10 Films With Multiple Different Cuts

Why couldn't they leave Blade Runner how it was!?

Blade Runner Darly Hannah
Warner Bros.

The great Alfred Hitchcock once said, “The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder”. A quote that has long lived in infamy and while directors like Quentin Tarantino laugh in the face of that quote with the 70mm snow porn that was The Hateful Eight, more and more studio executives are starting to realise this and it's become the norm for films to have their length trimmed a bit.

While this sort of dilligence does a great job of keeping audiences engaged, it doesn't necessarily help the medium itself. Films see entire subplots taken away and some even seen a whole character removed from the film for the sake of time.

But at least it means we can sometimes get different cuts of movies to contrast the different visions.

Plenty of directors accept heavy edits as a part of the business and a part of life, and others actively encourage cutting their masterpieces down, whereas as others take out full newspaper adverts to complain about it (more on that later)...

10. Brazil

Blade Runner Darly Hannah
Universal Pictures

A showdown for the ages! In one corner, we have a power-hungry movie studio hellbent on adding a totally out-of-place happy ending for absolutely no reason at all and in the other corner, we have a director willing to fight tooth and nail for the right to cut the film his way, who will win!?

Such is the history of the battle for the final cut of 1985's Brazil that it's been parodied and referenced every time there's a battle for autonomy over a film's cut.

Brazil was released without complaint originally, however, the distributor eventually took issue with the somewhat bleak ending and insisted on re-editing it, something that the film's director Terry Gilliam vehemently opposed.

Gilliam was insistent that the film not be changed and resorted to a number of stunts, ranging from hiding in the editing room with the door locked so no one could take the film print away, all the way through to taking out a full-page advertisement in Variety to protest the changes!

Eventually, after the film's success at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Universal relented and reluctantly released a modified 132-minute version supervised by Gilliam, in 1985.

Brazil remains a classic and one of Gilliam's greatest films, but the battle of final cut was a bloody one and one that probably meant he was off the studio's Christmas card list.

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