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The Ringu Collection




Protector, The

Comparison:

  • Hong Kong Version
  • US Version
Release: Dec 09, 2018 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Asphyxia - external link: IMDB
Compared are the Hong Kong Version and the US Version (both available on the German Blu-ray by Splendid)


296 documented alterations, including
* 288 cuts in the Hong Kong Version
* 65 scenes with additional footage in the Hong Kong Version
* 61 scenes with alternate footage
* 11 recuts

Length difference (credits excluded): 6 sec
* Addiional footage Hong Kong Version: 1790.9 sec (= 29:51 min)
* Additional footage US Version: 1784.6 sec (= 29:45 min)

A few minor alterations with a length of less than 0.5 sec each have not been listed in the following comparison.


Background


Jackie Chan was already traded as a hot candidate for the US market in 1980 after his first big successes in Hong Kong. The mediocre-charming The big brawl under the promising direction of Robert Clouse (The man with the death claw) flopped and anyway, similar to the US star vehicle The Cannonball Run, he couldn't really present his qualities that made him a superstar in his home country.

Again in Asia, some box-office hits emerged in the following years, mainly directed by Sammo Hung, which are still absolute highlights in Jackie's filmography today. In 1985 there was another attempt to gain a foothold in America with his film The Protector. But even here, Jackie was quickly deprived of the freedom he was accustomed from his Hong Kong productions. Director James Glickenhaus rather wanted to turn Jackie into some kind of Dirty Harry and generally a different wind was blowing in America thanks to for example the Cannon productions or the first major successes of Stallone, Schwarzenegger and other 80s action icons. Jackie and the producers quarreled and the finished film displeased Jackie not only because of the sex and drug scenes, but above all because of the staged action that didn't fit his style at all.

Even if it wasn't enough for the American evaluation, Jackie had so much influence in the meantime that he could create his own version for "his" audience in Hong Kong or tried to save what could still be saved. This version is the subject of the present cut report and is characterized by various in-depth interventions in the course of the film, which are summarized in the following larger section of this intro.
In Japan, on the other hand, Jackie's Hong Kong version was used as a basis and a few scenes were added (both those already known from the US version and a very exclusive one) as well as Jackie's usual outtakes at the end.

First of all, we would like to refer to the excellent analysis Jackie Chan - How to do Action Comedy of the Youtuber "Every Frame a Painting" that already recommends itself. Especially the points 3-7 mentioned here can be found in several places of the Hong Kong version of the Protector and testify how much painstaking detail work and artistic claim Jackie still had, especially at that time.


The Hong Kong Version


What must be mentioned immediately and to this extent becomes clear only by a detailed cut report: The speed of narration was changed emphatically by several small cuts. In a way, this is so absurd when you consider that western distributors of films such as Rumble in the Bronx also cheerfully cut out smaller storyline scenes because this distracts from the action and in part presumably does not fit into western viewing habits. Conversely, here you can see that Jackie has classified the whole thing as too sluggish for his usual audience and thus tightened it up a bit in all possible shots, which tend to prolong the film. This can be seen in the US version of quite long landscape shots, but especially in the action scenes. Nothing of importance gets lost like this (and is therefore mostly kept in small letters in the cut report), the overall plot in the Hong Kong version simply seems much more dynamic.
This also explains why you only miss comparatively few complete scenes of the US version when looking at the Hong Kong version, although there are at least 30 missed minutes. A similar phenomenon was also observed in Jackie's first work 'The Master' with cracked fingers.

Equally suitable for Jackie's style is the often short alternative course in combat scenes. With other takes from a clearer perspective, re-cuts to short reactions and the skilful combining of individual shots, you are here in the middle of the action as you are used to with Jackie's other Hong Kong productions. The US version, on the other hand, often remains rather cold, tedious, and designed for violence rather than spectacular moments. Anyway, re-shootings weren't even necessary here, you just see a completely different approach when making the raw material in the editing room.

