Little Shop - FOUND Deleted Scenes

edited December 2012 in Theater
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While working on a demo sync, I got an e-mail with the subject line "In regards to Little Shop movie." Intrigued, I opened it, and it said, in a nutshell, "I'm trying to get the word out that I found some deleted scenes to Little Shop. Here are the links. Enjoy." I opened the links, and, in layman's terms, I shat me britches.

The deleted material, in two videos, includes extended scenes, alternate takes, "the final approved cut of the original ending," and other, cut material. Included in the second video is this: Seymour's cut verse in The Meek Shall Inherit.

I'll repeat that last one: SEYMOUR'S CUT VERSE IN MEEK SHALL INHERIT THAT EVERYONE WOULD GIVE AN ARM AND A LEG TO SEE AND WE ALL THOUGHT WAS LOST FOREVER! According to the uploader, they're from "the only workprint ever shown to preview audiences." I'll try and find out more about it, but right now, who cares. They exist and we can watch them

Here's the videos:

Excuse me while I go dance in the streets and do 1000 consecutive cartwheels.


  • This is amazing, Justin! How great to see this stuff at last. To your anonymous poster, I've been doing the job of getting it out too - it's on Facebook, MondoMusicals, DVD Savant, and I've posted it to the AV Club (which gave the director's cut a couple of really positive articles).

    I hate to say it but it really looks like Warner Brothers failed to get to word out that they were working on this - I wonder what else might have turned up? There are tons of production stills, storyboards, etc that would have been great to see on that disc.

  • edited January 2013
    @MondoMusicals Well, I'm not even sure WB knows about it, and this may have even been shown AFTER the LA screening.

    Why is the original ending so much shorter on here than on the Blu-Ray? Why didn't WB use this as at least reference reference? (At the NYFF screening, the restorer said they used the latest version of the ending they could find, and this is still only a fraction of a length the Director's Cut ending is.) And why does Frank Oz seem to think he never got a chance to trim the ending down and add sound-effects, when that clearly isn't the case?

    I think this might have turned up too late for WB to include any of it in the release, or the uploader found it in somebody's garage a few weeks ago. (Though, since the material seems to be made from various sources, all with slightly differing quality, that seems a bit less likely.)

    I've said it on Tumblr, so I'll say it her as well. None of us were there when the search for the color elements was going on or when the Blu-Ray was being put together, or even when this was found, so we cannot say what WB found and didn't find, what they know about, what they decided to include and not include, and what they're holding out on us. All we can do is theorize about it, sit back, watch, and enjoy what's been lost for over 26 years.

    But oh, what I would give to get my hands on a copy of the source videos for this stuff.

    ..... Anyone else see that strange, green light in the sky?
  • Oh dear lord, why is everything I post a freaking novel?
  • Thank you, Justin and whoever uploaded the scenes! This is so cool!
  • I gotta say part of me is pleased that they went ahead and restored the longer ending. We got to see more! I do think the shorter ending would be better as far as when watching the movie, but if they had recreated that version, they probably wouldn't have restored the other footage.

    Glad to finally see the deleted section of Meek Shall Inherit, but I think they should have just cut that number altogether. What they have in the final movie is so short its odd that its there at all, but the full sequence looks like its from a different movie. I can definitely see why they decided to not use that.
  • After watching both the unearthed scene of The Meek Shall Inherit and the original, restored ending in color...

    Please excuse me while I go break the world back-handspring record.
  • I uploaded the deleted scenes. The workprint was not discovered recently - it has been around for decades. I don't know why they didn't use it to recreate the ending, since this was Oz' final cut. The additional footage could have been included as a bonus.
  • edited January 2013
    Awesome to finally see this.

    I cant say I blame test audiences for the negative reviews anymore. I don't think its that they couldn't stand Audrey and Seymour dying per se, it's just that DFTP is edited down too much and in such a fashion that puts the camp over the top and cheapens their deaths. The shots of the crowd reversing course and then heading back their original direction is like something out of a Mel Brooks movie. Sure, Little Shop IS, on the surface, a b-movie parody, but to have such a fluff finale after the heartrending death of Audrey isn't a big enough payoff. Say what you will about the meandering unedited version of DFTP on the bluray, but at least the focus is on the chaos caused by the plants. The humor is just along for the ride. A better editing job may have salvaged the original ending.

    Everything else in those clips I love, especially the original background music during the chopping and feeding scenes. Now I'm really curious if the Patrick Martin scene had anything backing it.
  • Something that's been bugging me is why doesn't Frank Oz seem to remember this? According to Oz in the original ending commentary, and every single interview I've seen and read where he talks about it, he says that he didn't get a chance to edit the ending down or add sound-effects, or even made a color copy of it. According to him, the screenings were done to early, and the call was made when everything was still rough. So, why does this exist?

    As for why WB didn't use it to recreate the ending, it's possible it just slipped under their radar, they didn't realize it exists and just took Oz at his word. Or, they might have just decided to include everything that was on the special edition DVD to try and keep us from complaining that too much stuff was cut out. (I, for one, am not complaining. I cried at the epicness of the Blu-Ray ending when I first saw it.)

    Again, we weren't there when the Blu-Ray was being put together. So, @GreatMovies3, unless your mysterious source (who is, in my head-cannon, is God himself) has any inside information on it, my guess is just as good as your's when it comes to this.

    @loganculwell - I see why they kept the remnants of Meek in the final film. It's a great time-segue through Seymour's rise to fame.

