Compared are the Theatrical Version and the Alternate Version.
In World War II, a Japanese and an American pilot run ashore on some island in the Pacific. As time goes by, there is less and less hostility because they have both realized they can only survive as a team. They build a raft in order to leave the island but when they are being confronted with the aftermath of the war, their friendship is being tested.
Unfortunately, the Theatrical Version is not the version director John Boorman originally had in mind because changes were made at the insruction of the producers. Until recently, the alternate ending was only available as bonus - on the US DVD for instance. Thanks to the US Blu-ray by Kino Lorber, it it possible to watch the movie with the alternate ending for the very first time. In my opinion, this is the much better ending because the sudden death of the two soldiers seems kind of arbitrary - especially with the history they had. The alternate ending shows them being stuck in the events of war again and they both do their thing.
According to John Boorman, the movie started with the extended ending. But then the producers intervened and the result was the bomb that kills them both. This edited version then was distributed internationally. The only exception is France because the French distributor refused to show a version that was not approved by the director.
Theatrical Version: 101:34 min
Alternate Version: 104:46 min
In the Theatrical Version, the picture starts shaking when Kuroda runs to the American, followed by a bomb destroying the building they just run out of. Then a shot of the destroyed camp and "The End" pops up on the screen.
In the Alternate Version, Kuroda ties his tie while the American gets his backpack and goes to the door. They look at each other and know they are enemies again. The American then leaves the building and so does Kuroda.
Theatrical Version: 28 sec
Alternate Version: 1:40 min