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A scene made for a work (in part or completed), but not included in the final release. These are often put back in special editions or included on the DVD release. They are also sometimes included in heavily-cut broadcast TV versions of films to stretch them back to a reasonable length.
Scenes can be cut for a number of different reasons. Often the scenes are of much lower quality, so they were deleted for good reason. Yet some may contain details that appeal to audiences. Among the reasons include:
- Reducing the overall running time, especially for theaters where a lower running time means an increased number of showings.
- Improving the pacing and story by cutting out the excess fat.
- Getting rid of what turned out to be a bad scene or a poorly executed sequence.
- A change in the productions aim to ensure a different rating. Quite often it is because of the desire to include the PG-13 crowd from an R rating. More rarely it is an angle to make it Darker and Edgier and appeal to the R crowd.
- A change to make the work more popular with test audiences, either the inclusion of a scene to clarify an obscure scene.
- A massive change to the ending.
- More cynically, some works might be suspected of having "Deleted Scenes" just so they can be included in the Limited Special Collectors Ultimate Edition or adding extra sex and violence for an Unrated Edition.
If the scenes are included into the flow of the work, then its a Re Cut and usually marketed as a "Directors Cut" or "Extended Edition". More commonly the scenes are included in the Special Features section of a DVD release as a bonus feature.
In some cases an entire sub-plot can be eliminated through these deleted scenes and crafty editing on other scenes. In other cases an apparent Plot Hole can occur because the necessary information was lost from the deleted scene, although the reverse is also true that the Plot Hole is formed because of the scene. In animation 'deleted scenes' are often cut during the storyboard phase. Since no animation would have been completed for those because of the cost of animating it, they just show the storyboards with voiceover.
In terms of 'cutting out excess fat', many directors will point out, via DVD commentary, that a particular scene worked just fine as it was filmed, but when viewed in the context of the film overall, the scene in question simply dragged on too long, or was too 'talky' and was cut to keep the energy of a particular sequence up.
This isn't limited to film though. Comics, TV Shows, Animated productions and even Literature can have these. It's just most common in films due to the expectations of a DVD.
Not to be confused with Cutscene.
Plot Hole Fixing Deleted Scenes
- The recent Star Trek has a slight skewed chronology because of a deleted scene. Without giving anything away, the bad guy did not spend years dicking around. He and his crew were captured and held prisoners by the Klingons during that time.
- Similarly, there's a deleted scene just before the one where young Kirk steals the car: the teenager he passes on the road is his older brother George, and he steals the car and takes it on a joyride because its owner had just kicked George out of the house.
- A deleted scene in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace reveals why Obi-Wan didn't just use his own lightsaber to destroy the droids chasing him in the swamp. (Evidently, you don't want to drop a lightsaber in swamp water if you can help it.)
- Another deleted scene shows Anakin fighting a young Rodian (Wald? Greedo?) which explains why Qui-Gon was treating his wounds in the next scene.
- A scene cut from the initial airing of Turtles Forever had Karai explaining how she found Ch'rell and the Technodome
- The extended version of Independence Day features a scene explaining how they managed to upload a virus onto the alien mothership by using a laptop. Apparently, the Earth technology is compatible with the ones Aliens have due to it being reverse-engineered from the Roswell UFO (same as with Megatron from live-action Transformers).
- A deleted scene from late in season four of Oz shows Chris Keller moving back into Tobias Beecher's cell, thereby explaining why he is suddenly there again in a later episode.
- The movie In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale had the editors cut out a scene after a duel between the real king's brother (who wanted to be king and shot his brother with an arrow in the middle of a battle) and the commander of the army. After the main character comes in and is proclaimed king, the commander grabs the brother and slits his throat. This leaves viewers questioning "What happened?" as in the theatrical cut the guy never appears again, seemingly vanishing into thin air.
- Snake Eyes: The original plan for the climactic chase scene involved Nic Cage having to go through a flooded tunnel, an event he later claims to have a recurring nightmare about in the epilogue, and actually filmed but replaced in the actual movie with a much less-exciting tunnel-free chase.
- One of the deleted scenes featured on the Looney Tunes: Back in Action DVD shows why the Acme VPs had to press their buzzers whenever they spoke up. One of the VPs makes the mistake of not doing so and is punished by being wrapped up in plastic that will surely suffocate him.
