It should go without saying that the greatest lost cinematic ending of all time is the one where George Bailey teams up with Phil Hartman to kill Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life.
Watch this right now and be happy.
However, alternate endings like that one are too good to be true. These other gems, however, are so real they almost made it into some of your favorite movies.
5. Dr. Strangelove nearly ended with a pie fight
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is widely heralded as one of the greatest dark comedies of all time, never mind one of the greatest films in Stanley Kubrick’s incredible library.
This room’s been featured on The Simpsons at least a dozen times.
As such, it may be quite surprising that the film was originally supposed to end with a mad pie fight in the war room. A few photos of the madcap free-for-all exist.
RT if you want to be in this picture.
According to the film’s editor Anthony Harvey, the scene was cut due to the premiere’s unfortunate timing with the Kennedy assassination. No footage of the film as sufficed yet, which is a shame since it would have made for one hell of a Blu-ray extra.
No doubt, that is the look of a man who takes his pie fights seriously.
4. Clerks: Death of a Salesman
It’s dizzying to imagine how different Kevin Smith’s career, and with it the whole View Askewniverse, would have been if he chose to end Clerks the way he intended to “a down ending” that even Dante Hicks might have approved unless you mentioned it would be him getting killed at the end.
Seriously, what the hell was Kevin Smith thinking? Instead of being one of the most revolutionary comedies in decades, Clerks nearly became a drama about the last days of the single most unlucky retail employee in New Jersey history. However, there could be even more to this that we don’t know about. Maybe Quick Stop was just a subsidiary of the same contractors who built the Death Star.
What? The Death Star probably had convenience stores on it as well.
3. The Rocky Ending to Rocky Balboa
Surprise, surprise… Rocky wins. And no, we don’t mean he wins the support of his fans and the love of his son. He win-wins the fight.
Truth be told, Stallone probably would have been able to pull off something like this in the ’80s, and maybe in the ’90s if only because Rocky V was that bad.
We’re still only one script away from Rocky VII: Adrian’s Revenge.
2. The mega happy ending to Terminator 2: Judgment Day
It’s not too hard to imagine why James Cameron chose to end Terminator 2: Judgment Day on an ambiguous note rather than close the door on the franchise as if the whole movie was a children’s book.
Apparantly, a children’s book complete with crystal palaces.
So, Judgment Day is averted, the machine war is over, and Sarah Connor is the proud mother of U.S. Senator John Connor and a grandmother to boot. That might have worked had it not been for James Cameron’s vision of Washington, D.C. a few years from now more closely resembling Hill Valley in 2015.
1. Ash Williams Makes a Monkey Out of Himself in Army of Darkness
For those of you who know and love the Evil Dead trilogy, ask yourself: How fitting would it have been if instead of returning to the S-Mart, Ash Williams drank too much of his potion and wound up in the way, way, way future.
“DAMN ME! DAMN ME ALL TO HELL!!!”
Interestingly, the film works pretty well on both levels. According to director Sam Raimi, “I kind of like the fact that there are two endings, that in one alternate universe Bruce is screwed, and in another universe he’s some cheesy hero.”
Which one do you prefer? Watch them both for yourself and comment below using your best Ash Williams impression.