Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Movies With Alternate Middles

Everyone's heard of movies with alternate endings. But you may not know that the following films originally had alternate middles.

The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy Gale lives in Kansas with her aunt, uncle, three farmhands, and dog. One day, a tornado strikes, and she is knocked unconscious. When she wakes up and exits the sepia toned house, she does not emerge in the technicolor land of Oz, as into the theatrical cut of the film—instead, Dorothy emerges in an even more sepia toned version of Kansas. Here, she learns that the tornado has completely annihilated the farm; in fact, it is one of thousands of “super tornadoes” which have become sentient due to radiation from space, and are now wreaking havoc across the planet.

For months, Dorothy and Toto are forced to live in a wasteland and scavenge for food while hiding from hostile tornadoes. They also come across the three farmhands, who are now deformed and can only speak in song, due to prolonged exposure to the space radiation. Eventually, Dorothy cannot survive any longer and passes out... only to wake up in her bed back home! It turns out that she was only dreaming, and she promises her family that she will never leave home again (because she now has crippling agoraphobia, and is terrified that if she walks outside then a self-aware tornado will hunt her down and kill her).

Die Hard

Detective John McClane goes with his estranged wife to a company Christmas party. All of the coworkers attempt to mingle, but the presence of Nakatomi executives makes things a little uncomfortable. McClane and his wife bond while they quietly joke about the salesman who has had a little too much to drink. After several hours of heart-to-heart discussions, they realize that they really do love each other and agree to work on repairing their relationship. A wacky limo driver makes jokes while he takes them home.

Planet of the Apes

Taylor, an astronaut, crash-lands on an unknown planet inhabited by sophisticated apes. Eventually he convinces Dr. Zaius, an orangutan scientist, that he can speak intelligently, and becomes a global celebrity due to his talents. That’s not to say that the apes mock him or view him as a novelty; No, they genuinely admire Taylor’s intellect. Apes across the planet pay to hear him tell tales about Earth and listen to his opinions on nuclear warfare.

At the end of the film, he discovers that the apes are in the process of building a replica Statue of Liberty. He wasn’t supposed to see it until it was completed (only the top half is done), but it was to be a gift to him, a reminder of his old home. Taylor is so overcome with gratitude that he falls to his knees and breaks down into tears of joy.


A group of treasure hunters are searching for the Heart of the Ocean, a necklace believed to have been lost on the RMS Titanic. Their search leads them to Rose DeWitt Bukater, an old woman who was on the boat that fateful night. After this prologue, the film shifts perspective to that of our hero, the iceberg.

We learn that this poor iceberg has had a difficult life: He and his wife (a nearby glacier) seem to be drifting apart. His relationship with his son has become cold and distant. After a number of slip-ups, he is even fired from his job.

Distraught, he takes up meditation, and soon becomes inspired to change his life. However, he has his eyes closed while practicing yoga one day, and doesn’t notice the giant boat bearing down on him until it’s too late. The Titanic crashes into him, causing him to sink into the ocean, and he never has a chance to tell his wife that he loves her. Years later, elderly Rose ironically throws the Heart of the Ocean back into the water, as a sort of final “screw you!” to the iceberg.

The 10 Commandments

During plagues 2 through 9, Moses wears a sombrero.

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