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filmfann's avatar

Do you generally like the original version of movies, or the director's cut?

Asked by filmfann (45539points) February 27th, 2010

I almost always buy the extended version of movies available. Badder Santa, The Hangover, The Last Emperor, and Lord of the Rings are among the many films that have significantly longer footage than the theatrical release.
Often, I find the original versions to be better. Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, Payback were all better in their earlier cuts, though the extended or reworked edits were compelling. (I have 4 or 5 different versions of Apocalypse Now).
I am about to go buy Donny Darko, but I am not sure which version to get, and would like input on that as well.

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8 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

The only thing that I liked about Donny Darko was the theme song. I wasn’t aware that you could get a Director’s cut of it.

mrrich724's avatar

I think the Director’s Cut is usually better. It just adds the stuff that they didn’t think was appropriate to make it a feature presentation, but that the Director really liked. A prime example is “Grandma’s Boy.” I never saw it until it came out on DVD. I bought the Director’s Cut, and watched it a bunch of times. Then one day I saw my friend’s copy and I thought, “what’s wrong with your movie?!” Turns out he had the theatrical version. It left out so many great parts.

rovdog's avatar

Depends on the film I think and a lot of time it depends on who had control on of the original cut. If the studio had control often the director’s cut will be significantly better because the footage is being used as intended from the start. I would say this is probably the case more often than not- I haven’t seen many situations in reverse, where the exec who took control was able to make a better film than the director but I’m sure it’s happened.

Most edits are done for length, however, and sometimes the original version is better for a theatrical release whereas the extended version is better for fans who already like the film and want to own it on DVD. That’s what I would say about Lord of The Rings and Apocalypse Now.

Gotta disagree about Blade Runner though- regardless, for me the best version is the one without the voice over. That voice over changes everything and removes a large part of the ambiguity of the film. Though I have been confused by all the multiple versions of that film.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Blade Runner was screwed over by the producers who added the narration for the hard of thinking and the stupid happy ending so as not to upset people.

The Directors cut was approved by Ridley but wasn’t actually assmbled by him. The Final Cut was the version he originally envisioned.

Unfortunately, the majority of directors cuts and special editions are the products of directors who just can’t stop tinkering. Sometimes you need a strong editor to keep things on track.

Berserker's avatar

I usually buy the director’s cut. Whether the added material makes the movie better than the original or not doesn’t really bother me. It’s usually always interesting to see what was let out, plus I’m a total sucker for added bonuses of any kind, as well as funky tin box sets haha.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Depends on the film. Terry Gilliam’s version of Brazil is much better than the studio version, which tacked on a fake happy, “riding off in the sunset” ending that didn’t flow with the rest of the movie. Blade Runner was the same, with the fake “sunset” ending, and I like the director’s cut better for that one as well.

LunaChick's avatar

Most of the time, I feel the director’s cut is better, because it follows their true vision, but it really depends on the movie.

josie's avatar

@Lightlyseared @aprilsimnel Ditto both of those. Those two movies are the only two that I have seen where the director’s version was so vastly superior to the theatre version that it was astonishing to me that such a thing could happen. It seems a shame, given the effort that it takes to make a really good film.

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