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10 Deleted Scenes That Explain Major Movie Plot Holes

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While deleted scenes are usually cut out of movies because they disturb the flow, sometimes they do just the opposite. Every so often, a scene that is essential to a full understanding of a movie's plot ends up on the cutting room floor, leaving the audience feeling confused. Here are 10 of those instances.

1. BLADE RUNNER (1982)

In the original theatrical release of Blade Runner, audiences were confused when Deckard (Harrison Ford) found an origami unicorn that Gaff (Edward James Olmos) left for him during his escape with Rachael (Sean Young). For the next 20 years, this very ambiguous moment was a mystery to many viewers until Ridley Scott restored the deleted scene back into Blade Runner for its 20th anniversary in 2002. The scene featured Deckard’s daydream of a unicorn, which fleshed out the idea that he’s a replicant, and that Gaff knows his true identity.

2. THE GOONIES (1985)

At the end of The Goonies, a number of news reporters surround the titular group of teens and ask them questions about their adventure. Data (Jonathan Ke Huy Quan) tells one of the reporters that the octopus attack was “very scary and very dangerous.” But the audience never saw an octopus attack.

A deleted scene explains what Data was talking about: The group was attacked by a giant octopus before they make it onto the pirate ship. Although the scene was cut out of the movie, it appeared in its computer game tie-in.

3. BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)

In Back to the Future, Marty (Michael J. Fox) pretends to be a visiting spaceman to scare George McFly (Crispin Glover) into asking Lorraine (Lea Thompson) to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. He wears the same radioactive fallout suit he wore to get to 1955 and uses his portable AIWA cassette player to play Van Halen to wake up his father. However, Marty also appears to be wearing a modern hairdryer on his belt, which he actually uses as a heat ray in the extended version of the scene.

Here’s where he got it: In a deleted scene, Doc from 1955 rummages through a suitcase of his future self’s personal belongings, which contains a Playboy magazine and a hairdryer. The extended scene also reveals why George overslept instead of going to school the next day.   

4. ALIENS (1986)

At the beginning of Aliens, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is rescued while in hypersleep after drifting in space for 57 years. When she’s told her daughter died while she was away, Ripley appears to shrug it off and proceeds to take an assignment with a group of space Marines on LV-426.

While Ripley finds Newt (Carrie Henn) on the planet and looks after her as if she were her daughter, a scene that was deleted from the theatrical release reveals Ripley's heartbreak over her own daughter’s death. The scene fleshes out her character and frames the entire film as a woman trying to piece together her life after fighting Xenomorphs in outer space. Although the scene is short, James Cameron reedited it back into the director’s cut, which emphasizes the family aspects of Aliens.

5. BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II (1989)

In Back to the Future Part II, old Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) steals the DeLorean time machine in 2015 to give his younger self the Grays Sports Almanac. When old Biff returns to the future, he’s visibly hunched over and in pain when he staggers out of the DeLorean—with no explanation as to what happened to him.

However, a deleted scene shows old Biff Tannen hiding behind a car and vanishing away from existence. Director Robert Zemeckis and co-writer/producer Bob Gale explained that old Biff disappeared because he no longer existed in 2015 (Lorraine shot him sometime in the 1990s). The scene was deleted because test audiences didn’t understand what was going on, so the filmmakers decided to make it ambiguous—and only slightly confusing—instead.

6. TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991)

At the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the T-800 sacrifices itself to save the future from more Terminators being made. Before it lowers itself into molten steel, John Connor (Edward Furlong) pleads with it not to kill itself. The T-800 tells John that it now understands why people love and why it can never return the emotion to others.

There was a deleted scene that explained how the T-800 now understands human emotions. In the scene, John and Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) reset the CPU chip in the Terminator's head to make him seem more human. Director James Cameron restored the scene in the film’s extended edition.

Fun Fact: The deleted scene also features Linda Hamilton’s twin sister Leslie as a body double in the mirror reflection. The mirror is just a hole through a wall with Linda Hamilton and a mechanical puppet on one side and her twin sister and Arnold Schwarzenegger on the other.

7. THE LION KING (1994)

In The Lion King, the grown up Nala (Moira Kelly) accidently bumps into adult Simba (Matthew Broderick) after he was exiled from the Pride Lands. But how did Nala run into Simba in the first place? Her expression suggests that she was surprised and confused to see him out in the wilderness, because she believed him to be dead.

There’s a deleted scene that featured two extra songs called “The Madness of King Scar” and an early version of “Be Prepared.” Apparently, Scar wanted Nala to be his new queen, but she refused. As a result, Scar banished Nala from her home. While the song was cut from the film, it was featured in the Broadway version.

