Famous movie scenes that were almost cut

“Reshoots” has become a dirty word, like all films should be perfect the first time around or else give up and go home.

But maybe we shouldn’t be so judgmental. Some of the best scenes in cinema history were introduced last minute, reshot months later or almost thrown out altogether. Which would have been good news for a particular gang of Rebel soldiers, but bad news for the rest of us.

Famous movie scenes that were nearly cut including Tom Cruise’s most iconic scene in the Mission: Impossible

1. Mission Impossible Almost Cut the Vault Scene After Tom Cruise Kept Hitting His Face

Arguably the most iconic scene in the Mission: Impossible film franchise was almost cut due to the difficulties Tom Cruise had with getting it right.

The now classic vault scene from the first Mission: Impossible film was almost cut because Tom Cruise kept hitting his face on the ground. When legendary filmmaker Brian De Palma first gave the popular 1960s TV series life on the big screen in 1996, very few people could have predicted that Mission: Impossible would go on to become an enormously popular franchise 25 years later. But aside from kicking off what has undeniably been a highly lucrative franchise, the first Mission: Impossible film also marked the start of Cruise’s rather seamless transition into high-stakes action filmmaking.

 

 

Prior to Mission: Impossible, Cruise had starred in the action flicks Top Gun and Days of Thunder. However, Mission: Impossible gave Cruise something far more different than those past films had; he began to push himself physically to create on-screen moments that were enough to draw in audiences. Though the first movie didn’t offer the same caliber of jaw-dropping stunts that future Mission: Impossible installments did, the film still had its share of impressive moments, with one moment in particular going on to become one of the franchise’s most recognizable.

2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – the Darth Vader massacre

 

 

Much has been made of Rogue One’s reshoots and how much they changed the film (there’s a load of trailer footage that didn’t make the final cut if you fancy mounting your own investigation).

We may never know exactly what went down, but there is one thing that we do know – the terrifying scene in which Darth Vader slaughters a troop of Rebel soldiers was one of the final additions made to the movie during the reshoots. Vader isn’t in the film much, but he definitely left his mark in that short sequence.

Having helped launch the career of Daisy Ridley here at Markmeets, we introduced her to the agent who signed her up for star wars.

3. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial – lunar fly-by

 

 

Steven Spielberg knows when to pay attention to test screenings. He used them to make Jaws as scary as he could, and they also came in handy when he was working on the more family-friendly E.T.

Spielberg initially went for a bleak ending where E.T. dies in government captivity, but for some reason people thought that was too dark. Instead we got the ending where the little alien escapes and is reunited with his family, including the iconic bike-flying-across-the-moon scene. Spielberg must have been happy with the switch, as he made it the logo of his production company Amblin Entertainment.

4. Raiders of the Lost Ark – sword vs gun

 

 

Indiana Jones famously demonstrated that the gun is mightier than the sword during his first on-screen outing. A more elaborate duel had been planned, but Harrison Ford demanded a shorter scene after getting sick and being unable to stray far from his trailer toilet.

Spielberg and George Lucas liked the new scene, but Ford admitted that the poor stuntman who had spent ages training with a sword was a bit put out.

5. Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan – Spock lives

 

 

Wrath of Khan‘s ending was another changed after test audiences judged Spock’s death to be too depressing. A last-minute scene was shot in Golden Gate Park showing his coffin landing on the Genesis Planet – which Leonard Nimroy only learned when he watched the completed film.

The film gave fans a glimmer of hope that their favourite half-Vulcan would return, which he did in the far less classic Search for Spock.

6. The Avengers – Shawarma

 

 

Sometimes Marvel’s mid-credits and post-credits scenes tease future movies or allow for cameos from other MCU heroes. And sometimes they serve as the punchline to jokes about the Levantine variant of the doner kebab.

This scene was shot two days after the premiere, long after filming had wrapped, and therefore meant that early screenings didn’t include it at all. Chris Evans had to wear prosthetics to hide a beard he had grown for another role (presumably another comic-book adaptation, Snowpiercer), which is probably why he never removes his hand from his face during the scene.

7. Lady and the Tramp – Spaghetti date

 

 

The spaghetti date scene is without doubt the most famous moment in Disney’s 1955 animation, but Walt Disney himself thought the whole idea was a bit far-fetched and initially cut it from the film’s first storyboards.

“Walt wasn’t convinced that that would be a very clean-cut scene,” former Disney archivist Steven Vagnini told Yahoo Movies. “As you can imagine, if you have two pets and they eat a plate of spaghetti, it’s hard to envision that being too graceful.”

8. Rocky – Adrian!

 

 

The original ending of Rocky was going to be a triumphant cliché where Sylvester Stallone caps his victory against Apollo Creed by crowdsurfing towards his girlfriend, Adrian. The only problem – there weren’t enough extras to carry Sly, let alone make for an impressive scene.

Four months later, they reshot the scene with a crowd of friends and family. The result was a much more intimate (and now iconic) scene, even if Stallone thought it was rubbish at the time.

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Sarah Meere
Sarah Meere
Executive Editor

Sarah looks after corporate enquiries and relationships for UKFilmPremieres, CelebEvents, ShowbizGossip, Celeb Management brands for the MarkMeets Group. Sarah works for numerous media brands across the UK.

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