You can't always get what you want, and in movies, it's the same. You need to cut scenes, scrap awesome concept art, and as we've said before, music can be chucked. Every movie needs that perfect mix or perfect orchestral setup and sometimes more than once choice was needed. Here are 5 more that were nearly radically changed, starting with...
1. BACK TO THE FUTURE
Back to the Future is jammed packed with iconic scenes – the dance, the clock tower scenes, the mall scenes – it's hard to find something that isn't. One such scene introduces Marty (as well as the audience) to the 50's – All done to the tune of “Mr. Sandman”.
It's so well known that any movie introducing the audience to a quick time period jab upon arrival in a certain year is called a “Mr. Sandman sequence.” However, it was at once super close to being called the “Papa Loves Mambo sequence” because they were so close in picking the Perry Como tune.
Only being replaced for a more dreamlike tune, the Perry Como song was still so loved that it made an appearance in the second movie, when Biff was driving to a racetrack to make his first bet. In a way, it commented on the new timelines and how one situation (the original movie) nearly became another (the alternate future) through the almanac – and the song being an in-joke to punctuate it.
2. THE EXORCIST
The Exorcist theme, "Tubular Bells", is up there with Halloween and Jaws as soundtracks that leave you with nothing but chills and suspense. Try and listen to it without feeling a sense of something scary happening somewhere.
Upon theatrical release it immediately became iconic, bucking the trend of orchestral music. Ironically that was the original plan. Dirty Harry and Coolhand Luke composer Lalo Schifrin was originally slated to make a horror theme with.....this:
Rejected for not fitting in and being too grandiose, Tubular Bells was brought in as a replacement, replacing the grand feeling with straight-up horror.
3. THE WIZARD OF OZ
Despite approaching it's 80th anniversary, The Wizard of Oz has remained as popular as ever. And although many songs there are instantly iconic, one rises above all others: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" -
The song nearly didn't make the cut for being too dreary, but was allowed in since it gave Dorothy a little more motivation. But adding that meant one song ago – and that song was “The Jitterbug”:
While not only filling in a plot hole in how the witch nabbed them all (hint: it was the jitterbug), it was upbeat and fun. But, since it was the dance of the time, producers felt like it would have dated the movie, much like how breakdancing in an 80's movie would have made it forever 80's. So it was tossed in favor of “Rainbow” to stunning effect.
4. THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN
Bond themes are not too hard to mess up. A nice soft opening for more emotional Bond flicks, more epic songs by Shirley Bassey or Adele gearing you up for an explosion, action-packed film or a rockin' opening for a rockin' film. For the Christopher-Lee-as-a-villain helmed The Man With the Golden Gun, Lulu brought the last one out:
She wasn't the only one hoping for it though. With such a rock filled song, how could others compete? Rock out too? Get a rock legend? Well.....they did. As in Alice Cooper throwing his hat into the ring:
It was awesome song vs. awesome song, and since Lulu was (A) from the UK and (B) assigned to originally sing it, hers was chosen.
5. ALICE IN WONDERLAND
It wouldn't be a Disney animated film without songs. But with only so much time and so many songs, some are going to be left on the cutting room floor. Alice in Wonderland wasn't much different, as getting everything from he source material is a nearly impossible task. Some of the segments were nearly left out:
But some were nearly in. The Jabberwock, an iconic character who would later appear in other adaptations, was left out, bu only after they hired a voice actor (Stan Freberg) and recorded a song:
At the end they had to decide what stays and what goes, and since the jabberwock was a little scary for kids, it had to go.
Every song cut from a film brings only a bunch of “What if's...”, and whether they are received positively or negatively, it's always intriguing to see other visions for he same project.