Bugs Bunny: Folks, keep your executives fresh as the day they were fired with new Execuwrap! Ehehehehehe!
- The Super Mario Bros movie had a lost scene storyboarded as part of the sequence introducing the de-evolution chamber. Koopa catches one of his technicians sneezing and has the poor guy turned into primordial ooze as he demands Mario and Luigi tell him where the rock is. This scene explains why, when Mario and Luigi push Koopa into the devo-chair immediately following, there's some slimy substance on the ground at that point; it's the remains of the unfortunate technician.
- An early South Park episode had Shelly lighting Stan on fire and then putting him out. This was cut because of the recent outcry Moral Guardians had made claiming (incorrectly) that Beavis and Butthead had encouraged an accident involving fire. This results in a scene where Stan is laying in a pool of water for no reason.
- A deleted scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 shows Ron explaining that saying Voldemort's name is now taboo and will bring Death Eaters. Viewers are left wondering in the completed film why they immediately appear at Xenophilius Lovegood's house after he says it.
- A shot in the Half Blood Prince trailer shows Ginny being disarmed by Greyback, explaining why she didn't raise her wand to defend herself in that scene. If you're wondering why she has her wand later in that scene, you can briefly see her reaching for the ground in the final cut, obviously to retrieve her wand, but the movie cuts away from her at that moment.
- A deleted scene from Deathly Hallows, Part 2 explains why Luna is at Hogwarts when the Trio gets there, despite them having apparently left her at Shell Cottage earlier in the film.
- A deleted scene in Die Hard 2 showed that the Mooks that McClane takes out on the Skywalk at Dulles acquired their disguises by killing two painters and stealing their van and uniforms.
- The 2007 Live Action Adaptation for Alvin and The Chipmunks had a deleted scene where Ian Hawke gets thrown in jail along with the squirrels that he was trying to get to sing. The sequel begins with him being released from jail and resuming his search for Jett Records' next big thing.
- The reason Harry's butler waited until Spider-Man 3 to explain how he knew Norman's death was an accident was because a deleted scene showed that he was a hallucination.
- Monkeybone has tons of Deleted Scenes thanks to Executive Meddling. No major plot points, but a lot of little things are suddenly explained after seeing them.
- In Legend there was an extended opening sequence involving the goblins trying and failing to capture the unicorns. When they report back to Big D, Blunder interrupts to brag about his role in the attempt and is punished for speaking out of turn by having his left hand turned into a chicken foot by Darkness, explaining why he has that for the rest of the movie. Without this scene, his chicken-foot hand goes unaddressed on.
- The Lion King had Nala being near Timon and Pumbaa's Oasis for no discernable reason (which resulted in her nearly killing Pumbaa before re-encountering Simba). A deleted scene (and deleted song, called "The Madness of King Scar") revealed that the reason she was there was because Scar had exiled her from the Pridelands due to her refusing Scar's proposal to have her become his queen (with the implication that he attempted to rape her). The scene was retained in the musical, however.
- In Titanic the last time you see Lovejoy, he is limping and his face is bleeding. A deleted scene has Cal send Lovejoy after Rose and Jack after he realizes the Heart of the Ocean is with Rose and Jack beats Lovejoy in a fight.
- A smaller version from the same film. When Rose is preparing to jump from the Titanic, she's no longer wearing the necklace she had on at dinner—she's quite disheveled in fact. A deleted scene shows that she went to her room and tore off the necklace in a fit of hysteria.
TV Screening Additions
- The broadcast version of Ernest Goes to Jail features several scenes not in the VHS or DVD releases, including a final scene before the credits where Ernest finally becomes a bank clerk...only to be magnetized again by an electric shock from his keyboard and chased from his desk by a filing cabinet.
- An earlier additional scene had Ernest (who they believe to be Nash) brought into a room the night before his execution to be entertained by a lady of the night. Naive Ernest, not knowing what's in store for him, is heard off-camera screaming. The scene ends with him being physically dragged out of the room by two guards, completely exhausted.
- In the TV version of Happy Gilmore, there is a scene where Happy meets the cruel orderly, and, after finding out what he's been doing to the residents (his grandma in particular) beats him up and tosses him out a window where he gets attacked by the other residents of the nursing home. This is more satisfying, as in the released version, he gets away with all he does.
- The Disney Channel and ABC Family cuts of the Harry Potter films often restore deleted scenes.
