Update: It appears the 3 hour cut has been yanked. The interesting thing is that video had existed on Vimeo for 2 years before I stumbled across it. Hopefully drawing more attention to it didn’t cause it to yanked. I’m sure interested people can find it elsewhere . . . if you dig around the corners of the internet enough.
I’ve never been a fan of Lynch’s interpretation of Frank Herbert‘s science fiction masterpiece Dune. In 1984 I boo’ed at the screen when the credits began to roll! Everything about it was just wrong. The design. The script. The unnecessarily added material. The jumbling of plot lines. It was a huge disappointment. Time passed and my opinion softened. The extended cut was released and since then I’ve come to accept this version of it, because honestly we’ll never get another version that comprehends the allegorical genius of Dune. If you understand a little of the history of British Imperialism in the Middle-east, the role of oil in our modern world, the political machinations that revolve around it, and what it means to evolve as a human and throw off the evolutionary shackles of animal-ism . . . you get just a hint of what’s going on.
Dune is just too complicated and sweeping to be comprehended on the screen. Instead we have to rely on devoted fans with video editing skills to give us versions that are as close as we can get to the book.
This is one version, three hours long and available for your viewing pleasure. Here’s a description from Michael Warren, its creator:
This version of David Lynch’s Dune (1984) integrates footage from the original Theatrical Cut, the Extended TV Cut, and deleted scenes to make the most complete version of the film as of 2012. I have done this as a labor of love to give fans of this under-appreciated gem an alternative version to the two flawed cuts currently available on the DVD.
I only acted as a fan editor and did not originate the content of this movie. MCA Universal and its associated parent companies own all rights to this material. They have released a beautiful Blu-Ray and DVD of David Lynch’s classic movie, which I highly recommend you buy to demonstrate to the studio that there is market for this movie to be fully restored one day, ideally with a new master cut of the film to restore as much of the story as possible with the utmost attention to detail that I could never hope to match in this good-spirited fan effort.
Viewers will notice the footage from David Lynch’s Theatrical Cut is expertly edited, color corrected, and sound designed better than the far poorer extended TV Cut, which was originally created without the director’s authorization or oversight when the movie was prepared to air as a reconstructed mini-series for television in the late 1980’s.
For this reason, the elements culled from the extended TV cut are inferior, more poorly edited, not color corrected well, and are lacking certain basic special effects (such as the Fremen’s lack of blue eyes). The sound design was also of poorer quality in the TV cut, which was was particularly egregious since this film’s original sound editing and design were nominated for the Oscar.
If I had the resources, time, and equipment necessary to correct these issues in a thorough re-edit of the original material, then I would gladly do so. And I would offer my services to MCA Universal free of charge to help see the project come to fruition.
As is, I only had the material available on the DVDs to work with, and used the most basic of editing software suites available. For this reason, this particular cut of the film is unavoidably choppy and rough at times. But I meticulously reconstructed Dune with nearly all the available footage of the film, with an entirely new structure differing from both the Theatrical and Extended TV Cuts to better preserve story continuity and improve the dramatic flow.
David Lynch’s efforts in bringing this film to life have been often criticized in the past, and I believe is his most unfairly maligned film. My only intention in creating this cut of Dune (1984) is to show a sliver more of his amazing directorial efforts and show more of what the film could have been were it given more time to run than the too short Theatrical Cut and if it had been edited with just a bit more care when it was released as a mini-series. Thank you.