- Theatrical version: 85:13 min. without end credits (87:59 min. including end credits) in PAL
- First Cut: 97:44 min. without end credits (99:20 min. including end credits + 22 sec Bonus-scene) in PAL
- 57 changes, including
* 8x alternative footage
* 7 recuts
- Cut length: 771,5 sec (12:52 min)
The additional time difference exists because the Theatrical version has longer end credits and the Final Cut has another scene after the end credits.
Comparison between the Theatrical version and the First Cut , both present on the "10th Anniversary Edition" (3-Disc-Set).
"Clerks" is one of the total cult films of the 90s. In 1994 director Kevin Smith laid the foundation for his Jersey Chronicles which include 6 parts by now and presented his characters Jay and Silent Bob to an audience for the first time. He financed the movie all by himself and risked his own financial existence with it (e.g. he got himself 10 credit cards with a limit of $2000 each and sold his extensive collection of comic books). That way he managed to make this low-budget-movie that cost him $28000. His characters Jay and Silent Bob were ought to be present in all the following movies as minor characters and got their own movie "Jay & Silent Bob strike back" in 2001, collectables and cameos (e.g. in "Scream 3") followed.
In 2006 the two clerks returned to the big screen in "Clerks 2" which was controversial among both critics and fans. The other "Jersey"-movies in between were "Mall Rats" (1995), "Chasing Amy" (1997) and "Dogma" (1999).
Even today it is still remarkable how Kevin Smith manages to entertain his audience for 90 minutes only with absurd dialogue and bizarre ideas. Also, he does not make the mistake to drift into wannabe-intellectual gibberish and wannabe-cool quote-lines as recent productions unfortunately often do. The screenplay has also been written by Smith and has strong autobiographical tendencies. Almost every character is inspired by a person in his circle of friends, who also get to talk on the bonus features of the DVD, and while shooting the movie he himself has been working in a small convenience store in which most of the plot is set. Shooting there was only possible after closing time which meant that the crew was shooting there at night and had to reset the store for the customers every morning at about 6 - that explains for example why the shutters in the movie are clotted with chewing gum...
A lot more of these fun facts could be listed here. One reason for that is that Smith's debut, such as the following movies, was released on affectionately designed DVDs with tons of bonus features. A real joy for every fan and DVD-collector: the 3-disc-set of "Clerks" already contains on disc 1 (additionally to the main movie) various deleted scenes, TV-spots and footage of the casting, disc 2 contains the First Cut of the movie which is discussed here, Disc 3 contains a very recommendable and informative documentary in feature length but also more than 90 minutes of other bonus features.
The First Cut
There has already been a report that only lists the "Lost Scene" of "Clerks" which was also the reason for the 18 Rating of the British release (the main movie both as Theatrical version and First Cut got a BBFC 15). It is about Dante and Randal in the funeral home, Randal knocks over the coffin and they have to flee.
This scene could not be realized on the budget and on the available locations and was released as an animation by Smith on the DVD.
Logically this scene is also missing in the First Cut which is still 12 minutes longer. The "First Cut" could still be seen on the first screenings at the Sundance festival, after that only the revised version has been shown . Disc 2 of the "10th Anniversary Edition" includes this early version in academy ratio and without further improvement in picture and sound, additionally there is a new recorded audio-commentary with a crew in good humor.
Many cuts for the Theatrical version are reasonable tightenings the movie only profits from. Especially the few scenes which have a little action, like the hockey game or the brawl between Dante and Randal at the end, seem noticeably faster and more fluent. But there are also many dialogue-cuts which should be very interesting for fans of the movie. The ingenuous reader should notice the dirty language in some of the cuts does not necessarily have to be a sign for censorship since the rest of the movie is not much different.
The most obvious and probably best known change between the Theatrical version and the First Cut is probably the end. The Theatrical version ends with the final and reconciliatory dialogue between Dante and Randal, in the First Cut another man entered the shop and shot the main character Dante out of nowhere! Smith himself smilingly calls that a "Spike Lee-ending"but we have to say that this scene is more watchable from the point of curiosity and is actually not really suitable.
