Ben Affleck - an actor who's (mostly) successful but not generally accepted - went back to his roots 3 years ago in his home area (around Boston). After his huge success as the co-writer of the move Good Will Hunting (which he wrote together with his friend Matt Damon), he (in 2007) directed the movie Gone Baby Gone there as well. Even though it didn't turn out to be a financial success, it was critically acclaimed as well as praised by the viewers. In 2010 Affleck worked as a director again - again he also wrote the script and again the movie took place in the Greater Boston area (to be more precisely in the district of Charlestown, capital of all bank robbers). Again, the movie was praised by the critics (94% positive reviews on RottenTomateos) as well as by the viewers (the movie grossed more than 140 million $ worldwide). The movie's budget added up to 37 million $.
According to Affleck and the producers, it was not easy to cut the movie since the plot is very complex: they had to balance out all the different elements - action scenes, the relationships between the characters, the the depiction of the residents of Charlestown, the investigatory work, and (especially) the love story of Doug and Claire. The love story is very important since it is the reason for Doug to leave his former life behind; also, it offers an inside view on victims of bank robberies (and not just the bank robbers or the police officers).
The problem - which is not at all Affleck's (neither as a director nor as an actor), Rebecca Hall's or the plot's fault - is that there have been too many love stories already. Since the love story is the part of the plot that was shortened the most for the Theatrical Version, most of the additional scenes from the Extended Cut develop Doug's and Claire's relationship a little further. It's important that Claire talks to Doug about the bank robbers from Charlestown, or about her injured colleague. It is also important that the two gangsters (who were badly injured by Doug) get a chance to speak. However, these are the scenes that slow the movie down a little bit.
Apart from these scenes the movie is mostly flawless. The action scenes are brilliantly staged and might even remind you of great action movies such as Heat - obviously one of the movie's that influenced The Town (it's even appreciated in the Extended Cut). The actors are all great and the characters are so interesting that it's a pity that they don't get a little more screentime in the Extended Cut as well. One short scene of Chris Cooper as Doug's father is just not enough. The second confrontation (after Doug found out what really happened to his mother) should have been there. Kris has no screentime at all in the second thrid of the movie and overall, the script just shows too little interest in their daughter. Every additional minute of the florist would have been an enrichment for the movie. Bank robber 3 and 4 are still not mentioned sufficiently. Producer Basil Iwanyk said that (apart from the rough cut with a runtime of 4 hours) the first "real" version of the movie had a runtime of 170 minutes - therefore, it was still 20 minutes longer than the Extended Cut. It would be interesting to see that version as well.
This is a comparison between teh Theatrical Version and the Extended Cut (both included on the US-Blu-Ray). The Extended Cut will probably not be released on DVD.
9:00 | 9:02
The two FBI-agents Frawley and Dino are at the spot of Charlestown where the bank robber's getaway car was set on fire. You get to know that Dino lives in this part of the town and says that there will probably be a few dozen witnesses - but if they (as police officers) ask them about it, they will probably get no responses. Frawley in that scene also states that the bank robbers undeniably were pros - however, all pros he knows of are in jail, therefore this is most likely a new robber band.
Extended Cut: 40.5s
11:44 | 11:04
Frawley interrogates Claire. When the impression is created that she might be one of the suspects, she gets a little nervous. She only in the Theatrical Version asks if she might need a lawyer. At this point of the movie they don't see her as a suspect.
Theatrical Version: 11s
12:42 | 12:13
After a short cut to Doug and his colleagues, the movie cuts back to Frawley's interrogation with Claire.
Claire asks Frawley if the FBI will catch the bank robbers. Frawley says yes, after all, the FBI is not completely unskilled. And he also knows where the bank robbers live. Then he tries to impress Claire. He tells her of 370 bank robberies in bosten during the last year - the biggest number of bank robberies per citizen in the whole world. About 90% of these bank robbers live in Charlestown.
When Claire hears that, she's a little shocked. She was not aware of the fact that most of the bank robbers live in the same neighborhood as she does. However, she doesn't tell Frawley that she lives there as well.
Frawley goes on saying that they block the bridge to Charlestown in case of a bank robbery because, once the robbers arrive in their neighborhood, it's not hard for them to disappear. Bank robbery seems to be something or a regular job in Charlestown.
