The movie Malèna offers unbelievably beautiful cinematography, Ennio Morricone's best score in years and a phenomenal lead actress. Despite all of that, the Oscar-decorated producers from Miramax could resist to remove 15 minutes of what makes the movie a masterpiece. In part because they did not want brilliant shots and ingenious music to dominate whole sequences of the movie and in part because they are from a country where prudery is the highest of all moral virtues coupled with an inclination to spread this virtue around the globe. Only in Italy, its country of origin, it was possible to release the movie uncensored.
And again Hollywood-haters are proved right. Did the Oscar-jury watch the uncensored version? Definitely not. Could Ennio Morricone have taken home the Oscar home after his fifth nomination? After all, two how his best compositions were lost in the cutting-room. And how about Lajos Koltai, who might have won the Oscor if not 17 minutes of brilliant shots had been erased? We will never know. Thanks Bob. Thanks Harvey. Thanks Miramax.
Difference in running-time: 1.065 seconds = 17:45 minutes in 48 scenes
Again the boys stop their bicycles to marvel at Malena.
Renato is in his room and dreams of Malena. In slow motion he again sees fragments of the first time he met her. His memories are focused on explicit detail, like the suspenders that could be sensed under her skirt and the the nipple that pressed against her blouse.
After the argument with his father, Renato sneaks out of the apartment at night and goes to Malena's house. There he climbs up a tree and watches her through a hole in the wall how she walks through the room and listens to the war reporters. During that the camera also shows her wedding pictures. The scene in which Renato climbs out of the window and walks through the streets is also used in the international version later. 1:35 min
Renato watches Malena sit on a chair in the garden with wet hair. The camera pans along her body seamlessly switching to Renato's fantasies in which he is suddenly lying beneath to catch the water dripping from her hair (beautiful shot). Then back to Renato as hidden observer. At night he again climbs up the tree to watch Malena's house.
In the next scene the Director's Cut shows several different shots, some of them are closer and also longer than in the international version.
Malena goes on dancing and starts to cry. Then she goes to the second floor and takes off her clothes. (Only her shadow is shown)
When Renato wants to make himself comfortable on his bed with his salascious pictures, his imagination again carries him away. Malena stands in the door and then walks toward him, ready to seduce the boy. Here the international version fades out. The Director's Cut fulfills the expectations of the audience and Renato. What a lucky guy.
The boys again watch Malena
Renato rides on his bicycle through town longer.
Malena walks through town again and all eyes follow her.
Another walk through town.
Renato watches Malena. The other men do the same.
Malena walks toward the camera.
Malena walks past Renato - without noticing him. He follows her.
Renato stands next to the banister longer before he throws up.
Renato talks longer to the bicycle salesman before he sees Malena.
The collage of b&w movie scenes continues. In a new scene Malena as Cleopatra takes out the tiny Renato of a basket and... well, see for yourself.
Renato rides his bicycle to Malena's house.
The self-assurance ceremony of the fascist elite on the the stakes takes longer. The mother (?) is given a ribbon.
After Renato has promised the mourning Malena that he will take care of her in the future, she hugs him. Then a procession, in which a statue of the Mother of God is carried through the streets.
Renato mistakes the statue for Malena.
for 3 sec Renato's face is shown in the international version.
Renato has to pass another test of courage from his clique. In the cinema he has to chat up a prostitute but he doesn't dare to.
When Renato is watching Malena in the garden, the beginning of the shot in which Malena walks to the laundry.
Same scene: Malena checks whether the laundry has already dried.
How Renato looks past the wall, is slightly different in each version.
After his pantie-theft, he gets his bicycles and rides away.
After Renato has oiled the springs of his bed he lies down, puts the pantie on his face and enjoys the scent.
After the doctor has prescribed more fresh air to Renato, he rides through town longer and of course passes Malena's house. When he stops in front of it he sees several men driving past the house in their cars, even some walking by and starring at the house, only to get a glimpse of the gorgeous Malena.
After the wife of the dentist has caught her husband watch Malena's house (and fight with a soldier), she hits him at the end in the Director's Cut.
Malena walks through town longer.
When Malena takes her seat in the court room, Renato again dreams of her. He does not see her in her black dress but naked.
After the hearing the lawyer takes on Malena. In the longer version it is shown how he puts his hands between her legs and takes of her clothes.
Again, Renato goes to the cinema in an attempt to pass the test of courage with the prostitutes who in the dark theater give their paying customers hand-jobs. Even though his friends are not there and nobody can see him he has one of the women do her job. The screen shows a scene from the second world war and of course his thoughts are also somewhere else. First he sees Malena and then himself on the screen.
Malena walks through town with men gaping at her. A group of soldiers gets in her way. Malena does not seem as self-confident as she used to be. The contempt of the other people seems to get to her.
After Malena's father has died, the procession on the semetary is missing.
After Malena has cut off her hair, she washes herself. Renato watches her her. This is directly followed by the scene in which officer Salvadore brings her some food and in exchange is allowed to take advantage of her. These shots are shown in the international version later and are shorter. See: next 3 cuts.
Salvadore kisses her breast slightly longer and pushes her through the room.
Salvadore continues to sleep with Malena. Since she depends on the food of her admirers, she tolerates it but her mind his absent.
Angrily, Renato turns away from the window and leaves. Then the first shots of the town are missing.
Again a dream of Renato that is based on an old movie. Malena has been tied between two trees by an indigenous jungle tribe. The people dance around her, while Malena is screaming for help. Renato appears with a parachute from the sky and before he can take his love into his arms, he kills the savages with a machine-gun. Of course, he again does it for himself during this fantasy, which drives his father mad.
When Renato is among the prostitutes, the collage with the dancing ladies, including many chimeras of Malena, is only 5 seconds in the international version. In the Director's Cut it's 46 sec. longer.
The prostitute takes off Renato's clothes.
Then she takes off her own clothes. Renato is shown briefly on the bed in the international version.
After Renato's brief chimera of Malena, the international version fades out. In the Director's Cut the prostitute bends over his torso and comes closer.
Malena is beaten up longer.
The ugly woman cuts off more hair.
She is tossed around longer and more hair is cut off.