The 1984 "Dune" film by David Lynch is said to have multiple cuts, many of which add back deleted scenes that weren't in the theatrical release. Altogether, I think the "complete" film would be something like 4.5 hours long. I've attempted to find something comparing the different versions available - both on DVD and online/streaming - but I've had limited success. According to the wikipedia article I'm linking to, there has been an "extended cut" released on DVD but nothing official and/or endorsed by Lynch.

What is the most "complete" cut of Lynch's 1984 Dune film that is available?

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    @Omegacron there is a fan edit or 2 on YouTube if you can find them, one goes tot about 3.5 hours and has a lot of deleted scenes completely omitted from Lynch/Smithee cuts eg. drowning of baby 'maker' and Jamis fight. If I can find I'll post link Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 23:16
  • Rumors abound in the rare film black market of a single cut of the film in which both Lynch and the studio agreed on was the definitive copy, but it had to be locked away for safety reasons because it caused any film critics to spontaneously combust, any living heirs of Frank Herbert to ascend into the next stage of human enlightenment and peace, and the hair of anyone else not belonging to either group to turn completely white. Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 17:13

2 Answers 2


Lynch officially only created the theatrical release (137 mins). There are several variants of the "TV version"/Extended Edition, which runs about 180 mins (depends how you count some non-movie materials). Most of this was restoring edited-out footage (the movie studio wanted something about 2 hours) and showing colored storyboards with narration instead of the Princess Irulan intro. Lynch has disavowed all other versions beyond the theatrical. IMDB notes

Theatrical version is 137 minutes long; TV version seen both in syndication and on most cable networks, prepared under protest from (and eventually disowned by) director David Lynch, is approx. 176 minutes long (minus commercials) and features outtakes, additional footage, test close-up shots of certain actors, and even fabricated (i.e. "cheated") footage (made up of repeated stock footage from certain points in the film to make it appear that footage had been added--one reason why Lynch took his name off the credits of the TV version). The TV print credits 'Alan Smithee' as director. Whereas the theatrical release features a brief introductory narration spoken by Princess Irulan, the TV version has a longer spoken introduction by an uncredited male narrator, with still paintings and drawings used to bring the viewer up to speed on the story. The TV version (which has been released on Japanese LaserDisc and overseas DVDs) has additional footage of the Fremen that lacks the blue color in their eyes, indicating that the scenes were cut before special f/x were added.

The often-rumored 4+ hour "supercut" editions also do not exist. The amount of footage needed for a film almost always exceeds runtime, and the runtime was never meant to exceed 3 hours

Contrary to popular rumors, no 6-hours long director's cut, ever existed. The only "director's cut" of the film was the one shown theatrically; Lynch never had a hand in any other version of Dune. Lynch's original intention was for Dune to have been about 3+ hours long. To that end, about 5 hours was shot. This is also confirmed by author 'Frank Herbert', in the introduction to the book "Eye". It would be impossible for a 6-hour version to exist and even a 5-hour Dune would mean the inclusion of many scenes never intended for the final version (for reasons of redundancy, etc.). It is only necessary to read any of the final scripts for the film to realize that there was never any intention of making Dune more than 4 hours in length at the very most: the script for anything more just was never there.

The most complete edition would have to be the fan-made Michael Warren 2012 version (bootleg). Both the TV version and the theatrical version had scenes not found in the other and Warren basically re-edited them all into what he considered the most complete version he could make from the original source material.


Today, I would say Spice Diver's "Dune: The Alternative Edition Redux" is the most complete and coherent version of Lynch's Dune, and clocks in at 178 minutes. You can find information about it here: https://ifdb.fanedit.org/dune-1984-the-alternative-edition-redux-special-1080p-edition/ , and it is also available to watch on YouTube if you're outside of the US.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. This seems to be not as long as the 3:03h edit credited to Michael Warren as noted in Machavity's answer above. Is there material in this edit that's not present in Warren's?
    – DavidW
    Commented Apr 26 at 16:15
  • Thanks for the welcome :) From what I've read, it's possible that SpiceDiver was influenced by Michael Warren, and indeed, SpiceDiver's first cut also is 3:03 minutes...nevertheless, from the FanEdit community, SpiceDiver's Redux is generally considered the most complete and coherent version of Dune (1984), and superior to Warren's. So you're right! The redux is no longer tied for the longest cut, but perhaps some readers, having stumbled upon these answers, will find their way to SpiceDiver's and the other fan cuts. Commented Apr 26 at 17:14

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