A famous actor whose scenes were cut entirely

The other day I was watching the last half of the movie “The Big Chill” which is a favorite movie of many as well as me. The movie also has one of the best sound tracks as it features several Motown hits.

The cast is amazingly deep in recognizable names now, but they were just starting out then. As I recall, Lawrence Kasdan, the director, got everyone to hang out together before the movie filming to bond as friends. Since the movie is about old friends reuniting, he wanted them to have a basis to start from.

One of the later famous names never made the cut – Kevin Costner. Costner played the friend who committed suicide that caused the sad reunion. But, all of his scenes were cut except for his body being zipped up in a body bag at the start of the movie. Costner would go on to star and direct a number of movies rivaling that of any of the uncut stars of the movie – Glenn Close, Tom Berenger, William Hurt, Meg Tilly, Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum, JoBeth Williams and Mary Kay Place.

That was the right call, as it added to the movie for his friends to remember him, celebrate his life and lament his passing. If we had seen him, some of that mystery would have been lost. We learned he turned down a great scholarship which gave him notoriety, but he lamented that decision later.

To me, William Hurt and Meg Tilly steal the movie. Tilly plays the younger girlfriend of Costner’s character. Her perspective adds to the movie as when she responds to a question if her boyfriend was happy and says “I don’t know that many happy people. How do they act?” Yet, each actor is allowed to shine and offer both comedy and drama.

Do you agree with the directors’ decisions to cut these scenes in the movie? What are some of your favorite parts of the movie? What other actors and actresses have been cut out of movies to your knowledge?

7 thoughts on “A famous actor whose scenes were cut entirely

  1. A favorite movie of mine also! I was with a group of friends recently (outdoors, etc., etc.) and we were asking and answering “favorite” this and “best” that questions. Although I picked another movie as my favorite (Grand Canyon, also with Kevin Kline), The Big Chill was definitely my favorite soundtrack. One of my favorite interchanges was between Jeff Goldblum and Tom Berenger regarding rationalizations (“…ever go a week without a rationalization?”).

    • Janis, that was a classic dialogue segment. I started to include Goldblum with Hurt and Tilly in terms of memorable parts. He played the slightly creepy role well.

      The clean-up scene after the first dinner was priceless, I think to “Ain’t too proud to beg.” Keith

  2. Note to Readers: In addition to this movie, several of these actors are in other favorite or highly acclaimed movies. Janis mentioned a good one in her comment. Here is a quick recap of some of mine:
    – Tom Berenger: Eddie and the Cruisers
    – Kevin Kline: Dave
    – Wiiliam Hurt: Body Heat
    – JoBeth Williams: Teachers
    – Kevin Costner: Bull Durham
    – Jeff Goldblum: Jurassic Park
    – Glenn Close: Fatal Attraction

    What are some of yours?

  3. I need to watch this movie. I think I did many years ago when it first came out. But I really don’t remember it. I may have been a bit too young for the subject matter to take root.

  4. Pingback: Daily Kind Quote – Share Your Light

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