This is a comparison between the theatrical version and the Special Edition, both included on the British DVD released by MGM / 20th Century Fox.
- 2 extended scenes
- Difference in time: 1490.8 sec (= 24:51 min)
The combination of Martin Scorsese on the director's chair and Robert De Niro in front of the camera usually end up in something great - quite a few milesontes came out of it. The 1977 flick New York, New York seemed to be the exception. Commercially, it became the greatest bomb of the two stars' collaboration (which might also have been due to the fact that it competed with Star Wars). Atmospherically, the musical is pretty unique and the title track should be well known thanks to Frank Sinatra's cover version from three years later.
Normally, Scorsese had enough influence on his movies so that the Director's Cut is the one that we get to see in the cinemas. Not so with this flick: Right at the beginning of the production for theaters, the studio took 25 minutes out in order to make the movie more appealing for the masses. One year later, the longer original version was shown, yet internationally, the shorter theatrical version had already been distributed. Even many DVDs sill include this version. At this point the Americans had the choice to either see the longer "Special Edition" which was released by Seamless Branching.
The differences in the end are not as big as the difference in time might suggest. There are two bigger blocks of scenes during the second half that were put back in. These might slow down the plot a bit and one might understand why they were taken out back in the days. On the other hand, they fit to the nature of the movie and De Niro's and Liza Minelli's relationship is depicted a little better - the same goes for Minelli's avenue to fame. Additionally, there is some more singing. If you liked the movie, you might like the "Special Edition" better.
Runtimes are listed as follows:
Theatrical Version [PAL] / Special Edition [PAL]
89:16 / 89:16-104:46
In the Special Edition the scene inside the car fades over to a dinner scene with Francine and Jimmy. The latter says that Paul Wilson will open his club tomorrow and that they are invited. Francine wants to go and says that they might want to introduce the depressed Ellen to producer Artie Kirks. Jimmy ´says that she might go there alone first and that he then could join them later. Francine appologizes and says that she did not want to snub him. Then she talks about the current status of her song "New York". Jimmy is a little sceptical and reads a few lines out loud. Francine says that she still works on it and that she could change the line "top of the heap" that Jimmy just read out.
After that we see the two of them in front of the club. Jimmy is not happy with the situation and says that he will park the car.
Francine goes in and says hello to Ellen and Artie. After that she sits down thoughtfully.
Jimmy comes in and corrects the guy at the entracne that the girl waiting for him is not just a friend but his wife.
At the table, Jimmy is constantly a little irascible and jokes around. While they order, he says that he is interested in strong liquor. Francine critically comments this and then they have a longer conversation with the waiter about possible cocktails. In the end, Artie says that he heard a lot of good things about Jimmy. The latter immediately admits that he does not want to be there. He then tries to talk Francine out of the meeting, however, she wants to stay. Jimmy leaves angrily.
Jimmy has not walked out entirely, but instead watches them from the bar. Paul joins him and starts a conversation, yet Jimmy is still critical and already a little drunk. When Paul leaves he comments on Francine and Jimmy sits back down at her table before simply walking away.
Now things get uncomfortable: Jimmy goes over to Paul and a bouncer immediately pushes him back. On his way to the exit, Jimmy says that he wants to talk to his wife, which they do not allow. Jimmy tries to sneak by the bouncers and gets pushed out the door violently. Francine watches this worriedly.
The movie fades over to Jimmy playing his saxophone.
Time leap: the two of them have made up and Jimmy appologizes for his behavior with a car full of flowers.
It goes on with Francine in the room. She sticks pictures into a photo album and reminisces a bit.
overall 929.8 sec (= 15:30 min)