30 Greatest Extended Cuts

Waterworld (1995)

The Original: Post-apocalyptic sci-fi starring Kevin Costner as a mutant man living in a future where the polar icecaps have melted.

Extended Version: An Extended Cut aired on ABC in 1997, running at 177 minutes long. It later went to DVD.

There’s a full breakdown of every change here , if you care to take a look.

Best Addition: We get a proper look at the way The Smokers live their lives, which includes more screen time for a famously maligned Jack Black.

Riki-Oh: The Story Of Ricky (1991)

The Original: Hong Kong martial arts film based on the Japanese manga Riki-Oh.

A prisoner living in the ‘future’ 2001 sets out to get revenge against murderous prison guards.

Extended Version: A fully uncut version of the film was released on Hong Kong Legends Label DVD in the UK in 2002.

It added in nine minutes of previously unseen (not to mention gory) footage.

Best Addition: We’re not exactly here for the film’s flimsy narrative, are we? So the addition of even more OTT comic book gore is just what we wanted.

Mallrats (1995)

The Original: Divisive romantic comedy from director/writer Kevin Smith.

Two friends head to the mall after being dumped by their girlfriends.

Extended Version: A 10th anniversary DVD was released in 2005 which added 30 minutes of footage to the film, including many deleted scenes and a number of different subplots.

Best Addition: The alternate opening, in which T.S. (Jeremy London) is mistaken as a sniper at the Governor’s house. Cue chaos.

Brazil (1985)

The Original: Running at 132 minutes long, Terry Gilliam’s futuristic head-scratcher follows Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce), who’s obsessed with the beautiful woman he’s glimpsed in his dreams.

Extended Version: A 142 minute cut was first released in 1996 by The Criterion Collection, and now comes Blu-ray approved by Gilliam himself.

Best Addition: Most of the additions are extensions of dialogue scenes, the best of that being the romantic scenes between Sam and Jill, and the explanation of the terrorists and Tuttle’s involvement.

Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

The Original: Romero’s follow-up to Night Of The Living Dead , which relocates the flesh-munching hilarity to a mall.

Extended Version: Romero wasn’t a fan of the extended cut, so he decided to snip his own Director’s Cut, which added in a load of character stuff and totalled about 15 minutes of extra footage.

Best Addition: Though there’s more character development, we also get more of the good stuff, as loads of gore is reinstated – including a brainier splatter when the janitor zombie bites it.

Dune (1984)

The Original: David Lynch’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi novel. The story revolves around a battle between the Fremen and the House Harkonnen on a desert planet.

Extended Version: There are numerous extended versions, but the main one available on DVD in the UK runs at 180 minutes long.

David Lynch’s name has been removed from the credits as the director doesn’t approve of it.

Best Addition: The new intro, which was Lynch’s bone of contention.

Using narration and drawings, it introduces us to the world of Dune – a godsend considering how confusing the film is without it, especially for a PG audience.

Until The End Of The World (1991)

The Original: Sci-fi drama set in a future 1999, where a woman encounters a man who has a device that lets you record your dreams.

Extended Version: A 280-minute cut was assembled by director Wim Wenders and divides the film up into three parts.

It’s still unavailable on DVD but occasionally tours festivals.

Much of the additional footage helps explain character motivations and adds colour to an epic adventure.

Best Addition: A bar scene, glimpsed in the theatrical cut’s trailers, which is reminiscent of the one in Wings Of Desire.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)

The Original: Steve Carell stars as Andy, the titular innocent, whose buddies decide to help lose his V-plates.

Extended Version: Additional and extended scenes were re-edited into the film for its DVD release, with 17 minutes of footage added in.

Best Addition: Many of the additions and extensions flesh out the relationship between Andy and his work buddies.

That includes an even longer version of the “You know how I know you’re gay?” gag. Sweet.

Rambo (2008)

The Original: Sylvester Stallone returns for his fourth round as the unkillable, irrepressible Vietnam veteran.

This time, he heads to Burma to rescue a group of Christian Aid workers.

Extended Version: The Extended Edition adds nine minutes of footage and is often referred to as Stallone’s Director’s Cut.

The extended version is notable for adding in more character beats in an attempt to get inside Rambo’s head. The title card’s also changed to John Rambo.

Best Addition: A little moment where Rambo, having driven the armour boat to the shore, burns the boat and his knife.

Ooo, symbolism.

Betty Blue (1986)

The Original: Romantic drama about the love that blossoms between writer Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) and waitress Betty (Béatrice Dalle).

Extended Version: A Director’s Cut released in 2005 runs at 178 minutes, a whole hour longer than the theatrical version.

Best Addition: A series of encounters with supporting characters that enrich the narrative and help turn Betty Blue into an epic of love and pain.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.