Thanks to DVD and Blu-Ray, fans of film finally have a means of seeing what ended up on the cutting room floor besides crossing their fingers for a Director’s Cut or catching the right interview when a director speaks of their original intentions. In the past, some people would even mail-order original scripts to catch those scenes that didn’t make the final cut. Sometimes these scenes should have made the film, as the scene would have provided some vital information that would make parts of the film more clear. In other cases, these scenes may have contradicted some of the films concepts or changed the entire outcome. Let’s take a look at ten films that would have experienced changes, some positive and some negative, if their deleted material had been integrated into the final product.
10. Mallrats (1995)
Mallrats didn’t have a deleted scene so much as an entire deleted hour. This hour explains some strange dialogue as well as some poorly dubbed dialogue you may have noticed in the final product of the film.
Remember when the producers of Mr. Svenning’s game show mention a fiasco at the Governor’s ball? This is in reference to a ball thrown by Mr. Svenning that T.S. (his daughter’s boyfriend) inadvertently ruins in the original intro of the film. This also explains exactly why Mr. Svenning hates T.S. so much. The incident involved a replica of an American Revolution musket firing a blank at the Governor and T.S. ends up on CNN. If you notice a number of scenes where someone speaking to T.S. seems dubbed with irreverent dialogue, it’s because they were dubbing over characters mentioning that they had seen him on CNN.
These scenes also establish Brodie as Mr. Svenning’s neighbor, which explains how they seem to know each other so well in the infamous pretzel scene.
Certain versions of Mallrats do include rough cuts of these scenes spliced into the film where they had originally been intended.
9. The original Star Wars trilogy (1977 – 1983)
In the original scripts for the film, Lucas had planned for a number of characters to die, but fan’s loved the characters in question so much that Lucas changed the scenes to keep them alive. On the chopping block were Lando Calrissian, Wedge Antilles, and even Han Solo. While the deaths of these characters at the end of Return of the Jedi wouldn’t have affected the movies up until the finale, the new sequel trilogy would be much different as it’s been stated that Han Solo has a major role in the first of the new films.
8. Clerks (1994)
It’s weird to think a simple dialogue driven film like Clerks would be much changed by a deleted scene, but one completely changes the fate of Dante, the main character.
Remember how in the original ending Dante and Randall make up and close up the shop after their long and bizarre day? Well in the original ending we watch, from a first person perspective, a robber come in, hold Dante up at gunpoint, and kill him.
Another deleted scene, which was told by director Kevin Smith in comic book form called Clerks: The Deleted Scene, establishes exactly how Dante and Randall spilled the body at the funeral. The comic is a funny read, but not knowing exactly what happened is what made the gag work so well in the film.
7. Army of Darkness (1992)
The deleted scene in Army of Darkness was an entirely different ending. The ending Universal requested completely ruined Raimi’s set-up for a fourth film in the original Evil Dead series.
The original ending involved the hero Ash taking a sleeping potion that would allow him to sleep through enough centuries to end up back in his own time. Ash takes just a drop too much and sleeps an extra hundred years, resulting in him waking up in a post-apocalyptic London. In the theatrical cut, Ash is magically sent back to the right time and he returns to his job at a supermarket.
6. Anchorman (2004)
This mention isn’t quite a movie changing scene, so much as it’s several deleted scenes that were edited to make a whole other movie.
There was so much extra footage from filming Anchorman that a whole other first movie was made using the footage; not a sequel, but an entirely separate first installment called Good Morning Ron Burgundy.
5. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
A very integral deleted scene from the first installment of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy would have explained a lot of things that viewers unfamiliar with the books had some questions about.
A scene was deleted in which Galadriel gives each member of the Fellowship a number of gifts. The only gift we are shown in the original cut is the light of a star that she gives to Frodo. She also gives them Elven capes, Elven rope, and Elven bread, all of which have magical properties that are never explained in the original cut, but the objects and their magical properties all play a part in subsequent films. Less savvy viewers were left confused when Frodo and Sam had magical cloaks and bread, seemingly out of nowhere.
Fortunately, this gift exchange is included in the extended version.
4. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
A deleted scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit was best left out of the film as it created a glaring plot hole.
In the scene, The Judge sends the human Eddie to Toon Town, a visit that for some reason turns Eddie’s head into the head of a giant cartoon pig. This creates a bit of a predicament since Eddie’s second visit doesn’t change him into a toon, so one would have to ask why it happened the first time.
In a later part of the deleted scene, Eddie is able to remove the toon head with a bottle of turpentine. This contradicts a major plot point. The beginning of the film establishes that a toon can only be killed by a special concoction made by The Judge called “the dip.” If turpentine could have killed a toon the whole time, the entire thread involving The Judge and “the dip” would have been nonsensical.
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1 (2010)
At the beginning of the film, Dudley Dursley finally apologizes to Harry for the living hell he endured in the Dursley home. It’s a shame the scene was left out. It finally puts the Dursleys in a light that didn’t involve them being so inexplicably cruel and sort of explains that they were just terrified of this world that they didn’t understand. The scene also makes one feel that maybe Harry was leaving something behind when he left the Muggle world for good.
2. G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987)
This wasn’t so much a deleted scene as a scene that was re-dubbed in a way that completely changed the ending of the film. In the original cut of the original animated G.I. Joe film, Duke was supposed to die.
Shortly before the animated G.I. Joe movie had been released, a Transformers animated feature film had been released to theaters. In this film, Optimus Prime was killed off. This resulted in a huge fan backlash so the folks at Hasbro decided to save face at the last minute and keep Duke alive.
In G.I. Joe, you clearly see Duke die, and you see his dead body. At the end of the film a character is looking off into the landscape, a tear falling for Duke, and then you hear a very out of place over-dub yell from off camera, “Hey guys! Duke woke up from his coma!” Then the film ends. Obviously, this last off-camera shout was not in the original script or cut.
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
All we see of Saruman’s fate in Return of the King is that he and Grima Wormtongue are held prisoner atop the Tower of Orthanc. If you’ve read the books you know that Grima and Saruman are set free and go on to cause some trouble in The Shire before Frodo, Sam, Pip, and Merry arrive back after destroying the One Ring. As it stood, we could assume that this still happened “off camera”, but not after seeing a certain deleted scene.
In a deleted scene that made its way into the extended cut of Return of the King, Grima literally stabs Saruman in the back while they stand at the top of Orthanc. Saruman falls from the tower and lands on some debris, impaling him and ending his life. This destroys any idea that Grima and Saruman ever go on to cause trouble in The Shire.