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  • Theatrical version
  • Unrated Alternate Cut
Release: Nov 10, 2009 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Zuernling - external link: IMDB

A comparison between the Theatrical version (R-rated) and the unrated alternate cut (both contained on the US DVD by Magnolia Home Entertainment)

- Theatrical version: 75:04 min. w/o end credits (76:56 min. with end credits)
- Unrated alternate cut: 74:43 min. w/o end credits (76:35 min. with end credits)

27 changed scenes, including 17 x alternative footage

Runtime difference: 21 sec.
* Exclusive footage in the theatrical version: 346 sec. (= 5:46 min.)
* Exclusive footage in the unrated version: 315 sec. (= 5:15 min.)

The Movie

Besides mainstream movies like the Ocean's trilogy and The Informant, director Steven Soderbergh recently found the time to do this small Arthouse drama, which was shot in just two weeks and was shown at the Sundance festival 2009, among others. Soderbergh caused a stir by hiring pornstar Sasha Grey to star in the flick.
She's playing the high class prostitute Chelsea, whose escort service also isn't spared by the recession. The role might not be too demanding, but Grey pulled it off surprisingly good.

If you expect a typical entertainment movie with a conventional plot, you'll be as disappointed as those who are looking forward to seeing explicit scenes from our heroine from the porn business, just because her role is placed in this setting. If you're open minded towards the movie, you can absolutely come across more or less interesting social criticism of a different kind and some commentary on our economic and political situation.

The Versions

Along with the normal version, the US DVD contains a version called "unrated alternate cut", which this article will cover. The versions barely differ in runtimes but through various alternative footage, the exclusive material adds up to 5 minutes.
It should be mentioned that the label "unrated" doesn't mean more nude scenes of Sasha Grey. This alternative version, however, makes, although there are some meaningless changes, a lot more sense than many other correspondingly advertised second versions and that's because of two things;

- In the alternate cut, all the introductions, where you can hear a group of businessmen's discussions, are missing. Admittedly, there are some nice discussions here and there but in the end, those scenes don't really belong to the rest of the plot. That's, of course, a matter of taste, but some might like the total omission.
- The omnious Q-Tip scene. In the theatrical version, you can only guess through a later talk, what happened to Chelsea during the meeting and you can also guess that the man wanted her to take an STD test. In the alternate cut, it becomes quite clear through the earlier, longer scene that the shady business partner just wanted to satisfy his sexual preferences.

Runtime information is sorted by
theatrical version / unrated alternate cut

In the theatrical version the 2929 logo comes before that of Magnolia Pictures - in the alternate cut it's the other way round

no time difference

Alternative Footage

Different images before the first credits overlay: a wall in the theatrical version (= TR), a shot from a driving car in the alternate cut (= AC).

no time difference

Theatrical VersionAlternate Cut

Alternative Footage

Again, alternative shots before "Extension 765 Production" is adverted.

no time difference

Theatrical VersionAlternate Cut

Alternative Footage

After that, two different shots before the title appears on screen.

no time difference

Theatrical VersionAlternate Cut

Alternative Footage

The long shot starts earlier in the AC, in the TR there is a longer shot of the throwing of the ball.

no time difference

Theatrical VersionAlternate Cut

05:03-05:29 / 05:03

Longer shot of the window in the TR, also more additional blurred shots of the environment and Chelsea on the bed earlier.

+ 26.4 sec.

Alternative Footage
05:33-05:38 / 05:07-05:20

The AC shows Chelsea on the bed the whole time while in the TR there is another blurred external view showing Chris jogging.

AC is 7.7 sec. longer

Theatrical VersionAlternate Cut

05:45-05:49 / 05:27

In the TR you can see Chris jogging again.

+ 4.4 sec.

05:57 / 05:35-05:54

At first, you see Chelsea walking towards the door a little longer, the the shots from outside and Chris jogging are inserted - the last, blurred shot from behind, which runs parallel with the TR again, starts a little earlier.

19.6 sec.

Alternative Footage
06:03-06:04 / 06:00

You see Chris 0.7 sec. longer from behind in the TR, the following shot starts earlier in the AC.

no time difference

Theatrical VersionAlternate Cut

06:09 / 06:05-06:09

The street from above is shown a little longer, Chelsea in front of the mirror earlier.

4.1 sec.

06:57-07:46 / 06:57

After the breakfast on the balcony, there is a meeting between some obviously rich businessmen in the TR.
It's about Obama's politics and the national debt.

+ 49.6 sec.

Alternative Footage
07:53-08:02 / 07:04-07:13

Different newspaper pages are browsed through (in the AC we start with the page the TR ends with)

no time difference

Theatrical VersionAlternate Cut

Alternative Footage
09:45-09:50 / 08:56-09:01

In the AC there's more to see of the customer's appointment: Chelsea is undressing in the bedroom.