In fact, there were also some reshooted scenes and this is of course for many the most interesting point at the Hong Kong version. During the fights, only the final argument with Bill "Superfoot" Wallace stands out. As expected, the new shots with him are not only much faster, but were also obviously more dangerous for Jackie to shoot (keyword circular saw). Otherwise, of course, the big new subplot around Sally Yeh is the most striking. The coin leading to Ko, which also her father had worked together with Ko in the past, is a relatively crude link to the criminal case and her concern for her safety leads to a few complications on the way to the finale. At the end Bill Wallace is allowed to present his skills again and Jackie is allowed to use all kinds of equipment in a gym.

Besides the huge number of mini cuts, there are of course also a few bigger cuts, mainly in sex/drug scenes. These give the HK version a somewhat less filthy atmosphere. In itself the film has been robbed of some rough dialogue by the translation (this is not discussed in detail anymore), but especially the lack of implied oral sex in the massage salon and the senselessly naked women in the drug lab at the end takes some of the explosiveness of the better known US version. But also Lee Hing's death on the boat, Michael's patriotic funeral or some more harmless scenes of action have been removed.

Assessment & Summary of the Versions


There is, of course, much to be said in favour of prefer the Hong Kong version. There's no denying that the action scenes make a more professional/appealing impression with both, the new editing and the additions and in general it's a bit more tactful. On the other hand, the US version is still very popular for exactly this reason: Fans of unscrupulous blunt 80's action get their money's worth here and especially because the whole thing is rather unusual in Jackie's filmography, it has its charm. Moreover, the HK-version wasn't available in good quality for years anyway, so that most of them already made friends with the US-version by force.

The German Blu-ray contains both versions praiseworthy, whereby the HK version is only presented in its original language with German subtitles. This was also the case with the longer available US-Blu-ray (with English subtitles). Here and there the US version, which is used as the main movie, is unfortunately only an SD upscale, as so often happens with Fortune Star releases. The HK version is also not in real HD, but the German Blu-ray has at least clearly the upper hand: Beside an SD version, there is also an HD upscale from another source on the disc. The SD version comes from the old French DVD, which for years was the only way to get the film in an anamorphic and acceptable picture quality - the old HK-DVD failed in both criteria. The HD upscale from another master looks very modest, especially in darker scenes, but is actually a bit better than the French SD master and was therefore used for comparison. The US Blu-ray had only one master in significantly worse quality on board.

As mentioned at the beginning, there was a longer version on laserdisc in Japan at that time. Fortunately, this new scanned movie roll (worldwide unique in true HD), made it on the newer Japanese Blu-ray released in November 2014. It doesn't give you a wow effect quality wise (here are some uncompressed screenshots) and for most of you there's no real alternative thanks to burned-in Japanese subtitles and a strange English/Cantonian/Japanese language mix - but at least such a long version still made it into the HD age.

Included on the older Japanese Blu-ray you found beside the US version from known Upscale sources and an inferior master of the HK version, there is as an addition another strange handicrafted version, which was probably more or less meant as a reconstruction of the Japanese long version. Here they took the US version as a basis and added a few (but not all of them!) parts from both, the HK version and the exclusive moments of the Japanese long version again. Of course, the rhythm doesn't fit together at all and as you could already guess from the various mini-sections of the actual HK/Japan version, you got a very long running time of 105 minutes, which sounds interesting at first sight. But you should rather keep your fingers off it.



Time index refers to
Hong Kong Version (German Blu-ray / HD-Upscale) / US Version (German Blu-ray)
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Credits

The language of the opening credits is different.

US Version 1.5 sec longer

Hong Kong VersionUS Version




02:12 / 02:13-02:14

The punks slightly longer in the US Version.

0.8 sec


02:16 / 02:18-02:21

The traffic a bit longer & the approaching truck a bit earlier.

3 sec


02:26 / 02:31-02:33

Same here.

1.9 sec


02:46 / 02:53-02:56

The thugs behind the truck longer.

2.6 sec


02:47 / 02:57

The driver briefly earlier.

