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Few people are aware just how drastically Hollywood movies change from initial pitch to the silver screen. Focus group testing and market concerns often combine to give films less realistic, Hollywood-type endings. CRACKED takes a look at what some classic Russell Crowe movies looked like before Hollywood producers got their hands on them.


Gladiator
Wielding nothing but a stolen hotel telephone, General-cum-Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridius slaughters men by the hundreds, endearing himself to the Roman riff-raff and, ipso facto, becoming the most powerful man in world. To regain control of the mob, Emperor Commodus challenges him to a fight in the coliseum. Maximus' stolen hotel telephone is no match for Commodus' sword, and the erstwhile general is decapitated in front of fifty thousand drunk Italians, who happily surrender any and all political sovereignty they might have had and take off marching towards some city deemed "conquerable."


A Beautiful Mind
Brilliant mathematician John Nash invents game theory and then loses his marbles, hanging himself with the cord of a stolen hotel telephone. His wife, Jennifer Connelly, develops a heroin addiction and then gets totally ran on by some huge black guy and a bunch of wall-street types.


Cinderella Man
Rather than demanding better public schools and a more equitable distribution of national wealth, Depression Era Americans put their faith in a washed-up boxer with a fake accent. Jim Braddock' fierce determination to be savagely beaten for very little money confirms the suspicions of astute members of the working class that America is a bunch of shit, while the more patriotic fans simply get drunk and yell with morbid bewilderment for reasons they cannot explain.

Braddock' wife pleads with him to swallow his pride and retire because it is clear that he will be killed in the ring any day now â€" but what does she know, dumb broad.

Against all odds, Braddock survives the first round of his million-to-one shot at the title by hitting heavyweight champ Max Baer in the head with a stolen hotel telephone. Unfortunately for the common man, the telephone is summarily confiscated and Braddock is dead by round two. His widow turns to prostitution to support her fatherless children, until they die for their country in WWII: all of them POWs in the wrong place (Hiroshima) at the wrong time (August 1945).


Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
British Sea Captain Jack Aubrey kills Napoleon with a stolen hotel telephone and once-and-for-all removes the scourge of war from the canon of acceptable political maneuvers. He moves to Alaska and starts a snowplowing business. He then loses to the New York Rangers by one goal â€" just one goal! — but ultimately realizes that it doesn't matter because that concierge had it coming.


L.A. Confidential
In a gutsy performance, Russell Crowe plays a mindless idiot with a violent temper. He starts off attacking wife beaters and cop killers. Bored, he changes gears and begins indiscriminately attacking women and policemen. Still unsatisfied, he murders everyone in Hollywood, a BBC award show producer who cut short his runner-up best actor speech, and all the music critics who called his alt-rock band "highly derivative at best."

When Crowe has beaten to death every man, woman, and child on earth, he finally has time to himself for reading Zen And The Art Of Being A Spoiled Theater Fag. But before he can begin, a suspicious pigeon gives him a dirty look. Having already dispatched every other human from the planet, Crowe is forced to take his rage out on himself, and in a cruel twist of fate, his glasses are broken. Before starving to death in a puddle of blood, a paralyzed Russell Crowe spends his last days headbutting ants and screaming incoherently at stray pets.
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