Actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman once said that a film is made in the editing room. It’s where all the footage gets put together into a final product.
Deciding what to include and what not to is one of the most difficult parts. Enough scenes may fall to the floor to make their own separate movie.
Not all of them are worth keeping for one reason or another. They might not add to the plot, affect the pacing, or make it too long. Others are gems that get left behind.
Keep watching to learn about deleted scenes that are so good they belong in the movie.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 1
There are two touching deleted scenes from this movie. Both focus on the Dursleys, the family members that tortured Harry and locked him in a closet before he found out he was a wizard. Leaving them for their protection brings about a bit of humanity in them.
In the first scene, Harry is passing by his Aunt Petunia. She comments that on the day he was born, he didn’t just lose a mother, she lost a sister. It reminds us that Harry isn’t the only one in pain during his adventures.
The second shows the rest of his family leaving. His uncle Vernon is leading Dudley into the car and asks why Harry can’t come with them. He explains that he doesn’t want to, and the Boy Who Lived jokes that he would “just be a waste of space.” Before leaving, his cousin and former bully comes up to him and says “I don’t think you’re a waste of space.”
These scenes never ended up in the final product, but they’re important bits of storytelling. They help make the Dursleys more four-dimensional characters.
Jaws is a classic that thrives on mystery. It seldom shows the shark, and you don’t even feel like you know its human characters well.
One of the most enigmatic is Quint, but you do learn a bit more about his personality in a deleted scene. He goes to a music store to get a piano string strong enough to catch a shark. While he’s there, he annoys a child by mimicking the song they’re trying to play.
The Devil Wears Prada
Miranda Priestley, the titular “devil,” is one of those characters who prides herself on always having herself together. One of the only times she feels flustered is in a deleted scene.
Her husband walks into an important party drunk and starts misbehaving. Andrea, the put-upon assistant, distracts one of the important partygoers before he can notice. Miranda goes off with her husband but mouths “thank you.”
Most fans of the film believe it was deleted because it seemed out of character for her. She’d never thank anyone for anything!
Avengers: Infinity War
The deleted conversation between Thanos and Gamora is one of the few bits of emotion you’ll get out of the hulking purple figure. It’s also a rare insight into their relationship and past together.
Part of the fun of Captain America has been watching a character who’s been in cryosleep adjust to the modern world. If you didn’t get enough of that during his brief screen time in this film, there’s a deleted scene for you.
The three-minute clip starts in WWII and then moves to the modern day where he sits by Stark Tower. It even includes a subtle Stan Lee cameo.
In a deleted scene, Rob goes to buy a record collection and finds it’s the best collection he’s ever seen. The difficulty comes when she finds out the seller won’t take any more than $50 because it belongs to her unfaithful husband. He’s forced to convince her to charge more.
The scene shows that records are worth more than money and that Rob will never abandon his principles. It also shows how music can be a form of connection.
This scene shows Superman going to find the remains of Krypton and being sickened by the Krypton left there. It’s long and commits the cardinal sin for an action movie; nothing much happens. The problem is that, without it, much of the plot gets lost.
The best solution would have been to cut it down. Showing him explore space for a bit would have explained why he was away from Earth for so long, and the Kryptonite foreshadows the final action sequence.
Blade Runner is one of the most debated films of all time, and that’s in no small part thanks to one deleted scene. It shows Deckard dreaming of a unicorn, which connects to the origami unicorn shown earlier. It could mean that he’s secretly an android known as a replicant, that someone’s manipulating his dreams, or many other interpretations.
Filmmaker Ridley Scott thought the scene was too important to be cut. He put it back in the director’s cut released in 1992.
Kill Bill: Vol 2
The Kill Bill saga was never about Bill; it’s about the bride who tracks him down. He seldom appears onscreen, but in one deleted scene, he did. He squares off against Michael Jai White and cuts his throat, leaving him to bleed to death. It shows how merciless and what a talented assassin he is.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Commentaries on humanity are all throughout this movie, but a deleted scene asks, what if you could edit a machine to make it more human?
