Top 10 Songs We Wish Hadn't Been Deleted from Movie Musicals



Top 10 Songs We Wish Hadn't Been Deleted from Movie Musicals

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
We wish these songs hadn't been deleted from movie musicals. For this list, we'll be looking at our favorite songs that were cut from movie musicals. Our countdown includes "Hairspray," "Grease," "Rent," and more!

Top 10 Songs We Wish Hadn;'t Been Deleted From Movie Musicals

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Songs We Wish Hadn’t Been Deleted from Movie Musicals

For this list, we’ll be looking at our favorite songs that were cut from movie musicals. We’ll be including songs from stage shows and songs that were written for the movie.

Which musical numbers do you wish had made it into the silver screen version of their musical? Let us know in the comments.

#10: “Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now”
“Hairspray” (2007)

“Hairspray” is brimming with catchy earworms, but this one has always been a fan favorite. So, audiences were gutted when it was dropped from the 2007 flick. In the song, Tracy, Penny, and Amber plead with their respective mothers for more freedom. According to director and choreographer Adam Shankman, they couldn’t figure out how to film the number without using a three-way split screen. Ultimately, they decided that it didn’t really progress the plot anyway and begrudgingly cut it. However, an instrumental version plays over the “Stricken Chicken” dance. Also, to appease fans, the three original Tracys, Ricki Lake, Marissa Jaret Winokur, and Nikki Blonsky, recorded the song for the end credits.

#9: “Liaisons”
“A Little Night Music” (1977)

If you’ve seen this movie, you’ll know it was a bit of a hot mess. For starters, two key numbers that are arguably vital to the story were removed. The show is about love, lust, passion, and the complex entanglement of affairs. “The Miller’s Son” perfectly encapsulated those themes, yet it can only be heard as an instrumental in the movie. This is also the case for “Liaisons,” an entrancing number about Madam Armfeldt’s past and how different generations approach the subject of sex. We can’t think of a more quintessential song to capture the entire premise of “A Little Night Music.” We guess we should be grateful that at least “Send in the Clowns” wasn’t removed as well.

#8: “I Believe in Love”
“Hair” (1979)

“Hair” was considered pretty radical when it first opened on Broadway in 1968. Almost a decade later, an equally far-out film version was released, featuring various alterations and cutting several songs. Among these were Crissy’s hopeful love ballad “Frank Mills” and Berger’s dynamic stick-it-to-the-man “Going Down”. However, the song we miss the most is “I Believe in Love.” In the musical, it introduces Sheila Franklin, a passionate activist and NYU student. She joyfully sings about the strength of love and the goodness of humanity. It’s a happy and uplifting number that also highlights the ethos of this tribe and perfectly represents what the story’s about. It’s a real shame it was left out. Justice for Shelia!

#7: “Freddy, My Love”
“Grease” (1978)

“Grease” might have one of the most iconic soundtracks of all time. But this is one song that doesn’t get nearly enough love. In the film, Marty mentions her long-distance relationship with a generous Marine. However, in this smooth do-wop number, she reveals more about the lavish gifts that keep their relationship thriving. Based on its placement in the show, we can only assume it was replaced by a song written specifically for the movie, “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” As much as we adore the Oscar-nominated track, we still wish they’d made room for both songs. It’s crazy to think that some “Grease” fans were only introduced to the number thanks to Keke Palmer’s incredible performance in “Grease: Live”!

#6: “A Bushel and a Peck”
“Guys & Dolls” (1955)

Occasionally a show tune becomes so popular that it transcends its origins, which is certainly true for this charming song. Several acclaimed artists released their own covers while the musical was still in rehearsals. At one point, four versions were even placed on the Billboard charts simultaneously. Performed by Adelaide as part of her nightclub act, it’s often considered a show highlight. But apparently, Samuel Goldwyn hated it and thought it was tacky. So, he replaced it with “Pet Me, Poppa,” which was perfectly lovely but lacked the same charisma. Goldwyn’s opinion was seemingly unpopular, and the song was restored for the VHS release.