Concerning the background one might interpret a meaning into some of the other cuts.
The anti-smoke-scene at the beginning for example (a gum-salesman agitates the customers in the store against Dante who is supposedly a messenger of death because he sells cigarettes - but actually he only wants to make people buy gum) was at first not very popular with Miramax-boss Harvey Weinstein. When he was recommended the movie with the perspective of a release by the studio, he as a heavy smoker angrily left the room after the first ten minutes of the film and did not want to have anything to do with Smith's movie! Weinstein also gets to talk about this on the bonus-features and says that he is likely to be the only one at Miramax who did not believe in the movie in the beginning. If that is one reason for the scene being shortened on several parts or if that was done for the purpose of tightening the movie should not be judged by us even though the second alternative is the more likely one.
The scene with the young girl who smokes one of the just bought cigarettes in a close up might have been shortened for the purpose of censorship. The scene does not even last 1 sec in the Theatrical version, in the First Cut however it last 5 sec being longer at the beginning and the end.
But those are only unconfirmed specs.
We should also mention that the Theatrical version got an obviously rehashed soundtrack and that some of the sound effects were improved. But the following report will not discuss that any further, it should only be mentioned that the Theatrical version is often a lot more rock-like. The First Cut seems darker in general what is underlined by the alternative ending, of course.
Running times refer to the Theatrical version in PAL
The Theatrical version (= TV) has the Miramax-logo at the beginning, therefor the white screen before the clown comes in is seen much earlier in the FC. The View Askew-clip does not include sound in the First Cut (= FC) while we hear circus-music in the TV.
The following black frame is longer in the FC and the phone rings twice instead of once in the TV where it also has another ring tone (was changed in the following seconds).
FC 11.6 sec longer
No real cut in the true meaning of the word. A part of Dante's conversation was removes here what cannot be noticed since he is talking from the floor (look at the picture to the next cut) and his mouth cannot be seen.
The bold part can only be heard in the FC, between every two lines there is a pause in which he waits for an answer:
"I just closed last night. What? I got a hockey game. I'm not doing it. Jesus."
In the FC the "Jesus" is not heard before the shot of the dog which is followed by the next cut.
Here after the shot of the dog Dante is still on the floor saying his other lines which have already been heard in the Theatrical version.
"What time do you think you're gonna come in, 12:00? Be there by 12:00? Where? Swear you'll be there by 12:00 and I'll do it. 12:00, or l walk."
In the TV Dante stands at the driver's door immediately, in the FC he comes out of the door (of the house) and crosses the yard.
Dante stands in front of the open door longer.
In the TV Jay only says to Willam Black / Snowball "What you want, Grizzly Adams?" then back to the gum salesman in the store.
In the FC Snowball asks: "You sellin', man?"
Jay: "Yeah. What you want? You Five-O?" `
Snowball: "Five-O? I never even been to Hawaii."
Jay: "I got hits, hash, coke, weed. And later and some 'shrooms, man. I take cash, stolen Visa or Master Card. Come on, motherfucker. What you want? Hurry up!"
In the TV when we hear the last lines from the gum-salesman ("...and fry my lungs !'") we see Jay and Silent Bob standing outside, Jay is having his blunt lit by Silent Bob. Still during that shot we hear the dialogue in the store again and how Dante fights back ("Now, wait a second.") and the direct reaction "Here comes the speech..." - then we see the rest of the dialogue.
The FC remains in the shot in the store the whole time and the salesman says more:
"...and fry my lungs."
Customer: "You think it's easy to quit?"
Salesman, pointing to Dante: "Of course it's not easy to quit. Not when you got people like this mindless creep so willing to get ready to sail the nails in your coffin!"
Dante: "Now wait a second."
Salesman: "Here comes the speech..."
