Since the advent of the DVD and special features, deleted scenes have become common knowledge to even the most casual moviegoer and television watcher. They are almost as essential a characteristic of the audience experience as the bits that actually make it into the finished production. Every once in a while, a line will appear in a movie or TV show that doesn't quite add up. In other words, there's a reference to something that doesn't appear at all in the rest of the movie or show you're watching. Often that can just be put down to bad writing, or empty-headed characterisation. But occasionally, it comes down to an editorial decision, when someone axed the scene the character was referring to, but then neglected to clean up the waves created elsewhere in the script. It seems hard to believe that after spending millions of dollars on a movie that someone would miss such obvious continuity errors, things fans across the years have spotted at first watch when the editors have spent countless hours toiling in their editing rooms, watching it over and over again, and still missing them. Perhaps it's that very repetition that has blinded them from such out-of-place lines of dialogue. It happens more than you might think, and we've collated ten key examples where editors lost track of their own work, and left in lines that subsequently made no sense...
10."My Face On The One Dollar Bill." - Batman (1989)
In the middle of my favorite Batman movie (deal with it, Nolan fans!), just before Michael Keaton's Dark Knight rescues Kim Basinger's Vicki Vale at the Flugelheim Museum, a not-so-subtle reference to Manhattan's Guggenheim Museum, Jack Nicholson's Joker, which is still the definitive version of the character (deal with it, Ledger fans!), taunts the blonde, winsome photojournalist:
"What do you want?" Vale asks him. "My face on the one-dollar bill," he says. "You must be joking," she replies. He asks, "Do I look like I'm joking?"
Sure, it's a funny line, especially given that Nicholson's face is twisted into that famously creepy grin as he says it, and you could also say the Joker is always joking (the clue is in his name after all), so you could make the case that he was just lying. But in this particular scene, he actually wasn't. The Joker was attracted to Vale for sure (who wouldn't be?), but he also knew she was a professional photographer and required her skills to help literally put his face on the one-dollar bill. Why? Because at the movie's climax, he dumps thousands of these fake dollars on "the little people," as he calls them, in Gotham Square. According to the novelization of the movie (and presumably from an excerpted scene of the original script, since the novel was based on that), the story makes it clear that the money he gives out is indeed fake and has his face on it, and a few people in the crowd even discover this before they're gassed to death. But if you watch the movie, there is no scene of people reacting to the fake currency or even a close-up of the counterfeit bills sporting the Joker's mug. After I read the novel version as a kid, this always bugged me about the movie. I realize it was running long, but Tim Burton couldn't spare a few seconds to reveal to the audience the money was fake? Even a Topps trading card circa 1989 had a photo of the Joker holding his phony money in both hands with the caption, "Fistfuls Of Funny Money." I suppose, since Nicholson received a ridiculous paycheck for the role, including merchandise royalties and a percentage of the gross, he didn't need the money anyway.
Michael Perone has written for The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore City Paper, The Island Ear (now titled Long Island Press), and The Long Island Voice, a short-lived spinoff of The Village Voice. He currently works as an Editor in Manhattan. And he still thinks Michael Keaton was the best Batman.