- The initial television broadcast of The Lost World: Jurassic Park had several deleted scenes restored. The two major scenes in this cut (a board meeting between InGen executives and a longer introduction to Roland Tembo) are included as deleted scenes on the recent DVD release.
- The initial television broadcast of the Star Trek the Motion Picture movie included several deleted scenes that were character-oriented and cut from the theatrical release for timing.
- The various Superman films have had additional scenes added. To wit: the theatrical version of the 1978 Superman runs just over two hours, the extended edition runs almost half-an-hour longer, while the TV version runs almost three hours (with extra scenes like the resolution of the Kryptonian Executioner subplot, Luthor playing the piano multiple times and Lois being revealed as the young girl who saw Clark run past her to catch the train as a young boy).
- Top Secret has a few deleted scenes which sometimes appear in television broadcasts.
- The broadcast premiere of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? included a scene cut from the theatrical relesase. In it, Eddie Valiant is caught snooping in Jessica's dressing room and is taken to Toontown, where he emerges the next morning with a toon pig's head painted over his own. He goes to his office to wash it off, which explains why he's just out of the bathroom when Jessica goes to talk to him.
- The original (1978) version of Halloween got some additional scenes for its network airing. John Carpenter shot these during the production of Halloween II in 1981.
- Westworld had a scene added for TV where a guest in Medieval World is tortured on the rack after the robots go haywire.
- Blazing Saddles had some additional TV scenes, including some more "Sheriff Bart fooling Mongo" stuff and a scene where Gov. LePetomane goes into the fake Rock Ridge and shakes hands with its cardboard "residents".
- The President's Analyst premiered on broadcast TV with two scenes that have since vanished: one where Dr. Schaefer (James Coburn) first meets love interest Nan (Joan Delaney) in a NYC art-movie theater - now she's first seen in bed with him. Later, as he checks to see whether or not he's paranoid thinking he's being watched by spies, he gets them to expose themselves, and finds Nan is a spy too - a missing scene has him hallucinating disembodied floating eyeballs, including two looming out from her face.
- Murder By Death had four scenes added for its network airing. Watch 'em here.
- In TV broadcasts of Road Trip, Josh's Catapult Nightmare is extended with some additonal footage that didn't make it into the final cut.
- The Disney Channel used to air a version of The Goonies with a deleted scene in which the gang gets attacked by a giant octopus. This incident was actually mentioned by Data at the end of the theatrical cut.
- Trading Places tends to air on TV with an additional scene showing Clarence Beeks stealing the crop report for the Dukes by drugging a security guard.
- A set of deleted scenes appear in James Cameron's Aliens. The Director's Cut included twenty minutes of extra footage focusing on the residents of Hadley's Hope, Newt's family and the "sentry gun attack" sequence in the last half of the film. More importantly, a scene where Ripley finds an impregnated Burke in the alien hive wasn't released for many years until its inclusion on the Alien Anthology Blu-Ray set, largely due to Cameron's insistence that the scene was ridiculous and caused a plot hole.
- Almost Famous would have included a scene where William Miller and his parents listen to Led Zepplin's "Stairway To Heaven. All ten-plus minutes of it. It was removed because of rights clearance issues with the band.
- Apocalypse Now. The theatrical version runs for 2 hours and 20 minutes and the Redux version just over 3 hours. A never-released workprint of the film (featuring tons and tons of alternate and deleted shots, musical cues and much more) runs an astounding five-and-a-half hours. It comprises almost all the footage Francis Ford Coppola had shot in production, and can still be found circulating around the Internet (in very rough form).
- The Fly. After Ronnie tells Stathis she is pregnant, there was an entire sequence deleted, with an additional stage in Brundley´s transformation to boot. We see Seth working on his computer, looking much worse and also rather psychotic, as he calibrates the telepods to, as we come to find out, fuse together a cat and the surviving monkey. As he leans in to see what happened, a grotesque mutant with two heads and several limbs (half cat, half monkey) jumps out, scratches him on his (much bigger) bulge, and cowers behind a box, after which Brundle kills it with a pipe. Right after, he climbs up to the roof and screams "no" repeatedly, until the bulge starts hurting him and a perfect insect limb comes out. Horrified, Seth works through the pain and bites it off, throwing it aside. As he looks on in a great deal of pain, it still twitching...
