Originally Posted by Jedi2016
I was reading the Wiki article on the film yesterday and they mentioned that the original "director's" cut of the film, once the initial editing was done, was around three hours long.
The claims of a three-, four-, or sometimes five-hour "Director's Cut" are a myth. David Lynch was under contract to deliver a movie under 2 1/2 hours. When he fell behind schedule and it was obvious that the movie was going to run long, the producers ordered him to stop shooting several subplots that would have fleshed out the narrative in the last half of the movie. Those scenes were never filmed.
Lynch prepared one and only one final cut of Dune. It runs 2 hours 17 minutes.
The myth of the "Director's Cut" stems from stories of a cast and crew screening that took place after principal photography. What was shown then was a Rough Assembly, which is when all of the footage shot for the movie is very crudely spliced together in approximate chronological order with minimal editing. All Rough Assemblies run four, five or more hours long, because they contain numerous duplicate takes, repeated action photographed from different angles, flubs, clapboard markers and tons of footage never intended for an audience to see. The movie is not considered "edited" at this point.
After the movie bombed in theaters, MCA (which owned Universal at the time) hired a couple of incompetent hacks who had never seen a movie before in their lives to put together an extended version for television. They threw in as much of the deleted footage as they could get their hands on at the time, then padded out the running time furter (in order to stretch to a 4-hour TV timeslot with commercials) with cartoon drawings, countless repeated shots, and fake scenes pieced together from random shots stolen from other scenes. David Lynch had his name removed from this version of the movie.
The Blu-ray contains an additional 17 minutes of footage that didn't make the TV cut. I'm aware of at least one more scene that was filmed but hasn't turned up anywhere yet (a garden scene on Caladan before the journey to Arrakis), but beyond that, most of the other unused footage consisted of random establishing shots, some footage of daily life among the Fremen, and some other odds & ends that Lynch played around with but were never likely to make it into the film. Lynch likes to experiment on set and overshoot his movies, so that he can pare them down to the essentials in editing. Not everything he films is intended to make the final cut.Edited by Josh Z - 6/17/13 at 11:49am