FC 8,2 sec longer
After "They practically wiped an entire nation of people off the Earth..." we return to Jay & Silent Bob in the TV, Jay blows out smoke and then runs away quickly. Then back to the discussion from the Off: "Just like your cigarettes are doing now !" - Dante: "I think you'd oughta leave."
In the FC the shot remains the same, again, and the salesman says more.
"Just like your cigarettes are doing now ! You know that people that partake in the practice of smoking or the selling of the wares that promote it, are the Nazis of the 90s! Do you think he cares about how many people die from it?"
Customer: "Fuck, no!"
Salesman, screaming: "No! He smiles as you buy your cancer sticks and he says 'Have a nice day!'"
Dante: "I think you'd oughta leave."
FC 16,4 sec longer
Alternative footage / recut
To the words "...change is coming" - "You can smell it!" the TV has a short shot of Veronica coming into the store and looking puzzled (in the FC this scene appears later and is a little longer).
In the FC the salesman agitates the customers against Dante longer.
Salesman: "Yeah. And the loss of sales when the non-smokers demand satisfaction. Now, we demand the right to breathe clean air! We'd rather chew this gum than embrace our slow death! Let's abolish smoking. And if it means ruffling the feathers of some conveniant store idiot, so be it!"
Dante: "Now, that's it, everybody out!"
Salesman: "No! We're not moving. We have a right, a constitutional right to assemble and be heard!"
Dante: "Yeah, but not in here."
Salesman: "What better place than this, then? If you wanna stomp this thing out, you gotta start at the source. Here."
Dante: "Like I'm responsible for all the smokers?"
Salesman: "The ones in this area, you are responsible! You encourage the growth of their habit."
With the line "You definitely are the source..." the TV sets in again, too.
FC 40,6 sec longer
Here we see the scene of Veronica entering the store in the FC. The shot is a little longer, she grabs the fire extinguisher at her left.
Then, before she starts spraying, again the angry customers; "Cancer merchant!"
In the TV we have already heard Veronica's off-commentary "Don't you think you're taking this a bit too hard?" during the close up of Dante's hands with the cigarette.
In the FC this shot is longer and without the dialogue from the off, then we see Dante in a wider shot and Veronica walks towards him.
"Looked like Tiananmen Square in here for a second."
Dante shows no reaction she bends down to him and angrily says what she actually wants to hear: "Thank you, Veronica. You saved me from an extremely ugly mob scene."
Dante remains silent and she tries it in a more friendly way: "'Kay, Champ, what's wrong? All right, stupid question. But don't you think you're taking this a bit too hard?"
The dialogue continues for quite a while after Dante's "Bunch of savages in this town", here Veronica's mistrust towards Caitlin is already being shown.
Veronica: "What time did you get in?"
Dante: "I don't know. 2:30, three."
Veronica: "What were you doing up so late?"
Veronica: "What were you doin'?"
Dante: "Nothing. Jesus, do I gotta fight with you now?"
Veronica: "Who's fighting, why are you so defensive?"
Dante: "Who's defensive? Would you just hug me? I mean, your boyfriend was just accosted by an angry mob and he needs to be hugged. What? What is it?"
Veronica: "She called you, didn't she?"
Dante: "Stop it. I mean, I just went through a very traumatic experience and I haven't been having the best day so far. Now, come on. What is that look? Fine. I wasn't talking to anybody, especially her! Look at you, being so...so, I don't know, standoffish. All right, fine. You don't trust me, don't hug me. All right, I see how it is. OK, Miss Pissy Pants, you just sit there, being all suspicious. You know, I don't even want a hug from you at this point. I'll give you a dollar."
In the TV Dante stands in front of the store slightly longer.
+ 0,8 sec
After the flash "Randal" we first see a video store-customer tipping his finger on a video cassette several times.
Alternative footage / recut
We see a spinning sign of "Dave's Cherry Fruit Pie" in a close up (the FC shows that at the end of the movie).
With that, the dialogue from the off;
Randal: "You want something to drink? I'm buying."
Dante: "No, thanks."
The conversation between Dante and Randal is a little bit longer.
