Comparison between the Theatrical Version and the Unrated Director's Cut (both on the US-DVD from Universal)
Theatrical Version: 95:27 min without ending credits (102:26 min including ending credits) in NSTC
Unrated Director's Cut: 112:07 min without ending credits (119:06 min including ending credits) in NTSC
- 36 changes, including
* 8x alternative footage
* 5 recuts
- Difference: 16:40 min
The remake wave is at an all time high and now has taken the 1941 horror classic The Wolf Man along with it. After his brother has disappeared, Lawrence Talbot returns to his home town where he is confronted not only by his alienated father but also a series of murders apparently committed by a wolf-like creature to which his brother had fallen victim as well.
Despite the prominent cast the resurrection of the Werewolf myth was not loved critics and audience. On reason might have been the various production problems and the long delayed release of the movie. When after several attempts director Joe Johnston was hired, the script had been re-written yet again. The budget rose from 85 to 150 million and the release was delayed from November 2008 to February 2010. Also, the somewhat dark score composed by Danny Elfman was planned to be used in an earlier, much longer version while parts of the score were planned to be replaced by music by Paul Haslinger (Underworld), making re-shoots necessary. This was dropped at the very last minute.
It also had been debated whether the movie was going to get an R or a PG-13. Given the rather violent result, we can be grateful that there haven't been any censorship measures up front.
Anyhow, one gets the impression that especially the Theatrical Version is not as good as it could have been. Especially the setup of the characters feels rushed.
The production company's trouble is the customers gain – on the first of June two versions were released in the USA. Both can be found on the same DVD so there's no need to fork over money for the same movie twice. Also, the Blu-ray is packed with bonus footage while the DVD only sports a few deleted scenes.
The Unrated Director's Cut (although the director called it an "Extended Cut" the DVD cover sports the usual "Unrated Director's Cut", so we'll call it that in this report) is almost 17 minutes longer and features a lot of new footage but only a tiny few more frames of violence in the middle of the film as well as one victim dying a different, somewhat violent death. Looking at the other effects, censorship seems unlikely.
Especially the first half features numerous new scenes that make the movie a lot more complete. The opening as well as the characters are much more fleshed out. What is shown as a one minute summary in the Theatrical Version is now much longer and also slightly different. The relationship between Gwen and Lawrence as well as the somewhat tense relationship between him and his father Sir John make a lot more sense in the DC.
Another interesting thing is the short cameo of Max von Sydow as a mysterious stranger who gives
Lawrence his cane which is not present at all in the Theatrical Version. However, surely observant viewers have noticed the remaining "Assistant to Mr. Von Sydow" amidst the ending credits...
The rest of the extensions are a matter of taste but are not bothersome in any way. Noteworthy above all are the new scenes with Anthony Hopkins who plays a much darker character in the DC.
All in all an extended version that is definitely worth watching.
Running time data is arranged as follows:
Theatrical Version in NTSC / Unrated Director's Cut in NTSC
The Universal logo is much more retro in the DC.
02:39 / 02:39-02:51
While TV goes from the werewolf's hand straight to the title the DC lets Ben crawl a bit more. The werewolf follows him up the stairs and bites him.
The title appears a bit slower in the DC; the blood drips down a bit longer – in exchange the DC changes over to the next scene accordingly earlier.
02:45-03:37 / 02:57-10:09
The DC introduces Lawrence in much more detail. Instead of sending him a letter, Gwen appears in person, a connection to the opening incident is made, the relationship with Lawrences father is mentioned and his decision makes more sense. Here and there the same shots have been used but the two versions are not identical until the cave entering.
We start with the ride in the carriage, intercut with Lawrence on stage and Gwen writing. She reads from the off what she is writing:
"Dear Mr. Talbot. I believe your brother has mentioned me to you in correspondence. I'm Gwen Conliffe, Ben's fiancee. I'm writing to inform you of your brother's disappearance. He has been missing now for several weeks and we fear the worst. It has come to my attention that you are currently here in England with your theater company but that you return to America soon. I understand that you have not spoken to your family in many years, but I implore you to help us find Ben. Please come to Talbot Hall."
Lawrence plays Hamlet in London while Gwen watches hm. After his performance she burst into the dressing room where he flirts with a woman.
Gwen: "Excuse me..."
Man: "This is a private party, miss."
Gwen: "My name is Gwen Conliffe, and I'm engaged to your brother, Ben."
Lawrence: "Is Ben here?"
Gwen: "No. I'm afraid no one knows where Ben is, which is why I'm here."
Lawrence thinks about it and indirectly orders the room to be emptied: "Clive..."
Clive: "Well, boys and girls, let's repair to the tavern!"
The people are leaving, one says: "Good night, sweet prince."
Lawrence: "I seem to recall, Miss Conliffe..."
A woman drinks a bit of wine while giving Gwen an angry glare before leaving.
Lawrence: "I seem to recall he mentioned you in one of his letters. And it's quite uncharacteristic of my brother to treat a lady in such a way, but the character of man is such a shiftable thing."
Gwen: "You misapprehend me. Benjamin is missing from Blackmoor. He's gone."
Lawrence: "Did my father send you?"