8. INDEPENDENCE DAY (1996)

One of the biggest plot holes in Independence Day happens during its climax, when tech wiz David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) uploads a crippling computer virus with his trusty Mac PowerBook in order to disable the aliens' mothership. Since the film’s release in 1996, fans have questioned how a laptop could be compatible with advanced alien technology.

Well, there’s a deleted scene that shows how David formulated the virus when he was given access to the old alien spaceship from the Roswell crash in Area 51. Considering that he figured out the alien’s countdown clock and how they were coordinating their attack, we'll just have to trust that he’s also probably smart enough to attack their computer system directly.

9. IRON MAN (2008)

Just before Tony Stark takes Iron Man into combat for the first time, he’s watching a TV news report about potential terrorists from his home in Malibu, California. In the next scene, he’s flying to Afghanistan to stop the terrorist threat. But how does he get from Southern California to the Middle East so quickly? A deleted scene (above) explains how Stark used a party with supermodels at his Dubai house as a cover to travel to Afghanistan.

10. BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (2016)

At the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, an imprisoned Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) warns Batman that “the bell cannot be unrung. He’s hungry. He’s found us and he’s coming!” Many people left the theater wondering why Luthor was in jail, and who he meant by “he.”

Three days after the superhero movie was released in theaters, Warner Bros. actually released a deleted scene on YouTube that (somewhat) explained the ending. The scene featured Luthor and who many people assumed was supervillain Steppenwolf together with three mysterious Mother Boxes, as a S.W.A.T. team advances on the young billionaire. (Some people weren't sure whether it was Steppenwolf.) To avoid confusion, director Zack Snyder added the scene back into the extended edition home video release.

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10 Regional Twists on Trick-or-Treating
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Walk around any given American neighborhood on the night of October 31, and you’ll likely hear choruses of "trick-or-treat" chiming through the area. The sing-songy phrase is synonymous with Halloween in some parts of the world, but it's not the only way kids get sweets from their neighbors this time of year. From the Philippines to the American Midwest, here are some regional door-to-door traditions you may not have heard of.

1. PANGANGALULUWA // THE PHILIPPINES

Rice cakes wrapped in leaves.
Suman

The earliest form of trick-or-treating on Halloween can be traced back to Europe in the Middle Ages. Kids would don costumes and go door-to-door offering prayers for dead relatives in exchange for snacks called "soul cakes." When the cake was eaten, tradition held that a soul was ferried from purgatory into heaven. Souling has disappeared from Ireland and the UK, but a version of it lives on halfway across the world in the Philippines. During All Saints Day on November 1, Filipino children taking part in Pangangaluluwa will visit local houses and sing hymns for alms. The songs often relate to souls in purgatory, and carolers will play the part of the souls by asking for prayers. Kids are sometimes given rice cakes called suman, a callback to the soul cakes from centuries past.

2. PÃO-POR-DEUS // PORTUGAL

Raw dough.
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Instead of trick-or-treating, kids in Portugal go door-to-door saying pão-por-deus ("bread for god") in exchange for goodies on All Saints Day. Some homeowners give out money or candy, while others offer actual baked goods.

3. HALLOWEEN APPLES // WESTERN CANADA

Kids trick-or-treating.
iStock

If they're not calling out "trick-or-treat" on their neighbors’ doorsteps on Halloween night, you may hear children in western Canada saying "Halloween apples!" The phrase is left over from a time when apples were a common Halloween treat and giving out loose items on the holiday wasn't considered taboo.

4. ST. MARTIN'S DAY // THE NETHERLANDS

The Dutch wait several days after Halloween to do their own take on trick-or-treating. On the night of November 11, St. Martin's Day, children in the Netherlands take to the streets with their homemade lanterns in hand. These lanterns were traditionally carved from beets or turnips, but today they’re most commonly made from paper. And the kids who partake don’t get away with shouting a few words at each home they visit—they’re expected to sing songs to receive their sugary rewards.

5. A PENNY FOR THE GUY // THE UK

Guy Fawkes Night celebration.

Peter Trimming, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

Guy Fawkes Night is seen by some as the English Protestants’ answer to the Catholic holidays associated with Halloween, so it makes sense that it has its own spin on trick-or-treating. November 5 marks the day of Guy Fawkes’s failed assassination attempt on King James as part of the Gunpowder Plot. To celebrate the occasion, children will tour the neighborhood asking for "a penny for the guy." Sometimes they’ll carry pictures of the would-be-assassin which are burned in the bonfires lit later at night.

