20 Director’s Cuts That Are Better Than Original Films

These films have found new life through the previously rejected visions of their makers…

The struggle between the studio and the director over the fate of the film is a story as old as time, with the former usually winning by hook or crook.

Warner Bros.

However, studios will always come up with new ways to get rid of their current IP, whether it’s a cinematic bug or an all-time classic, and one of the surest ways to do that is with the famous “director’s cut.” While some cuts are just seconds of blood and guts recreation or some material has been edited to achieve a more commercially successful rating, these 20 examples prove that a director’s cut can sometimes change a film’s legacy forever.


real romance

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Running a full three minutes longer than the theatrical run, Tony Scott’s darker, bloodier version seems more appropriate to Quentin Tarantino’s original vision of the color crime thriller, even if the lower alternate ending remains on the cutting room floor.


Kingdom of Heaven

20th Century Fox Film Company / Courtesy Everett Collection

Director Ridley Scott cut to Kingdom of Heaven He transforms the excessive error into a deeper and more narratively rich masterpiece in the sword and sandal genre by adding 45 minutes that significantly enriches the emotional journey of many of the characters.


Recovery: straight

Paramount Pictures/The Everett Collection Courtesy of

Going so far as to change the entire color palette and chapter three, even excluding the main characters, the more intense and nihilistic it boils down to straighten up Pieces of payment She feels better suited to Donald Westlake’s source material and eventually becomes a favorite part of her audience.



Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Arguably, the scariest and most famous scene in Exorcista.k.a. “The Spider-Crawl,” featured during the director’s 2000 cut, which also added additional small touches to effects and sound design as well as more scenes to illustrate some personal relationships and a final note that better ties the film to an impressive sequel, Exorcist III.



20th Century Fox Film Company / Courtesy Everett Collection

Few artists make “The Director’s Story” worth its weight in gold like James Cameron, whose roughly 17 minutes of additional footage gives Ripley so much emotional depth, delving into the background of the colony, and expanding on the constant sense of tension and gut-wrenching fear throughout this final version of the film. .


Justice League Zack Snyder

Clay Enos / Warner Bros. / The Courtesy Everett Collection

Not only Justice League Zack Snyder A better movie than Joss Whedon’s theatrical patchwork saga, but it’s an almost entirely different movie with an atmosphere more in line with previous DCEU films, horrific alternate character fates, and Coda that hints at a much more interesting future for the Justice League.


The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone

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2020 Francis Ford Coppola Parts The Godfather Part Three Seems to be the same story through fresher, more vivid eyes, eliminating many of the speed issues that plagued the original and providing Michael Corleone with an even more devastating conclusion to his journey across Spiritual father long story.



Twentieth Century Fox / Courtesy Everett مجموعة Collection

While AdvisorHis theatrical plot is a bit of a cinematic failure, the director’s cut is an entirely different beast, fleshing out the characters and adding a fiercer, more subtle tinge to the already miserable film; If anything, it feels more like the grim novels of screenwriter Cormac McCarthy.


Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago

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While Rocky vs. Drago Hitting many of the same tunes as the original cut, Sylvester Stallone returns to Liberation Bay to create something closer to the original. rockyfilling it with quieter, personal moments, exploring the inner motivations of Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago, and cutting out some grueling elements that aren’t aging either, including Pauli’s robot server.



20th Century Fox Film Company / Courtesy Everett Collection

R-rated output cut off from reckless Not only is it a bloody and daunting affair, but it highlights Matt Murdock, which offers Ben Affleck a better opportunity to showcase the character who thinks more about his Catholic guilt and explores his legal prowess in greater depth.


Superman II

Everett Collection / WARNER BROS / DC COMICS / Ronald Grant Archives / Mary Evans

Richard Donner unofficial expulsion from Superman II Just weeks before its completion, it was patched up when the famed director was called upon to restore his original vision for the film in 2006, firing conflicting reshoots of Richard Lester and reprising Marlon Brando as Jor-El, Superman’s father.


Apocalypse Now: Final Cut

Paramount Pictures/America Zoetrope/Sci

The controversy between movie buffs between End of the world now And its extended cut, rehad fought for years, but it became clear that Francis Ford Coppola final cut As of 2019 it’s the film’s final trailer, because it’s not as extensive (or painfully slow) as re While still maximizing the craziness and mystery of the original movie.


Blade Runner: The Final Cut

Warner Bros. / The Everett Collection Courtesy of

Ridley Scott appears for the third time in this list with his most famous director: Blade Runnerwhich 2007 final cut He finds the sweet spot between visually dazzling style and engaging content to somehow improve on a dreamlike sci-fi masterpiece.


the heat

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Although some directors’ excerpts would add new scenes or reshape the narrative structure, Michael Mann took a different approach than the 2017 “Definitive Director Edition,” which the director used to update the film’s color timing and contrast while containing the small embellishments that had been made on the previous 2009 Home video version.


Once upon a time in America

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Sergio Leone’s epic gangster tale spans over four hours, and has essentially replaced the deeply distasteful original cut in every sense, especially when it comes to the film’s third act when the film doubles down on the inevitable corruption that accompanies greed and power.



20th Century Fox Film Company / Courtesy Everett Collection

After only being in a low-end bootleg form known as “The Cabal Cut,” Scream Factory and Clive Barker have miraculously discovered the missing take on this cult classic, adding 40 minutes of cut and alternate scenes including a stunning new ending that enforced a completely different future for the characters in the sequel. Possible (never realized).



Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Warner Bros. spent Another million dollars to restore over 30 minutes of extra footage to the perfect cut of director Wolfgang Petersen Troywhich alters the outcome, provides audiences with a fuller, bodied character arc, and even makes violence more brutal and cruel in contrast to glorification and fantasy.


Terminator 2: Judgment Day

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Not to be confused with Extended Cut, which is ultimately a version favored by many fans thanks to Michael Bean restoring the deleted anaglyph, James Cameron’s 2017 cut for Terminator 2The 3D re-release saw the film maker use modern technology to improve technical errors from the film’s initial release, including replacing the businessmen’s digital face and fixing continuity errors while adjusting the film’s color scheme to make the film brighter to compensate for the loss of light potential 3D projection.



Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Director Zack Snyder cut 186 minutes guards A major improvement on the divisive theatrical cut, the film takes time for both the scene and heightens the emotional potency of the drama, including the heartbreaking death scene of the original night owl being previously left on the chopping room floor.


This is something you do!

20th Century Fox Film Company / Courtesy Everett Collection

Tom Hanks Pieces Extended for This is something you do! It adds roughly 40 minutes to the film’s respectable running time, but changes the film in a number of crucial ways, from enhancing Hanks’ formerly ambiguous sexuality to providing a solid ground on which to leave the main character.

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