Filmmaker Howard Hawks once famously said that a good movie is "three good scenes and no bad scenes," but what about those movies that provide periodic teases of an altogether different, far superior piece of cinema?
Gauging audience interest can be a tricky beast at the best of times, but in the case of these 10 movies, the focus was perhaps placed in the wrong direction, because the most appealing part of each film was ultimately pushed to the periphery.
These movies, whether well-received or utterly panned, all hinted at a much more exciting, interesting, and ambitious story, only to turn away from it and lean back on something more dependable, predictable, or simply less inspired.
We'll sadly never know what these films could've been had they leaned into these other stories that were only touched upon, but they would've absolutely ended up bolder and more artistically adventurous as a result.
Obviously when massive budgets are involved studios generally take the most risk-averse route possible, but that's rarely how great art or long-lasting entertainment is made.
In a just world, these superior stories would've seen the light of day instead of what we got...
10. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Hamlet - Last Action Hero
There's a strong argument to be made that Arnold Schwarzenegger's cult action-comedy Last Action Hero is one of the most criminally underrated blockbusters of the last 30 years - an inventive, ahead-of-its-time action flick that audiences of 1993 just weren't ready for.
But co-writer Shane Black wrote a minute-long scene in the 131-minute tentpole that suggested something even more entertaining than the meta deconstruction of Schwarzenegger's career we ended up with.
We're talking, of course, about Arnold Schwarzenegger's Hamlet.
Early in the film, Schwarzenegger mega-fan Danny Madigan (Austin O'Brien) is watching Laurence Olivier's 1948 adaptation of Hamlet, when he suddenly daydreams about a more amped-up version starring Schwarzenegger.
The brief-but-hilarious fake trailer shows Arnie chomping cigars, throwing bad guys through windows, mowing others down with a damn Uzi, and blowing up a castle while acting out the Bard's legendary play.
As much as the scene is basically a joke about A-list movie stars being cast in projects they're totally unsuited for, the gag is brilliantly crafted enough that fans have been wishing they actually got the real deal ever since. But alas, it never came to be.