Gwen: "No, I'm here on my own. It's been nearly a month since anyone has seen Ben, and we knew that you were in London. I'd hoped you had received some word."
Lawrence: "Why do you think he's in trouble?"
Gwen: "Because the night he went missing, two villagers were killed. Would you help us?"
Lawrence: "Miss Conliffe, I am under contract for the next 30 performances."
Gwen: "If this is about your father, I know how you feel."
Lawrence: "Do you? My company leaves for America tomorrow. I simply can't help."
Gwen "He is your brother."
Lawrence: "Good night."
Gwen: "It must be a wonderful luxury, doing battle with imaginary demons, Mr. Talbot. Mine right now are very real."
Lawrence stands by the window before we see him in the train. A photograph falls out of his pocket, noticed by a fellow traveler (Max von Sydow) who then asks: "Your mother?"
Lawrence picks it up: "Yes."
The man talks a bit: "My oldest memories of my mother, we are gathering grapes in her father's vineyard. It is my Garden of Eden. You're paying yours a visit?"
Lawrence: "No, my mother died not long after this was made. My father and my brother, they live near Blackmoor."
The man looks at his cane: "A man needs a good stick on the moor. I purchased this one in Gévaudan lifetimes ago. It's the work of a master silversmith. Would you do me the honor?"
Lawrence is given the cane and examines it: "It's beautiful."
The man says: "It will give me great pleasure to know that it was the keeping of a civilized man. Its heft is somewhat too much for me these days."
Lawrence: "You're overly kind. But I'm afraid I must refuse it."
The man takes the cane back: "As you wish."
Lawrence goes back to sleep.
Lawrence wakes up upon arrival in Blackmoor, only to notice that the man has left his cane with him anyway. He takes it and then has it with him during the following ride in the carriage (longer/new shots compared to the TV). The carriage arrives at the family manor.
DC 379,6 sec longer
08:45-08:53 / 15:18-16:32
While in the TV Lawrence stays in the background drinking, he angrily interrupts the conversation in the DC when people proceed to speak ill of his family and his mother.
After "Wouldn't leave the house on a full moon" the TV shows the other men listening and the "from then on" is heard from the off.
The barkeeper says: "I still say that bear's to blame."
Lawrence takes another swig from his glass.
The DC shows MacQueen during the rest of his line.
Montford: "He thought it was a werewolf!" - the people laugh.
Barkeeper (in different shots): "I still say that bear's to blame."
The conversation continues.
"You'd think the Talbots would've learned their lesson, eh? Consorting with the Romas."
Montford: "Right. Remember that black-eyed Salome the old man married? Went crazy up there in the ward, killed herself. She was a gypo whore queen or some such, wasn't she?"
Lawrence has emptied and thrown away his glass and approaches the group: "Yes. She was crazy...for coming to this shithole you call a town."
A man asks "What did he say?" and Montford says: "You're in your drink, boy."
Lawrence splashes booze in his face, followed by: "Get him out of my tavern, Nye!"
Lawrence: "If you want to do something about it, I'll be outside. My mother wasn't a whore."
A man asks "Lawrence Talbot?" and Montford looks shocked.
DC 65,8 sec longer
08:58 / 16:36-21:19
Lawrence and Sir John are talking over dinner and Gwen joins them. The argument ranges from Lawrence's acting career and his presumed aversion against country life to the death of his mother and the disappearance of his brother as well as his connection with the Gypsies. The last part is in the TV as well but only after 10:16 / 22:34.
Gwen is greeted in the dining room: "Good evening. Please join us. It's good to see you up and about. Refreshed, recovered and as enchanting as ever. Please, join us. Good evening, Miss Conliffe."
Sir John: "What a pleasant surprise. May I recommend the baked eel? Singh has outdone himself this evening, haven't you, Singh?"
Gwen refuses and Singh puts it away: "Something plainer. Thank you."
Sir John: "I was a moment ago telling my son that the telegraph system does reach us here in lonely old Blackmoor."
Gwen: "Do you find your home much changed, Mr. Talbot?"
Lawrence: "Blackmoor does seem rather the same as I left it."
Sir John: "How so?"
Lawrence: "The villagers, they still have the same wild ideas."
Sir John: "Yes, well, they're a provincial lot, I must say, ignorant and superstitious to a worldly man such as yourself. We're savages at the ends of the earth."
Gwen excuses herself: "I didn't intend to start a squabble."
Sir John: "All I'm saying is that you dismiss the natural man at your peril. That's all."
Lawrence: "I find your insecurities quite strange, Father."
Sir John: "No, you mistake that for my self-awareness. And how comfortable are you in your skin, may I ask?"
Lawrence: "One can get used to anything."
Gwen leaves: "Excuse me."
Cut to the writing room where Lawrence is lying on a couch in front of a portrait of his mother.
Sir John: "You know, Lawrence, I've never understood what it is that you do, pretending to be other people. But I understand you're highly celebrated and famous for it. Perhaps one day I'll see for myself what all the fuss is about. I think your mother would've liked that. She loved you and your brother with all her heart."
Lawrence mentions her suicide: "Why did she do it?"