0.7 sec


02:53 / 03:04-03:05

Prior to this, a few frames got lost already - and here even more right before the driver starts realizing what is really going on.

1.3 sec




Alternate/ Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
03:01-03:09 / 03:13-03:19

Alternate take of the truck driver behind the wheel before he gets out.

Hong Kong Version 1.8 sec longer

Hong Kong VersionUS Version




03:19 / 03:29-03:30

Slightly longer shot in the US Version.

0.9 sec


03:43 / 03:54-03:55

Same here before the car with Billy & his partner Michael shows up.

1.1 sec


03:48 / 04:00-04:01

Slightly earlier in the car.

0.6 sec


04:35 / 04:48-04:49

Ditto.

0.7 sec


04:45 / 04:59-05:01

Earlier beginning of a distance shot.

1.5 sec


05:48 / 06:04

The truck driver who got mugged insignificantly earlier.

0.5 sec


06:24 / 06:40-06:41

Billy a little earlier before he gets to say "Welcome to New York".

0.7 sec


06:32 / 06:49-06:51

The car earlier one more time.

2.2 sec




06:37 / 06:56-07:03

Shorter scene in the Hong Kong Version due to an fade-over. In the US Version, the shot of the street is longer for the same reason and the subsequent shot starts a bit earlier as well.

6.8 sec




07:00 / 07:26-07:28

The car with the thugs earlier.

2 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
07:02-07:06 / 07:30-07:36

Before the blonde giant takes a good portion of cocaine out of his bag, he is seen in the US much earlier to open that bag in a close-up shot.
In the HK version, you see an additional frontal view of the whole gang, with which he reaches for the bag.

US version 2 sec longer

Hong Kong versionUS version




07:19 / 07:49-07:53

The thugs cross the street longer & Billy puts down his glasses.

3.7 sec


07:28 / 08:02-08:04

Billy longer on the way to the restroom.

2 sec


07:46 / 08:22-08:23

The camera shot of the big guy getting to Michael and his stuffed animal starts insignificantly earlier in the US version.

0.8 sec




07:56 / 08:33-08:51

Billy a little longer on the toilet, then the giant earlier at the bar. He keeps looking at the stuffed animal and the man behind him babbles uncertainly that it doesn't belong to him.
The Hong Kong version shows how the giant throws the man around.

18 sec




08:22 / 09:17-09:19

Billy a bit longer & the big guy gets up briefly earlier as well.

1.8 sec


08:28 / 09:25-09:26

Once again, the Hong Kong Version lacks a few redundant frames (prior to this as well - below 0.5 sec though).

0.5 sec


08:32 / 09:30

Ditto.

0.5 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage Hong Kong Version / Partial Recut
08:44-08:47 / 09:43-09:46

After the thug has landed on the pinball table, the Hong Kong version changes briefly to a close up shot of the rolling Billy and only then shows the rest of the shot respectively how it can be seen in the sparks from the pinball table.

In the US version this identical part of the scene can be watched immediately in one go instead, and after that Billy unrolls in an alternative, more distant take.

US Version 0.2 sec longer

Hong Kong versionUS version




08:55 / 09:54-09:56

When Billy fires some gunshots during the jump, the take in the Hong Kong version is aborted a moment earlier and also during the follow-up of the wounded thug it starts a bit later.

There aren't any single frames that show more violence, so the Hong Kong version just seems a bit more dynamic.

1.5 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
09:01-09:07 / 10:02-10:06

In the Hong Kong version you can still see the fall, out of the window in two short shots from other perspectives. After that there is a total like in the US version, but this one is different or rather comes from another take.

Hong Kong Version 1.5 sec longer

Hong Kong VersionUS Version




Alternate / Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
09:20-09:26 / 10:19-10:27

The thug outside runs away in the US version one insignificant moment longer.
How Billy jumps over the bar and goes to Michael, you can see in an (not very conspicuous) alternative take. Only in the US version after that, a close-up of Billy.

