Comparison between the cut US DVD (BBFC 12) and the uncut German DVD (FSK 12).
In November 2006 a new Bond movie was released. In spite of initial skepticism by the popular press and some fans, too, Daniel Craig could convince both critics and the audience in the graver and more serious Casino Royale, after the incredible stunts of his predecessor.
Daniel Craigs introduction became the most successful Bond in history and topped Die Another Day easily.
The new toughness, rediscovered after Licence To Kill by the film makers, caused some problems for the movie, eventually leading to the release of 3 different versions of the movie in different parts of the world. While the previous movie only had a ridiculous and harmless sex scene being an overkill only for the USA, Casino Royale had a difficult time once again at its British home.
On the informative homepage of the British Censorship Board BBFC BBFC, whose censors were able to watch the movie prior to its premiere so that the movie makers could know how close they were to the desired "12 A" rating, one could learn about a torture scene which had to be cut for the English version.
It didnīt take long to make clear that the cuts would be permanent for the English version of the movie, causing justified concerns that other countries would receive the same censored version. Fortunately that didnīt happen. The censored version was only shown in English cinemas and was only released there on DVD. In Germany the scene remained intact.
The USA received a cut version of their own. There the torture scene turned out to be without difficulty for the important PG-13 rating but what usually is too much for Americans of this age bracket is realistic violence.
Exaggerated and cartoon-like violence hardly disturbs the MPAA or the American public than a realistic and matter-of-factly presented battle for life or death.
Of all things Casino Royale wanted to distinguish itself from the previous movies in that category in order to win back the adult audience which often doesnīt like too much fantasy and extravagance in action movies anymore. Two scenes - the stylish black-and-white fight in the bathroom and the confrontation in the staircase - had to be mitigated considerably.
Interesting in this connection is that, besides the deletion of several scenes, there are some individual shots which are missing both in the English and in the German version. Whether these shots were deleted because of censorship reasons in the different countries or that they were added into the US version to compensate the deleted scenes (to get the desired PG-13 rating) and to keep the editing rhythm is unknown.
Under the assumption that the latter theory is correct, this time a German version turns out to be the optimum of an excellent movie.
17 cuts in the US version = 29,62 sec
6 cuts in the German version = 7,84 sec
US DVD = 2:24:13 (NTSC)
German DVD = 2:18:43 (PAL)
The runtime specifications refer to the uncut German DVD.
(Specifications in brackets are about the US DVD).
The first 9 frames, before Bonds hits the bad guy in the face with his elbow, are missing.
Bond bangs the door in the bad guyīs face.
One can see Bondīs kick in the baddies face. This scene was included in the US-Trailer, which was approved for all audience.
The scene, where Bond chokes the guy and drags him to the basin, misses the first 42 frames.
The first 97 frames of his attempt to drown the guy are missing.
02:47 / (02:48)
Here is a cut in the German version: The first 12 frames, which show Bondīs face, are missing.
In the US version the drowning-scene is 19 frames shorter.
02:51 / (02:52)
Another cut in the German version: The twitching legs are missing and then right afterwards the first 80 frames of Bondīs face.
0:45:38 / (47:32)
The head of the dead guy is shown a bit longer.
0:45:39 / (47:33)
Cut in the German version: The bomb planter is shown a bit longer walking to the tank truck (32 frames).
The man, hustled by Bond over the railing, hits the floor.
1:16:45 / (01:19:59)
Cut in the German version: When in the German version the man hits the floor, the fight against the other man on the stairs continues. 12 frames are missing.
Bond pushes the baddie with the machete against a glass pane, then the guy attacks Bond again with the machete.
The man grabs Vesperīs (Eva Green) leg and she falls.
The fight between them lasts a bit longer.
The first 6 frames of the suffocating are missing.
A shot of the twitching legs is missing.
The man tries to free himself from Bondīs stranglehold and to reach his gun.
The first 24 frames of the twitching legs are missing.
1:18:06 / (1:21:07)
Cut in the German version: The legs twitch one last time.
The dying manīs face in a close-up: the first 30 frames are missing.
The dead manīs face is shown.
1:18:16 / (1:21:16)
Cut in the German version: Bond is shown a little bit longer before he goes to Vesper.