Subsequently you see Doug and Jem trying to replace the money of the robbery with money that can't be confused with the crime. At first they buy 100 pounds of marijuana from an old drug dealer who now lives in a better part of the city. Then they sell this marijuana to another dealer. During their conversation in the first drug dealer's living room they talk about how much of the money they make they have to share with the local gangster boss - Fergie the florist. While Jem accepts that they have to share some of the money with him Doug does not see the point of that.
Extended Cut: 193.5s
ALT: 16:35 | 12:53
Subsequent to that the Extended Cut and the Theatrical Version differ severely.
In the Theatrical Version you mainly see Frawley and his investigation team. He explains what the bank robbers will probably do now. They will try to launder the money by buying and selling drugs. They will use the money in casinos to just have fun with their new money. The investigators are supposed to ask around on the streets if somebody noticed something suspicious. In between Frawley's briefings and the scenes in the office you see some scenes inside the casino, of the drug dealing, and the strippers.
The Extended-Cut does not include Frawley's briefing. Since the drug dealing has been shown before, you only see the scenes which Jem introduces by saying "Now comes the fun part" a little more detailed. You see some more scenes of the casino as well as the strippers, but also scenes of Doug's team taking drugs. This scene is underlaid with a rock soundtrack.
Extended Cut: 59s | Theatrical Version: 21.5s
ALT: 19:01 | 14:41
When Doug talks to Krista inside the bar, there are two short extensions in the Extended Cut.
One major difference between the dialogues is the fact that Krista seems to be even more unappealing in the Extended Cut. For example, her brawl with the Jamaican woman (who actually comes from Somalia) is obviously xenophobically motivated and more unfair since Krista had two friends helping her out in the fight.
Extended Cut: 20.5s | Theatrical Version: 5.5s
Extended Cut: 9.5s | Theatrical Version: 2s
Extended Cut: 6.5s
ALT: 19:55 | 15:06
The ending of the Bar scene and the beginning of the following scene are different as well.
The Theatrical Version cuts from Kris flirting and Dough looking rather bored to the next scene - the two of them having sex in Doug's apartment.
In the Extended Cut it's different. Jem interrupts Kris hitting on Doug and the latter leaves the bar and goes home alone. There, he watches Michael Mann's movie Heat which obviously was an inspiration for The Town. Suddenly you hear Kris at the door who wants to come in. When Doug doesn't react, she opens the door by herself. She still has a key for the apartment (they had been a couple in the past). Doug still boredly sits around on the sofa when Kris approaches him. She pulls up her dress and then sits down on him. Then they have sex.
Extended Cut: 76s | Theatrical Version: 13s
22:09 | 16:13
Doug is shown in his apartment a little longer. He throws a puck up in the air with his hockey stick and then catches it with the stick.
Extended Cut: 7s
ALT: 22:21 | 16:17
During his workout the Extended Cut shows a short scene of the support group. In return, his workout is 1 second longer in the Theatrical Version.
No difference in time.
The Theatrical Version skips one of Doug's and Claire's dates. Instead, they show the scene where she tells him that she was robbed a short while ago. In the Extended Version she tells him that at 36:04.
No difference in time.
ALT: 38:11 | 24:01
At the end of the scene there's some alternative footage.
In the Theatrical Version Doug is shown very briefly at the end of the scene.
In the Extended Version, however, we get to know that Claire at least was not injured during the robbery. Claire says that David - the assistant manager - was heavily injured. It was Jem who hit his head several times with his rifle. Because of that he now needs an eye surgery. Claire feels bad because she was not able to visit him in the hospital since it happened. Doug proposes to do that now.
Extended Cut: 32.5s | Theatrical Version: 2.5s
38:44 | 24:04
Claire and Doug visit David in the hospital. Doug gets to know that Jem's outbreak of violence - which he does not endorse at all - will scar the victim for life: he will be blind in one eye from now on. When he leaves the hospital room and hears the police officer ranting about the bank robbers he's even more grieved.
Extended Cut: 73s
27:57 | 24:04
There's a shot of Boston for reasons of consistency.
Extended Cut: 4.5s
28:03 | 24:05
For reasons of consistency the scene inside teh restaurant (where Claire and Doug eat mussels) is a little shorter in the Theatrical Version. Therefore he only in the Extended Version finds out that one of his friends (whom he used to play hockey with) is the owner of the restaurant.
Extended Cut: 8s
28:50 | 24:44
In the Extended Version the evening is not over yet.
