A new restoration of the Beatrice Welles 1992 "restoration" was shown theatrically and released in France on blu-ray. This is the version that took the original '55 print and had a re-recorded score and new sound effects, as well as attempts to synch the audio by playing around with the individual shots.
Supposedly, the Criterion release will include Beatrice's '92 "restoration", along with the original 1955 US and UK release cut (and soundtrack) of the film. The latter, of course, would be the reason to buy the Criterion version.
Criterion originally released the US-UK version of "Othello" on laserdisc, but it was blocked by Beatrice Welles and is quite the collector's item.
What would really be interesting is if Criterion could work out something to also include the original 1952 Cannes and European release cut of the picture - that includes spoken-word titles by Welles, a different dubbing for one of the female parts, and other minor changes. (One scholar calls the 55 US cut a "compromise" imposed on Welles by distributor United Artists.) Then, the viewer could Choose their Own Welles Adventure, ala Criterion's "Mr. Arkadin" or Universal's release of "Touch of Evil".
Too bad we don't have the luxury of different versions with "Magnificent Ambersons".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Othello_(1 ... f_the_film
Speaking of different versions of Welles projects, how about a blu-ray of "Journey Into Fear"? There's this tidbit from the Wikipedia article on the picture:
In 2005, an alternate cut was shown at a Welles film retrospective at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland. It was the original European release print, lacking the narration and ending of the U.S. version but including about six minutes of footage deleted by RKO Pictures.