Special Report

The 25 Greatest Director’s Cuts of Famous Films

Source: Courtesy of Embassy Pictures

Fanny and Alexander (Full-length version) (1983)
> Director: Ingmar Bergman

Bergman’s sweeping semi-autobiographical period drama was initially conceived as a 312-minute TV miniseries, alternately known as the “full-length version.” Now widely considered to be the complete film, it’s one of the longest in cinematic history.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Home Video

Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006)
> Director: Richard Donner

Director Richard Donner was fired during the production of “Superman II” and replaced by Richard Lester, who re-shot a number of scenes. Donner’s original footage was later rediscovered and then released under his supervision, leading to two starkly different versions. While arguably richer in tone and story detail, the “Donner Cut” is also somewhat incomplete.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Little Shop of Horrors (The Director’s Cut) (2012)
> Director: Frank Oz

This dark musical comedy could have been even darker had director Frank Oz stuck to his original ending. To the chagrin of test audiences, it featured the plant-like space creature eating both protagonists and then embarking on a citywide rampage. Viewers can now catch Oz’s original cut on DVD and Blu-ray.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

The Abyss – Special Edition (1993)
> Director: James Cameron

Despite some groundbreaking special effects, James Cameron’s underwater sci-fi adventure underperformed during its theatrical release. He added 28 minutes of footage for the subsequent Special Edition, which gives each character more dimension and features an alternate ending.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

I Am Legend (Alternate Theatrical Version) (2008)
> Director: Francis Lawrence

The theatrical cut of this post-apocalyptic actioner ends on a tragic but optimistic note, whereby the hero (Will Smith) kills himself and his attackers for the greater good. A 2008 DVD release featured an alternate ending, which was much truer to the source novel. In this version, the hero discovers his own monster-like tendencies and forges a mutual understanding with the infected.

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