In the TR you see a landscape from a driving car (similar to the beginning of the AC) and the following shot of Chelsea starts earlier.

no time difference

Theatrical VersionAlternate Cut

12:47-13:29 / 11:58

In the TR, you can see both of them in the kitchen for a longer time (7sec.) then there's some businessmen talk - now it's about their neverending journey and there's a little joking about wearing the same suits all the time.

+ 42.1 sec.

16:15 / 14:44-15:06

In the AC we see Chelsea in the anteroom waiting for Dennis, who is making a phone call in the bathroom, earlier.
You can hear what he's talking about; it's about a deal on Friday and that 70% of all the hedge-fonds will be out of business.

22.6 sec.

During said scene, Chelseas off screen commentary is a little delayed.

16:40-16:45 / 15:31

Chelsea in the car is shown a little earlier in the TR.

+ 5.1 sec.

16:54-16:56 / 15:40

The coversation with the web designer starts a little earlier in the TR (but there's no dialogue missing)

+ 1.9 sec.

18:08-18:33 / 16:52

Another business meeting in the TR. This time, there is a bet on who will win the presidential election.

+ 25.2 sec.

Alternative Footage
23:09-23:27 / 21:28-22:34

Longer shot of the window after Chealsea leaves, then again business talk. One of them wants to find the girl of his dreams in Vegas.

The scene with Chelsea and her next customer starts earlier in the AC.

Dan: "Yeah, it's really depressing."
Chelsea: "Well, you know, you're successful, you're very creative. I'm sure there's plenty more opportunities in front of you..."
Dan: "Yeah, I know, I know. I know, but it's... I don't really want to talk about it, but it's just bad out there. I mean, if I... You know, two holes in the ground that were gonna be buildings, now the banks have... You know, it's just a bad time. I have a big office. But that's just... It's why I'm a little... I don't want to leave."
Chelsea sits down a liitle closer to him and he takes off his jacket.

AC is 48.4 sec. longer

Alternative Footage
24:31-24:45 / 23:38-23:52

In the TR the rest of the conversation is shown in a long shot, in the AC the shot remains a little closer.

no time difference

Theatrical VersionAlternate Cut

Alternatives Bildmaterial
24:59-25:07 / 24:06-24:14

TR: Longer shot of Chelsea, then a door, while you can hear the conversation with her next customer off screen.
AC: Trees going by, resp. shot from car window.

no time difference

Theatrical VersionAlternate Cut

Alternative Footage
26:54-27:11 / 26:01-26:23

In the TR you see the businessmen again. There's a discussion about how some guys should accept that a girl doesn't really love them if they have to pay for her companionship.

In the AC, however, there is a longer shot of Chelsea and she remarks: "You know, there's not a lot of couples like you guys."
Ken (off screen): "I agree. There's not a lot of couples like us."
Chelsea: "A lot of people think they can separate love from sex. And when they get into it they're intimidated, their emotions arise, they get jealous. With you guys, it's simple."

AC 4.7 sec. longer

Alternative Footage
38:42-39:35 / 37:54-38:18

A 30 second shot of the businessmen in the TR. This time they talk about open relationships.
After that you see Chris assisting his wife in the gym.

In the AC, however, you first see a longer shot of Chelsea and Chris at the table and the conversation in the gym starts notably earlier. The woman goes on a little longer about how her customer, with whom she has an affair, probably knows about her boyfriend - which doesn't really change anything, since he nonetheless wants to meet her furthermore.

TR is 28.6 sec. longer

Alternative Footage
43:55-43:58 / 42:38-43:37

The most remarkable change: In the AC, Glenn's explanation of the "Erotic Connoisseur" makes it clear, why Chelsea came back from her conversation with him quite disgusted.
He gives her a Q-Tip and asks her to stick it up her vagina and wants thus to taste if she keeps it fresh.

More exact:
"Here I have a new, hygienic, lovely Q-tip. And get a better sense of something, you could take this Q-tip and swab it a bit on your treasure part...give it to me, whereupon I will take a little taste, and in this fashion, I will be able to discern whether your treasure part tastes like fresh maple syrup poured onto a hot-off-the-griddle piece of French toast on the one hand, or...a salt lick doused in chlorine on the other. You see, this is the thing. This is the kind of wordplay, the kind of vivid verbal imagery, that makes The Connoisseur the connoisseur."

In the TR the previous long shot is shown for a few second longer.

AC is 55.3 sec. longer

Alternative Footage
44:49-44:56 / 44:28-44:35

In the AC the shot of Chelsea is longer, in the TR you see a calmer one instead.

no time difference

Theatrical VersionAlternate Cut

Alternative Footage
61:45-62:04 / 61:24-61:43

The last 20 seconds of hearing the devastating criticism from the "Erotic Connoisseur" off screen are different.

TR: Longer shot of the house, then exterior shot from the car and the people in front of the wall are shown earlier.

AC: Shot from the tunnel, Chelsea drives through it.

no time difference

Alternative Footage
72:32-72:42 / 72:11-72:21

Figure shot in the TR, closer front view of Chelsea in the AC

no time differnece

Theatrical VersionAlternate Cut