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One has to differentiate between three official cuts of the movie. First of all there's the Theatrical Cut that runs approx. 175 minutes. and has been released to cinemas in November 2004.

In July 2005 a Director's Cut was put out on DVD that is shorter than the original version and runs approx. 167 minutes. Stone did not put in any new scenes, save for an extension of an already existing scene and a short insertion from Aristotle. However, he did change the movies structure; for example, the battle of Gaugamela is now seen earlier. Also, the movie is a bit more fast-paced since some scenes have been trimmed down and many dialogue details have been changed, something one most likely only notices if one knows both versions. A good example is Alexander being taught by Aristotle, as shown in the report.The Director's Cut is a bit clearer than the Theatrical Version, the structure is a bit more demanding and the opening is better designed. It is altogether better than the Theatrical Version but not obligatory if you already own it. A detailed comparison between the Theatrical Cut and the Director's Cut with pictures can be found here.

But Stone wasn't finished with his movie yet because later the so-called Final Cut was released, that runs approx. 214 minutes. The only true big extensions concerns Alexanders servant Bagaos. The homoerotic undertones were already in the Theatrical Version too much for many viewers. In the final Cut, we now get to know the servants name, he is noticed among many beautiful women by Alexander (much to Hephaistions regret), seemingly dances only for Alexander in India and even shares a bed with him. Apart from Bagaos the Final Cut merely offers more detailed characterizations, deepening of the characters relations to each other and short impressions of Alexanders life often only as a commentary from the Off by Ptolemaios. On top of that, a healthy dozen of violent scenes have been re-integrated into the battle scenes that presumably had to to be cut for the Theatrical release, for they are a good deal more brutal than we are used from the rest of the film.The most obvious change is again the structure of the movie. The battle of Gaugamela has been moved towards the beginning again (as planned in an early version of the script) and is seen even before Alexanders childhood and adolescence. The events in Bactria have been reassembled as well. First we see the wedding with Roxane, then the movie jumps back to the discussion with the generals and the celebration before that where Alexander meets and falls in love with Roxane before the movie jumps back to the wedding night. All other changes from the DC are present in the FC as well. Again one can find a very detailed comparison between the Theatrical Version and the Final Cut with pictures here.

In 2014 there is one more cut called the Ultimate Cut that will run 207 minutes.


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