The Hits That Weren't

The Hits that Weren't

After a summer of blockbusters like Jurassic Park, it seems only fair to pay tribute to the movies that never quite made it to the big screen. I'm talking about the film ideas that preceded the blockbusters, those scripts that the executives read first, but discarded at the last minute. For example, A River Runs Through It was not the first idea Robert Redford had for a movie about fishing and fathers. But nobody liked his other idea, A River Runs Up To It and Then Stops. They thought it needed work.

Hot new mystery writer John Grisham didn't write The Pelican Brief until his first idea, Duck Shorts, was turned down. And Hollywood producers refused to consider Grisham's latest thriller--The Soft and The Mushy--until he agreed to rename it The Firm. (Free H'rumphs Bonus: A 20-second review of The Firm. "Well, Grisham's latest novel has elevated superficiality and character underdevelopment to an art form. Inspired by such literary high-water marks as 'Murder, She Wrote' and 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,' The Firm will soon take its well-deserved place in the world's most prestigious libraries...under the short table legs. Someday, magazines will carry 365-page BMW ads. And John Grisham will write them.")

But, I digress.

Silence of the Lambs might not have won all those Oscars if they had kept its original title, Stop All That Bleating, I'm Trying to Get Some Sleep in Here!

Before Unforgiven, Clint Eastwood was trying to produce Okay, Fine, I Forgive You.

Menace II Society was much less streetwise in its first version: Dennis Is a Menace II Mr. Wilson.

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Sojourners Magazine September-October 1993
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