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Salt

Comparison:

  • Extended Cut
  • Director's Cut
Release: Nov 23, 2010 - Author: Mike Lowrey - Translator: Victor - external link: IMDB
I. Introduction

Agents and spies have always been well-received movie heroes, as proven by numerous B-movies as well as blockbuster like the Bourne- or Bond series. The premise is almost the same every time as the hero fights against enemies on the outside as well as the inside to either prove his innocence or save the world or both. So it's not that big a surprise that in Salt Angelina Jolie is in the line of fire and a fugitive as well.

Worldwide, the movie made a solid 294 million dollars with a budget of 110 millions and is now released on Blu-ray and DVD in three versions.
In den USA, the Theatrical version is obtainable on its own on DVD. The whole package consists of the Theatrical version (PG-13), the Extended Cut and a Director's Cut, and although it doesn't seem to be all that profitable to release the Theatrical Version regardless of an existing extended version, the case is an entirely different one with Salt.Agents and spies have always been well-received movie heroes, as proven by numerous B-movies as well as blockbuster like the Bourne- or Bond series. The premise is almost the same every time as the hero fights against enemies on the outside as well as the inside to either prove his innocence or save the world or both. So it's not that big a surprise that in Salt Angelina Jolie is in the line of fire and a fugitive as well.

Worldwide, the movie made a solid 294 million dollars with a budget of 110 millions and is now released on Blu-ray and DVD in three versions.
In the USA, the Theatrical version is obtainable on its own on DVD. The whole package consists of the Theatrical version (PG-13), the Extended Cut and a Director's Cut, and although it doesn't seem to be all that profitable to release the Theatrical Version regardless of an existing extended version, the case is an entirely different one with Salt. To cover all the differences between the three versions, we decided to compare them all in three reports.


II. Versions


The Theatrical Version
Duration: 95:54 Min. (PAL)
Rating: PG-13

The Theatrical Version was shown on the big screen with a PG-13 rating - it was even cut for a 12A rating in the UK. The comparisons with both extended versions show that this version had to be cut due to MPAA regulations, made obvious by frame cuts and toned down alternative footage. Also, the movie was trimmed and sped up a little, as it is custom to make a later extended version an option.
The Theatrical Version is the only version with an open ending and thus an option for a sequel. Since one never knows up front how successful a movie might be, this is a clever move of the producers.

The Extended Cut
Duration: 96:56 Min. (PAL)
Rating: Unrated

Glancing at the running times of both versions, the differences don't seem to be all that numerous - one expects the removal of PG-13 censorship (which is the case here as well). But we're in for a big surprise, since both versions feature entirely different scenes and endings: while Salt kills Orlov in the Theatrical Version shortly after Michael's death on the ship, she only visits and kills him in his manor at the end of the Extended cut.
So any mentioning of Orlov's early demise are only found in the Theatrical Version. Due to the final act of revenge in the Extended Cut a sequel is much less likely. There are several changes beside that so the small difference in running time (about minute) says almost nothing about how much the two versions differ, since the Theatrical Version alone features about five minutes of exclusive footage not showing when running times are compared.

The Director’s Cut
Duration: 99:48 Min. (PAL)
Rating: Unrated

The difference in running time between the Theatrical Version and the Director’s Cut is approximately 4 minutes. Apart from the removal of the usual PG-13 censorship the DC features several new scenes and extensions as well, just like in the Extended Cut from which Michaels new death sequence has been used.
Though not essential for the movie, the new footage does provide a bit of fleshing out for characters and story. The director's Cut follows the story path of the Theatrical Version, plus a different conclusion that is neither in the Theatrical version nor in the Extended Cut, namely the death of the US President, achieved by addition and removal of some small scenes as well as a bit of CGI blood on the President and a new voice-over at the end of the movie, telling the viewer not only that Salt has been killed but that he new President is likely to be a Russian sleeper agent. So Orlov's plan was successful and a sequel is once again very unlikely.



III. Censorship report

Comparison between the Extended Cut (Unrated) and the Director's Cut (Unrated) (both on the German DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment).

Director’s Cut

Duration: 96:56 minutes (PAL)
Rating: Unrated

Extended Cut

Duration: 99:48 minutes (PAL)
Rating: Unrated


The Director’s Cut runs 183,88 Sec. / ca. 3 minutes 4 seconds longer than the Extended Cut.

