5 WTF Scenes Thankfully Cut From Classic Movies
Unless the words “Judd” and/or “Apatow” appear in the credits, pretty much every movie has at least a few scenes that don’t make it into the final cut. While these lost moments are often completely unnecessary or frankly boring or sometimes flat-out nuts. And some legit Hollywood classics, it seems, excised some pretty bonkers material from their final product, such as how …
Ghostbusters – Ray Was Almost Pleasured By A Ghost For Real
Throughout the 1980s, the Ghostbusters franchise became increasingly family-friendly in nature, thanks to the animated series, the tie-in toys, and Ecto Cooler, the tasty green juice presumably made from the slimy secretions of dead people. But the original film featured some surprisingly mature content – most conspicuously, the moment in which a montage about the Ghostbusters’ newfound financial success pauses for an extended period to focus on Ray Stantz’s wet dream about a horny poltergeist.
Which, to be honest, was weird enough. But originally, this moment wasn’t a dream but rather part of an extended sequence in which Winston and Ray visit an old-timey Revolutionary War fort. At one point, Ray randomly dresses up in a soldier’s uniform and takes a nap, then is promptly visited by the floating apparition of a young woman who … proceeds to unbutton his pants. While the larger scene was cut from the movie, it was included in the Ghostbusters novelization – and we bet you could have gone your whole life without reading about the “electric sensation” between Dan Aykroyd’s legs.
Footage of the lost Fort Detmerring scene finally surfaced a few years ago, and … yeah, it’s something.
Despite the fact that the sequence was cut from the movie, part of it was kept and shoehorned into the story as a dream – which was important to Aykroyd, apparently because he believes this is a thing that commonly happens, claiming that a friend of his “had three women visit him in a haunted house in Louisiana” and “it was one of the greatest nights of his life.”
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – Elliott Gets A Lecture About Drugs From Harrison Ford Of All People
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Steven Spielberg’s classic story of a gentle alien creature who loves plant life (whose popularity ironically led to a giant landfill full of hunks of black plastic), famously exists in a number of different cuts. There’s the original film, the one where the guns have been replaced by walkie-talkies, and the upcoming IMAX re-release in which the guns will be guns again, probably because no one believes that American law enforcement agents wouldn’t threaten small children with deadly force at this point.
One moment that ended up on the cutting room floor back before any of us got a chance to see it; a scene in which Elliott’s principal reprimands him for showing up to school drunk, following E.T.’s psychic binge-drinking session, regrettably brought to you by Coors, the official beer of child/alien intoxication.
The principal’s face is never seen, as if he were Dr. Claw or Maris Crane, but his voice is unmistakably that of Harrison Ford, whose then-partner Melissa Mathison penned the film’s screenplay. The principal casually describes how the world is full of “deceit and treachery” and lectures Elliott about “the pot” and “the pills” – and weirdly, “angel wings.” And, in retrospect, being lectured about the dangers of weed from Harrison Ford is a little like getting a stern warning about not eating spinach from Popeye.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bizarre deleted E.T. content. If the tie-in novel is to be believed, they also cut a storyline about E.T. creeping on Elliott’s mom, and a revelation that Elliott’s previous principal was “a sexual offender, retired early after several private incidents in the supply closet became public.” Give us all the walkie-talkies in the world instead of that.
Back to the Future Part III – Marshal Strickland Gets Murdered in Cold Blood
Apart from the incest/sexual assault storyline, Doc’s various crimes, and the millions of people Marty McFly doomed by inadvertently prolonging the Vietnam War, the Back to the Future trilogy is a pretty tame story. But weirdly, the third entry in the series, Back to the Future Part III, almost featured a straight-up, cold-blooded murder, which would have been a first for the series (other than the murder of Chuck Berry’s artistic legacy).
In the cut scene, Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen, Biff’s Old West ancestor, is confronted by Marshal Strickland and his son – but he’s quickly disarmed and shot in the back by Tannen. Then, with his dying words, he stresses the importance of “discipline” – which was presumably absorbed by his son, then imparted to his son, thus providing the tragic (and completely unnecessary) backstory explaining why Marty’s principal is an abusive jerk.
The scene was ultimately removed because it was “too upsetting.” And, yeah, it’s a pretty brutal scene for a series in which most of the onscreen violence is entirely manure-based.
The Thing – The Crew is Terrorized By a Blow-Up Sex Doll
John Carpenter’s The Thing is one of the scariest movies ever made, and the scariest to feature the Quaker Oats guy. The cast is, of course, entirely comprised entirely of dudes – and while it wouldn’t help its Bechdel Test score at all, the issue of female companionship was very nearly addressed. In a deleted scene that takes place early in the movie, we see Kurt Russell’s Macready casually inflating a blow-up sex doll.
But as Checkhov’s Sex Doll dictates, the inflatable friend shows up later in the movie, spooking Nauls, who scorches the “naked, fleshy object” with a flame thrower.
Although, in retrospect, the blow-up doll was probably the only character we can be reasonably sure wasn’t the Thing.
The Breakfast Club – The Female Stars Convinced John Hughes To Cut A Random Scene Featuring Gratuitous Nudity
While sadly not about an early morning three-tiered bacon sandwich, John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club is generally hailed as one of the best teen movies of all time. Although it’s not exactly perfect … there’s the “uncomfortable” makeover scene and the even more uncomfortable guy shoving his face into a girl’s crotch without consent scene. But in addition to these creepy overtones, apparently things could have been way worse …
According to the book John Hughes: A Life in Film, originally, Hughes was concerned that the “talkathon” at the school library was going to feel “claustrophobic.” So instead of simply writing a scene in which the Breakfast Club gang, say, goes for a five-minute stroll in the fresh air, Hughes created a subplot in which the school’s synchronized swimming team would pop by the building for practice, along with their “extremely sexy gym teacher.” And because gratuitous nudity was more bankable in the ‘80s than adolescent ennui, the teens would escape the confines of the library and find a “peep hole” in the women's locker room, which they would use to spy on their topless teacher – which was both gross and unoriginal, lifting the scene from the equally-repellent Porky’s.
While collaborating with the cast, Hughes was confronted by stars Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald (along with producer Michelle Manning), who “revolted” over the blatantly “misogynistic” scene. To Hughes’ credit, he listened, and – even though the part of the gym teacher had already been cast – he completely scrapped the “rampant sex crimes” portion of the movie.
You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter!
Thumbnail: Universal Pictures