In this world of Director’s Cut editions, sometimes it’s difficult to recall crucial scenes that were cut from theatrical releases. Below, my list of the Top 5 scenes which should have been left in the first time around.
#5: Watchmen: The Death of Hollis Mason
Full disclosure: I want an entire Minutemen movie on its own. Even so, leaving out the death scene of Hollis Mason in the Watchmen adaptation leaves a few character holes in the plot. While I felt that the movie did a great job of fleshing out the new school characters, one notable exception was the Second Nite Owl. The death scene was cut for pacing problems, as it would have to include the reaction scene. Yet Mason, the first Nite Owl, and his subsequent death, are key motivating factors for the Second Nite Owl’s own vigilantism. The scene was stunningly shot, and it was a shame to leave out something which both helped plot and side and main characters develop.
#4: Blade Runner: Deckard and Holden in the Hospital
This scene features Deckard visiting Holden, the replicant, in the hospital, where the replicant is reading an e-book (!). Holden talks about Deckard sleeping with Zhora before killing her, saying “you’ve got conscience” and “feelings”, pretty strong hints that Deckard is, too, a replicant. Then he says that the replicants are looking for God, which foreshadows the visit to Tyrell, their “God”. Feel that? Goosebumps. I don’t know why this scene was left out of every version, since it picks up on major plot points and does so with the perfect ambiguity for which this film is so famously adored.
#3: Star Trek (2009): Dude, Where’s My Nero?
Remember Nero? He was the largely forgettable villain from the Star Trek reboot. If you can’t quite remember his deal, you can hardly be blamed: a lot of the scenes that fleshed out the character were cut from the movie. In particular, a scene where Nero is tortured on a Klingon prison planet help us to understand what the hell was going on while awaiting Spock’s arrival, and why he returned looking, um, worse for the ear (groan). To be fair, any villain would have been overshadowed by the excitement this movie generated, but keeping these scenes would have helped keep us invested in him.
#2: Independence Day: How Jeff Goldblum Fixed Everything
Granted, the science in this 1996 sci-fi hit is so soft it could be cut with a butter knife, since it’s focused mainly on explosions and Will Smith expertly reciting one-liners. Let us never forget, however, that Jeff Goldblum’s character, David, is the one who actually saves the day. In this crucial deleted scene, we see exactly how David is able to “hack” the alien system with a “virus” (replete with skull gif!). There’s really no reason for it to have been cut, since it explains what’s happening and takes all of, like, 30 seconds to transpire.
#1: Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Sith: The Entire Subplot
Okay, sure, this may not be restricted to just one “scene”, but the series of scenes in question don’t comprise a huge amount of screen time. One of Lucas’ biggest failures in creating the prequels was miscalculating what the fans of the trilogy actually wanted from them. The scenes showing Padme’s involvement with the burgeoning Rebel Alliance were not really expendable, and that move was incredibly unfortunate. I can’t imagine any Star Wars fan would prefer swooning puppy love (and subsequent existential rage) over political intrigue and, you know, actual reasons for Anakin’s behaviour.