- The 1994 comic-book adaptation of The Crow featured an infamous deleted character: The Skull Cowboy, a spiritual mentor who would guide Eric Draven through his quest for vengeance. He only exists on a deleted scene in a workprint version giving Eric a clue before disappearing for good. The character's scenes were cut because they mirrored the circumstances of actor Brandon Lee's death too closely (the Skull Cowboy injures Draven during a fight scene). Plus, there's plenty of other deleted footage that has never officially been released, including an alternate guitar solo sequence (shot from behind) of Draven performing Hellfire (his guitar teacher was a stand-in for this scene).
- The Crow: City of Angels also featured several deleted scenes that were only released...as a bonus feature on the official CD-Rom companion disc.
- The original Final Destination included deleted scenes with the original ending. The scenes have the hero sleep with his love interest, then get killed saving her. The baby she ends up giving birth to is how she considers he "cheated death", creating new life even though he died.
- The official full trailer for the George of the Jungle movie includes a scene where the Tooky Tooky bird sits first class in a plane on his way to warn George about Ape's capture. Needless to say, this scene is not in the film—all we get is a brief Art Shift that covers his flight (using his natural wings) from Africa to San Francisco.
- Have I Got News for You, and more recently QI, have 'extended' versions of their episodes (usually about ten minutes longer) featuring content cut from the original broadcast.
- The extended editions of The Lord of the Rings films had loads of these included. Better yet, there's even more footage that hasn't been released to date; it's mostly from the ending of the film (every character would have gotten their own epilogue). Those deleted scenes are being saved for further release in the future.
- Rent contains a prominent example of a Deleted Scene; the director mentions in the commentary that a particular sequence (in which the antagonist and one of the protagonists mend fences and make ironic jokes) projected the wrong tone. The sequence was re-shot to maintain its dramatic impact.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show DVD has the song "Superheroes" brought back to its full length - for those who have only seen the old American cut, the Criminologist's cryptic poem is the final stanza.
- For another example that isn't on the DVD (but is on YouTube), there's the song "Once in a While"
- Similarly, the trailer for the original Santa Clause includes a shot of Scott and another character conversing in front of a playroom, with Scott giving his acquaintance a big grin.
- The initial television broadcast of the Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan movie included deleted scenes never seen before. These included the fleshing out of Peter Preston and more scenes with Saavik, among others.
- Star Wars has a few of these.
- Attack of the Clones had a few interesting deleted scenes. One was a simple lab scene where Obi-Wan analyzes the poison dart he got from the bounty hunter. It was deleted because they realized it didn't move the plot "We didn't know anything going in and we knew nothing going out" and a simple mention of it in a later scene was enough.
- Revenge of the Sith cut out a few scenes that detailed the Senators who openly opposed Palpatine, who would go on to be prominent members of the Rebel Alliance. They deleted it mostly because it was just a few token scenes in an office, and it interrupted the flow of the real meat of the story (the rise of The Empire and Anakin's fall).
- The first season of 24 had several deleted scenes that, until the release of the special edition DVD set, could only be seen during the A&E syndicated airings of the show. They included many character moments cut for pacing, as well as an extended shootout in the final episode between Jack and the Drazen brothers.
- The Watchmen director's cut edition restores twenty-four minutes of scenes cut for time. As the full version is over three hours, it's really easy to see why.
- The Mask. Originally, after Peggy sold out Stanley to Tyrell he tossed her into a printing press at the newspaper she worked for.
Tyrell: "You'll be all over Page One!"
- In Here Comes Garfield, while on his way to rescue Odie from the pound, Garfield encounters a female cat on a fence post and wonders what she's thinking about. The scene was apparently animated and voices were recorded but for whatever reason it was cut. The song accompanying the scene can be heard on the soundtrack.
- The trailer for Jurassic Park includes a very quick scene where Ellie reaches out during the initial Jeep ride from the helicopter to the visitor's center and plucks a leaf from a tree. This scene is not in the final cut of the movie. She just randomly has this leaf in her hand right before we see the first dinosaur, and she comments on it with no explanation how she got it.
- In Eight Crazy Nights, there was originally going to be a scene where Davey coaches the basketball team against prisoners. It involved a lot of cartoonish antics (including a scene where one of the kids is decapitated but gets better), and at the end, they bring their secret weapon: a giant man named Hammer, who is knocked unconscious by a basketball to the face.
