Book purists, be warned: the most controversial and talked-about scene from [Fifty Shades of Grey](movie:391697) has not made it into the final movie. As with any Fifty Shades post, please be aware that this article concerns some graphic material, so be doubly warned!
Yes, Jaime, it's true. 50 Shades of Grey will NOT include the infamous tampon scene, which set off a firestorm of anticipation as soon as the film adaptation was announced. The scene, for those who don't know, features an unassuming Anastasia Steele bent over a sink while BDSM-enthusiast Christian Grey removes her used tampon. Then, they proceed to have sex. Seriously...that happens.
Director Sam Taylor Johnson has reportedly opted to remove the scene entirely, and according to the director's interview with Variety, "it was never even discussed." She chalks it up to finding a balance between the story and the sex scenes, not wanting to inundate the viewer with a barrage of erotic images that could detract from the overall narrative.
Or, y'know, it may just be that the scene casually features a bloody tampon, but that could just be me.
Although there were PLENTY of people ready to hate-watch it, removing the scene does make sense when rating standards and the sheer scale of the movie are taken into consideration. Considering the MPAA's squeamishness when it comes to cinematic sex, I'm sure the 50 Shades crew decided to tread somewhat conservatively when including the more sensitive material to ensure an R rating over the dreaded NC-17.
With these standards in mind and to commemorate this dearly departed scene, let's take a look at five other cut scenes that were deemed to extreme for the big screen.
You can't achieve the highest grossing movie of all time without making a few cuts. In the case of Avatar, the most interesting scene that didn't make into the final film involved a hot, steamy roll in Pandora's hay. When Fox published the full script online, it included a sex scene between Neytiri and Jake that saw them latching the sexual tendrils in their hair, otherwise known as "queues." Needless to say, not many were disappointed by the lack of alien lovemaking, and the movie did just fine.
Verdict: Alien sex is no-no.
Hancock had the battle with the MPAA rating system that 50 Shades carefully avoided, except the Will Smith movie was pushing for a PG-13 rating instead of the more limiting R. As a result, filmmakers chose to get rid of a number of crude scenes. The most sensational of which featured a sex scene between Hancock and another super played by Charlize Theron. The two have a knock-down, drag-out session that only two superhumans could endure, leaving a series of holes in Hancock's roof.
Verdict: Superhero sex is a no-no.
Natural Born Killers
Oliver Stone's wild, in-your-face movie about serial killers is obviously filled with gratuitous violence and jaw-dropping moments, but there was one scene that has truly gone down in history as one of the most excessive deleted scenes. It starts in a motel where the psycho Mickey (Woody Harrelson) has captured a hostage. He proceeds to rape her while her hands are tied until he finally rips her tongue out. This one didn't last long, and the scene ended up on the cutting room floor.
Verdict: Excessive violent rape is a no-no (duh).
Léon the Professional
Luc Besson's amazing film Léon the Professional has an excessive amount of violence and a totally bonkers performance by Gary Oldman, but it almost had something that would have sent many viewers over the edge. In a scene that remained banned in the United States for ten years, twelve-year-old Matilda (played by a young Natalie Portman) requests that her mentor Léon take her virginity. Without the scene, the movie makes the relationship appear ambiguous, but this explicit moment, with Portman in full make-up and adult costume, puts the situation in stark focus.
Verdict: Adolescent sexuality and implied pedophilia is a no-no (double duh).
Planet of the Apes
When the original reboot of Planet of the Apes came out in 2001, it had its fair share of detractors. This group initially included 20th Century Fox, who took major issue with a sex scene that Tim Burton had planned between the ape Ari (Helena Bonham Carter) and the human Leo (Mark Wahlberg). The studio feared that with the overt humans vs. other species story combined with the convincing make-up created an uncomfortable scenario that verged on bestiality. They opted to remove it.
Verdict: Bestiality is a no-no.
So there you have it. Avoid aliens, superheroes, children, excessive violence, and bestiality if you want to make a Hollywood sex scene.
Oh, and bloody tampons. Please, PLEASE no bloody tampons.