At first, the scene in the restaurant geos on. Doug explains to Claire where the word Tunie comes from (in the Theatrical Version we only get to know that it is used to describe yuppies who moved to Charlestown but didn't grow up there - and then the scene ends). Tunie (having its origin in the word Tune) is the word for the fancy car radios which the rich folks brought to the neighborhood and which are stolen by the "native" citizens.
Claire asks Doug about his parents. Doug avoids the question and just says that his mother moved away and his father now lives in one of Boston's suburbs - he says that he rarely ever leaves the house. Actually, his father is in jail.
Claire is from the rich town Marblehead, however, she there rather represents the underclass because her family didn't own a boat (which is the item that determines your status in Marblehead). Doug's friend has a boat and Doug suggests that they should continue their date there. We have reason to doubt whether or not it's really a boat of one of his friends. On the Boat Claire questions him about bank robbers - keep in mind that his is before she tells him that she was robbed. Doug says that many things that people say about bank robbers in Charlestown are just exaggerations. He also says that back in the days many juveniles admired the bank robbers just as if they were rockstars. Doug, however, always just wanted to play hockey but was just not good enough to become a hockey pro.
Extended Cut: 224.5s
34:04 | 26:13
Frawley has some more questions for Claire and therefore arranges to meet her in a restaurant. He's specially interested in the fact that she didn't say that she lives in Charlestown. Slightly absently she says that her adress should probably be a part of the FBI's files.
Frawley just leaves it at that and looks at his sandwich. He's a little distrustful since somebody could have done something with it. After all, the FBI is not very popular in that neighborhood. They just arrested too many persons. Claire can't really believe it and Frawley tells her that they once threw a man from the roof of a high building because he talked to the police. He manages to intimidate her. Claire asks him if she's one of the suspects and he just says that he wouldn't take her out for dinner if he thought she was a suspect. All his innuendos just serve the purpose to make Claire nervous. He seems to notice that she hides something from him - which she actually does.
In the end she tells him that she's already dating someone else. And when she asks if cops don't have any rules about dating victims of a crime he gets a little more direct and says that there are in fact rules about that - they are not allowed to have a relationship with victims.
Extended Cut: 120s
ALT 39:57 | 26:13
An alternative shot of the city.
No difference in time.
43:04 | 29:20
In the Extended Version, Doug and Jem beat the gangsters (who harassed Claire) up a little longer. They buy some cocaine from a drug dealer that they later scatter over the gangsters so that it looks like a drug deal gone wrong. Additionally the drug dealer also tells them where exactly the two guys live.
Extended Cut: 76s
45:11 | 30:11
Doug hits one of the gangsters' head with a beer bottle.
Extended Cut: 4.5s
45:17 | 30:13
Then Doug rams the broken bottleneck into the gangster's head. Then he picks up the sledgehammer and smashes the gangster's hand. In the end, he scatters cocaine all over the victim.
Extended Cut: 44.5s
46:25 | 30:40
Jem shoots a bullet in the gangster's left leg.
Extended Cut: 3s
A short shot of Jem that follows at 46:28 in the Extended Version was postponed for the Theatrical Version - there, it was already included at 30:43.
46:31 | 30:40
The gangster holds his left leg and screams.
Extended Cut: 3s
ALT 47:09 | 31:19
Shot of Boston. The Theatrical Version dissolves into the next scene while the Extended Version cuts to the next scene.
No difference in time.
ALT: 52:42 | 36:51
Both versions offer alternative takes of Dino during the FBI's briefing. The dialogue is not different.
No difference in time.
59:23 | 43:32
When Jem and Doug argue because of the next robbery - Jem seems to run a too big of a risk - Doug says: "You hate prison but you can't wait to get caught".
Extended Cut: 3s
ALT: 74:34 | 58:40
After the robbery, they leave the getaway car in Charlestown but a cop notices them. However, he turns away. Subsequent to that you in the Theatrical Version see the troop drive away a little longer. In return, the Extended Version offers an additional sentence of Jem inside the car: "He didn't wanna end up on the wall of the VFW." (Veterans for foreign wars)
Extended Cut: 5.5s | Theatrical Version: 1s
ALT: 75:56 | 59:58
The interrogation after the second robbery is distinctly longer in the Extended Version.
After they took several pictures, the Theatrical Version shows Gloansy unsuccessfully trying to read something a little longer at the beginning of the scene.
In return, the Extended Version at first shows Jem. Frawley enters the room and says "Mr. Coughlin." Jem immediately answers by saying "Lawyer!" - Frawley immediately turns around and leaves the room. Then you see Doug who is supposed to speak into the microphone but he talks way too fast and fuzzily. At the end of the scene you finally see Gloansy.
