ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK’s Rightly Deleted Bank Robbery Scene

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When a movie completes filming and enters the post-production phase it usually ends up having some scenes that were deemed to be extraneous or unnecessary deleted from the final cut. Sometimes in the case of certain features entire opening or ending scenes are either cut completely or rewritten and reshot months after principal photography wrapped because the filmmaker or studio demanded the changes or those moments did not agree with test audiences. On rare occasions a movie’s theatrical released is delayed for months, often years, while they have their entire story structure changed around.

John Carpenter‘s futuristic action classic Escape from New York – read my review HERE – didn’t lose a few brief scenes before it first hit the big screen; it lost its entire first reel. In 1994 Escape was released on a special collector’s edition laserdisc by New Line Home Video. Among the scant bonus features were a commentary with Carpenter and star Kurt Russell (which was later recycled for MGM’s 2003 Special Edition DVD) and a deleted opening sequence from a rough workprint of the movie that had been discovered in a salt mine film depository in Hutchinson, Kansas. After some brief discussion about possibly restoring the sequence to the rest of Escape Carpenter ultimately decided against it, rationalizing that it was rightfully deleted in the first place because it slowed down the narrative and gave the audience too much back story on Russell’s iconic anti-hero Snake Plissken when it wasn’t needed at all.

Fans of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise will recognize Joe Unger (Tinker in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) as Snake’s unfortunate partner-in-crime Taylor. Although the deleted prologue was his only scene in Escape Unger’s name still appears in the movie’s closing credits.

Here’s the scene as it appeared on the 1994 New Line Home Video laserdisc:

This is a fan-edited version of the first half of the scene with a previously unused music cue composed by Carpenter for this moment restored to its supposedly rightful place:

Finally, we have the deleted opening complete with audio commentary from Carpenter and Russell as it appeared on the 2003 MGM special edition DVD and the Blu-ray released by Scream Factory this past April. You can order that Blu-ray HERE.

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4 Responses to “ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK’s Rightly Deleted Bank Robbery Scene”

  1. […] a scene for the film’s opening that had him doing just that. Audiences during test screenings found the scene confusing, though, and it was eventually left on the editing room floor. On the film’s DVD commentary […]

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  2. […] a scene for the film’s opening that had him doing just that. Audiences during test screenings found the scene confusing, though, and it was eventually left on the editing room floor. On the film’s DVD commentary, […]

    Like

  3. […] a scene for the film’s opening that had him doing just that. Audiences during test screenings found the scene confusing, though, and it was eventually left on the editing room floor. On the film’s DVD commentary, […]

    Like

  4. […] a scene for the film’s opening that had him doing just that. Audiences during test screenings found the scene confusing, though, and it was eventually left on the editing room floor. On the film’s DVD commentary, […]

    Like

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