10 Films That Only Make Sense If You See The Director’s Cut

A cut above.

donnie darko
Newmarket Films

Most people believe director's cuts are strictly for the fans. Lengthier versions of the movies that hit cinemas with the wrong killer-to-filler ratio for mainstream acceptance.

While that's often true, there are numerous examples of films that got better when they got longer and took on the form the filmmaker originally intended.

Not only are some movies superior in their meatier format, others only become coherent in it, the kind of films that were marred by overzealous treatment in the editing room or excessive studio meddling.

There are times when essential subplots have been tossed on the cutting room floor, essential connective tissue linking scenes binned, and even entire characters purged from existence in post-production.

Films which suffer at the hands of chop-happy editors usually bomb critically and commercially, but occasionally redeem themselves when the director's cut emerges.

So here are the times when you probably left the cinema confused, only to realise there was a good film hiding beneath all of that celluloid mess when the lengthier version arrived on home media.

10. Until The End Of The World

donnie darko
Warner Bros

Wim Wenders's globe-trekking science fiction romp Until the End of the World was an unholy mess when it arrived in cinemas in 1991, albeit one with a cool soundtrack.

While tunes from bands like U2 and Talking Heads rang out, the audience had its work cut out deciphering a muddled narrative and poorly-defined character relationships.

But there was a fascinating film beneath all of that cinematic debris, one which foresaw the problem of tech addiction and global search engines, among other things.

Until the End of the World is often described as the ultimate road movie. It begins when a nuclear satellite spins out of control in the Earth's orbit, causing mass panic.

Protagonist Claire Tourneur hits the road in search of safety, but her advance is cut short when she's involved in a car crash with two fleeing bank robbers. Long story short, the criminals force her to transport their stolen cash to Paris, and what follows is an epic world-spanning adventure wrapped in a techno-futurist nightmare.

A 295 minute director’s cut was released as a mini-series several years on from the film's cinematic debut, and that's when everything fell into place. With all of that runtime to spread its wings in, Until the End of the World really came into its own.

The action no longer abruptly jumped from one country to another and the characters, played by a star-studded cast comprising William Hurt, Max von Sydow and Jeanne Moreau, became three dimensional.

In the form Wenders intended, Until the End of the World is worth a watch. Just make sure to free up an entire weekend if you're planning to tackle it.


Been prattling on about gaming, movies, TV, football and technology across the web for as long as I can remember. Find me on Twitter @MarkLangshaw