Release: Oct 08, 2017 - Author: Imbor Ed - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
Compared are the regular Theatrical Version (130:46 minutes) and the extended Theatrical Version containing the deleted scenes (134:55 minutes). Both versions are available on the HK Fortune Star Ultimate Edition DVD.
In his homeland Hong Kong, John Woo's anti-war movie/youth and gangster drama Bullet in the Head was not a huge success. But even more than 25 years later, fans of hard Eastern action flicks still get psyched when it comes to the John Woo classics. However, the regular version with a length of almost 131 minutes is considered uncut when in fact, it is not. With an original length of almost 3 hours, Woo cut things out. As a result, he had a version with a length of approx. 155 minutes which also premiered in Hong Kong. Only one day later, for its official theatrical release in Hong Kong, a shorter version (almost 120 minutes) was shown in theaters. For this version, the shorter ending in the conference room was being used. For an international distribution, and regular and well known version with a length of approx. 131 minutes was being used.
There are trailers and pictures with elements from the scenes that were cut. Unfortunately, those scenes do not excist anymore. Because as usual in Hong Kong and back in the day in general, the footage nobody seemed to need anymore was being destroyed. Tragic. There are still a few deleted scenes though - thanks to a 35mm print with length of approx. 135 minutes screened at festivals every now and then. This version has never been released on DVD. At least, the HK DVD contains a slightly extended Theatrical Version as bonus which contains most of those deleted scenes as part of the actual movie.
All in all, the bonus versions of the Ultimate Edition DVD release is 4:13 minutes longer than the regular Theatrical Version. 34 scenes have been added to the regular version. The image quality differs a lot from the regular scenes plus every single added scene has some kind of blue color filter. The frequent change of music is quite obvious as well.
Every now and then, the regular version is a few frames longer when deleted scenes have been added. This has not been mentioned seperately in the following comparison.
Ben longer when he gives dancing lessons.
Ben and Paul wonder why Frank is not back yet with the money for the wedding.
After the execution scene on the school yard, the shot of the three of them by the river is longer. Paul's words from the subtitles are audible earlier in the Theatrical Version.
More footage of the soldiers robbing the jewelry store.
More shots of the war protestors in front of the US embassy in Saigon.
Sally longer in the crowd. Journalists are getting pushed away.
The protestor in front of the tank gets grabbed and taken out of the way.
More chaos when the protestors break through the barricades.
The soldiers pistol-whip the protestor from before. Blood spatters.
The (presumably) dead protestor is being taken away. Since two scenes that explicitely show what the soldiers are doing to the protestors, it is very likely that this has been removed for censorship reasons.
More chaos at the entrance to the embassy.
Some protestors try to climb the fance.
The shot of Sally trying to escape in all the chaos is longer.
Ben runs longer to Sally.
Ben and Sally longer when they are trying to figure out a way to get away from all the chaos and the protest.
The infamous scene with our three heroes being supposed to drink the urine of other guys because they displayed too much interest in a singer called Sally who is being held like a slave by local gangster boss Leong. One gets to see how guys put filled beer mugs back on the table and zip their flies. Other gangsters than point their weapons at Ben, Frank and Paul. They are supposed to drink the urine.
Ben takes the lead and manages to have the gangsters put their weapons away. It is also Ben who drinks out first while Paul hesitates the most, spits something out and does not drink up. Leong laughes maniacally.
After the beginning of the shootout, Ben pours the beer mug with urine in it over Leong's head.
Luke fires at some baddies.
Leong threatens Sally longer. Cut to Paul who lets go of some baddie.
Ben longer when he tries to get to the boat plus Paul tries to start it.
The boat takes more fire.
The burning boat longer. The same goes for our heroes in the water.
While the others are on their way ashore, Paul swims back to the sinking boat in order to get his gold.
Luke shoots two goons in the woods. When he is taking fire, he jumps sideways.
Before the VC officer turns to our three heroes, one of the other inmates is being interrogated longer.
After Paul, Ben and Frank get decked, the shot of them lying on the ground is longer.
A single shot of the prisoners on the ground.
The shot of the armed VC approaching the American is longer. The American is supposed to kill another prisoner with that weapon.
The American hesitates longer before he kills the second guy plus there are cuts to Frankie and Ben.
Frankie hesitates longer as well when he is supposed to shoot the American. Ben on the other hand keeps yelling to get it over with already. The American is begging for his life.
And again, Ben tries to convince Frankie to simply pull the trigger and save his own life. But Frankie still does not know what to do.
Same here: It takes some time before the job gets done.
Another shot of the two American Ben just shot. There is a shot of Ben laughing in desperation as well.