Comparison between Theatrical Release and Extended Edition.
The US-DVD by Universal contains both versions using Seamless Branching.
The latest film of director Ridley Scott is set in the early 70's and revolves around the rise of Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) to Harlem's drug lord. Upright cop Richie Roberts (Russel Crowe) gets his own squad and makes every effort to catch Frank.
The Extended Edition seems to be more complete compared to the Theatrical Release. For example the new scene with Joe points Frank's motivation out clearly. Also one comes to know how Richie got his own squad and operations HQ. Only the alternate ending is slightly weaker. The concept of Frank getting out of jail having to start over or rather looking into an uncertain future pleased me more than the meeting of old friends and Frank who needs to find his way in this "new world".
Whoever enjoyed this film in its Theatrical Release is advised to now go for the Extended Edition. The new 19 minutes benefit the movie.
Theatrical Release (TR): 156:40 min (NTSC)
Extended Edition (EE): 175:34 min (NTSC)
There are differences in 16 places. The EE includes 19:23 min of new material while the TR shows 27 sec of alternate footage.
This scene follows right after Frank left the restaurant.
Frank plays with his dog. Joe steps beside him, giving him some advice about how he can make it big time.
Joe: "A leader, like a shepherd, he sends his fastest nimble sheep, out front. And the others will follow. While the shepherd, he walks quietly behind it."
The dog returns with a stick in his mouth.
Joe: "Here, boy! Here we go. Right here. Bring it here. Yeah. Now he's got the stick, and the cane, he'll use it! If he has to. But most times he doesn't have to. He moves the whole herd quietly.
Change of scene. Joe gets some food for Frank and himself at a hot-dog stand.
Joe: "What right do they have cutting out the supplier? The middleman. Buying direct. Putting Americans out of work. That's the way it is now, Frank. That's the way it is."
Joe eats the hot dog while Frank thinks about something and walks on with the dog eventually.
TR sets back in as report about drug abuse is on the TV. In the TR the sentence "The drug problem in Vietnam is more than marijuana." is audible when Frank leaves the restaurant. In the EE one hears it as Frank walks along with the dog.
Richie halts his car in front of an empty building. He then is given a tour through the rooms by the landlord.
Landlord: "Well, we got the lovely transit. 600-year-old mahogany doors. Now, look at that. Can't you just feel it? I think it's lovely. Watch your step. Look at these beautiful floors. At least, I don't know, 200 years old. And it's hard to get the cracks...Now this was one of my favorite rooms but we had some problems with the plumbing. I even fixed it. I know it works. It's not gonna leak. Here it is."
The landlord starts playing the piano.
Landlord: "You know, I used to be a really good piano player when I was a kid, but then, I don't know why I forgot. Life goes on. Well...How long are you gonna be? Oh, and do me a favor, please. Mind the doors. Those are beautiful, ornate glass doors, you know."
Richie and his newly recruited members of Essex County Narcotics Squad are furnishing the place. Jones plays the piano.
Richie goes to the pinboard.
Richie: "That was nice, man."
Jones: "Just doing my melodious thing, baby."
Richie: "Got you."
As he pins the bag to the board TR sets back in.
The TR misses some dialogue between Joe and Frank. Joe has money issues and Frank helps him out in memory of Bumpy.
Joe: "It's a tax thing. It's a mistake my lawyers are straightening out, but for the time being..."
Frank: "How much do you owe, Joe?"
Joe: "It's nothing. It's like...Fifty grand."
Frank: "You got it."
Joe: "Thank you, man. Hey, I'm gonna pay you back as soon as I..."
Frank: "Joe, this ain't no loan. It's a gift. All right? All you did for Bumpy, we owe you. Keep your chin up. All right? Okay? All you have which is down there. Down. Chin down. All right. Doc, will see you, okay?"
Afterwards there's another shot of the singer on stage.
The TR shows the singer at this point (compare to the last cut).
After Richie talked about investigating back on the street there's a shot of the whole squad observing drug dealers undercover.
A red car drives up. The driver gets out and talks to a dealer. Then he gets back inside and drives off. The dealer enters an apartment, returns with a bag a little later, gets into a car and drives off as well.
Richie and his squad follow them with their car to a car wash where the dealer meets another guy. Photos of the suspects are being taken.
Change of scene. The photos are being developed in a darkroom.
Change of scene. Spearman hangs them up in Operation Headquarters.
Change of scene. Disguised as a construction worker Spearman taps the phone of the suspicious car wash. Richie hears the call of a customer ordering a large amount of drugs as well.
"Hi, who's this?"
"Hello? Gabe? Yeah, it's Scott. Yeah."
