Alternate Endings of Movies that aren't Big

An entire alternate ending scene was cut from Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, involving a custard pie fight between everyone in the war room.

I believe Kubrick made the right decision with that cut.

Not scripted or filmed, apparently. The director only made the film on the condition that the studio wouldn’t change his ending. The story that it was based on had a different ending.

Not a different ending- But there are multiple versions of Legend. Some have a voice over in the opening shot. Some do not. Some have an orchestral score. Some have a soundtrack by Tangerine Dream. Some have Jack giving a long speech to Meg about how beautiful she is before he beheads her. In some, he just chops her noggin off. There are, I’m sure, other differences I can’t recall at the moment.

Yeah, wasn’t there a shot where someone gets hit in the head and yells, “I’m hit!” and it was too close to Kennedy’s assassination to include it? I thought that is where it started, but they ended up cutting the whole segment, which I agree is a good idea.

Which is surprising, because the short story has a very hopeful ending…

Paraphrased; it’s been a while:

The dad is driving, fiddling with the car radio, desperately wanting to hear anything besides static.
After a time (hours? days?), the dad’s narrating while everyone else is asleep and he says he’s going to keep driving because of one word he just barely caught amidst the static…


Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room. :grinning:

After the President (Muffley) gets pied, the general says something like “Our noble young President has been stricken down” - that was too close.

Just checked: “Our President has been struck down in his prime!”

I love TPROC, too, and that is a happy ending. The film is about the magic of movies, figuratively and literally, and IMHO the ending is a brilliant bit of directing and acting.

Assuming I don’t have to spoiler a 37-year-old film, at the very end, after Cecilia’s dream has been dashed, she goes back to the only thing that has given her joy, the movies. The final shot is closeup on her face from the side as she watches the latest movie. In a shot that seems to last five minutes, her expression slowly goes from absorbed dejection to starting to pay attention then slowly becoming more engrossed in the story. Finally there is a faint smile on her lips as the movies have once again worked their magic and transformed her life.

Yes, there are several layers to this.

Pulled from theaters and re-edited: Exorcist 2, Heaven’s Gate.

3D version of something originally filmed in 2D: Titanic and some others I can’t think of.

Special effects added for re-release: Close Encounters. (By all means, add to these examples!)

Watered down for a lower rating: Saturday Night Fever.

Re-edited after a test audience had their say: Now here’s where it gets interesting. I’ve been to a few test screenings, and sometimes I’ve seen the finished product. Nothing that I saw in a test screening had its ending changed. Changes were usually reducing or eliminating characters who didn’t add to the ensemble, shortening or eliminating scenes that didn’t move the story (which sometimes dovetailed with reducing a character’s screen time), and in one case, changing the soundtrack to something less intrusive.

The thing is, though, as you can probably guess, that if a movie is being test screened, the producers are already worried about it. I never saw anything pre-screened that went on to be a huge hit. I’m not sure all of them were released in theaters; it was probably easier and cheaper to dump it in a handful of theaters during a slow time, or go straight to video, than to reassemble the cast and crew. If they did change the ending, it was probably because it had been filmed as a just-in-case. “The suits want the good-over-evil ending, so let’s shoot that to keep them happy.”

My point being, what Czarcasm describes is a rare thing. Not impossible, but way out of the ordinary.

I’m embarrassed to say that when I was cast in a production of “Deathtrap” my freshman year of college, it took me a few weeks of rehearsal to figure out Sidney and Clifford were gay. I just figured they were two friends working a scheme to steal Myra’s money together.

Yeah, I had a pretty sheltered childhood, growing up on a farm in rural Iowa and all. And there is no kiss in the stage version - that was added for the movie.

Toy Story and Toy Story 2 had 3D versions released when Toy Story 3 came out. I went to the triple-feature of all three films (I’m guessing they were all in 3D for that?) … Toy Story 2 looked pretty good in 3D, but the conversion of the original was less successful.

I wouldn’t call it a “huge hit,” but I saw an advance screening of Blue Thunder. There was a scene where Candy Clark was driving in a chase scene, and drove down a narrow alley on two wheels. The audience actually laughed, and that scene didn’t make the final cut.

As far as I know, that was the only change.

Also, Vegas was swapped out for Dallas when Major Kong says, “A fella could have a pretty good weekend…”

The original ending Little Shop of Horror bolmed so bad with test audiences that not only did they have to dump the original elaborate, f/x-heavy ending, they had to rebuild at least one set for reshoots.

(I was one of those people who wanyed the DVD but didn’t buy it in the few days between release and recall. But I managed to buy it from some honest soul on the Usenet group for only 1.5x the retail price he bought his extra copies at, a very resonable price for his time and effort providing it.)

It doesn’t seem to be widely known, but Ralph Bakshi re-cut the end to his animated version of Lord of the Rings. Wikipedia sorta mentions this , buried in the section on “Animation”

The only thing I take issue with was the “after test screenings” I saw the film in New York after what was definitely its official opening – not a test screening – and it had the original ending. When I saw the film later elsewhere I noticed that it had changed.

Note that nothing was added to or taken from the film – it was simply re-arranging the scenes.

I also saw a movie with a different edit in the theater. It was Three Kings from David O. Russell.

On the DVD, it features deleted scenes, including one where they shoot an Iraqi and his head pops off in an over-the-top comedic(black comedy) way.

I saw that scene in the movie in my screening opening weekend, but it is true that DVD and all home releases have it as a removed scene. One other deleted scene was also in the movie, but I forget what it is now.

I don’t see this commented on very often, but either the studio or David O. Russell did slightly change his movie after at least its first weekend in theaters.

My biggest mystery in this is Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. I’ve seen the film countless times, and own it on DVD. But I didn’t see it at its initial release.

Several people have told me that theres a brief scene between Marty Feldman as Ygor and Gene Wilder as DR. Frankenstein, when they’re presenting the Monster at the theater. They’re getting ready to go on, and Wilder looks at Feldman. They’re both dressed to the nines in tuxedos, and Wilder suddenly notices that Feldman’s hump – which shown a disconcerting tendency to migrate from one side to the other – isn’t there at all. The dialogue goes something like this:

Wilder: What happened to your hump?
Feldman: (haughtily) NEVER with a tux!

I have never seen this brief interplay, which seems completely in line with the Mel Brooks/Gene Wilder sense of humor, but numerous people have reported it to me, including my wife. I looked for it in the “deleted scenes” among the DVD “extras”, but it’s not there.

I refuse to believe that everyone who claimed to have seen it was mistaken, or convinced they had seen it after the fact (if they actually hadn’t).

One reason is that in the film as we currently have it, after the Monster goes mad from the adverse crowd reaction and the exploding stage lights, he knocks Wilder to the ground and storms off. Feldman and Terri Garr rush to Wilder to see if he’s OK and to help him up. And Feldman is not wearing a hump! Pull out your own DVD copy and have a look. Without that brief scene I quoted above the absence of the hump is unexplained, but you can clearly see there’s no hump there.

Anybody here recall seeing that scene?

Just for the record, are you posting from your timeline, or have you inadvertently crossed over into ours?

How would I know the difference?