US Version 2.3 sec longer

Hong Kong VersionUS Version




09:40 / 10:42-10:44

The guy at the bar tries to handle the phone longer.

2.7 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
09:46-09:50 / 10:50-11:03

The US version shows the bar one insignificant moment longer after Billy ran away, then a view of Billy from behind and the thug much earlier in the parking garage.
In the Hong Kong version instead, less sluggish just a short additional shot of Billy asking a pedestrian where the guy went.

Fun Fact:
As previously described, the Japanese Version is a hybrid language-wise. Only the Japanese Version contains the scene with the pedestrian - missing in the US Version - with original English audio, while the Hong Kong Version contains that scene with Cantonese audio (aka dubbed).

US Version 8.6 sec longer

Hong Kong VersionUS Version




09:55 / 11:08-11:10

Billy longer.

2 sec


Alternate / Recut
10:01-10:03 / 11:16-11:18

In the US version you can see the Gangster running a bit longer after he jumped over the engine cowling.
The Hong Kong version now inserts the rest of the recording of the running Billy that was interrupted earlier.

no difference




Alternate / Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
10:11-10:13 / 11:26-11:37

Again a good example for the much faster staging in Jackie's rearranged Hong Kong version.

As the thug climbs over the barbed wire fence, the Hong Kong version cuts off early and briefly shows the roving Billy. After that, the thug on the other side of the fence follows.
In the US version this re-cut to Billy is missing (for the time being!), but basically you can see much too detailed how the guy climbs 10 more seconds on one side.

US Version 9.4 sec longer

Hong Kong VersionUS Version




10:17 / 11:41-11:42

The thug gets up slightly longer.

0.7 sec


10:23 / 11:48-11:49

The guy runs a little earlier...

0.8 sec



Recut
10:26 / 11:52-11:57

...and also a bit longer, followed by Billy running. It turns out that the fence climbing scene from 15 sec earlier in the Hong Kong Version is actually part of a longer scene which the US Version contains in one piece. It goes without saying that the Hong Kong Version then continues with the remaining part of the scene.

4.8 sec



10:29 / 12:00

The guy runs earlier again.

0.6 sec


10:36 / 12:07-12:09

The thug threatens the boat owners a little earlier.

1.4 sec


10:38 / 12:11-12:12

A further shot of him starts earlier.

0.9 sec


10:41 / 12:15-12:16

The splashing water longer & Billy earlier.

1.6 sec


10:47 / 12:23

The shot of Billy running across the dock is a bit longer.

0.7 sec


10:53 / 12:29-12:30

The thug a few frames longer.

1 sec


11:00 / 12:38-12:39

The people at the dock earlier when Billy appears.

1 sec


11:18 / 12:57

The boat insignificantly longer.

0.6 sec


11:33 / 13:12-13:14

Billy earlier on the boat when his superior calls for him.

2.2 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
11:39-11:43 / 13:20-13:25

In the US Version, Billy drives off in the very same shot while the Hong Kong Version contains an additional shot of him from behind.

US Version 0.6 sec longer

Hong Kong VersionUS Version




Alternate / Additional Footage Hong Kong Version / Partial Recut
11:55-11:56 / 13:37-13:42

While the US version stays unnecessarily long at the aerial shot, the HK adds a short close-up - which will be available in the US version about 20sec later.

US Version 4.2 sec longer

Hong Kong VersionUS Version




12:01 / 13:47-13:49

Longer high-angle shot in the US Version.

1.8 sec


12:04 / 13:52-13:55

Billy with his sunglasses a moment longer.

2.5 sec




12:06 / 13:57-14:00

Again a recording of Billy in the boat marginally longer, but then also a very own shot of the gangster - which you already saw in the Hong Kong version at 11:55-11:56 / 13:37-13:42.

3.4 sec



12:09 / 14:03-14:05

Redundant frame cuts.

2 sec


12:18 / 14:14-14:15

The thug slightly longer.

1.1 sec


12:31 / 14:28-14:29

The thug reloads earlier.