Sir John: "She struggled with life, as we all do. She lost. Does that answer your question?"
Then they talk about Ben which is also in the TV so it's not listed at this point.
altogether 283 sec
09:36-09:44 / 21:57-22:01
The dialogue between Lawrence and Gwen is different since they haven't met in the TV.
Lawrence introduces himself: "I'm Lawrence."
Gwen: "I know who you are."
Lawrence: "I'm sorry, we're meeting like this."
In the DC he says "My behavior was unacceptable" and the following shot starts earlier.
TC 3,8 sec longer
10:17-12:31 / 22:34-22:50
After Gwen has thanked him for coming, Lawrence nods in the TV. Then follows the conversation about Ben's connection to the Gypsies.
In the DC he bows and leaves.
TC 117,5 sec longer
21:36 / 31:55-32:49
Lawrence walks through the fog longer.
24:56 / 36:09-37:12
Gwen reads longer, goes to the bed and tucks Lawrence in. Then she walks down the stairs to find Sir John looking at her. She asks "Is everything all right?" but he doesn't answer.
26:50 / 39:06-39:19
Gwen turns around and watches Sir John leave (shown after the shot of Lawrence in the TV).
26:53-26:57 / 39:22
Gwen looks to Lawrence in the TV.
+ 3,8 sec
29:47 / 42:12-42:44
The conversation between Lawrence and Aberline starts earlier.
Lawrence: "It was an animal."
Aberline: "You're quite sure? What else could it have been?"
Lawrence: "There are other witnesses, no doubt, that had a better look than I did."
Aberline: "Well... Not too good a look, I'm afraid. None of the locals survived to tell of it, and the gypsies only talk of demons and devils."
42:30 / 55:27-56:19
Lawrence comes in and grabs a rifle while Sir John is standing at the edge of the stairs: "Lawrence, Miss Conliffe has left Blackmoor."
Lawrence: "Yes, I sent her away. She's probably in London by now."
Sir John: "Why would you do that, Lawrence?"
Lawrence: "Because this place is cursed."
He drops the bullets and Sir John leaves, followed by him walking across the courtyard.
42:33-42:35 / 56:22
Here the TV shows Sir John leaving as well.
+ 2,3 sec
42:39 / 56:26-57:00
Lawrence leaves the room, sees Sir John and follows him while Singh packs some things..
42:52-43:00 / 57:13-57:14
Here the TV shows the shot of Singh. In exchange, the following shot starts earlier in the DC.
TC 7,3 sec longer
43:09 / 57:23-57:27
The shot is longer and Sir John holds the lantern up in the background.
43:13-43:14 / 57:31
The following shot starts later in the DC and only now he holds up the lantern in the TV.
+ 0,8 sec
43:20 / 57:37-57:43
Din exchange, the shot is 0,8 sec longer at the end and the following shot of Lawrence starts earlier.
43:35 / 57:58-58:06
Lawrence approaches the statue longer and the following shot begins earlier.
43:39 / 58:10-58:26
Lawrence walks around the statue and wind blows in his face.
48:04 / 62:51-62:52
Johnny falls to the ground a bit longer.
48:05 / 62:53-62:56
Shots of the hunters.
48:06 / 62:57-63:02
The man looks around and is approached by he werewolf.
48:07-48:08 / 63:03-63:06
We see one of the hunters (MacQueen). The following shot has been mirrored.
DC 1,5 sec longer
48:10 / 63:08-63:09
The werewolf impales Johnny with his hand a bit longer and the following shot starts earlier.
48:14-48:15 / 63:13
The DC shows Johnny longer while the following shot of MacQueen starts earlier in the TV.
TC 0,6 sec longer
48:16 / 63:14
The closeup of his hand starts earlier in the DC.
48:29 / 63:27-63:35
While MacQueens death is only hinted at in the TV, the DC continues with the werewolf approaching him when the other hunters shoot MacQueen themselves. The werewolf roars and both versions are identical again as he jumps out of the hole.
57:07-57:09 / 72:12-72:31
The TV accompanies the line "Poor... Poor old Singh" with a shot of Lawrence.
In the DC Sir John continues: "Yeah. You know, I never told you this, Lawrence, but I used to be a bare-knuckle prize fighter when I was a young man in the ports of Boston, San Francisco, New York. Back in the good old days, before you were born. Long time ago."
DC 16,2 sec longer
73:03 / 88:25-88:34
The DC shows the paperboy announcing the news: "Globe! Globe! Lawrence Talbot is still missing! Police scour London!"
Only the DC has the paperboy shouting even between the two extensions.
73:13 / 88:45-89:15
The shot is longer and Lawrence approaches the paperboy. He looks at the newspaper and buys all of them.
73:59-74:03 / 90:01
Here the TV shows the shot of the train that was already shown in the beginning in the DC before we see Gwen in the train.
+ 4,8 sec
82:26 / 98:24-98:52
Lawrence walks to the front to open the door for his dog and lets him out.
82:34 / 99:00-99:14
For continuity, the following shot after the piano play starts earlier – Lawrence steps away from the door.
The Theatrical Version shows the MPAA rating after the credits. The Unrated features a longer black screen.