Each year, Turner Classic Movies crafts a tribute to actors,
While many directors stop working on their movies after they’re released in theaters or on home video, some others just can’t leave their movies alone. Here are 7 directors who keep tinkering with their movies…. long after they were released.
- Steven Spielberg. In 2002, Steven Spielberg went back to re-edit and update E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial for the 20th anniversary of the release of the movie in 1982. He made the film more kid friendly by taking away guns and replacing them with walkie-talkies and updating the special effects that brought E.T. to life. He realized that it was a mistake to tinker with E.T., so he returned the film to its original form in 2012 for its 30th anniversary.
- Oliver Stone. He just can’t stop re-editing Alexander. The original version of Alexander was released in 2004, but the following year, Stone released a “Director’s Cut” on DVD in 2005. Two years later, Oliver Stone released a “Final Cut” of Alexander in 2007, while in 2013, he released an “Ultimate Cut.” I bet we’re going to see a “Definitive Cut” of Alexander sometime in the near future.
- Ridley Scott. While Blade Runner was released in 1982, the science fiction film went through a number of re-edits and versions with a “Director’s Cut” in 1992 for its 10th anniversary. Ridley Scott re-edited Blade Runner again with “The Final Cut” in 2007.
- Michael Cimino. Heaven’s Gate goes down in history as the biggest box office bomb in movie history. It’s original workprint clocked in at 325 minutes while its original theatrical edition was cut down to 219 minutes. When the film opened to more theaters in 1981, it was cut down again to 149 minutes. Heaven’s Gate was restored to its original “Director’s Cut” with a running time of 216 minutes in 2012.
- George Lucas. He’s notorious at tinkering with the Star Wars Saga. You can go as far back as adding the subtitle “Episode IV” and “A New Hope” to the original Star Wars in 1981. In 1997, for the 20th anniversary of Star Wars, George Lucas re-released the trilogy with a brand new “Special Edition” for the original trilogy. Lucas updated the film’s special effects and sound design, while he also went a step further when the trilogy was released on DVD in 2004. He made the original trilogy more consistent with the prequel trilogy.
- Francis Ford Coppola. While Apocalypse Now was released in 1979, Francis Ford Coppola re-released the film with a new edit called Apocalypse Now Redux in 2001. He added 49 minutes to the original edition of the film.
- Terry Gilliam. While Terry Gilliam finished Brazil without a hitch in 1985, he ran into a road block when he tried to release it. Universal Pictures thought the 142 minute version of the movie was too weird and strange for American audiences, so they re-edited it to a 94-minute cut with an emphasis on the love story and a happier ending. Gilliam restored the movie to its original cut for International audiences and for the home video market. The Criterion Collection offers every version of Brazil in an impressive package with the tag the “fifth and final cut.”