Continuing their support of revamped director's cuts on home video, Warner premiered a new restored version of William Friedkin's highly controversial 1980 thriller 'Cruising' at last week's Cannes film festival, with an eye to an eventual next-gen release.
Still one of the most notorious films of its era, 'Cruising' generated reams of controversy upon release for its tale of cop Al Pacino descending into the explicit S&M netherworld of gay culture to catch a serial killer. 'Cruising' underwent numerous cuts to achieve an R-rating from the MPAA at the time of its theatrical release (to the point of near-incomprehensibility for many), and ever since has only been available in this botched form. The film also remains, to this day, unreleased on DVD.
But Friedkin debuted a brand-new, studio-restored version of 'Cruising' at Cannes, in a projected HD version from a freshly-minted high-definition master. The 103-minute cut features a never-before-seen opening sequence, more graphic scenes and other footage previously left on the cutting room floor.
Though Warner has not yet officially announced a release date for 'Cruising,' Friedkin did reveal at the Cannes premiere that the studio has enlisted famed documentarian Laurent Bouzereau (who has created numerous supplements for the films of Steven Spielberg and Alfred Hitchcock) to produce a new special edition of the film for an expected standard-def and high-def release.
'Cruising' joins a growing wave of home video revamps from Warner, which has recently restored the lost visions of several prominent directors, including such titles as 'Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut,' and [post 443]Oliver Stone's 'Revisited' version of his much-maligned epic 'Alexander.' Also due later this year is the long-awaited 'Essential Edition' of Ridley Scott's sci-fi masterpiece 'Blade Runner,' which Warner has announced for an October debut on Blu-ray and HD DVD.
In anticipation of a future announcement for a high-def 'Cruising,' we've added a listing for the film to the "Release Dates Pending" section of our Blu-ray Release Schedule and HD DVD Release Schedule. We'll keep you posted.