Difference Between Theatrical and Unrated Versions

By: | Updated: Nov-28, 2021
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Movie time with family or your loved ones is nice. But it’s so boring to watch the same old movies over and over again, right? If you have already seen a lot of movies, you may have noticed that there are two versions of some movies. One is the theatrical version, which has been released in cinemas nationwide, and another one is the unrated version. It’s often thought that these two versions are different from each other. However, it turns out that they are just edited differently.

Summary Table

Theatrical Version Unrated Version
Has less violence and nudity Has more violence and nudity
Has shorter duration Longer in duration
Released in theaters Released only on DVD, Blu-ray, etc, but not in theaters

When we talk about the unrated version, we usually refer to the cut of the movie that is longer than the theatrical version. The director or producer often makes these changes because they want to keep the content of the movie more explicit, or in other cases more family-friendly. For example, if there is a scene in which a character is doing something naughty, they might add a more family-friendly scene to replace it. It is similar to the way they would release an extended version of a movie.

But what about the theatrical version? What exactly are the differences between the two versions? How much do they differ from each other? If you are curious about this, then this article is for you. We will discuss these differences in this article. We will also compare the two versions of the movie in this article.

Difference Between Theatrical and Unrated Versions

What is a Theatrical Version?

A theatrical version is a version of a movie that is shown in theatres. The content of the theatrical version may differ from the original version. The theatrical version may also contain more or less content than the original version. This means that a theatrical version is not exactly the same as the original version.

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When a movie is released in theatres, it is called a theatrical version. You can find the theatrical version of a movie on DVD, Blu-ray, and in some theatres. The theatrical version is often censored from the original version. The censorship in the theatrical version may be minor or major.

For example, let’s say that in The Hangover, the main character has a tattoo on his back. In the theatrical version of the movie, this tattoo is not visible. The reason for this is that the film studio wants to avoid any controversy. So, they censor the tattoo from the theatrical version while the original version of the movie contains this tattoo.

What is an Unrated Version?

An unrated version of a movie is a version of the movie that has not been given a rating by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). This rating can be anything from PG-13 to R. Usually, the unrated version contains content that is not suitable for children and hence is allowed to be watched by adults. However, this is not always the case.

The unrated version is mostly different from the theatrical version of a movie. It has more content than the theatrical version. It has more violence, sex, profanity, and language. It is meant for an adult audience. It can be sold on DVD or Blu-ray with R-rating.

Some movies that are of a sensitive nature and not suitable for children can be released with an unrated version. However, the unrated version is not allowed to be shown in theatres. It is only allowed to be sold on DVD or Blu-ray with R-rating.

Since the MPAA rating system was created, there have been a lot of movies that have been released with a rating that is not suitable for children. Movies like The Matrix and Pulp Fiction are examples of this. They were not suitable for children. So, they were released with an unrated version.

The purpose of the rating system is to provide parents with information about the content of a movie. If they are not comfortable with the content of a movie, then they can use this information to decide whether or not they want their children to watch it. In addition, adults may watch the unrated version of a movie if they want to be able to enjoy the movie without any restrictions.

How are They Related?

A theatrical version of a movie is the version that is shown in theatres, and the unrated version is the version that is shown in other places, such as on DVD. Now, before we look at more about the differences between the two versions, let us first discuss the similarities between the two versions.

  1. They are both versions of the same movie.

The theatrical version and the unrated version are both versions of the same movie. In other words, they are both different cuts of the same movie. This means that the theatrical version and the unrated version are identical.

  1. They are both the same quality.

Usually, the theatrical version and the unrated version are both the same quality. This is because the theatrical version is the director’s cut of the movie, and the unrated version is the director’s cut of the unrated version.

  1. They are both edited versions of the movie.

Even though the unrated version can be considered as the “original” version of the movie, it is still edited. Editing is a process of cutting the movie. The director cut the movie for several reasons. For example, if a scene is too long, it will be cut to make it shorter. And, it is necessary to edit the movie for some other reasons. So, both the theatrical version and the unrated version are edited versions of the movie.

What are the Differences?

Now, let’s talk about the differences between the theatrical and unrated versions of this movie.

  1. Violence:

The unrated version of the movie has more violence than the theatrical version. This is because it contains much more gore and nudity. It also contains sexual content in this version, because it is usually an R-rated movie. The theatrical version of the movie contains less violence than the unrated version because there are cuts that are made in this version.

  1. Duration:

The unrated version of the movie is usually longer than the theatrical version. This is because the theatrical version has been edited to remove some scenes and the unrated version has not been edited too much.

  1. Distribution:

The unrated version of the movie is not released in theaters, but only on DVD, Blu-ray, and sometimes Netflix. The theatrical version of the movie is released in theaters and on DVD, Blu-ray, and Netflix.

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