Theatrical Cut: 1:58:00
Director’s Cut: 2:47:31
This is a comparison between the internationally released Theatrical Cut and the Director’s Cut.
Both versions have been released by Arrow, firstly as the “2 Disc Collector’s Edition”, then as the “4 Disc Deluxe Edition”, on DVD in the UK, in the 16:9 (TC) and in the 14:9 format (DC) respectively.
The difference in running time amounts to 2,971 Sec = 49 Min 31 Sec. Any variation of less than 1 second has not been considered.
Part 1 of my comparison covers the "first and second acts" of the film, which show Salvatore's (or rather, Toto's) childhood and adolescence. Part 2 starts with grown-up Salvatore's return to Giancaldo for the occasion of Alfredo's funeral, thus deals with the "third act".
Parts 1 and 2 include 425 images each, going some way to illustrate the difference between the two versions. Out of the nearly 50 minutes' difference in total, the "third act" accounts for almost half an hour's worth of footage. This goes to show that the Theatrical Cut contains a mere torso of the "third act": 18 Min 37 Sec, as opposed to 47 Min 33 Sec, not counting the end credits.
The Director’s Cut DVD starts by listing a number of awards.
68 Sec = 1 min 8 Sec
The opening credits include Brigitte Fossey who only starred in the Director’s Cut.
Salvatore observes a young couple in the car next to him. The young man does not take kindly to it.
Some more footage of Alfredo in the projection room.
Another scene of “Verso la vita” (“The lower depths”) starring Jean Gabin is being screened. The local priest Adelfio who is acting as censor is letting the scene pass.
The images are showing in a different order.
identical running time
Toto and Boccia are walking up the stairs.
A horseman is passing the school house.
Toto is looking dismayed as the school teacher deals Boccia a few more blows.
Additional shot of Toto taking a peep through the spy hole.
An older man calls for silence while the newsreel is showing a feature on the war dead.
The following shot of the boys is showing in the Theatrical Cut only, after the "roaring lion" but before the late arrival of a spectator (ca. 0:18:43):
minus 2 Sec
The ending of the film “La terra trema” is showing in the Director’s Cut.
The funeral procession with Toto and Adelfio at its helm passes Alfredo as well as another man. Alfredo pays tribute to the deceased before the procession carries on into the village.
Additional shot of Alfredo who is saddened to witness a very public row between Toto and his mother.
The subsequent scene contains completely different footage compared to the Theatrical Cut.
A new film is being screened. Shots of the boys, then of Toto. More footage of the film until "Fine" heralds the ending of the film. As the lights turn on, the audience makes its way towards the exit.
A shot of the boys. More footage of the film until "Fine" heralds the ending of the film. As the lights turn on, the audience makes its way towards the exit. However, the footage of the audience differs entirely from that seen in the Director’s Cut.
As soon as Alfredo can be seen behind the spy hole, the two versions are matching again.