10 Movies Saved By One Single Cut

Movies saved in the edit - Alien, Back to the Future & more!

Terminator 3
Warner Bros.

Movies are perhaps the most delicate of all the major artforms, where a single edit can change the context of an entire scene or, in extreme cases, even the whole damn movie.

Directors often face agonisingly tough choices when shaping a movie in the editing room, where one bad decision can put a dent in a film's box office, harm its critical reception, and even derail its potential staying power forever more.

Thankfully these 10 movies were all rescued from possible ruin thanks to one incredibly shrewd cut, cleaving away a scene, line of dialogue, or perhaps even a single shot which audience members would've found objectionable.

Whether an unintentionally hilarious moment in an otherwise terrifying movie, a one-liner that would've aged like milk, or an ill-advised character beat that would've changed the entire tone of the film, these cuts rank among the most judicious ever made.

We can't ever know how these films would've been received without these considered cuts, but each nevertheless took risk out of the equation and ensured they can be enjoyed today without any pesky caveats...

10. Cutting The Xenomorph "Crab Walk" - Alien

Terminator 3

Ridley Scott's Alien is a masterpiece of subtle, slow-burn suspense, and one of its key triumphs is Scott's decision to rarely show the Xenomorph creature clearly to the audience.

Typically the alien is bathed in shadow and a concerted effort is made never to depict it in full profile, where it would be more obviously distinguishable as a man in a suit.

Scott sensibly made one crucial cut, then, during Lambert's (Veronica Cartwright) death scene, which originally contained a lengthy shot where the Xenomorph "crab-walks" towards her on all fours before standing up in distinctly humanoid fashion.

The unintentionally hilarious moment would've instantly sucked the tension out of not only the scene but perhaps the rest of the movie, morphing Alien from a gut-wrenching horror into an accidental comedy.

This honestly might be one of the shrewdest directorial calls of Scott's entire career.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.