800.
John wants the T-800 to be able to learn. Therefore, a barrier in his head has to be uninstalled. The T-800 instructs Sarah how to remove it. After she got the CPU out, she decides to destroy it. John can barely deter her from that and reminds her that the T-800 is most likely their last chance. She reluctantly sets the chip back in.
At a gas station, John tries to teach the Terminator how to smile. Therefore, the T-800 scans the face of a laughing man and tries to imitate it.
Miles Dyson, the soon-to-be founder of SkyNet, sits at his home computer and works on the development of the CPU that will later be implemented into the Terminator. His wife then enters and asks him to stop working and take care of the kids.
Sarah advises Enrique to vanish with his family.
John and the Terminator collect weapons and ammo. While doing so, John asks the Terminator whether he’s afraid of death. The Terminator negates that.
John tries to clarify the value of human life once more for the Terminator. The beginning of the dialogue was put on the introduction of the scene in the theatrical version.
Sarah sneaks to Miles Dyson’s house.
Sarah applies her shotgun while Miles works on his computer.
In the Cyberdyne Systems Complex, Sarah, Miles and the Terminator destroy all relevant data over the development of SkyNet. When Miles stands in front of a CPU, he asks the Terminator to give him the axe so he can destroy it himself.
When the T-1000 pursues John and Sarah, he shortly touches a railing and gets stuck. Being a little irritated by that, he relieves himself.
For a short time, the T-1000 fails to manage his facial expressions. Furthermore, his feet connect with the ground.
A short tracking shot of the fleeing trio is missing.
When John sees his right mother in the background, he shortly looks to the ground where the feet of the T-1000 connected with the ground.
The ending credits of the Special Edition are missing.
V. b) Audio differences
The theatrical version does not mention the blockade of the chip but did just add a sentence stating that the Terminator is able to learn things. This also causes the removal of a short reaction by John.
No time difference
The following sentence had to be changed completely. This had to be done because the first part of the police call was noticed by the T-1000 in Dyson’s house, the second part by the policemen at Cyberdyne Systems. In the Special Edition there’s another scene (Miles and Sarah destroy the discs at Cyberdyne).
No time difference