Censuring The Censors


Rod W coordinates and maintains these entries. He also maintains The Chopping List, a comprehensive guide to movies which have been censored in Australia.



Dune (2000)

The original Region 1 version of this DVD is so heavily censored for American television to remove all the topless women and bare male/female bums that some of the scenes take on a different meaning, or the meaning is lost entirely. For example, most of the scenes involving the sultry seductress and spy Farrah have been completely removed, which makes her role in the Region 1 version of the story almost inexplicable. Other scenes have been severely truncated or re-shot. For example, there is a scene with Feyd Harkonnen in a bath being pampered by three women. The scene has been re-shot, and in the Region 1 version the women are fully clothed! In another example, when Princess Corrino seduces Feyd Harkonnen for information, in the Region 1 version the scene fades out abruptly, implying that the Princess gave herself to Feyd for the information. In the Region 4 version, after extracting the information, the Princess presents a topless Farrah as a gift to Feyd, and during the 'love scene' that ensues, the Princess slips away. Considering that the Princess' virginity is the prize offered to both the male heirs of the Atreides and Harkonnen clans, this clumsy cut significantly changes the story in the Region 1 version. In one last example that I will mention, there is a scene where the Fremen remove their desert camouflage and uniforms, revealing their nakedness to Paul Atreides. It is a symbolic scene, for Paul sees that under their uniforms, the Fremen are people, just like he and his mother. The Region 1 scene is so heavily cut that Paul seems to be just looking blankly into space.

With the true hypocrisy of censorship, all the violence has been left in the Region 1 version. There is a very graphic depiction of a slave having his neck broken (which is also in the R4, but apparently is trimmed in the R2), and later, a decapitated head is waved around (also in R2 and R4). I will never understand why censors find graphic violence acceptable, yet believe that flashes of nudity, i.e. images of the human body, to be so disturbing and damaging that we must be protected from them.