Special Report

The 25 Greatest Director’s Cuts of Famous Films

Source: Courtesy of The Ladd Company

Once Upon a Time in America (European Cut) (1984)
> Director: Sergio Leone

Leone’s sprawling epic about New York gangsters was shortened – and thus butchered – by a distributor before its American theatrical release. Numerous versions now exist, though most agree that the 229-minute European theatrical cut is the best.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut (2007)
> Director: Ridley Scott

Negative test screenings prompted the studio to impose voice-over narration and a happy ending (among other things) to this sci-fi drama before it landed in theaters. Ridley Scott’s original cut was first unveiled in 1992 and then again in 2007, with the latter being the most definitive version.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Kingdom of Heaven (Director’s Cut) (2005)
> Director: Ridley Scott

Thwarted by preview audiences and studio demands, Ridley Scott originally cut 45 minutes from this historical epic for its theatrical release. He unveiled an extended director’s cut later that same year, which was instantly dubbed the superior version by critics and audiences alike. Empire Magazine referred to the reinstated 45 minutes as the “pieces missing from a beautiful but incomplete puzzle.”

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
> Director: Zack Snyder

Coping with a personal tragedy, director Zack Snyder stepped away from this project during post-production and handed the reins to helmer Joss Whedon. The film’s tone shifted as a result and the overall runtime was drastically reduced. Fan demand inspired Warner Bros to fund and then release the famous “Snyder Cut” via HBO Max, which clocked in at just over four hours.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Touch of Evil (Special Uncut Restored Edition) (1998)
> Director: Orson Welles

Universal Studios took creative control over this project before its theatrical release and without Welles’ consent or involvement. In response, he wrote a 58-page memo that carefully detailed his original vision. The film was re-edited in 1998 using the memo as a guide, leading to an approximation of an official director’s cut.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.