Spoiler Alert: This article may reveal certain surprises about movies that you have not yet seen or heard about. Although it is doubtful.] In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Brad Pitt asserts that he learned a valuable lesson about the power of stardom when he was making “Legends of the Fall.” Apparently, what Pitt considered his best scene in the movie was removed after it tested negatively with preview audiences. Pitt lacked the clout to demand the scene be kept.
By his next movie “Seven” [no, you will not see numbers replacing letters with which they bear no resemblance from this writer] Pitt felt confident enough to demand in his contract two things. One was that he shoots the bad guy at the end. Demand number two was that Gwyneth Paltrow’s head remain in the box and not be replaced with something else. Naturally, once the movie was shot, some executive suggested that Pitt would come across as much more heroic if he refused to shoot Kevin Spacey and audiences would be less upset if it was the head of Pitt’s dog that was in the box. (Yeah, I know, studio executive is by definition the job requiring stupidity as the foremost character trait.)
Yeah. Well, thank God Pitt had the foresight to realize that the stupidity of studio execs cannot ever truly be fathomed so you just have to assume it is bottomless. The ending of “Seven” is one of the most powerful of the 1990’s and it cannot help but get you to thinking about some other movies that would be improved by the appearance of Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in a box.
What a thousandfold improvement would be made to James Cameron’s overbloated tales of high school puppy love if the film had been arranged so that the divers find a box in the wreckage of the “Titanic” and bring it up to present to Winslet’s character as an old lady. Everybody just knows there is going to be that necklace or tiara or nose ring or whatever it is now, but what is revealed when the box is finally opened is…Gwyneth Paltrow’s head!
The Sixth Sense
No offense, but anyone who couldn’t figure out Bruce Willis is playing a dead guy ten minutes into “The Sixth Sense” should probably never read past the word “Nigeria” in an email. Check out how Shymalanlaongmanonlong never actually frames a shot with Bruce Willis talking to anyone but the kid in which you actually see that other person interacting with Bruce. It’s a cheat, kids, and about as smooth as the Nigerian scam. What this overrated piece of dreck could really benefit from is a scene where the kid presents Bruce with a present, says “I see dead people” and lifts open the box to reveal…Gwyneth Paltrow’s head as she says, “He’s talking ‘bout you, Dr. Crowe. You’re dead! Haven’t you noticed that nobody ever says anything to you but the kid who sees dead people!”
Thelma and Louise
“Thelma and Louise” has the perfect scene that could make the movie better with the introduction of Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in a box. Heck, it even features Brad Pitt! There is a scene where Brad and Thelma…or Louise…are in a motel room and Pitt picks up a gun shaped blow-dryer and proceeds to demonstrate how he would conduct a holdup. As part of his patter he even says these prescient words: “if nobody loses their head, then nobody loses their head.” The scene continues rather tepidly with Pitt continuing his outlaw demo, but how much more intense and memorable the scene would be if instead he were to reach under the motel room bed at that point and say something along the lines of “on the other hand, if anybody loses their head then this is what will happen” before he opens the lid of the box to reveal…Gwyneth Paltrow’s head!