Mrs Doubtfire director says there are three different versions of classic film

Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor
·2-min read

Mrs Doubtfire director Chris Columbus has confirmed there are three different versions of the classic film, including an R-rated cut.

The film-maker said star Robin Williams’ talent for improvisation led to numerous edits of the movie.

The 1993 family film starred the late comedian as a divorced actor who disguises himself as a female housekeeper to spend time with his children after he loses custody to his ex-wife, played by Sally Field.

After Williams’ death in 2014, fans flocked to the house in San Francisco that was used as the family home in the film.

Columbus confirmed to US magazine Entertainment Weekly that there are three different versions of the film, including an R-rated cut.

Robin Williams death
Floral tributes outside the house in Steiner Street, San Francisco, where Mrs Doubtfire was filmed (Laura Harding/PA)

In the US an R-rating allows under-17s to attend a film with an accompanying parent or adult guardian.

The rating indicates the film contains adult activity, harsh language, intense graphic violence, drug abuse or nudity.

Columbus said: “The reality is that there was a deal between Robin and myself, which was he’ll do one or two, three scripted takes.

“Then he would say, ‘Then let me play’. And we would basically go on anywhere between 15 to 22 takes, I think 22 being the most I remember.”

However, he denied the internet rumour that there is an an NC-17 version of the film, a rating which would bar those under 17 from viewing it.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Premiere
Chris Columbus (Ian West/PA)

The director said: “He 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.”

Asked if the additional footage will ever be made public, Columbus said: “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.

“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.”

He added: “I’m very proud of the film … I’m in a good place with Mrs Doubtfire, so there’s really no reason to do the definitive cut. The definitive cut of Mrs. Doubtfire is out in the world right now.”