Randal: "Is the pelican running?"
Dante: "Oh no, don't screw with it, it makes us look suspicious."
Randal: "I can't stand a voyeur. I'll be back."
Randal climbs up a ladder and looks on a monitor. He switches it off and goes back downstairs.
We see him earlier standing in front of the refrigerator and hear the conversation "You want something to drink ? I'm buying." - "No, thanks".
As said in the bonus features this scene was supposed to be relevant for the end of the movie. Since the cameras are not running any more Dante's murderer will not be caught.
FC 21,6 sec longer
Alternative footage / recut
In the TV Jay dances and hands his cap to Silent Bob who puts something (money?) in it or at least pretends to do so. Jay puts his cap back on in a satisfied way.
The FC, however, uses the scene of Jay having the blunt lit, here. The shot remains the same and Jay runs to the side, at the end the shot is longer and Jay comes running back.
Also, the shot is a little longer in the middle and Jay makes another pull.
(Pictures from the moments missing in the TV)
FC 4,7 sec longer
Before Jay is being shown, too, we see Olaf and Silent Bob each in a close up. The next shot starts a little earlier, too.
Jay starts talking about his cousin earlier, too; "'Not on me', she says. So I had to spank it to get it on. So I bust it all over her belly. I got out there just as my uncle walks in, it was a close call."
In between we cut to Silent Bob and we hear the dialogue from the off.
Woman: "What part of Russia?"
Jay: "I don't fucking know, do I look..."
More dialogue, first a shot of Silent Bob and Olaf, then the following shot starts earlier.
Jay: "I swear it, Silent Bob, am I lying? Silent Bob never told a lie in his life."
Woman: "What part of Russia?"
Jay: "I don't fucking know, do I look..."
FC 4,1 sec longer
The shot is longer after the question "Did he say 'making fuck"'?"
Jay: "Wait, there's more. Come on, Olaf, sing!"
Olaf sings: "My love for you is like a truck, Berserker! Would you like to smoke some pot, Berserker!"
We see the door longer, then Jay holding the woman saying "Come on, you fucking slut, come on!".
We see the girl a little earlier before she puts the cigarette in her mouth.
...and then she also takes a pull and leaves the frame.
In the FC before the flash "Malaise" we see Jay's dance from 22:46.
However during the last seconds we already hear the off-dialogue from another quite funny scene at the expense of Burt Reynolds.
Randal: "I'm telling, if you're feeling dangerous, then 'Smokey and the Bandit 3' really is the movie you must rent."
Customer: "Oh, no, my man Burt's not in it."
Randal: "Hey, he wasn't in 'E.T.' neither but that was a great movie."
Dante enters: "Hey, can you come next door? I gotta make a phone call."
Randal: "'Smokey and the Bandit 3', thumbs up, right?"
Dante: "Best Burtless movie ever made."
The customer takes a closer look at the cassette.
After the flash something different is happening at first.
Randal in the store commenting: "Oh, what a cute cat. What's his name?"
The customer responds: "Lenin's tomb."
We track to Dante on the phone, he is simultaneously repairing something on the ceiling; "Hello. Is Mr. Schneider there? This is Dante. Did he say that he was on his way here? Here to the convenience store. Yeah, he just called me and the other guy is sick and so Mr. Schneider called me to cover him until he came here. He said he'd be here by 12 and it's 1:30, so I was just wondering if he... Excuse me?"
With the word "Vermont?" the TV starts being the same, again.
Additional shot of the hockey stick and the puck from above.
The shoelaces are being tied longer, again the stick and puck from above, then again the shoe/shoelace.
After the shot of the sign we see the players climbing a ladder to the roof.
Also, the shot of everybody on the roof starts slightly earlier.
A bit more skirmish at the game, we unsteadily see some legs flying around.
First of all one of the players throws some money off the roof down to Jay. He checks the money and Silent Bob hands him a little pack (weed), Jay throws it up.
Then way more scenes of the hockey game.