#5: “Christmas Bells”
“Rent” (2005)

There’s no shortage of deleted songs from “Rent” that we could address. Both parts of “Happy New Year” were omitted entirely. Meanwhile, although filmed, the second part of “Goodbye Love” wound up on the cutting room floor. But arguably, the biggest disservice was overlooking “Christmas Bells.” It’s a brilliant song that delves into the troubled streets of Alphabet City and the residents who are just trying to make it through another day. It includes the entire ensemble, sees two central couples take steps in their relationships, and introduces Maureen. Perhaps it was just too chaotic to portray on screen without using frequent disorientating quick cuts. Even so, it’s a witty and captivating number we would’ve loved to see come to life.

#4: “Green Green Dress”
“Tick, Tick…BOOM!” (2021)

When Netflix released the footage of this deleted scene, fans couldn’t fathom why on earth it had been cut. It was fun, flirty, unbelievably entertaining, and totally joy-inducing. Andrew Garfield and Alexandra Shipp’s chemistry is off the charts, and the choreography is exceptionally entertaining. But, Lin-Manuel Miranda explained that he reluctantly decided to drop it since it didn’t drive the story and slowed the overall pace. However, you can still hear this fire tune during the end credits, plus a more soulful version features in the film. If you ask us, just the fact it instantly puts a smile on our faces is reason enough to keep it in. Well, at least they shared this lively scene with us.

#3: “No More”
“Into the Woods” (2014)

Admittedly, there’s a lot that fans would change about Disney’s take on this Sondheim classic. For instance, the fairly crucial Mystery Man character was erased, and with him, the beautiful and consequential “No More.” The song comes as the Baker freaks out about fatherhood and plans to abandon his family. It’s a thoughtful and stirring scene where the Mystery Man, revealed to be the Baker’s estranged dad, convinces him not to repeat his mistakes. It seems like a pretty integral part of the Baker’s character development to eliminate. Plus, it denied audiences the chance to enjoy this mesmerizing melody. “Into the Woods” is all about learning lessons, and we hope whoever cut this song learned theirs.

#2: “Hundreds of Stories”
“In the Heights” (2021)

“In the Heights” underwent restructuring in its transition from stage to screen. This meant that some songs switched places while others were cut altogether. Early in the musical’s second act, Usnavi and Claudia sing this magnetic hip-hop-infused Latin number discussing the previous night’s blackout, and her plans for her lottery winnings. Perhaps the lyrics no longer made sense given the film’s tweaked storyline, but we still wish they’d found a way to keep it in. Elsewhere, Nina and Benny share a bilingual love duet called “Sunrise” whose melody you might recognize as background music from the film. Also omitted was the powerful and moving “Everything I Know” sung by Nina as she reflects on Claudia’s legacy.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Lonely Room”, “Oklahoma!” (1955)
Without This Dark Number, Audiences Can’t Truly Understand Jud Fry’s Full Complexity

“Something Was Missing”, “Annie” (1982)
Yeah, Something Was Missing, This Sentimental Song About Familial Love

“You Are My Lucky Star”, “Singin' in the Rain” (1952)
The Reprise at the End Would Have Made More Sense If the Original Track Hadn’t Been Cut

“Together Wherever We Go”, “Gypsy” (1962)
It’s Such a Fun Song about Restructuring a Family Dynamic, What’s Not to Love?

“The Ballad of Sweeney Todd”, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (2007)
This Song Perfectly Sets the Scene, Yet It Was Dropped

#1: “The Jitterbug”
“The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

Perhaps the most notorious example of a deleted number is the lost “Jitterbug” scene, which was actually written for the film. In it, Dorothy and her friends are attacked by insects who force them to dance until they drop. Various reasons have been given for its absence, including time constraints, and ensuring that the film remains timeless by avoiding 1930s references. It took five weeks to shoot the sequence, which cost about $80,000, roughly $1.5 million today. So the decision to cut it probably hit them like a twister. The only surviving footage was an on-set recording by composer Harold Arlen. Apparently, they also considered dropping “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” but luckily, they skipped down the yellow brick road away from that idea.