From what I understand, there is the standard release of Dune, and then there was a second release called 'TV Edition', which had extra footage. I've never seen it myself, but I just looked it up on Play and they have the running time as 3 hours. I think it was aired in US TV.
I think that the opening scene where the princess is reciting some of the background lasts about half an hour in this version ! It is 4:3 ratio and stereo.
I was hoping they would work some of the additional footage from that into this new SE, but it's looking doubtful now.
I have the R4 special edition which has a very good picture although is not anamorphic but has full bit rate DTS.
The 'TV version' which is over 3 hours was disowned by David Lynch and is credit by his alias Allen Smithee
Now I think about it, I can remember seeing an interview with Lynch where he basically said he considered Dune a failure, not because of it's lack of commercial success, but because the finished film did not have the look and feel which he set out to achieve at the start.
At least we will have an anamorphic and remastered edition of the movie. The original release of this was the only DVD I own where I have had to go into the very advanced gamma and chroma adjustment features of my DVD deck to get a decent picture. Had to adjust so that I got a black background in the space scenes instead of muddy grey.
There is much mythology about the extended versions of the movie. The longest version available is the 4:3 ratio "Alan Smithee" version that has been available on DVD for some time.
There has never been a 4hr version, nor a 6hr version, nor a Lynch approved extended version. There are not hours of unseen footage yet to be assembled.
What makes the TV cut so bad is the dumbing down with the added narrations / voiceovers to "explain" the movie for the Attention Defecit Syndrome brigade. The rabbiting on during the opening is particularly painful.
By the way "Smithee" is not Lynch's exclusive alias; it is an alias made available by the DGA to any director who does not want his name associated with a movie that he has made.
Pauley's right in saying: "What makes the TV cut so bad is the dumbing down with the added narrations / voiceovers to "explain" the movie for the Attention Defecit Syndrome brigade. The rabbiting on during the opening is particularly painful."
The irony being, that for those who have no attention span, a three-film explaining the 135 minute version, will do these particular viewers no justice! Only keen Dune fans will want to watch the longer version.
It seems to be the center chanel that's taken a back seat, but asides, it's good to finally have a widescreen anamorphic edition.
The TV edition comprises mainly of still animation with a voiceover at the beginning, with the only redeeming addition being the origin of 'the Spice of Life' (bile from a baby worm).
Other than that, this is the definitive edition to date!
It's the best picture and sound i've seen for Dune ever, but it does show it's age. The picture has had dirt and specles removed and looks a lot better, but the sound hasn't had much done to it. The case is nice, the booklet is genuinely interesting and the features arn't bad. You can tell that this DVD was made by fanatics of the film, and it's definately better than any other release thus far.