"Scotty! What's going down, brother?"
"Those snow tires you gave me last night. They come in yet?"
"Oh, the snow tires?"
"Yeah. I want some more of them. Give me one-and-a-half more."
"One-and-a-half, that's a pretty big order."
"Yeah, I want the big whitewalls, they better get at least 100,000 miles."
"All right, I'll tell you what. You come in here tomorrow morning I'm gonna set you up real nice with a whitewall special, all right?"
TR sets back in as the money is thrown on the table.
Spearman drives off while Richie enters the store. The man with the money leaves the store and drives off as well.
A driver complains about the wrongly parked car.
Car driver: "Hey! Who's the fuck? You gotta fucking move!"
Richie needs a car and forces a cab to stop.
Richie: "Police Officer. I'm commandeering your vehicle. Get out of the car."
Cab driver: "Who the fuck cares about you? This is New York City, man. Get someone else's car!"
Richie: "Get out of the car."
Cab driver: "Come on, man. Can't we live in peace..."
Richie punches the cabbie in the face. He pushes the unconcious guy in the passenger's seat, gets behind the wheel and starts chasing the other car.
Richie has to stop at a red light and is about to lose the car. He decides to drive up a one way street - in the wrong direction - and manages to stay on the car's tail.
He follows the car until it pulls over. The man gets out and walks down some stairs. Richie stays close behind him.
TR sets back in as he walks down the stairs.
A scene is missing which points out that Richie's supervisor is not very happy about his investigative methods but he is still behind him inofficially.
Supervisor: "What were you doin' there?"
Richie: "Well, that's where this dope is coming from. Blue Magic, it's coming out of New York. What do you expect me to do, ignore it?"
Supervisor: "The cab driver has filed aggravated assault and grand theft charges which he may reconsider depending on how much the State of New Jersey offers to settle."
Richie: "I showed him my ID. I told him I was a cop."
Supervisor: "You stole his cab and you knock him out."
Richie: "I was chasing the 20 grand, all right?"
Supervisor: "Next time, knock him out before you show him your badge. Look, I don't want to hear about you going into New York again."
Richie: "Well, then this investigation's over."
Supervisor: "You're not listening to me. I said, "I don't want to hear about you going into New York again." You do whatever you have to do. You go wherever you have to go to figure out who's bringing this shit into the country. Just don't tell me about it."
Change of scene. Frank picks up Eva with a car.
Frank: "There's your girl, right there."
He gets out to welcome her.
Frank: "Hey, how'd you do?"
Frank: "I didn't keep you waiting long, did I?"
Eva: "No. Fine."
Frank: "Good. A woman as beautiful as you shouldn't have to wait. For anything."
Change of scene. Doc waits in front of a car. An old lady serves him tea.
Doc: "Thank you, ma'am. You as pretty as ever."
Tommy yells over at him. They briefly talk about Tommy's son.
Tommy: "Hey, Doc."
Doc: "Tommy! Heard your boy scored two touchdowns last week."
Tommy: "Sure. Sure do make father proud."
Doc: "All right."
The briefing continues. Richie keeps informing his people about the origins of the drugs being Asia. He also mentions that the drugs have been widely spread.
Richie: "Straight up lab tests suggesting purity's consistent with Asian dope. The Italians, we know, usually work with other Europeans or with the Turks. We got small blue packets turning up in neighborhoods all over the Tri-State area. From Chinatown, to Harlem, Washington Heights, Richmond Avenue and Staten Island. They got North Orange, Princeton, Bayonne, Newark, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, and all the way through Connecticut. The same dope."
During the ride to the club Frank comes to know that Nick is diluting the drugs.
"He's been diluting it so much. We're down 2%, 3% pure."
Frank: "And you tested it? You're sure?"
The driver looks in the rear-view mirror.
Frank: "Fuck you looking at?"
The car drives up to the club.
A shot of one of the dancers.
Nick clears one corner of the club and sits down at a table with Frank.
Nick: "Hey, you all, everybody get out! Let's go. Come on! Hurry up! Sit, my brother. I take it you talked to Charlie. Guess you wanna hear more about my Black coalition. Let me explain to you..."
Frank: "No, no, no. I'm all right. That's not what I came here for, Nick."
TR sets back in as Nick consumes the drugs.
Some alternate material.
Franks asks Nick why he's diluting the drugs.
Frank: "I don't understand why you gotta take something that's perfectly good and mess it up."
Prior to the extended dialogue Frank sends his henchmen away.
Nick: "I'm happy, Frank."
Frank: "You happy? Really? Well, maybe I'm the one with the problem."
