Although the film was shot in the Super 35 process, the HDTV version Pans and Scans as if it were shot in Anamorphic Widescreen instead of properly framing it for Full Frame as most Super 35 films are.
The Australian theatrical and video release uses alternate footage during the shower room scene without graphic blood squibs. The brief shot of the knife entering the soldier's throat is omitted. The metal tank landing on the soldier's head has been shortened. Shots are removed and alternate footage is used in the shootout between Hummel's men. The brief shot of Darrow's impaled body is omitted.
Some non/USA releases (Australia, Norwegian) have been cut from the original Usa R-rated version. The shower room gunfight between Hummel and Anderson's men has a number of deleted shots. The scene involving the fight between Goodspeed and Mason and Hummel's men on the underground cable car has been edited. Also, the final shot of Captain Darrow impailed on the post has been edited out.
The Norwegian version was only cut on cinema. The video release in Norway is uncut.
An Arabic-dubbed version of 'The Rock' was released in the GCC countries on December 1997. A number of cuts were made and in the Arabic-dubbed version, Goodspeed and his girlfriend were actually made husband and wife.
The Australian theatrical and video releases were edited to obtain a more commercial MA classification. The original DVD release, whilst classified R, was not the uncut version, but was taken from a UK master and thus contained the BBFC-censored UK version. Some scenes previously cut were restored, but other scenes found in the cut MA version were not in the cut R version. The film was finally released uncut on the 2001 Special Edition DVD with an R classification. The film also aired uncut on cable, with a lower MA15+ rating. in 2007, the OFLC passed an uncut blu-ray with an MA15+ classification.
The UK cinema version was rated 15 and was uncut.
The version shown twice on UK Network TV (Channek 5) was slightly edited for language, but nearly all the violent scenes cut from the 15 video were restored (including the scene when Sean Connery throws a knife into someone's throat and the line "you must never hesitate")
There is quite a bit of alternate footage on the airline version. Such as: Hummel holding and pointing his gun at Mason's head. In the theatrical version, his gun forearm is being steadied by his other forearm as he says, "That was a bad move, soldier". In the airline version, he is holding his weapon with both hands, and dialogue is inflected with a more threatening tone. He is made to be more threatening by alternate takes of dialogue, as seen in his takeover of Alcatraz from Ranger Bob and his ransom demands. There is also some alternate footage when Goodspeed is disassembling the first rocket. Also, some of the soldiers' frantic voice-overs in the beginning have been removed; the "Rube Goldberg" sequence that introduces Goodspeed has been removed. The airline viewer's first introduction to Goodspeed is the Sarin Gas incident. Some of this alternate footage appears in the TBS TV version in the United States.
In the theatrical version, Stanley shoots through the airbag in the stolen Ferrari. In all home video versions he is only seen to put the gun to it and in the next shot he is leaving the car.
The UK channel 5 version cuts Commander Anderson's death, when he is shot the first time; the shot of his blood spilling out of his back was replaced by a shot of Sean Connery.
In 2002 the BBFC waived all previous cuts required for a "15" rating in the UK.
The version shown in Singapore TV dubs all the bad language. For instance, 'pissed off' is changed to 'biffed off', and 'bullshit' becomes 'bullstid'. Also the part where the terrorist gets the VX gas ball in his mouth has different shots. Instead of the gas spurting out of his mouth, we are shown him drooling it out, while his face blackens.
For its theatrical release in Germany the film was edited to secure a more commercial "Not under 16" rating. The uncut version has a "Not under 18" rating. Both versions are available on DVD/VHS. TV version was edited even more (total ca. 11 min.) to remove all kinds of violence/gore for a "Not under 12" rating (required for broadcast at primetime).
In the theatrical version, during the baby doll sarin-gas scene. The roaches reaction to the gas didn't make them just panic and hop around. There was a shot where they began to bleed a ridiculous amount red blood. The shot was talked about in Q&A section of Entertainment Weekly after the film's release in theaters. It was proven to be completely false to what would happen. The shot was later removed from all DVD and Video versions of the film.
The UK video and initial DVD pressing had around 15 seconds cut for a '15' certificate. These cuts included the sequence in the morgue where Connery throws a knife into one Marine's neck, along with his blackly comic "You must never hesitate" line and the subsequent shot of the Marine choking. The shooting of the other Marine in the morgue was also cut to reduce the multiple angles of his foot being blown apart down to just the one impact. Also the zoom-in on his face as the ceiling machinery falls on him was removed; the shot of the machinery falling was slowed down to cover the missing footage. Connery's neck-breaking of the Marine threatening Cage was reduced in impact by removing the sound of the bones cracking. Finally, in the gun battle towards the end of the film, all the bloody bullet hits to David Morse and Ed Harris have been poorly cut out, resulting in some unusual jumps in the footage.