Is anyone else fascinated by deleted or alternative scenes in film? I’m always intrigued to see what scenes and lines didn’t make the final cut, and sometimes a deleted scene can alter a storyline or character dramatically. Using 1997s Titanic as an example, there are approximately 30 deleted/alternative scenes, including an alternative ending.
These removed scenes give us an insight into how Lovejoy (Cal’s valet) ended up separated from Cal, and with his bloody injuries. A brief scene away from the Titanic shows the crew on the SS Californian trying to warn the nearby ship of potential dangers. As the sinking begins, we also discover the fate of Cora (the young 3rd class girl).
There are also several deleted scenes which are based on true events, such as the identity of the elderly couple who remain in their room, the alleged bribery by Sir Cosmo & Lady Duff-Gordon to occupy a lifeboat for themselves, and a man disguising himself as a women to board a lifeboat.
Most of these deleted scenes have no effect on the overall plot, and instead flesh out the character base, meaning they are of no great loss to the finished film. It is the occasional lines and glances from the main characters which alter the film. Deleted scenes where Rose contemplates her future, where Ruth (Rose’s mother) looks for her daughter, and the guilt Bruce Ismay feels at his survival are more interesting; certainly in terms of character development.
Some lines, however, deservedly didn’t remain in the finished production. For example, this line from Rose; “Can you exchange one life for another? A caterpillar turns into a butterfly. If a mindless insect can do it, why couldn’t I. Was it anymore unimaginable than the sinking of the Titanic?” Very cheesy – thankfully it was removed!
The alternative ending to Titanic is very interesting. It shows the actions of elderly Rose (Gloria Stuart) after she has told her story in the present day;
What do you think of this alternative ending, or of deleted scenes in general? Let me know your thoughts!
All my Titanic posts can be found here.