1.2 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
12:42-12:45 / 14:40-14:43

While the US version shows Billy turning around with the reloading thug at the front of the image, the Hong Kong version offers this in a short additional aerial shot.

no difference

Hong Kong VersionUS Version




12:47 / 14:45-14:46

Billy briefly earlier on the boat.

0.5 sec


12:57 / 14:56

More boat action.

0.5 sec


13:00 / 14:59-15:01

Same goes for the end of the shot.

1.4 sec


13:03 / 15:04-15:05

The chopper longer.

1.6 sec




13:14 / 15:16-15:21
Only a tightening cut, but for the sake of variety illustrated with some images because the scene is a little longer: more detailed panning from the air.

4.5 sec




13:16 / 15:23-15:25

The chopper up in the air earlier.

2 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
13:18-13:23 / 15:27-15:45

How Billy then asks the chopper for support through radio is to be seen in an alternative shot and in the US clearly longer.

US Version 12.6 sec longer

Hong Kong VersionUS Version




Alternate / Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
13:28-13:31 / 15:50-15:54

The pretty long aerial shot of the US version is only interrupted in the Hong Kong version with close-up detail shot at the moment Billy drives through under the Brooklyn Bridge.

US Version 0.5 sec longer

Hong Kong VersionUS Version




13:43 / 16:06-16:09

A shot ends earlier.

3.7 sec


13:46 / 16:12-16:15

Again a few unimportant frames are missing, as it continues from the pilot's perspective.

3.2 sec




Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
13:49-13:51 / 16:18

When the chopper has now taken up the pursuit, you only see the thug on the boat again, in the Hong Kong version he turns around.

+ 2.1 sec




13:54 / 16:21-16:24

Longer chopper-boat-chase.

2.8 sec


13:57 / 16:27-16:28

The boat longer with the skyline as background.

0.9 sec


13:59 / 16:30-16:31

Billy longer with the skyline as background.

0.8 sec




14:05 / 16:38-16:56

An aerial shot, then the thug shoots and Billy dodges.

18.5 sec




14:08 / 16:59-17:01

A shot with the chopper over Billy's boat a little longer.

2.6 sec


14:10 / 17:03-17:05

Billy a moment longer after he put the radio operator to one side.

2.3 sec




14:12 / 17:07-17:20

Before Billy grabs the rope, this is introduced in the US version: Billy also gives instructions via radio. The view from below is much earlier.

For the fans of Asian productions of course not so special, so that the short introduction was simply saved.

12.7 sec




14:17 / 17:25-17:27

The boat longer & Billy earlier.

2 sec



Alternate / Recut
14:19-14:21 / 17:29-17:33

Before Billy is pulled up, in the US version he gives a corresponding instruction to the chopper pilot in the same scene.
The Hong Kong version changes briefly to an additional aerial shot - which has already been seen in the US before at 14:05 / 16:38-16:56 (not illustrated again).

US Version 1.4 sec longer




14:24 / 17:36-17:40

Further cut in the Hong Kong Version before the boats smash into each other.

4 sec


14:26 / 17:42-17:43

Same here right before the impact.

0.6 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
14:27-14:29 / 17:44-17:46

The US version stays longer with the explosion from a water perspective, the Hong Kong version changes accordingly earlier to the recording with Billy hanging in the air in front of the image.

no difference

Hong Kong VersionUS Version




14:44 / 18:01-18:41

The first longer (typically American) scene, which was completely deleted for the Hong Kong version. It's actually softly blended to the Twin Towers and then cuts. Now you can see the funeral service for Michael, where his son on Billy's arm also asks sentimental if Daddy would be back soon.
Last but not least the street shot insignificantly earlier.

40.2 sec




14:49 / 18:46

The building slightly longer.

0.6 sec


14:58 / 18:55-18:57

The Hong Kong Version fades over from Billy to his superior.

1.9 sec




Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
15:34-15:42 / 19:33

Before Billy goes down the stairs, a colleague tells him in the Hong Kong version that they would stand by him.

+ 8.1 sec




16:05 / 19:56-19:57

The cop claps a bit longer.