6. TRICKS FOR TREATS // ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

Kids knocking on a door in costume.
iStock

If kids in the St. Louis area hope to go home with a full bag of candy on Halloween, they must be willing to tickle some funny bones. Saying "tricks-for-treats" followed by a joke replaces the classic trick-or-treat mantra in this Midwestern city. There’s no criteria for the quality or the subject of the joke, but spooky material (What’s a skeleton’s favorite instrument? The trombone!) earns brownie points.

7. ME DA PARA MI CALAVERITA // MEXICO

Sugar skulls with decoration.
iStock

While Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is completely separate from Halloween, the two holidays share a few things in common. Mexicans celebrate the day by dressing up, eating sweet treats, and in some parts of the country, going house-to-house. Children knocking on doors will say "me da para mi calaverita" or "give me money for my little skull," a reference to the decorated sugar skulls sold in markets at this time of year.

8. HALLOWEEN! // QUEBEC, CANADA

Kids dressed up for Halloween.
iStock

Trick-or-treaters like to keep things simple in the Canadian province of Quebec. In place of the alliterative exclamation, they shout “Halloween!” at each home they visit. Adults local to the area might remember saying "la charité s’il-vous-plaît "(French for “charity, please”) when going door-to-door on Halloween, but this saying has largely fallen out of fashion.

9. SWEET OR SOUR // GERMANY

Little girl trick-or-treating.
iStock

Halloween is only just beginning to gain popularity in Germany. Where it is celebrated, the holiday looks a lot like it does in America, but Germans have managed to inject some local character into their version of trick-or-treat. In exchange for candy, kids sometimes sing out "süß oder saures"—or "sweet and sour" in English.

10. TRIQUI, TRIQUI HALLOWEEN // COLOMBIA

Kids dressed up for Halloween.
Rubí Flórez, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Kids in Colombia anticipate dressing up and prowling the streets on Halloween just as much as kids do in the States. There are a few significant variations on the annual tradition: Instead of visiting private residencies, they're more likely to ask for candy from store owners and the security guards of apartment buildings. And instead of saying trick-or-treat, they recite this Spanish rhyme:

Triqui triqui Halloween
Quiero dulces para mí
Si no hay dulces para mí
Se le crece la naríz

In short, it means that if the grownups don't give the kids the candy they're asking for, their noses will grow. Tricky, tricky indeed

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11 Thrilling Facts About Dial M for Murder
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In 1953 Alfred Hitchcock was looking for a new project after a film he’d been developing fell through. Sensing a need to go back to his safe space of murderous thrillers, he opted to adapt a stage play that had already proved to be a hit on British television. Though he had no particular attachment to the project, Dial M for Murder would ultimately become one of Hitchcock’s best-known—and best-loved—classics.

From the film’s use of 3D to the debut of Grace Kelly in Hitchcock’s filmography to a pivotal murder sequence that made the director lose weight from stress, here are 11 facts about Dial M for Murder.

1. IT’S BASED ON A STAGE PLAY.

Dial M for Murder is, in terms of locations and number of characters, a relatively sparse film that barely leaves its primary set. This is because it was based on a stage play by Frederick Knott, which premiered as a BBC TV special in 1952 and later opened at London’s Westminster Theater and, eventually, Broadway. After seeing the BBC production, producer Sir Alexander Korda purchased the rights to make the film version, and later sold them to Warner Bros. for $75,000.

2. ALFRED HITCHCOCK THOUGHT HE WAS “COASTING” WHEN HE MADE THE FILM.

By 1953, when Dial M for Murder arrived at Warner Bros., Hitchcock was developing a project called The Bramble Bush, the story of a man who steals another man’s passport, only to find out that the original owner is wanted for murder. Hitchcock wrestled with the story for a while, but was never satisfied with it. When Dial M for Murder landed at the studio, Hitchcock knew the play had been a hit, and opted to direct it. As he later told fellow director François Truffaut, he found the film to be “coasting, playing it safe,” as he was already known as a thriller filmmaker.

3. IT’S HITCHCOCK’S ONLY 3D FILM.

In the early 1950s, the 3D movie craze was raging, and Warner Bros. was eager to pair it with the fame of Hitchcock. So, the director was ordered to use the process on Dial M for Murder. This meant Hitchcock had to work with the giant cameras necessary for the process, but there was also a trade-off that makes the film fascinating—even in 2D. In order to make the film look appropriately interesting in 3D, Hitchcock added a pit into the floor of the set, so the camera could move at lower angles and captures objects like lamps in the foreground. As a result, the film looks like no other Hitchcock ever shot, particularly for the infamous scissors murder that’s the film's thrilling centerpiece. Unfortunately, by the time Dial M for Murder was released in 1954, the 3D fad was dying out, so the film was shown in 2D at most screenings.

