Comparison between the R-Rated DVD and the DVD with the American Theatrical version (NC-17), both from Universal.
Though Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution" was aired uncut with an NC-17-Rating in American movie theaters, an additional R-Rated version was made for the DVD release in order to be present in stores which do not sell DVDs with an NC-17-Rating (e.g. a majority of Wal-Mart branches) because those stores have a relevant stake in the DVD market.
In order to reach the R-Rating the two longer sex scenes have been cut and received alternative footage. The rest of the movie remained untouched. So the R-Rated DVD is not quite as explicit as the NC-17.
The movie lead to the career of leading actress Tang Wei being declared as finished by Chinese authorities.
running time R-Rated = 02:37:39 (02:30:31 without end credits)
running time NC-17 = 02:38:12 (02:31:04 without end credits)
Length of the scenes missing or changed in the R-Rated = 102,67 sec
Length of the alternative footage in the R-Rated = 68,47 sec
The R-Rated starts 1,2 sec later.
Mr. Yee's (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) grip between Wong Chia Chi's (Tang Wei) legs and the following oral satisfaction are missing.
Because alternative footage is being used we are further away from what is happening in the R-Rated.
The grip on Wong Chia Chi's neck has been attenuated by the use of alternative footage and seems less aggressive.
Here close shots of the two of them have been replaced by new shots and a more detailed scene has been removed .
Yee's hand keeps sliding over Wong Chia Chi's shoulder a bit longer.
They can be seen from above for longer.
The Close-up of Tony Leung's face is a little bit different in the two versions.
In the R-Rated the second longer sex scene starts differently and was shortened. Towards the end of the sequence the framing is a bit different in the two versions.
When Wong Chia Chi is sitting on top of Mr. Yee the frame was darkened to cover his testicles.
When they are wallowing in bed a shot of the couple from the back is missing, additionally the framing is a bit different, again (it can be noticed best when looking at the pillow).