11 differences containing
5 scenes with alternative footage
2 extended scenes in the Director's Cut
2 additional scenes in the Extended Cut
2 additional scenes in the Theatrical Version
Alternative footage
1:02:33: In the Theatrical Version we see Vassily fiddling with a pen and a map, while in th Extended Cut Salt watches him from the side.
The Extended Cut runs 0,08 Sec. longer

Alternative footage
1:02:38: Salt pours something to drink in the Extended Cut while the Theatrical Version shows a longer closeup of her.
No time difference


Additional scene in the Director's Cut
0:59:20: Here we have a rather big chunk missing in the Extended Cut. In the Theatrical version Salt kills Vassily and his whole crew on the ship while the Extended Cut changes over to the jet directly. This scene is not in the extended cut at all, but rather the introduction to a whole different ending in the Theatrical version.

Salt smashes a bottle over Vassily's head and rams it into his throat numerous times before grabbing a gun and several grenades which she throws into several areas of the ship while gunning down anybody she sees. After everyone's dead she sees Michael lying on the ground and remembers their marriage before the Theatrical Version changes over to the limousine.
+ 117,04 Sec.



Alternative footage
1:17:12: While Winter only knocks the President unconscious with his gun in the Extended Cut, he shoots him in the Director's Cut.
The Extended Cut runs 1,16 Sec. longer

Theatrical VersionDirector's Cut



Extended scene in the DC DC
1:18:45: Because Salt hasn't killed Orlov in the Extended Cut, the story differs from here on, starting with a dialogue between Salt and Winter.

Theatrical Version:
Winter: "By the way, how is Mike?"
Salt: "Orlov is dead."
Winter: "Oh, that's good news. Saved me the trouble. I had to practically twist his arm to get him to blow your cover at the CIA. You see, he wanted you to come out of this thing alive."
Salt: "But you needed somebody to take the blame. I'm the patsy."
Winter: "And I'm the hero. Congratulations, Ev. You're about to become famous."


Extended Cut
Winter: "By the way, how is Mike?"

+ 38,16 Sec.



Alternative footage
1:24:21: The President has a bullet wound in his chest in the Director's Cut while he only lies on the ground unconscious in the Theatrical Version.
No time difference

Extended CutDirector's Cut



Alternative footage
1:24:35: As security arrives the President has (again) a bullet wound in his chest.
No time difference

Extended CutDirector's Cut



Extended scene in the Director's Cut
1:21:07: Another scene differing because of Orlov. In the Theatrical Version, Peabody learns of his death.

Agent: "Somebody already did. At least some of them. Barge on the East River. Twelve dead, including Orlov."
Peabody: "Who did that?"
+ 4,24 Sec.



Extended scene in the Director's Cut
1:21:25: In the DC, the agent answers the question with: "Don't know. Forensics are on it."

While Peabody keeps looking at Salt, the Extended Cut shows Winter excusing himself to clean himself up. This comes later in the DC.
+ 0,64 Sec.


Additional scene in the Extended Cut
1:21:33: In the Extended Cut, the unconscious President is wheeled off on a barrow and Winter tries to get to him, presumably to finish him off.
+ 6,84 Sec.



Additional scene in the Director's Cut AND the Extended Cut
1:23:43: The final big difference between the two versions, starting with the DC.

Director's Cut:

After Salt has killed Winter, she is put into a helicopter into prison by Peabody and some soldiers. She tells Peabody about Winter being the real threat and how she killed the rest of Orlov's team. Peabody believes her and lets her escape by jumping out of the helicopter. They do not manage to find her again. However, the President is dead which has consequences for Salt, told by the voice-over:

"New U.S. President Joseph Steppens announced today that with the death of Natasha Chenkov, known in the U.S. as Evelyn Salt, all elements of the terrorist group have been eliminated. The announcement came during his Moscow peacekeeping visit where President Steppens paused to lay flowers at the site of the 1974 plane crash that killed his parents and sister while on a tour of Russia."
(+ 392,36 Sec.)




Extended Cut:

Salt is alone in an interrogation room with Peabody. He tries to coax her with privileges but wants to know where Orlov and his men are in return. Salt thinks about her dead husband, telling Peabody about him. Then she bites on her tooth, claiming that it contained poison.
She is taken to the hospital where she manages to escape.
Back in the castle where Orlov trained her, he spots Salt and knows his time has come. Salt cripples him with three shots, ties him to a rock and dumps him into a river, watching him drown. As the camera pans away from the castle we see it blow up completely.
374,16 Sec.

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