(Author’s last name withheld by request.)
Every so often a movie starts with its original ending but based on audience feedback sometimes ends up with a completely different ending. “Pretty Woman” is one such movie. I guess the original had Julia Robert’s character not ending up with her prince charming and instead went back to a life of drugs. Now why did they change that original happy ending? I just don’t get it.
That got me wondering whether there were other movies that had alternate endings that weren’t quite so upbeat. Movies that we know of but perhaps weren’t aware they too had alternate endings. I immediately sent out my investigative staff. Here’s what they came up with:
******* WARNING: SPOILERS OF MOVIES YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN BY NOW BUT WERE LIVING IN A CAVE OR WATCHING REALITY TV *******
“Shawshank Redemption” – The original ending didn’t have “Red” strolling up to a tanned happy Andy Dufresne working on his boat. Instead, Andy lost all his money on an outdoor flea market business selling trinkets to American tourists only to be later captured by “The Dog” and extradited back to the USA for bounty money. Red had to succumb to 17 straight hours of timeshare condominium presentations and went mad.
“Pulp Fiction” – It didn’t matter; nobody could figure out where this movie ended anyway since all of the pieces were out of time order. They simply swapped pieces in every single theatre just to have some fun with the audience.
“The Matrix” – Neo doesn’t place a call through the Matrix phone booth and then “Superman” away into the digital atmosphere. Instead, it turned out he didn’t have change for the phone call and Agent Smith hits him with a Microsoft Error Message which causes him to be in a perpetual “running” mode and unable to do anything ever again. Eventually Morpheus determines he couldn’t be the “one” (he was probably two or five or something) and unplugs him. The “one” is ultimately outsourced to a third party provider in India who isn’t as good, doesn’t have the cool leather clothing and ultimately causes the demise of human kind.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” – Interestingly, the original version doesn’t end with George smiling while Zuzu points out the ringing of the jingle bell. Instead, the original had subsequent footage of the IRS coming in and seizing 60% of George’s newly acquired income. This causes George to take out a no-money-down loan with a variable interest rate balloon payment at the end. Of course, at that time he is unable to make the balloon payment having squandered all his money in order to finally travel around the world. But this time his friends don’t bail him out again since he’s been selling them LP Siding all these years. Apparently they dropped all this subsequent footage due to movie length and the lack of Astronaut diaper technology at the time.
“American Beauty” – Instead of getting a bullet in his head by his neighbor, the original version had the neighbor tricking him by shooting him with a squirt gun acquired from the Third Reich (a rare collectible indeed). They became close after that and eventually he divorced her and married him during the legal Gay marriage window and went on to open his own chain of restaurants featuring real Nazi china.