Total Film has a great list of the 50 best deleted scenes, and what kind of impact they would have on the storyline. It’s a lot of fun to look at deleted scenes on DVDs, but it is usually easy to tell why the scene was left out. One exception is a favorite of mine, “That Thing You Do.” There is actually an alternate version available with some deleted scenes that include some more mature material added in and a slightly different end credit sequence, telling us what happened to the characters. Cracked also has a funny piece about absurd deleted scenes — a lot of overlap, but some good commentary, plus the clips themselves.
There are extended versions of some films like “The Godfather” and “Lord of the Rings.” And scenes deleted in order to get a particular rating from the MPAA are sometimes added back in so that the DVD can be issued “un-rated.” Even if only a few seconds are added and it is almost impossible to notice the difference, some consumers will be attracted by the chance to see something that had to be cut.
I don’t really like the idea of many different versions of the same film unless, as was the case with “A Star is Born,” some lost footage was recovered and re-edited to let us see the film as the director originally intended. If I could see any film re-cut to restore the director’s vision, I’d pick Orson Welles’ “The Magnificent Ambersons.”