Alternative footage / recut
After we have seen the customer in front of the barred door the two versions continue differently.
The TV now shows the scenes of the hockey game from the last cut but without the close up of the hockey stick (second to last picture).
(not illustrated again)
The FC shows additional shots of the game.
FC 1 sec longer
Alternative footage / recut
After the statement "I like to have something to read while it's going on" the TV shows Jay & Silent Bob in front of the store (Jay checks the dollar bill respectively the middle of the cut-scene at 42:26) and the dialogue continues in the off. The FC remains at Dante and the man, there is another line and the man leaves before he asks for the porn-magazines.
Dante: "Yeah, sure, go ahead." (this line can be heard in both versions)
Man: "Thank you, sonny boy. You've got a heart of gold."
He leaves but returns a little later: "You think maybe I could have a magazine?"
Dante, annoyed: "I said go ahead."
Man: "No, no, I mean one of the magazines you got in the back over there, behind the counter?" (In the TV the cursive part can be heard during the shot of Jay & Silent Bob)
FC 20 sec longer
After Dante's "They drank it all" there is a little more dialogue.
Randal from the off: "No way!"
Dante: "It's not like we're gonna run out."
Starting the car and the escape from the funeral is a little longer: two close ups of the buttons, both lock their doors. Then there is a shot of the car from behind.
The people are upset considerably longer.
After the flash "Perspicacity" Dante immediately stands in front of the car in the TV, in the FC the lights go out and he gets out.
Something else happens after Jay asked "What you want?".
The customer says: "Some weed, dude...", then Silent Bob shows up with another guy (probably Snowball?).
Jay stops him and asks: "Yo, man, what's with this motherfucker?"
The guy fights back: "Can't a guy publicly masturbate without being persecuted. I'm being repressed!"
After Rick's statement "You're out of shape" the shot continues a bit.
Dante: "I don't think so."
Rick: "But I do. You made the same noise when you reached across the counter for my cash. Your muscles are thin, fairly under-utilised."
Dante: "They are not!"
Rick: "Yes, they are. You're out of shape."
Again, more dialogue in the shot after Dante's "I know l can bench more than that."
Rick: "I think the lady called it."
Heather (Caitlin Bree's sister): "My ex-boyfriend was about his size. But he could lift 250, 300 easy!"
Rick asks "Really?" and Heather goes into further detail about how Caitlin used to adore Rick when she was still dating Dante.
"You were the guy with the black Trans and the big..."
At that point Dante interrupts and the TV sets in, again.
The shot of Dante is a bit longer. Rick responds earlier and in another shot to Dante's "You used to fuck Caitlin Bree while l was dating her?", some more actions are revealed.
Rick: "Yeah, all the time. That girl was like a rabbit."
Heather: "She told me this time she went to a motel with a hot tub and some mirrors..."
Dante: "The Glades Motel?"
Rick: "She told you that? Buddy of mine worked there and watched the whole thing. He used to film people and they don't even know about it..."
Dante: "Holy shit, when did all this happen?"
The rest of this shot is also in the TV.
The man who punishes Dante for selling tobacco to minors says a little more.
"According to the N.J.A.C., the New Jersey Administration Code, Section 185/125, a fine of no less than $250 is to be levelled against any person selling cigarettes to a minor."
Dante: "I didn't do that!"
"You said you were her all day."
Dante: "Yeah, but I didn't sell any cigarettes to any kids!"
The shot of Jay and Silent Bob starts earlier. Jay says "Man, that's fucking slow!" and Silent Bob steps aside to get the ghetto blaster.
At the beginning we see Jay dancing much longer.
To Randal's commentary about the porn ("All right, but you're missin' out. Chicks with dicks.") Dante responds "I'll buy the book" and passes him the cat from the floor.
A customer comes in; "Oh, he's so cute! What's his name?"
Randal: "Peptic Ulcer."
Also the following shot starts noticeably earlier, somebody comes from the store (or the left part of the frame) and walks across the frame.
Caitlin is walking towards the camera longer.