- In the theatrical version of The Muppet Christmas Carol, the song "When Love is Gone" was cut for reasons of pacing, then it was re-added in the VHS release, then cut again on the widescreen DVD (the second DVD release had it, but only in fullscreen).
- The movie version of Sin City had a director's cut which added more scenes, making the film even more faithful to its source.
- A lot of animated Disney movies will inevitably have several deleted scenes revealed in their DVDs' bonus feature menus. However, most of these are partly drawn animatics instead of completed scenes (even with Pixar films). So far the only deleted scene in these to be finished but then still cut is the "Viking prologue" from 2001's Atlantis the Lost Empire.
- Laura had a scene cut due to the Conspicuous Consumption going against the spirit of rationing during World War Two. To give an idea of how much, the scene included the eponymous Laura wearing several expensive outfits, including a pear decorated cape, and a mid-length fur skirt.
- Anchorman is a very interesting example. There were so many deleted scenes left on the cutting room floor, including an alternate subplot involving a comically inept extremist organization called The Alarm Clock, that they were cobbled together into a straight-to-DVD faux-sequel called Wake Up, Ron Burgundy.
- My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has had a few: two scenes from "The Ticket Master", a minor shot from "Suited for Success", and a major scene from "Luna Eclipsed".
- The Golden Compass had a good 20 minutes conclusion filmed that got cut in order to serve as the opening of the next movie, which is unlikely ever to be produced. This scene was cut very late in the process, because all the promotional stuff, including the trailer, includes it. Because the video game tie in is closer to the film than the book, a lot of the lost footage (from when Lyra is reunited with Lord Asriel to when Lyra and Iorek split up) can be seen in the game.
- In A Christmas Story, at least three of Ralphie's Mister Imagination fantasy sequences were deleted to comply with MGM's 90 minute time limit for the movie. Screenplay fragments of these scenes are available here.
- Interestingly, the DVD of the third Harry Potter movie includes a deleted scene in which Sirius Black's attack on Gryffindor Tower is discussed. This attack occurred in the book, but was not in the film or in another deleted scene. Presumably, the entire sequence was cut before they would have filmed the actual attack, leaving us with a weird "orphaned" scene which would only make sense if paired with material that was never filmed. The same film also has an extra scene with the Knight Bus in which the blue screen wasn't edited out before it got cut and it's included as-is on the DVD. You can see both scenes, among others cut from that film, here.
- In ET the Extraterrestrial, there was a scene where, after Elliot's frog-freeing antics, Elliot's mother meets with the school principal played by Harrison Ford. Steven Spielberg had it removed, feeling Ford's presence was too distracting.
- In Mystery Men, one of the deleted scenes on the DVD shows an alternate method of destroying Casanova Frankenstein's machine: rather than throw The Bowler's bowling ball into it, they were going to throw one of Dr. Heller's Tornado-in-a-Can into it. The effect for this can still however be seen in the theatrical release; just after they toss the bowling ball in and it does its damage you can see the green swirling smoke coming out of the hole.
- Though most of The X-Files deleted scenes were cut for time reasons and have little bearing on the plot, there are quite a few deleted scenes ad-libbed by David and Gillian that couldn't be included without taking the "U" out of their UST. There are at least three deleted kisses, two of which can be seen on Youtube.
- One of the deleted kisses (the infamouse hallway kiss from Fight the Future) seems to have been a joke played on the actors. It was finally released 10 years after the movie came out, presumably in anticipation of the 2008 movie, which naturally caused fans to squee and faint dead away. When interviewed about this deleted scene, Frank Spotnitz said that "Nobody ever called 'cut'" and so the scene proceeded as is. There are definitely other takes of the hallway scene in which David and Gillian are clearly messing around and hamming it up for the camera, however.
- The "Humuhumunukunukuapua'a" number was deleted from the theatrical version of High School Musical 2, to avoid spilling the beans about Ryan's sexuality, but retained in the DVD release and stage adaptation.
- For a book example, many deleted chapters of Arthur C. Clarke's novel 2001 (which was written concurrently with the movie) appear in The Lost Worlds of 2001, which also talks about the process of creating the book and movie.
- The Death Row scene in The Adding Machine was omitted until a 1956 revival restored it.
- Spyro: Year of the Dragon contained a scene that was to be featured before the second boss. It featured the Sorceress berating Bianca for failing to kill Spyro, then creating Spike to finish him. It can still be viewed on the Platinum edition of the game, as well as by inputting a code in the original.