Extended Cut: 47s | Theatrical Version: 6.5s
ALT: 76:47 | 60:08
Slightly different images during Gloansy's interrogation.
No difference in time.
ALT: 79:41 | 63:03
When Flawley puts Doug under pressure, he in the Extended Version is shown in a different take when he says: "Just so we're both very, very clear." In the following cut he makes himself clearer than in the Theatrical Version.
Extended Cut: 4s | Theatrical Version: 1.5s
79:48 | 63:03
In the Extended Cut it is more obvious that there's no chance whatsoever to reduce one's own jail sentence by testifying against one of the other gang members.
Extended Cut: 19s
ALT: 82:23 | 65:23
The following scene where Doug gives Claire the necklace and she tells him that she quit her job at the bank is different for both versions.
The Theatrical Version takes place in her appartment and Doug at first asks her if anyone asked her about her dismissal (especially someone from the FBI) - therefore, he already knew about her quitting her job. He knows that bank assistants seem to be more suspicious when quitting their jobs shortly after the bank has been robbed. She didn't even see it that way and then asks what he has in the little box. It's a diamond necklace. She very briefly hesitates about whether or not she should take this gift.
When she says that she plans to leave the city, Doug says that he's ready to change his life - he wants to come with her. She shortly thinks about whether or not they're ready for such a huge decision but seems to be interested. Dough only thinks about whether or not she's okay with his past - without giving away any details. But she tinks that she says that she knows him and does not care about what others say about him. She's ready to leave the city with him.
In the Extended Cut the scene takes place outside. He gives her the necklace. Here, she hesitates way longer and Doug has to reason with her for a while by sitting down in the park.
She tells him that she quit her job. Doug is surprized but does not ask her for any persons who might have asked her about that decision. In the Extended Version Claire does not plan to leave the city but rather thinks about wokring as a social worker to help the adolescents of Charlestown or working as a teacher again. Apparently she has enough money to afford such a change. Doug says that he's ready to make a change in his life and suggests that they should leave the city together. They could for example live in Florida where his grandparents own a house. In this version of the movie, Claire is way more uncertain about their relationship and tries to find out a little bit more about Doug. Therefore, she does not believe that she already knows him. She brings the conversation round to the two gangsters who molested her. She tries to find out if Doug had anything to do with their assault since the newspapers wrote that somebody shot them. Of course, Doug does not confess to have anything to do with their assault. However, he says that he pities them and why and also prattles away a little by calling them drug dealers. She can't really trust Doug because she's not sure whether or not he had anything to do with the attack. However, at the end of the conversation she smiles when Doug calls the gangster's misfortune karma even though she says that things don't work so easy. Before she can even think about all this for too long Doug asks her out for dinner. He's hungry. Therefore the question whether or not she would want to move away with him stays unresolved in the Extended Version.
Extended Cut: 207s | Theatrical Version: 128s
ALT: 86:38 | 68:19
When Frawley pays Claire a visit to find out why she quit her job (he also wants to show her photos of the suspects), there's an alternative scene. Only in the Extended Cut Claire says that Frawley should leave after the latter eyed her necklace suspiciously. This sentence completely changes the mood of the following scene (especially for Frawley) because Claire more then ever becomes one of his suspects.
Extended Cut: 4.5s | Theatrical Version: 3s
87:51 | 69:30
Doug rants about Jem accepting another order for a robbery from the florist even though Doug wants to get out of the buisness.
Extended Cut: 13.5s
88:46 | 70:12
A short momenf of Jem and Doug when Jem says that Doug can't just leave like that.
Extended Cut: 1.5s
89:28 | 70:53
If it was up to Jem, Doug can't just leave the city because he's still responsible for Jem's sister Kris and her daughter. Jem views Doug as the father. Only in the Extended Cut the conversation continues. Doug does not view himself as the father since Kris made out with too many different men. Even she probably doesn't know who the father is. Because of these disdainful words it gets more obvious why Jem is so angry and in the end starts fighting with Doug. The Theatrical Version shows 6 frames of the previous sequence.
Extended Cut: 31.5s
91:05 | 71:58
In the Extended Version Jem longer talks about his surprize that Brendan - a guy he killed a few years back - was able to walk away after being shot in the chest. This sequence is shown in a short black and white flashback. Brendan wanted to kill Doug. For 1.5 additional seconds, the Theatrical Verison shows another shot for reasons of transition.
