View Full Version : Missing scenes in "2001: A Space Odyssey"

08-09-2000, 01:36 AM
I saw a screening of the subject film in the 70's during it's first theactrical release. In subsequent releases and transfers to video tape I have noticed that at least 5 minutes worth of material has been deleted from the ending of the film, i.e., after the entry into Jupiter space, particularly after the character "wakes up" in the "apartment" and begins to age. One very distinct image I have is of him opening the kitchen cabinet doors and finding cereal-like boxes which he opens and pours out. I don't remember what the contents of the boxes looked like, only that nothing resembling this scene seems to be in current releases. There were also several more "stages" in the ageing process that seem to have disappeared. I tried to raise this issue several years ago in a newsgroup devoted to this movie and was told to go pound sand and I didn't know what the Hell I was talking about. I did NOT imagine these scenes and was not under the influence of any controlled substances at the time. If I was still speaking with my first wife (who saw the film with me) I would have her confirm this. Why were these scenes deleted and are there any plans to re-release the film in it's un-cut form?

08-09-2000, 02:43 AM
I saw the exact scenes you mentioned. A kind of blue solid is in every one of the boxes he opens. In the novel (which I've read numerous times) the blue solid is described as a kind of universal foodstuff that has an infinitely variable taste. I remember thinking of it as being an insanely useful invention after I read the book. My reaction in the theater was one of amusement: Those aliens have just pulled a fast one on Dave, switching the food in those boxes with some blue gunk. (OT: My one gripe about the film is that it never explains the plot well enough, especially at the end. I think more people would have 'gotten' the film if it had been made in a style more conducive to telling backstory and making essential comments. As it is you are left wondering what's happening far too often.)

08-09-2000, 07:17 AM

I see it from a different tack. the book and the movie were conceived and developed together. the end results are simply two aspects of the same story. if you want backsotry, read the book. but the movie would suffer if it was made to be about a scifi plot like the book.

08-09-2000, 07:45 AM
One of the best things about DVD is that so many films that have been edited are now being released with lots of extras including the restoration of deleted scenes.

TV edits of films are bad enough but when you can't even find a video cassette with the "entire" film that's pathetic. Plus now almost all films will be available in widescreen format, but still with a TV format option for those people who inexplicably demand that they not see almost 1/3 of the film.

08-09-2000, 08:31 AM
I've never heard about this! It's NOT on the DVD release (I have it), and it's never been mentioned in any f the books I've read on the production. I'll have to look into this.

It wouldn't surprise me -- lots of movies have scenes delected after release. I've heard from several people about a deleted scene in "Young Frankenstein". Just before Gene Wilder goes on stage with the Monster he has a brief scene with Marty Feldman. Feldman is playing Igor, and for once he has NO HUMP.

"What happened tou your hump?" asks Wilder (as frankenstein).
"NEVER with a Tux!" replied Igor/Feldman.

I was really hoping that the DVD of Young Frankenstein would have this scene. Althogh it does contain a lot of deleted scenes, this is not among them. Yet I am sure the scene was in the original release. If you look closely, you can see that when Igor rushes to Frankenstein's side after Peter Boyle as the Monster escapes HE DOESN'T HAVE A HUMP!

After I saw "Lord of the Rings" in its original New York release , I saw it again at a second release theater (I'm a masochist). The scenes at the end had been re-cut and re-ordered.

Frequently movies will have scenes added for their TV release, and these often show up on laserdisc or DVD releases as extra "gravy" to get people to buy.

"Aliens" had extra scenes that really added to it. These were shown on TV and are, I believe, on DVD.

"Creator" had a flashback sequence to a day at Coney Island (or some such beachside amusement park) that really added to the story. It was only shown on TV, as far as I kno.

The TV release of "Dune" had a lot of added scenes, and the movie as recut and new narration added. It wasn't David Lynch's vision, and he had his name removed as director, with the infamous "Alan Smithee" put in as director. Yet the new version was clearly done by someone who knew and loved the books, and I thought it was well done.

08-09-2000, 09:35 AM
I remember the scene in the novel, but I don't remember seeing it in the movie, and I've seen it about a dozen times. Maybe we're all suffering from "Biggs Scene Syndrome"?

08-09-2000, 11:40 AM
FWIW, I never read the book and so could not have been influenced by a recollection from that medium. Perhaps a Hollywood insider could query Keir Dulea for us since Kubrick is no longer with us. Surely he remembers shooting the scenes.

08-09-2000, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by pldennison
Maybe we're all suffering from "Biggs Scene Syndrome"?

Where does that term come from? I'm already familiar with the effect, visually inventing scenes that were in whatever book if I happened to read it before seeing the movie. Unfortunately I was only seven when I saw 2001 so the Jupiter and beyond the infinite scene warped my fragile little mind, rendering it unable to remember much from the final scenes in the apartment.

The trivia page on IMDB for [RUL="http://us.imdb.com/Trivia?0062622"]2001[/URL] says that 20 minutes were cut out after bad reviews before public release. I wonder if you somehow saw an unaltered print.

08-09-2000, 01:24 PM
Sonofabitch! I meant to post 2001 (http://us.imdb.com/Trivia?0062622)

While I'm at it, do any of you 2001 mavens know when David Boman says "my God, it's full of stars"? I have apparently missed that ever single time I've watched it on tape or DVD.