1.1 sec


16:28 / 20:20-20:22

The cars a bit earlier...

1.8 sec




16:33 / 20:27-20:40

...and way longer.

13.1 sec




18:01 / 22:08-22:10

Subsequent shot to Garucci's threat, Billy has a grim facial expression.

1.6 sec


18:08 / 22:17-22:18

Billy and Danny a moment earlier.

1.3 sec


18:31 / 22:41-22:45

Again the two a little longer, before the announcement is made on stage.

4.6 sec




Alternate / Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
19:29-19:35 / 23:43-23:52

Alternative view of Billy and Danny, then only in the US version still an additional shot of the fashion show.
Possibly because Danny comments "Beautiful Tits" here or rather because the alternative take is a bit different.

US Version 2.2 sec longer

Hong Kong VersionUS Version




Alternate / Additional Footage Hong Kong Version
19:46-19:47 / 24:03-24:05

In the Hong Kong version you can see the explosion in a short additional shot from the ground.
The US version shows the view from above longer and then how Billy and Danny react.

US Version 1 sec longer

Hong Kong VersionUS Version




19:49 / 24:07-24:08

The thug runs a little further up in the US version.

1.5 sec


19:51 / 24:10-24:12

The thugs descend a little longer.

1.3 sec


19:56 / 24:17-24:18

Before Laura is grabbed, they walk a bit longer through the room.

1.5 sec


19:58 / 24:20-24:22

Laura's being taken a moment longer.

2 sec


19:59 / 24:23-24:24

The thug shoots marginally longer.

0.6 sec


20:01 / 24:26

Another small cut.

0.6 sec


20:10 / 24:35-24:37

At the end of the scene Billy and Danny stand there a little longer perplexed.

2.1 sec


22:20 / 26:47-26:48

A shot begins briefly earlier.

0,9 sec


22:22 / 26:50-26:51

And so does the subsequent shot of the superior.

0.6 sec




22:49 / 27:18-27:41

The first long night shot of the city is spared in the HK version, the next one actually starts a little earlier.

22.6 sec




23:07 / 27:59-28:20

The plane lands, then the trip through the streets starts a little earlier...

21 sec




23:13 / 28:26-28:28

...and is a bit longer.

2.7 sec


23:47 / 29:02-29:06

Billy enters the hotel a moment longer.

3.5 sec


24:16 / 29:35-29:36

Billy slightly earlier.

0.6 sec


24:19 / 29:39-29:40

Danny a bit earlier.

1.4 sec


24:39 / 30:00-30:06

The last shot of Danny a bit longer and then the police building from the outside much earlier...

5.4 sec


24:43 / 30:10-30:12

...as well as a bit longer.

2.7 sec


24:56 / 30:26-30:27

Before the supervisor gets up, you can see Danny playing around at the table a bit longer.

1.1 sec


25:03 / 30:34

Billy can also get up a moment faster in HK.

0.5 sec




25:14 / 30:45-32:07

Billy and Danny go out a little longer, then they have an additional conversation with a policeman in the entrance area. They get a hint about the sauna and are warned about Kos' far-reaching influence.

Afterwards you can see them marching through the streets on their way to the sauna. It becomes clear that Danny feels quite comfortable here in the red light district.

81.4 sec




26:18 / 33:11-33:52

Before the massage scene, Billy and Danny can be seen at the manicure and two girls offer themselves. Billy chooses one and Danny raises a direct objection respectively claims her for himself.

40.7 sec




26:38 / 34:12-35:45

Already Danny's greedy demand for another girl was deleted from the audiotrack shortly before, then you can see how the girl also calls accordingly. After Danny has made an ambiguous comment about the holes in the massage tables, the third girl comes along immediately. Once again Danny makes some greasy comments and the girl asks him if he wants to come. There follow some more sexual "intimations" and the girl takes her clothes off, while Billy also lies down.
The stretcher under Danny is pushed out and the girl is rolled back in headfirst.

93.1 sec

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