It shows John and Sarah Conner modifying the Terminator’s settings. He becomes more empathetic and humane by the end of the movie. Filmgoers are also treated to some interesting visual effects. It’s available on a limited-edition release of the movie.
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This film has one of the more plot-significant deleted scenes. It shows that the main character Ellen Ripley had a daughter who died while she was in hypersleep. She strokes her picture and cries while she remembers that she couldn’t keep her promise to return for her 11th birthday.
It explains her motivations for going through the horrors of the rest of the film on the LV-426. It also explains why she sees the girl Newt who she finds as an adopted daughter. The scene was put back into the special edition released in 1992.
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
A delete scene expands on the…complicated family dynamic between Dathomir, Faramir, and Boromir. It’s one of the only ones that shows them on screen together. It explains future events, such as why Faramir was tempted to give the ring to his father.
Sci-fi movies with aliens seem to be pre-disposed to having plotholes. Independence Day has a major one; how can a human infect alien computers using only human equipment?
The filmmakers did address that issue in a deleted scene. It shows the heroes recognizing an alien computer in a wrecked craft and deciphering it to save the day.
Heaven’s Gate started as a massive, nearly four-hour epic. That version didn’t sit well with critics, so it was cut closer to two and a half hours.
One of the most important parts that were cut was the prologue. It showed major characters Jim Averill and Billy Irvine graduating from Harvard. It set up the rest of the story and perfectly mirrored the epilogue. The 2012 director’s cut included it and several other cut scenes.
The first Anchorman film relied on seasoned ad-libbers such as Steve Carell, Adam McKay, and Will Ferrell shooting as much footage as they could and then editing it down. There was so much left that it filled up another film called Wake Up, Ron Burgandy.
One of the most disturbing but hilarious scenes was the “falafel hot dog” scene. Brick Tamland’s asked what he’s eating and explains that it’s a falafel hot dog with cinnamon on top. Everyone around him soon realizes it’s just something he found out of the garbage. He continues to eat it while exhibiting hilarious facial expressions.
Finding the right moment to reveal one of the biggest twists in movie history is essential. A deleted scene in A New Hope gives an in-universe explanation for why Obi-Wan didn’t tell Luke that Darth Vader was his father. Yoda reveals on his deathbed that he’d forbidden it.
The “French Plantation sequence” interrupts a tense war movie with a trip to have dinner on a French family’s rubber plantation. It’s since become well-known since the release of the documentary Heart of Darkness which follows the making of the film. It was even restored to the 2001 version of Apocalypse Now Redux.
The Lion King
Be Prepared is one of the most famous Disney villain songs of all time, but it almost had a segment that was even more sinister. Scar wants to have an heir to carry on his reign as king and tries to seduce Nala. Disney deleted the suggestive content, but it does help explain why Nala ran away from the Pridelands in the first place.
Most young artists have experienced a moment when they have to convince their parents to let them follow their dreams. A deleted scene shows William working to have his mother let him write for Rolling Stone. She resisted at first, but all he had to do was play Stairway to Heaven for her. It was meant to be a commentary on the power of rock.
The problem was that Led Zeppelin wouldn’t let them use the song, so they had to cut it. The DVD version of the movie includes the scene but without the music. It gives you instructions on when to play the song so that it syncs with the visuals.
Iron Man 2
An alternate opening can also reveal more about a character. One version of Iron Man 2’s opening shows Tony Stark bent over in pain. Viewers might think he’s being tortured, but it’s just a hangover. The scene also foreshadows his later health issues.
This scene before the Spring Fling Dance makes the “happily ever after” ending seem a bit more realistic. It shows Cady and Regina making up in the bathroom right before the festivities begin. That shows how they could remain friends after everything that went on; even after one of them accidentally pushed the other in front of a bus.
Do you know of any great deleted scenes? Let us know in the comments below.