Frank tells his henchmen they can go.
Frank: "Yeah, go on. Get one. All right."
Frank turns towards Nick again.
Frank: "I got a problem 'cause I don't understand why you gotta take something that's perfectly good and mess it up."
Two FBI agents appear in Richie's headquarters. An officer sends them to Spearman.
Police officer: "Spearman."
FBI agent: "FBI. Here to see Detective Roberts."
Spearman takes them to Richie.
They talk to Richie about an assault being planned against him without giving the source for this information. However, Richie declines FBI protection.
Richie: "So who took it out? Somebody I know? My wife? Come on, if somebody's taking a contract out on my life, I'd like to know."
FBI Mann: "I can't say without compromising our source. You understand?"
Richie: "No. Not when it's my life, I don't understand."
FBI Mann: "If you want we can assign someone to you."
Richie: "FBI protection. You know what? My life is dangerous enough as it is."
FBI Mann: "Well, we'll let you get back to your business."
Richie: "Okay. Larry, Bob. Thanks for visiting The Garden State."
FBI Mann: "Take care."
Richie: "Hey, what do you know about Frank Lucas?"
FBI Mann: "We know that you keep calling about him."
The agents leave.
Change of scene. Richie is at home, cooking something. The TV is running in in the background.
"We believe that peace is at hand. We believe that an agreement is within sight. As I said earlier..."
The phone's ringing.
Richie: "Yeah. Hey, Joey. Hi. All right. Yeah, tomorrow. Why?"
Richie hangs up.
The TV shows a Vietnamese woman with her dead kid in her arms. The reporter comments on this as collateral damage.
"What happened here was an accident of war. Somebody made a mistake."
Frank talks to Eva. They sit at home but want to go out. Although he doesn't like the idea he eventually decides to go out after all.
Frank: "Bumpy ain't hardly ever go out no more. After a certain point he stayed in the house. Watch TV. Play chess. Read the newspaper. I though he was just trying to lead the quiet life, but no, he couldn't go nowhere. Not without something happening."
Eva: "Frankie...We can still go out."
Frank: "With who? Where?"
Eva: "Well, with..."
Frank: "But I know he's under surveillance. Ain't gonna be no Christmas time with my family being here no more."
Eva: "Why don't you just pay who you have to pay?"
Frank: "I do pay them. I pay thousands and millions to dope dealers, crooks, cops. I pay everybody. I pay more than they should get. I can't satisfy nobody! It's like dope! Everybody's strung out! The more you give 'em, the more they want. They expect more. Give more and they want more."
Frank turns the TV off.
Frank: "Do you want to go out? All right, baby. Put something of what you got."
Eva: "Should I?"
Eva: "That's Christmas spirit."
Frank: "That's what I'm talking about. Feliz Navidad."
Eva: "Something nice?"
EE has an alternate ending.
The door closes while Frank stands in front of it.
Richie has been waiting for Frank.
Richie: "Smell better out here?"
Change of scene. They both are standing on the street. Richie gets Frank a coffee.
Richie: "Frank. There you are. Caffe latte. Yeah."
Frank: "Latte? Oh, shit. Yeah."
They both are walking along the street.
Richie: "You all right? That's a fancy way of saying coffee with milk."
Richie: "$2.50. So you been talking to your brothers?"
Frank: "No, no, I ain't talked to them in years. It's probably best for them. What the hell am I going to do out here, Richie? I don't know how I'm gonna live."
Richie: "Hey, I told ya, I ain't gonna let you starve, all right?"
Frank: "Obviously, you ain't starving."
Richie: "Bagels and blinches They will catch up with you, you know?"
They're passing by an advertisement with an athlete on it.
Frank: "Who's this?"
Richie: "Expensive sneakers. About $100 a pair."
Frank: "Frederick Douglass Boulevard. This used to be Eighth Avenue, why do they call it Frederick Douglass Boulevard now? This was me Richie, right here. This was all me. In my day there were so many niggers out here buying dope you could've made a Tarzan movie. You know, one phone call, I'll be right back in business, you know that."
Richie: "You don't do that, Frank. These days I keep all my promises."
Frank: "Why'd you come and get me, huh?"
Richie: "You're a superstar, Frank."
Frank: "A superstar?"
Richie: "Your evidence alone gave me 150 convictions. Thought the least we could do is give you a ride home."
Frank: "Yeah, you sure did that. You gave me a ride home. Free ride. Coming to gangsters."
A few gangsters are walking towards them and bump into Frank.
Gangster 2: "Ain't nothin', man. Ain't nothin', man. That's life right there. That's life right there."
Frank: "Even a fool gets to be young once."