The policewoman leaves the frame before we see Caitlin again.
Before the flash "Lamentation" there is a short commentary from Jay; "I knew the motherfucker was gonna kill somebody some day."
Also there is a short question from Randal about the incident which has been mentioned by the policewoman; "Do you think she was talking about my cousin?"
Randal is sitting there a bit longer after Dante has left the frame.
The shot starts earlier, Dante first pastes the dollar bill from the other side.
The conversation lasts a little longer before Jay starts talking about the old dead man.
Jay: "I work just like you do. You're more of a crook than I am."
Dante: "How do you figure?" - He notices the joint in Silent Bob's mouth - "Hey, you can't roll a joint in here."
Jay: "Relax, brother. What I mean is you sell the shit right here for the highest price around. What is this shit?"
Dante: "It's not my store!"
Jay: "Well, this ain't my drugs, I just sell 'em."
Dante: "The difference is you exploit a weakness."
Jay: "What's that mean?"
Dante: "You take advantage of people who can't stay away from an addiction."
Jay: "Well, how much is a Pepsi here?"
Dante: "$1,69 plus tax."
Jay: "At Food City it's 99 cents plus tax."
Dante, unimpressed: "So?"
Jay: "So people come in here and it's $1,89 for a Pepsi. You know they're 99 cents over at Food City but I don't feel like driving so I buy it here. That's exploiting a weakness, too, isn't it?"
Dante nods his head.
Jay says something about Veronica.
Jay: "Did I see her carrying a plate of food here today or something?"
Dante: "Yeah, a lasagne."
The dialogue between Randal and Veronica continues for a while in the FC, while in the TV right after Veronica's "I'm not sad" we see her lying on the ground screaming at Dante.
Veronica: "No, I'm more furious. I'm pissed off. I feel like he's been killing time while he tries to get the balls to tell me how he really feels and he can't even do it. He has his friend do it for him."
Randal notices a mistake; "Oh, he didn't ask me to do this..."
Veronica: "After all I've been done for that fuck. Now he wants to be with that slut, fine. He can have a slut."
Randal: "Do you think you could give me a lift home..."
Veronica stands up: "I'm gonna have some word with him."
Randal: "W-wait, Veronica! I don't think..."
A customer comes in Randal recollects and says: "What am I worried about. All he ever did was complain about her anyway. I mean, he'll probably be happy I got the ball rolling. I'm just looking out for his best interests, I mean...that's what a friend does. Am I right? I did him a favour."
The customer enthusiastically looks at the VHS; "Ooh, 'Navy Seals'!"
Dante throws some items from the store at Randal.
Dante crawls behind Randal for longer.
We see the cat on the table longer.
The shot is longer, Dante leaves the frame and the first items fall on the floor.
After another shot of the cat the next shot starts earlier way more items come flying.
We see the two of them cleaning a little longer.
Probably the biggest change in the TV: in the First Cut at the end Dante gets shot out of nothing by someone who seems to be another customer.
In the seconds before the music already starts in the TV, then the movie ends with Dante walking to the side smiling.
At first the FC shows the spinning "Cherry Fruit Pie"-sign (at 20:37 in the TV), then we see Dante standing at the counter reading a newspaper.
Somebody enters the store in a POV-shot, Dante asks "What? Did you forget something?"
When he looks up he realizes that it is not an acquaintance: "Oh, I'm sorry, we're closed."
Now we see the man, too, he gets out a weapon and shoots after an extreme close up of Dante's wide open eyes.
Dante falls against the wall and then sinks to the ground.
The man walks behind the counter and puts the money from the register in a bag, then he leaves.
Once again we see the dead Dante, close ups of bullet wound and face.
Then the ending credits are completely silent in the FC.
The ending credits themselves are noticeably longer in the TV. But there a short scene is missing, which comes after the credits in the FC.
Kevin Smith as another customer enters the store. Since there is no more employee he looks around puzzled. Then he uses the opportunity and steals a pack of cigarettes from behind the counter.