From the rec.arts.sf.movies FAQ:
16. I was told that the director's cut of DUNE was seven hours long, and did a much better job of portraying the novel. Where can I find it?
As Jerry Boyajian explains (hopefully for the last time [but of course it wasn't]):
There is *no* "director's cut" of DUNE of *any* length. The existence of one is a complete myth. Perhaps when Lynch was cutting the film originally, there existed such a cut, but if it isn't long gone by now, it's most likely an untimed work print and not in any sort of releasable
*IF* David Lynch were inclined, and *IF* Dino DeLaurentiis were inclined (and *IF* his organization wasn't bankrupt), and *IF* the scrap footage is sitting in a vault somewhere, Lynch could probably reconstruct his original cut, but all three (or four) of those are mighty big "ifs".
No such cut exists on video, no such cut exists in any final film print. [There is also no truth to the rumor that there was a European version that was 4 hours long.]
There exists only one version of the film that's longer than the original theatrical release, and that was the expanded version made for television syndication, and it's maybe 50 minutes longer than the original. But it certainly can't be claimed to be a "director's cut" because not only did Lynch not get involved in cutting it, he disapproved of it so thoroughly that he had his name removed as both writer and director.
I have a large number of film reference books, both genre-specific and general. I follow a number of film and video magazines, and so forth. I've heard and read detailed descriptions of different cuts of various films including BLADE RUNNER, BRAZIL, LEGEND, HIGHLANDER, et alia. I've read and heard first-hand descriptions by people I know of such longer versions, or I've seen listings for them as import laserdiscs. But I've
never heard nor read of any definite, substantiated, unquestionable existence of a version of DUNE, either in commercial release or floating around in collectors' hands, that is longer than the 190-minute TV
As a matter of fact, the *only* place I've even heard *rumors* of such a cut of DUNE has been here on Usenet. [One says his rumor is of a 4-hour cut.] I've heard other rumors (via people asking about it, as did the person who started this thread) of 5-hour versions, 7-hour versions, 9-hour versions, and in one case, someone reported hearing about a 15-hour version! [Herbert did apparently mention in an interview that the first draft of the screenplay ran about 14 hours, so that may be the source of this mis-information.]
They are mythical. And until their existence is documented, and not just a rumor that's floating around the net, I will stand by that statement.
Additionally, the 190 minute tv version was available in an exorbitantly expensive japanese laserdisk box set (with subtitles in japanese), and as a bootleg video from your local disreputable trader. It's also rumoured to be up for release on DVD 'soon'.
I saw it about four years ago, and it doesn't add much to the original film. The introduction is replaced with some ropey stills and a new narration, and they didn't bother to add the 'blue within blue' effect on the fremen's eyes in the 'restored' scenes. Interesting, but not essential viewing IMHO.
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