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When I saw The Truman Show at the cinema, it was edited more heavily to make it look like a documentary about how the show was made, by whom and the actors in it, etc.

Some things were mentioned about Truman's best friend, Marlon, being an alcoholic in real-life and yet still having to advertise beer (via product placements) and have a "brewski" with Truman.

Also, Truman's wife is questioned about her part and is asked if she is "compensated for any sex-acts" with Truman. She throws a hissy-fit and tells them to turn off the cameras, shouting that she was promised there wouldn't be any questions like that.

These things and a few other, small bits, are not in the DVD print - although some are in the deleted scenes section.

Much as I like the film in the form I have and as much as it loses nothing of the story to cut those scenes, I have always felt that the version I saw originally had a much darker tone because of them and was a better version of the film. I really would love to see it in that form again. Does anyone know of an alternative cut, directors cut or theatrical print?

Also, does anyone know why the film would have been altered in this way between theatrical release and DVD print?

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In what country did you see this release? –  Katey HW Dec 15 '11 at 23:34
I'm in the UK and watched it here –  Captain Toad Dec 17 '11 at 3:50

4 Answers 4

I'll admit I'd never seen it in cinema, so I was unaware of some of these bits.

The only reason I could see to cut those bits would possibly to alter the censor ratings, it's a well known fact that sometimes films (and tv series) when rated get given one thing for cinema/broadcast but when they are put onto a media format sometimes the show/films wants to try and get a lower bar of entry.

A good example is with 'Bruno', there was a part with a swinging 'gentlemans part' and in most countries (e.g. Uk/Australia) where this gave the film an automatic 18 rating. To combat this the film had 3 seconds removed so that the rating was then changed to 12 or 15.

As another example, Red Dwarf famously had an episode that spoke about virginity and was given (at the time) a higher classification (15 I think it was), when it came to releasing the original VHS of the show, the standards had changed so that the episode would instead have been a 12, but the rules were that a show could not be reclassified unless there had been some changes to it. In light of this, there was a 10 second clip added after the credits of starbug being stuck on the ice planet. This was enough for the show to be reclassified and given the newer lower rating.

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I hadn't even thought about that, I must admit. However, my DVD print is a PG and IMDB lists the films as PG - although I can't tell if that's the current certificate or the original. –  Captain Toad Dec 17 '11 at 4:15
I saw The Truman Show in a movie theater in the U.S., and didn't see any of those scenes. But if the film got a PG rating, then that probably explains it. I can't see getting a PG with scenes about sex or alcoholism. –  Kyralessa Jun 7 '13 at 13:06

I know you may not want to hear this, but is it possible you're mis-remembering things?

It would be against the law for the film to be released under a different cut on home video without it being re-assessed by the BBFC. As you can see on their website, however, no changes were made.

(The running-time difference due to the change in frame rate from film to PAL, and is entirely consistent with no changes having been made.)

Is it possible that you saw this version on a plane? According to the IMDB a longer version was prepared for flights...

A lot more pseudo-documentary footage on the making of the fictional Truman Show was shot but not used in the theatrical version. Only some short segments have been included in the released film, in the pre-credits sequence. Segments of this outtake footage, featuring Meryl Burbank and Marlon being interviewed and talking about their roles on the show and their personal lives, have been included in some airline versions, presumably to pad the running times.

If you're absolutely sure about what you saw, then I suppose it's possible that your cinema got shipped the wrong print. (I heard stories of the Coen Brother's film "The Man Who Wasn't There" getting shipping some colour reels instead of the intended black and white ones, for instance.)

In that case, your experience was an unintended fluke...!

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It's also possible that I saw a pre-release print, I guess. I don't recall ever seeing it on a plane but I do remember seeing certain scenes that are on my DVD print as "deleted" on a big screen. I think what I was trying to determine was if there was ever and alternate (Directors or Airline) cut that I could get hold of as I liked the nuance it brought to the film. –  Captain Toad Nov 26 '12 at 14:53

I don't know if it was ever included in a print of the film, but I found a "documentary" that played on Nick at Nite on Youtube that is exactly the footage you are describing:


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I believe that is included in the dvd extras. It has all the scenes I remember and a bit more –  Captain Toad May 26 at 23:22

Weird because I had almost the opposite recently happen. I had seen The Truman Show numerous times in the past, and recently saw it again and I swear there were whole scenes in this Bluray release that I had never seen before, and I remember the original being structured differently.

In the Bluray release, we only start seeing the viewers watching the Truman show halfway through, which changes the whole feel; it's a bit jarring. In prior watchings, I could have sworn these started earlier, and the transitions between the different points of view (viewers, actors/producers and Truman) were more common, with the viewers right from the beginning.

That's probably my faulty memory though, since I can't find any information about alternate cuts, except for descriptions of these extended versions that you've described.

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