This is a comparison of the Director's R-Rated Version on US VHS and the NC-17 Version on US DVD (bpth released by MGM).
Showgirls is one of the most discussed films by controversial Dutch director Paul Verhoeven. Prior to the premiere the movie had already been panned by critics and marked as sexist. Thanks to the unpopular NC-17 rating the movie bombed a the box office, earning only half of its production costs. However, profit and somewhat of a cult status came later with the releases on home video.
By the way, the film isn not as bad as critics claimed it was and offers more than a simple "peep show" although it still is a main part of the movie. Verhoeven documents the dark side of the glistering image that is Las Vegas (and Hollywood). But of course, a true masterpiece is not to be expectet.
As mentioned before the movie opened with an NC-17 rating but Verhoeven himself edited an R-Rated version for rental chains like Blockbuster Video. This version is known as Director's R-Rated Version. As far as I know the US DVD releases only contain the uncut version. In the UK the movie has only been released in a censored version (the Brits mostly had a problem with Molly getting abused in the end).
A little comparison of aspect ratio: the DVD version shows more information left and right but has been matted heavily at the top and the bottom and also has been zoomed.
Director's R-Rated Version = 130:10 Min.
NC-17 version = 131:11 Min.
00:00 Only the DVD shows the MGM logo.
00:14 After the United Artists logo the R-Rated version (RV) presents another logo.
+ 13,5 Sec.
24:56 The shot of Nomi touching her panties is shorter in the RV. In the NC-17 version (NCV) she puts her hand under her panties. We see a shot of that happening. Then there are alternative takes of Zack and Cristal, as well as Hope crawling over the stage on all fours. The RV shows two different shots of Zack and Cristal, intercut by a shot of Nomi. Hope crawling across the stage is also included, but it's a little different and shorter. In the end there is a shot of Japanese men at the table.
R-Rated: 14 Sec.
NC-17: 14 Sec.
29:22 A shot of Nomi bending over in front of Cristal is longer in the NCV. The following shot where we see her from behind, touching herself between her legs shows alternate material.
R-Rated: 3 Sec.
NC-17: 4,1 Sec.
29:46 End of a shot. The following shot of Nomi seducing Zack and touching his crotch again presents alternate material.
R-Rated: 3,5 Sec.
Nc-17: 4 Sec.
30:26 After Nomi took her panties of the NCV shows an alternative shot of Zack followed by Nomi licking her nipple. In the RV this has been shot differently.
R-Rated: 8,6 Sec.
NC-17: 8,6 Sec.
30:36 After Nomi licked her nipple she turns to Zack and gives him a very hot private dance. Both versions show different material and the RV has been shortened as well.
R-Rated: 35,5 Sec.
NC-17: 57,9 Sec.
31:37 The shot of Nomi taking tha last dollar bill from Cristal has been shot differently. In the NCV she turns around and approaches Zack. We cut to a frontal shot of her. In the RV the shot remains the same, we see Nomi from the back. After she walked out of frame we cut to a shot of Cristal approaching Zack and kissing him.
R-Rated: 16,9 Sec.
NC-17: 16,9 Sec.
36:03 The dancing sequence of Nomi and Hope has been shot differently.
R-Rated: 6,5 Sec.
NC-17: 9,2 Sec.
36:12 The end of a shot is longer in the NCV. In the RV we cut to another shot.
R-Rated: 3,3 Sec.
NC-17: 3,5 Sec.
85:46 The sex scene of Nomi and Zack in the pool shows alternate, more explicit material. Some shots are longer in the NCV.
R-Rated: 28,7 Sec.
NC-17: 54,3 Sec.
109:51 When Andrew Carver hits Molly in the face the RV misses the following shot of him kicking her. Then he hits her again which is also present in the RV.
110:02 When Andrew and his two bodyguards rape Molly the end of a shot is missing. One of the guys lies down on Molly and penetrates her.
110:26 A shot of Molly being raped is longer in the NCV.
130:10 The MGM logo after the credits appears only on the DVD.