Battle of the Bulge (1965) Poster

Alternate Versions

The original 1965 theatrical release in the UK ran 212 minutes 1 second.
The film was originally screened at about 170 minutes. When it was initially released on North American home video in the 1980s, it was trimmed to a mere 141 minutes. Most of the cuts involved was seen as "unnecessary" battle footage, such as when Guffy's tanks arrive in the first major battle scene to back up Major Wolenski's battalion and, later, portions of the German day attack on Ambleve are missing, among other scenes. The 1990 video and subsequent home video and laserdisc releases run 156 minutes (in order to market the film on a T-160 videotape) and restore the original Overture, Intermission and Exit Music. Four key scenes are still missing:
  • 1. Colonel Hessler and General Kohler meet Schumacher's paratroop contingent just after they leave Kohler's office.

  • 2. After Kohler shows Hessler the colossal war room, Hessler goes outside and inspects his tanks.

  • 3. After Pritchard tells Kiley he is being transferred to the United States, Kiley and Maj. Wolenski discuss what should be done with Germany after the war.

  • 4. The most famous missing scene occurs right after the nuns ask Hessler for aid in Ambleve. It has a young French boy attempt to assassinate Hessler. Hessler allows the boy to live, but has his father shot instead. Immediately after this scene, Major Wolenski has a meeting with Hessler in which he confronts him about the Malmedy Massacre.

Some TV versions are nearly complete. TNT aired one in the late 1990s which was missing the Overture, Intermission, Exit Music and also excised most of the Cinerama footage of the train making its way through the mountains. The pan-and-scanning on this version was significantly different than that on the previous VHS releases.
The Warner Brothers DVD released on 3 May 2005, restores all of the missing scenes as well as a fifth scene featuring James MacArthur and George Montgomery. The disc runs only a few seconds short of 170 minutes. The film is also presented in the correct 2.75:1 aspect ratio, not the 2.20:1 ratio which TV and Laserdisc versions were framed at.

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