10 Essential Movie Scenes Only Available In Extended Cuts

Behold, the amazing disappearing Saruman!

sarumann lord of the rings
New Line Cinema

Despite a filmmakers' best intentions, it's inevitable that a film will eventually find itself at the mercy of editors in post-production; and as a result, many scenes are left to rot on the cutting room floor.

Thankfully though, home media has been a godsend to movie lovers over the years, and we've seen many films released in what are considered to be their complete forms - free of any studio meddling or harsh editorial decisions.

There are umpteenth reasons why a scene may be cut from a theatrical release, be it for pacing, tone, or run-time, but the decision to cut vital information from a story does not come lightly and that's what we're here discussing today.

These are the scenes that were cut from theatrical releases and relegated to extended cuts, director's preferred versions, or in some cases, the dreaded television edit.

Any inclusions here, be they huge plot-points or even minor details that give further context to the story, are considered essential to the film's story, and in our opinion should never have been so cruelly excised in the first place.

It comes with the territory, but of course, beware of spoilers!

10. The Piano - Doctor Sleep (Director's Cut) 

sarumann lord of the rings
Warner Bros.

Despite its reputation as an overlooked treasure of recent times, Doctor Sleep's mammoth length has been subject to much criticism, none of which seemed to subside when an even longer Director's Cut was released last year. Whilst most of the new footage is purely there for fleshing out the characters, there's one scene, in particular, that shouldn't have been cut.

Early in the theatrical cut, we see Abra's powers in their earliest form when she levitates an entire table's worth of spoons. In the extended cut, there's an additional scene that expands on this, which sees Abra uses her Shining to play the piano - much to her parent's shock and horror.

This may seem like it's treading similar ground as to what's in the theatrical cut, but where the scene with the floating spoons sees Abra's parents in a state of confusion, this shows that they actively fear Abra's abilities.

It's this fear that forces her to keep to herself and emphasises why her connection with Danny is both important and desperately needed so that she can both accept and rationalise her gift - which ultimately gives her the strength to fight back against Rose the Hat in the end.


UK based screenwriter, actor and one-half of the always-irreverent Kino Inferno podcast. Purveyor of cult cinema, survival horror games and low-rent slasher films.