The German version (main version on the German Blu-ray by Ostalgica) was compared with the Czech version (UK Blu-ray by Second Run).
During his experiments, Professor Roch invented a new type of explosive with extraordinary destructive power. This sparks the interest of Count Artigas, who together with his assistant Simon Hart has the professor kidnapped by a gang of pirates. The two are taken to Artigas' secret hideout, an island disguised as a volcano. While the professor is allowed to carry out further experiments, Hart is locked up in a secluded shabby hut. With his wealth of ideas he manages to inform the world's armed forces about the plans of Artigas and plans his escape with Jana, who is also imprisoned. Meanwhile, Artigas is about to complete an all-destructive cannon.
The Deadly Invention is based on the novel Facing the Flag by Jules Verne. The illustrations from the book served Karel Zeman as the basis for his imaginative film adaptation, which is full of futuristic machines and inventions. By means of various trick techniques such as stop motion, matte painting or miniature constructions, the world created by Verne was captured on the screen in an astonishing way. For fans of sci-fi movies, this version can only be recommended. The UK Blu-ray is highly recommended as it is based on a restored version and contains two cuts of the film.
For its release in the US, the film was dubbed in English by producer Joseph E. Levine and renamed to The Fabulous World of Jules Verne. The opening and closing credits were changed and an introduction by US showmaster Hugh Downs was added. Downs is allowed to rave about the new technical achievements and hold a few miniature models at the camera before the film begins. Otherwise, there are no other differences between the versions. It's rather a matter of taste whether you need the introduction. From today's point of view and probably also back then, it seems a bit naive and doesn't quite fit into the rest of the movie. It's because of this naiveté that it has its charm. The English dubbing takes some liberties and at some points deviates strongly from the original dialogue. However, since it is conclusive in itself, you can speak of an interesting alternative, especially since the voice actors were well chosen.
As you can read in the IMDb, the US version was adapted for TV broadcasting. The introduction of Downs has been removed again, as has the following scene in the writing room, which is commented on by Downs, but is available in the Czech version. In addition, two scenes in which Czech text can be seen have been shortened. A newspaper clipping at the beginning of the film was probably overlooked. The reason for removing a camera tracking shot of a clock in the middle of the film remains somewhat unclear.
You can watch the TV version at archive.org.
The main version on the German Blu-ray by Ostalgica is based on the restored Czech version, but there is no short scene in the middle of the film when Professor Roch reflects on his records. In the UK Blu-ray, you see another shot in which the camera approaches the clock. The same scene is missing in the US TV version. Probably the scene was already missing in the master that was used for the US version and the German Blu-ray. In the main version, the restoration credits are missing, so the runtime is somewhat shorter compared to the UK Blu-ray. The short cut is acceptable so that you can live with the German Blu-ray.
The bonus material of the German Blu-ray includes two further versions of the film, the German version and a partially restored Czech version, each in SD resolution. The German version has newly designed opening credits and exactly the same cut (camera movement on the clock) as the main version. The Czech version, on the other hand, is uncut, but unfortunately has only the Czech sound without subtitles. The difference in the running time of the German version is due to the fact that the opening credits have been replaced, whereas the Czech version runs somewhat faster and is therefore shorter.
Preamble of the German version from the bonus material:
Czech version (UK BD): 82:32 Min.
Short film tears are not listed in the comparison.
The German version begins with the following title insertion.
In the Czech version, the following text tables are shown instead.
DF: 6 sec.
T: 13 sec.
Professor Roch can be seen a little longer. Then the camera moves from his documents to a clock.
T: 11 sec.
The Czech version fades in an end sheet, then the credits of the restoration follow.
T: 1:00 Min.