The Wolf of Wall Street heavily censored in the UAE

45 minutes cut from Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio’s award-winning satire to suit regional audiences

The Knowledge

Oscar-tipped blockbuster The Wolf of Wall Street has been heavily cut for its UAE release, cinemas have warned filmgoers.

Approximately 45 minutes of material has been removed from Martin Scorsese’s real-life satire, which details the exploits of a rouge Wall Street trader, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who defrauded investors out of millions of dollars.

As well as complete scenes which have been deemed unsuitable for regional audiences, much of the dialogue has also been heavily edited.

The hotly anticipated film is already attracting significance awards attention, with DiCaprio winning the Golden Globe for Best Actor in Musical or Comedy on Sunday January 12.

But the movie is also already notorious for another reason: featuring more cuss words than any other feature fiction ever released.

Scorsese is no stranger to profanity. The reported 506 uses of one swear word in The Wolf of Wall Street sees the cuss-friendly filmmaker beat previous profanity record holders Casino (1995), which featured 422 uses of the same offending article, and Goodfellas (1990), which reportedly featured 300 uses of the vulgar expletive.

However in the UAE most of the offensive dialogue has been removed by censors, either by muting the audio temporarily or chopping chunks from scenes mid sentence, which produces a jarring effect for viewers.

While the internationally released movie runs to 180 minutes, Reel Cinemas list the run time as 135 minutes for the UAE cut.

Calculations suggest there are approximately 2.8 uses of the offering word per minute in the international release.

Reel Cinemas at The Dubai Mall posted disclaimers outside its box office on Thursday: ‘The Wolf of Wall Street contains muted words, and some scenes have been removed as they were not considered suitable. Reel Cinemas has no control on the censorship and we apologise for an inconveniences caused.’

The film carries a 15+ rating in the UAE, rather than a harsher 18+ certificate.

It is not clear how much control the film’s producers – Scorsese and DiCaprio themselves – have to limit the release of a censored movie.

However in 2011 UAE audiences missed out on the English language remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo when former Fight Club director David Fincher said he was unhappy with the censor’s decision to cut around three minutes of material from his movie.

Read our review and see where The Wolf of Wall Street is screening here.

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