Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire

No, There Is Not an NC-17 Cut of Mrs. Doubtfire

You give fans the Snyder Cut, they demand the Columbus Cut.

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After four years of online campaigning, Snyder Cut diehards saw their dreams realized this weekend with HBO Max’s debut of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The realization of something most of us never saw happening has been surprising and delightful, with Snyder finally getting to finish the film he always wanted to make. However, the successful Snyder Cut campaign has now emboldened film fans to start demanding director cuts of several movies. But it’s the Mrs. Doubtfire director’s cut aka the Columbus Cut, that has set the internet ablaze.

This all started with a viral tweet from Film Facts, which alleges that, thanks to Robin Williams’ ad-libbing, there are multiple cuts of Mrs. Doubtfire rated PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17. The tweet references a 2015 Yahoo! Entertainment interview with the film’s director Christopher Columbus.

The tweet was backed up by screenwriter Randi Mayem Singer, who tweeted about the “dirty dailies”, i.e. footage of Williams improvising dirtier jokes while shooting. It’s easy to believe, given that Williams was a brilliant comedian and improviser.

Actress and author Mara Wilson also weighed in on the rumors via Twitter:

An R-rated cut I could totally see existing. But an NC-17 cut? Absolutely ridiculous. Still, it didn’t stop the internet hive mind from wondering what an NC-17 Mrs. Doubtfire would entail. The results are, predictably, hilarious:

Luckily, Columbus quickly squashed rumors of an NC-17 cut of the family film. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly he said “He [Williams] would sometimes go into territory that wouldn’t be appropriate for a PG-13 movie, but certainly appropriate and hilariously funny for an R-rated film. I only [previously] used the phrase NC-17 as a joke. There could be no NC-17 version of the movie.”

Columbus added that the film released was his official cut, and he’s completely satisfied with the Mrs. Doubtfire we all know and love. “I would be open to maybe doing a documentary about the making of the film, and enabling people to see certain scenes re-edited in an R-rated version,” Columbus says. “The problem is, I don’t recall most of it. I only know what’s in the movie at this point because it’s been a long time. But I do remember it was outrageously funny material.”

It’s probably a good call not to release an R-rated cut of the film. Given the story themes, I’m sure many of the jokes would be problematic at best, and outright transphobic at worst. And that’s not a knock at Williams, but at comedy’s obsession with transphobia at the time. After all, the other massive comedy hit of the early 90s was Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, a film that hinges on transphobia.

Some things are better left in the 90s.

(via Entertainment Weekly, featured image: 20th Century Fox)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.