Runtime of the theatrical version (NTSC): 112:20 min. (incl. credits)
Runtime of the Director's Cut (NTSC): 114:52 min. (incl. credits)
Additional seconds in the DC: 152 Sec..
Additional seconds in the TV because of an alternative sequence: 3 Sec..
It is unusual, even for the U.S., that a movie is released as a Director's Cut just one month after it won the Best Picture award. Soon the question arose if those changes and additions in the DC have an impact on the movie o rare just made for fast profit.
The booklet of the DC DVD, in which director Paul Haggis explains some facts, brings some light into the darkness. He explains he was actually happy with the TV but he also wanted to have some scenes exchanged. Unfortunately he just found out what he wanted when the movie was sold to Lionsgate and shown at the Toronto Film Festival.
To this point he had no further chance to change the movie because the TV was locked already. With the DVD release he was given the chance to lay hand on the movie and change sequences which, as Haggis states, have been extended slightly. Generally there are just extended dialogues which durations only differ in few seconds and again the question can be asked if these new flicks are redundant or not. If asking me it can not be said that the movie if they perfectly fit into the context and are important for the plot or if they are simply misplaced. Basically they support the yet existing characteristic concepts and fit into the plot. If someone does not own the movie the DC is the version to have because of additional extra material. An upgrade from the TV to the DC is not necessary.
The runtime is based on the TV. Passages in red are longer in the TV.
After Daniel (Michael Pena) found his daughter Lara (Ashlyn Sanchez) under the bed and she told him to have heard a shot, the conversation about the bullet which impacted the window of her old room continues. While the TV shows him asking if they should move again the DC gives an additional dialogue:
[Daniel: You thinking about that bullet that came through your window?]
Daniel: 'Cause we never did find it, did we?
Lara: I think it didn't see me 'cause I was under the covers.
Daniel: Hmm. You think it was that same bullet that you heard tonight?
[Daniel: You think we should move again?]
The sequence in the conference room has been extended with a dialogue between Graham (Don Cheadle), Karen (Nona Gaye) and Flanagan (William Fichtner) which is shown after Graham tells the others from the dead policemen and Flanagan says that those facts have to be swept under the table. In this short scene the importance of the murdered black policemen is stated and how fierce the pressure from outside is already.
[Graham: You really think you're gonna be able to make that fly?]
Karen: Latasha Harlings, Rodney King. These names ring a bell, Detective?
Graham: Yeah, vaguely.
Flanagan: We have attorneys for this slain police officer camping in our offices. We have his mother and a half dozen men of the cloth who swear that Lewis was one of the twelve apostles of Christ. We have two black city councilmen and a congresswoman who call on the hour, every hour, demanding to know what the district attorney intends to do about this. And you want him to walk into that press room and tell them all that the situation is complicated?
[Flanagan: Give us a minute.]
The TV shows the scene where Graham helps his mother to pack in some supplies. A cut occurs right afterwards and one can see Jean (Sandra Bullock) who calls a friend and talks about her maid who has not been back from her shopping tour.
A closer attention lets one see that the cut is placed when Graham is putting more things into the fridge. The DC shows his doings a few seconds longer and additionally shows the sequence in the locker room of the police station where Officer Hanson (Ryan Phillippe) is trying to talk to a black collegue but is rejected. His question “How’s it goin’?” is not answered, the black policemen leaves the locker room and Hanson continues to dress up.
During Handson’s and Peter’s care ride there is an additional extended dialogue which shows Hanson’s prejudices and mistrust towards Peter.
[Peter: Anywhere the other side of the hill.] The TV shows how Hanson nods and again a counter cut to Peter who tells something about country music which can be heard on the radio. The DC continues with the dialogue:
Hanson: I'm goin' to El Segundo.
Peter: El Segundo's cool.
Hanson: You've been there?
Peter: Fuck no.
[Peter: That's some good music.]
Alternative take in the TV:
The reaction of Handson to Peter’s answer: „Anywhere the other side of the hill“, is different in the TV. The DC shows an alternate shot which does not show up in the upcoming progress.
Again a minimalistic extension. In the TV Peter answers after Handson’s mistrusting „Mmm-hmm“ immediately. The DC shows him hesitating, he looks for eye-contact and answers a bit later.
Again an extension. After Peter says he has writen country songs by himself Hanson answers: „I bet you did“, the TV contains a cut and one can see Peter who is looking outside the window. The DC shows him saying “Whatever” before he turns away.
The scene with the Asian couple in the hospital has been extended with an additional dialogue. Kim Lee explains to her husband Choi Jin Gui that she called every single hospital because she was afraid he was dead already. After her husband calmed her down he thanks her in the TV right away that she found him. The DC shows her saying that she had an accident on the way to the hospital and that she has insulted the women (Ria – Jennifer Esposito).:
[Jin Gui: It's okay. I'm okay.]
Kim: I went crazy speeding. I drove into car.
Jin Gui: My God. Are you okay?
Kim: I got into big fight with poor woman. I called her names.
Her husband laughs with a pain twisted face.
Kim: Oh, fine. I die from worry and you laugh.
[Jin Gui: Thank you for finding me.]
Alternative take in the DC
Jin Guis sentence: „Thank you for finging me“, was filmed from two different angles. While the TV shows the scenery from a side view the DC shows his face. Then a cut occurs and one can see the side view as well.
no time difference
to the left TV; to the right DC.
After Jean called her husband Rick and told him about the fall he moves to the elevator while his assistant Karen is waiting until the door is closed. The TV contains a cut and the next scene stars with Jean lying on her bed. The DC stays to Karen how shw slowly turns away from the elevator. This shot should show the affair between Rick and Karen and that Rick’s decision is towards his wife Jean.
Another extended and alternatively cut scene in which the girl, after the trapped Asians of Anthony (Ludacris) have been freed from the van, is walking through the scenery quite longer. She passes a fish stall and touches the fish while passing by. The alternative material is indicated by the clothes the pedestrians are wearing and has been taken of the time stated below.
Minimal extension of a scene in which Anthony is closing the backdoor of his van and walks to the drivers door. The TV shows how the door is closed and Anthony when he enters the car.