Extended Cut: 19.5s
97:02 | 77:38
Since Doug can't get out of the buisness right now - the florist threatens Claire (who now doesn't want to know him anymore anyway) - his abstinence is over. He gets some cocaine, sits down in a car, and gets high. After that, he fires his gun until there's no bullet left. This scene makes it very clear that he's ready for the final robbery as well as the fact that he wants to kill the florist (whom he never liked anyway - after all, he's responsible for the death of his mother). The Theatrical Version offers a different transition that takes 2 seconds.
Extended Cut: 82s
98:54 | 78:10
After he put the garland away from Claire's door Doug pays Kris a visit. He looks at his possible daughter and then tells Kris that he will disappear for a while. Additionally he asks her to tell her brother that he will be in for the robbery. Again, there's a different transition in the Theatrical Version that takes 3 seconds.
Extended Cut: 58s
ALT: 103:36 | 81:57
Different image section - probably so that you don't see the ESPN logo in the Extended Version.
No difference in time.
104:02 | 82:23
Frawley hits on Kris a little longer by telling her a story about himself when he was in a bar where a guy tried to hit on women by telling them that he was in the jury of a hug contest. Some of them believed him - therefore he could hug and grope them - at least until Frawley put an end to this nonsense. Kris iges her best attention to him.
The interesting thing about this scene is how clearly it draws the difference between Kris and Claire. While Claire always appeared to be natural during the conversations with Doug and Frawley - no matter if she smiled or just listened - Kris' mimic seems rather artificial. It's more than obvious that she's ready to throw herself at any "promising" man. Even when the conversation moves on from the hug contest to a "hit-you-in-the-face" contest or even to a fuck contest she never seems to be turned off - she just smiles. The Theatrical Version offers an alternative shot of Kris that takes 1 second.
Extended Cut: 53s
107:38 | 85:07
The robbery team's diversionary tactic was completely cut out of the Theatrical Version. You see the decoy Dez - one of Vericom's colleagues - who took his company car home over the weekend. You also see one of the FBI's agents - camouflaged with a jogger outfit - putting a transmitter on the van. Therefore, the FBI fell for the little diversion. For the transition to the next scene, the Theatrical Version shows the garage door for 2 seconds.
Extended Cut: 35.5s
108:34 | 85:29
When Doug later suggests that Jem should get out of the buisness as well, Doug is shown a little longer after Jem clearly told him that he has no interest whatsoever in quitting the crimes.
Extended Cut: 1s
ALT: 108:49 | 85:44
In the Extended Version, Jem's explanation to why he can't quit is a little longer and more detailed. He tells him a little story which the old bank robbers used to tell each other which should explain why he could never find another job as well as why he's not ready to go to jail again.
Extended Cut: 52.5s | Theatrical Version: 4.5s
109:47 | 85:54
Doug bids goodby a little longer with a mixture of contempt - which Jem doesn't notice - and resignation. At the end of the scene, the Theatrical Version shows Jem for 1 additional second.
Extended Cut: 24.5s
110:11 | 85:55
Subsequently you see the FBI agents falling for the trick of the Vericom truck driver which is by pure chance parked next to a money transporter. When they storm the truck and only find the poor decoy, Frawley and Dino are confused and angry.
Extended Cut: 49s
126:26 | 101:21
When the team is surrounded by police officers, Doug proposes to Desmond to surrender. However, the latter doesn't want to and curses him for being a coward.
Extended Cut: 23.5s
134:36 | 109:07
Doug's and Fergie's - the florist - shootout is longer. It is shown by observation cameras.
139:35 | 114:03
On his way to the train station, Doug walks through the streets a little longer. You aslo see Frawley and Claire. Frawley says that Doug apparently is not that important for her. A little haughtily she says "I guess not". Frawley is distrustful because of the tone of her voice.
Extended Cut: 32.5s
ALT: 140:10 | 114:07
When Doug buries the money in his garden, there's 1 second of alternative footage. The Theatrical Version shows the prior sequence a little longer, while the Extended Version shows the next one a little longer.
No difference in time.
140:14 | 114:10
At the end there's a scene that was only included in the Theatrical Version. Doug gets in a bus and takes a ride to the trainstation. In both versions he wears a bus driver's uniform as camouflage. Every now and then you see Frawley and Claire - some of these scenes were already shown in the Extended Version. However you now don't hear any dialogue.
Theatrical Version: 36.5s