10 Secret Subplots Hidden In Movies

Hidden storylines in plain sight.

The Truman Show Jim Carrey
Paramount Pictures

Movies can be rich and rewarding in many different ways, but it's always deeply satisfying when you revisit a film years after your initial viewing and continue to peel back layers of secret meaning.

Perhaps your own personal growth allows you to reflect on the film in a different way, or perhaps you picked up on an additional sliver of narrative being hidden in plain sight.

The nature of filmmaking also often means that intended subplots are left on the cutting room floor for one reason or another - whether at the behest of the studio or the director themselves - yet it's rather common for the DNA of these scenes to remain in the movie in some form.

And so, these 10 films all feature the kernels of subplots which further developed characters and expanded the narrative scope, yet were ultimately kept vague for one reason or another.

So subtle are what remains of these plots that it's entirely possible you never even picked up on the possibility of a wider context, but it's absolutely there waiting to be dissected...

10. Deckard's Divorce - Blade Runner

The Truman Show Jim Carrey
Warner Bros.

Though none of the various cuts of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner shed much definitive light on who Deckard (Harrison Ford) is as a person, there are nevertheless small hints at elements which were ultimately cut from the movie - specifically a subplot involving Deckard's ex-wife.

In Philip K. Dick's original novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, real animals are shown to be extremely rare and therefore something of a status symbol.

Deckard was married to a woman named Iran who was unhappy and ready to leave him, but he hoped that buying her a real Nubian goat would help keep their marriage together by bolstering their social status.

Only the theatrical cut of Blade Runner makes a passing mention of Deckard's wife ("Sushi. That's what my ex-wife called me. Cold fish."), yet this wasn't always the plan.

An earlier version of the script included explicit references to both Deckard's wife and son, and a deleted scene literally saw Deckard confess, "I quit after my wife left me. She went off-world with some guy who made a fortune in the Colonies."

There are nevertheless a few nods to this planned subplot throughout most versions of the film, specifically the abundance of artificial animals throughout the world, which Deckard hopes in the book will save his crumbling marriage.

A photo of Deckard and his wife is also scarcely visible at his piano in the film, and an uncredited woman who appears to be the same actress - if not one bearing an uncanny resemblance - can be seen eyeballing him from a cab during the Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) chase scene.

As much as the bulk of this subplot was evidently left on the cutting room floor, the ghosts of Deckard's past clearly continue to haunt him.

Blade Runner
Warner Bros.

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