4. IT WAS HITCHCOCK’S FIRST FILM WITH GRACE KELLY.

Of all of the iconic blonde stars Hitchcock cast in his films, the most famous is almost undoubtedly Grace Kelly, the actress-turned-princess who first joined him for this film. Hitchcock once described Kelly as a "rare thing in movies ... fit for any leading-lady part,” and it was said he had the easiest working relationship with her of any star. They worked so well together that they went on to make two more films, Rear Window in 1954 and To Catch a Thief in 1955.

5. IT TAKES PLACE ALMOST ENTIRELY INDOORS.

Because Dial M for Murder is based on a stage play, the original script had very little in the way of outdoor set pieces. Hitchcock wanted to keep it that way, as he later explained to Truffaut:

“I’ve got a theory on the way they make pictures based on stage plays; they did it with silent pictures, too. Many filmmakers would take a stage play and say, ‘I’m going to make this into a film.’ Then they would begin to ‘open it up.’ In other words, on the stage it was all confined to one set, and the idea was to do something that would take it away from the confined stage setting.”

Hitchcock wanted to keep the confinement intact, so almost all of the action in the film takes place indoors, largely in the Wendices' apartment. This adds to the intimacy and tension.

6. HITCHCOCK PERSONALLY CHOSE EVERY PROP.

Hitchcock was always known as a meticulous director obsessed with detail, but on Dial M for Murder he was particularly detail-oriented, in part because the 3D cameras were going to capture objects in a way his other films hadn’t. As a result, he selected all of the objects in the Wendice apartment himself, and even had a giant false telephone dial made for the famous “M” close-up in the title sequence.

7. KELLY’S WARDROBE GROWS DARKER ON PURPOSE.

Grace Kelly in 'Dial M for Murder' (1954)
Warner Home Video

Hitchcock’s exacting eye also led to an elaborate “color experiment” to portray the psychological condition of Kelly’s character. As the film begins, the colors she wears are all very bright, suggesting a happy life in which she doesn’t suspect anything is wrong. As the film grows darker for her, to the point that she’s framed for murder, the wardrobe grows darker and “more somber,” as Hitchcock put it.

8. KELLY WON A PARTICULAR WARDROBE ARGUMENT.

For the scene in which Swann (Anthony Dawson) attempts to murder Margot (Kelly) by strangling her (until she manages to stab him with a pair of scissors), Hitchcock had another exacting wardrobe request. He had an elegant velvet robe made for Kelly, hoping to create interesting textural effects as the lights and shadows played off the fabric while she fought for her life. Kelly reasoned that, since Margot was alone in the apartment (as far as she knew) and was only getting out of bed to answer the phone, she wouldn’t bother to put on a robe.

“I said I wouldn't put on anything at all, that I'd just get up and go to the phone in my nightgown. And [Hitchcock] admitted that was better, and that's the way it was done,” Kelly later recalled.

9. HITCHCOCK WAS SO NERVOUS ABOUT THE PIVOTAL SCENE THAT HE LOST WEIGHT.

Dial M for Murder was shot in just 36 days, but the director took special care with one scene in particular: the murder sequence in which Margot stabs Swann with the scissors. Not only was it a key scene in the film, but it was also a moment that required particular care to make the 3D effects work. Hitchcock agonized over the scene to such a degree that he apparently lost 20 pounds during filming.

"This is nicely done but there wasn't enough gleam to the scissors, and a murder without gleaming scissors is like asparagus without the hollandaise sauce—tasteless,” he reportedly said after one take.

10. HITCHCOCK MAKES HIS CAMEO IN A PHOTOGRAPH.

Hitchcock became known throughout his career for making cameos in his films, ranging from the very subtle (you can see his silhouette in neon outside the window in Rope) to the more elaborate (missing the bus in the opening sequence of North by Northwest). In Dial M for Murder, his cameo falls somewhere in between. He appears in a class reunion photo in the Wendice apartment, seated at a banquet table among other men.

11. IT’S BEEN REMADE FOUR TIMES.

Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow in 'A Perfect Murder' (1998)
Warner Bros.

Dial M for Murder was a film adaptation of a stage play that had also already been adapted for television in Britain, and it proved popular enough that four more adaptations followed. In 1958, NBC broadcast a Hallmark Hall of Fame production, in which both Anthony Dawson and John Williams returned to play Swann and Chief Inspector Hubbard, respectively. A 1967 ABC television production of the play co-starred Laurence Harvey and Diane Cilento. A television movie starring Angie Dickinson and Christopher Plummer was produced in 1981, and in 1998 the play served as the inspiration for the film A Perfect Murder, starring Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow.

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