    Also, just as person fascinated by demos and behind-the-scenes stuff, I would love to hear just an audio rip of the workprint and hear all the temp music and sound-effects.
  • Justin, all I can say is that my source is adamant that this is the version shown at both previews. Oz was not involved with the reconstruction in any way, so I guess he never told them that this tighter version was the final cut. He certainly knew that the disco sequence was cut very early in the editing process. I'm sure once he saw all the work that had gone into the Blu-ray edit, he couldn't ask them to scrap all that.

    I also wanted to see all the footage, but I would have preferred the additional shots be included as extras - I think the cut on the Blu-ray is awful.

    Ashmaniac, Oz has said that they lost the audience at the death of Audrey (which was played far too realistically, I think). I don't think any edit of the ending could have gotten them back.
  • And why shouldn't they play Audrey's death realistically? Audrey's death is my favorite part of the film, and the part that I think stage productions have the most to learn from. Campy renditions of Audrey's death are epidemic in stage productions of the play. People seem intent on having it both ways, getting the audience to care about Audrey as a character, and then playing off her death as a joke because they don't want people to think of the play as sad. But the play IS sad - and the film should be, too.

    I don't really care whether they use the shorter version or the longer version of Don't Feed The Plants (the longer version drags on, but the shorter version seems very rushed, I think I'd prefer something in-between. Of the two we currently have, I think I prefer the longer version - it reminds me of Telstar). I'm mostly disappointed in Frank Oz and Warner Brothers for not locating and restoring any of the many, many other scenes that were deleted at various other points in production - even if they weren't put in the final cut, they would be rather essential special features. (And I know for a fact that the alternate proposal scene, with the alternate Suddenly Seymour reprise, WAS in the cut they showed to test audiences - they reshot it when making the happy ending.)
  • Yes, all the footage in the clips I uploaded was shown at the two previews.

    As to Audrey's death, the problem is that film is far more believable than theater. As Frank Oz said, at a play, everyone comes out and takes a bow and you all laugh. Some productions even have the four leads appear as part of the plant at the end. So it's clearly just a joke and everyone goes home feeling good.

    But in a film, where no one comes out and takes a bow, killing the leads off is far trickier. Audrey's death scene is played so poignantly (I tear up when I see it) that audiences had a natural angry reaction to seeing her fed to a plant. I think the only way to make it work (since the 89% negative reaction at previews shows it clearly didn't) was to make the performances more stylized.
  • I've brought this up before, but I feel I must reiterate it here: Oz's "everyone comes out and takes a bow" argument is a simplification of what happens. As Howard said in his Little Mermaid lecture, we watch animation, live-action, and live theater differently. In animation, we go in knowing it's just a series of drawings or a computer program, and in theater, we can see it's just a set of actors on a stage, so we can accept the more outrageous aspects (like, say, omniscient black singers and a talking, singing plant.) With live-action, we walk into the theater and pretend for an hour and a half that what we see might have actually happened.

    To quote Howard, "[T]he game we play in a live action film is that the camera just happened to be there. It's what the medium's about. We just suspend the disbelief and say, 'Gee, the camera just happened to be there when Whoopi Goldberg was robbing that department store.' [...] There's no game being played by a theater audience. We know it's painted scenery and it's not real. We go to the movies, it's a real street, and we pretend it maybe really happened."
  • I feel that these arguments are a simultaneous insult to the mediums of film and theatre.
  • Not at all - theater is completely different from film. We're all aware we could hop up on stage at any moment and destroy the artifice that's being created. We can't do that with film. And "Little Shop" is a prime example of that difference - no one had a problem with the leads being killed Off-Broadway, and people hated it onscreen. Makes perfect sense. I do think there were options to save the original ending, though...
  • edited January 2013
    Well, I'm gonna buy into Howard's argument and take him at his word, 'cause he obviously know what he was talking about.

    Also, I'll say it again, the original ending just doesn't work, and the only way to make it work would be to go back in and change countless other things in the film. But, that whole discussion is better suited for the Little Shop of Horrors thread.
  • Wow. I really love seeing that. I'm in the "I don't care that it's not in the Director's Cut version, but damn I wish they included it as bonus material on the Blu-Ray"-camp, though. It's awesome finally seeing it, but I can also see why most of it was cut.

    The alternative post-feeding scene is interesting. Seymour actually did sleep that night in the original cut. Not well, but still. It sort of seems like another thing they edited to make his character even more sympathetic, though I obviously don't know for sure.

    As for whether the ending is too sad or not, I don't know. I showed the Blu-Ray cut to a group of friends who'd never seen Little Shop before (my own personal test audience) and their biggest issue seemed to be that DFTP lasted way too long.

    I understand their point of view. While I don't know if I'd prefer it being cut as short as this version, I do feel like the long version sort of takes equally away from their deaths - why should the audience still care about Audrey & Seymour with this much damage elsewhere? I think I, like @Omega, would have liked something in between this version and the longer version. But yes, I also prefer the long version out of the two.

    Another thing is that I was pretty impressed with the green screen effects. For the time it was made, it looks good.
  • With regards to the "taking a bow" difference between theater and film, I always thought they could have lightened the tone by having the cast credits play over blooper clips like the ones included on the disc. Moranis cracking up at Vincent Gardenia, Ellen Greene saying "Oh, I forgot my lines!" etc.
  • I've made like ten different versions of my fan edit now in an attempt to seamlessly integrate these scenes with the film, something which seems near impossible for me to do. I honestly hope Warner will seize the opportunity to get people to buy three versions of the same movie. I wont even care about the triple-dipping.
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