08-09-2000, 01:36 PM
"Biggs Scene Syndrome" refers to Star Wars. Luke's friend Biggs went off to the Academy; in the final version of the film, he talks about this. There was originally a scene in the script where Biggs comes back to visit, and Luke begs him to talk about his adventures. It's in the novel, IIRC. The scene was partially shot and never completed, but there are photographs of it, so a lot of people have fantasized that they "actually" saw it in an "early version" but that it's been "cut out." Make sense?

As far as 2001, as Padeye mentions, Kubrick went back and re-edited the film, cutting a lot of material, after the initial opening wasn't received very well. The majority of the cuts were in the last half of the film. Kubrick may have a reputation as an obscure artist and perfectionist, but clearly he's been willing to respond to the needs of his audience.

Eventually, he figured out that none of his movies are received well on initial showings, so he cut back on the post-release tinkering in later years. Still, it makes you wonder what he might have done to Eyes Wide Shut, e.g. "fixing" the jarring sound transition where Bill Harford appears in the elevator, and so on, if he hadn't died prematurely.

08-09-2000, 01:42 PM
Oh, by the way, before somebody jumps on me for this, one of the "lost Biggs scenes" was restored for the recent Special Edition. Specifically, it's the scene where Luke is reunited with Biggs while they're warming up the X-Wings prior to the big battle at the end. This was cut from the original release both for time and because the first scene on Tattooine wasn't there, so it wouldn't make sense being "reunited" with someone we haven't met. The result, of course, is that when Luke is mumbling in the dogfight, "Dammit, Biggs, where are you," we're not sure who he's talking about, and we don't know why he's so sad a couple of minutes later when the guy bites it. Of course, twenty years later, after everybody knows the mythology, the scene gets put back in, and we can all fill in the gaps...

08-09-2000, 02:03 PM
The line "My God, it's full of Stars!" doesn't appear in the movie 2001. I'm not sure if it appears in the Clarke nove 2001. It certainly DOES appear in the Arthur C. Clarke novel 2010, on which the movie is based. In both Clarke novels but NOT in Kubrick's film) Bowman tries to land on top of the monolith near Jupiter and instead goes through the top, which seems to be full of stars.

One of my favorite buttons reads: "2001 Dalmations: My Stars! It's full of Dogs!"

08-09-2000, 03:08 PM
When Luke's uncle tells him he needs him for the harvest and he can go to the Academy next year, doesn't Luke say "I guess Biggs is right, I'm never gonna get out of here."?

08-09-2000, 04:06 PM
The trivia page on IMDB for [RUL="http://us.imdb.com/Trivia?0062622"]2001[/URL] says that 20 minutes were cut out after bad reviews before public release. I wonder if you somehow saw an unaltered print.

Hmmmm, perhaps, but it's unlikely that the Palm Theater in Fort Walton Beach FL (which is where I saw it) was so critical a venue as to be considered a test market/audience. At least I don't recall any "exit poll" asking my reaction to the film.

08-09-2000, 04:10 PM
Thanks CalMeacham. That had been driving me nuts for years because I had heard references to it and in the movie of 2010 they play Bowman's voice transmission of him saying it.

08-09-2000, 05:26 PM
RedDawgEsg: it's unlikely that the Palm Theater in Fort Walton Beach FL (which is where I saw it) was so critical a venue as to be considered a test market/audience

Well, that's because, in all likelihood, it wasn't a test screening. The IMDb's trivia note -- "20 minutes were cut out after bad reviews before public release" -- is incorrect. Kubrick went back and cut the material after the film's official premiere, meaning an unknown number of Regular Joe Audience Members saw the prior, uncut version.

Also, it's important to remember that when the movie came out 30 years ago, test screenings were handled totally differently, and, more importantly, the huge 3,000-screen nationwide releases we're used to now almost never happened. A movie like The Godfather would premiere in L.A. (for example), then open there and in N.Y., Chicago, and a couple of other markets. After a while, it would go on roadshow over the next six to eight months. If you lived in St. Louis, or Boise, or some other decent-sized city that wasn't part of the initial rollout, you might not have gotten the newest movies for weeks or even months. (Imagine how scratchy and busted up the prints would be by the time they arrived in Helena or Carson City or wherever.)

Nowadays, you can be fifty miles from nowhere, and Mission: Impossible 2 comes into your local multiplex at the same time as everywhere else. Obviously, if you're in a true podunk town with only one screen (let alone one theatre), this won't be the case, but the release pattern has changed dramatically. The point is, I think you're projecting backwards and making assumptions based on how you've come to expect movies to be released currently.

Anyway, in your case, I think it's far more likely that the movie premiered in a few venues on the East Coast, and then went on tour southward. You might have gotten the print that had been showing in Atlanta two weeks previously, for example. Kubrick made his changes over the next couple of weeks, and then new prints were struck and the new version went out -- but, again, not necessarily back to the same places it had previously shown; they just picked up on the continuing tour. And it's certainly possible that a few unedited prints stayed out there for a while.

Anyway, just a little film history combined with some conjecture for y'all...

Greg Charles
08-09-2000, 11:51 PM
When Luke's uncle tells him he needs him for the harvest and he can go to the Academy next year, doesn't Luke say "I guess Biggs is right, I'm never gonna get out of here."?

Having only seen the movie a dozen dozen times, I can't be sure, but I think Luke says this more or less to himself when he's cleaning up the droids, and it's more like, "Aww, Biggs is right ..."

Biggs does have one uncut scene in the original movie. At the end during the assault on the Death Star, he's one of the X-wing pilots. He even has a line or two. Then he gets blown up.

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