There are various cuts of Manhunter out on DVD and depending on which version you may prefer, here’s a little guide to them all to help you choose.
The Original Theatrical Cut:
Until recently, this cut wasn’t available on a single DVD. It’s finally been released last year and you can find it in the US store under the 2007 version (MGM version on cover). Or the Red Cover that also comes with the Director’s Cut – see below
The Anchor Bay Cut:
The most common version out there. It adds a few scenes, but leaves out an important one from the theatrical cut. You can find it on various DVDs, mainly the UK 2003 version (black cover with Tooth Fairy – also contains Director’s Preferred Version, see below)
The Director’s Cut:
Rarer version of the film. Contains one scene that isn’t on any other cut, but basically the same as the Anchor Bay version sans the extra scenes from that. You can find it under “Manhunter (Director’s Cut)” (OR: red cover with the Tooth Fairy, this also contains the theatrical cut, US 2000, see below).
The Director’s Preferred Version:
Michael Mann’s last cut of the film and the one with the most additional scenes. Leaves out two scenes from the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical version, but adds many more never before seen scenes. The WPAP recommends the UK 2-Disc special edition which contains this version as well as the Anchor Bay version, complete with a director’s commentary by Michael Mann. Take note: the new scenes come from a video transfer so are a bit inferior in picture/sound quality, but this package gives you the two versions, extras in the form of featurettes and the commentary. Make sure it’s the UK 2003 version you choose in the store (cover is black with the Tooth Fairy in b/w with red on it, see below). NOTE: You need a region free DVD player to play this version.
Alternatively, you can also find the Preferred Version on the Region 1 US 2003 DIVIMAX edition, just without the second disc from the UK version, but includes the commentary.
All in all, there’s no definitive cut of the film and there are a number of scenes you can only get by owning all the individual versions. If you were to want ALL scenes, you would need to buy a least two versions, but the WPAP recommends the UK 2-Disc set, as it has the known extras, two versions and the director’s commentary.
Note: The Above guide is by no means complete, but shows the best versions to get the individual cuts for the US/UK.
(All infos on differing versions taken from amazon descriptions and The Manhunter Complete Resource Site. No guarantees on info.)