"HOW THE WEST WAS WON"
DELETED SCENES

DELETED SCENE #1: There are at least eight deleted scenes or deleted parts of the movie that I am aware of. The first, and most extensive, involves a character played by Hope Lange. Ms. Lange was cast as a showgirl and as a love interest for George Peppard’s character. One website lists her as a St. Louis showgirl, but I would instead say that she was working at the saloon where we see George Peppard have the discussion about milk with Richard Widmark, in the same railroad camp and therefore much further west. Further information on her character can be found in the Louis L'Amour novelization of the 1962 movie screenplay.  Ms. Lange’s character was named Julie Stuart, and she was the girlfriend (and eventual wife) of George Peppard’s character and the daughter of Henry Fonda’s character. Henry Fonda once had a more extensive role in the film, but his role was severely cut back, while Hope’s scenes were removed from the movie entirely. With the exception of the photos below, all that seems to remain at this point is rumors of the missing parts and plot lines.

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Photo #1

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Photo #2

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Photo #3

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Photo #4

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Photo #5

Click on each of the thumbnails above to see the full-sized photos
 

According to the novel, Julie Stuart and Zeb Rawlings married, and raised the children as shown in the last chapter of the movie. This means that Hope Lange's character ended up being played by Carolyn Jones in the movie's final chapter ("The Outlaws"). So what happened?  My guess is that something caused the producer or director to entirely remove Hope Lange from the Railroad chapter of the movie (for some as yet unknown reason). They then brought in Carolyn Jones to play that same character during the Outlaws sequence. I don't know why they would replace Ms. Lange with Ms. Jones, but I assume that they decided it was easier to just delete all of the scenes with Lange, rather than have to go back and re-shoot them all with Ms. Jones.

One guess about why the scenes were not included in the final version of the film (assuming that they were ever filmed at all) is that the added scenes involving Jethro Stuart (played by Henry Fonda) and those involving the love triangle between Zeb Rawlings, Julie Stuart, and Mike King (played by Richard Widmark, see photo #5 above) would have substantially added time to the movie's length, perhaps to over three hours. Perhaps this sub plot of the movie was deleted in order to cut down the film to a more marketable two and a half hours. Another rumor has it that Ms. Lange was offered a leading part in a Glenn Ford movie at about that same time, and may have abandoned HTWWW for the larger role. Who knows?

UPDATE (March 2009): If you listen to the audio commentary on the new Collector's Edition boxset DVD, you'll learn that Hope Lange's character was removed from the movie because the script (when the movie was filmed) involved Julie divorcing Zeb, and one of the major studio heads objected to having that sordid plotline as part of such a family-oriented movie. So Hope's part was cut, Henry Fonda's part was scaled back, and the first time that the character of Julie is introduced to the audience is during the Outlaws sequence. How do we know that the two Julies (Hope Lange vs. Carolyn Jones) are one in the same? Because the producers would not have had two different back-to-back love interests for George Peppard's character that had the same first name (that would have been too confusing). Plus, I recently had a major find in an Ebay purchase of the old March 1963 edition of Screen Stories magazine. That magazine had a nice article on HTWWW, plus a number of photographs (including one of another missing scene mentioned later on this page). It also had a condensed version of the screenplay, which contained sections that covered Julie Stuart and other deleted material. Click HERE to see the screenplay fragment, and pay special attention to the bolded text sections that relate to the courtship, wedding and eventual breakup of Zeb and Julie's relationship.

One final comment about the screenplay article mentioned above.... in the section where Lillith goes to live with her nephew Zeb and family, it mentions that "she liked (Julie) on sight. A handsome woman, maturing well although she'd heard there'd been some whisper of trouble with her, years ago."

In my opinion that text is a vague reference to the breakup or "divorce", which seems to have been eventually patched up, resulting in a later happy marriage complete with children.

As for the question as to why the movie would have had one actress portraying Julie Stuart as a blonde, and then another actress playing the same (but older) character as a brunette, there is another clue. When Hope's scenes were cut out, that was to be the end of that character. However, I had heard or read somewhere that originally the movie was supposed to end at the end of the Railroad chapter. At some point, though, it was decided that if the movie ended with the decimation of the railroad camp and Zeb losing Julie, that it would be too depressing of an ending for the audience to see the evil Mike King riding the train's cow-catcher forward triumphantly just before the credits rolled. So the entire last chapter - the Outlaws - was created to form a more exciting and upbeat ending for the movie. If the Outlaws chapter was an 'afterthought' that came much later in the film's creative process, it would explain how a totally different actress could have been used in place of Ms. Lange.

It’s really too bad that Ms. Lange’s part was cut, as she was really quite attractive back in those days, and I would have liked to see her interactions with Mr. Peppard. It’s also too bad that Henry Fonda’s part was really cut down, as I liked his character almost as much as Jimmy Stewart’s. If you have any info that could shed light on these deleted scenes (or any others), please contact me.


DELETED SCENE #2: The second deleted scene that I am aware of is in the last chapter of the movie, just after Sheriff Ramsay (Lee J. Cobb’s character) confronts Zeb Rawlings (George Peppard’s character) in the barn. Ramsay is there to prevent Rawlings from getting on the train. There’s a tense moment where Ramsay is ready to draw his gun on Rawlings, but in the end of the scene Rawlings appears to have convinced Ramsay of the validity of his mission, and the scene fades out. The next time we see Ramsay, however, is at the train, and now he has a bandage on his forehead! The movie never explains why it is there, and some movie websites like to point out the apparent goof. However, I believe that the explanation is that the scene continued to the point where Zeb was forced to club Ramsay in the head with his rifle butt in order to knock him out (so that he could get past him to go to the train). Ramsay evidently recovers in time to also make it to the train with his deputy, and apparently doesn’t hold a grudge for the incident.

Clues to this deleted scene can be found in the comic book of the movie, which was released around 1962. The comic book seems to show the results of the knockout, though this deleted scene is not part of the movie. I can only assume that the production of the comic book was based on a pre-release version of the movie script, but that the scene was deleted from the movie during the final editing process, while remaining in the already completed comic book. Here is a portion of the comic book, which I was able to find on Ebay:

 

New update: I recently received the following photograph from an HTWWW fan in Germany. It shows an identical scene of Zeb leaning over Marshall Ramsay as depicted above. The colors look off because it is from a colorized lobby card (painting black and white photos in color was commonly done at the time). In any case, it is proof that the scene was filmed, but later cut from the final version.


DELETED SCENE #3: The third deleted scene that has just come to light is also courtesy of the March 1963 edition of Screen Stories magazine. A photograph shows the young Zeb Rawlings at the Civil War battle of Shiloh, in a scene that would have occurred just before we see him stumble down to the bloody creek to take a drink.


At Shiloh, Zeb Rawlings stopped to aid a wounded soldier and didn't even know his father Linus was dead nearby.

In addition to the verbatim caption shown above, the condensed screenplay in the magazine also mentioned that Linus Rawlings body was seen dead in the scene portrayed above. Perhaps that is his body whose legs can barely be distinguished alongside and in front of the box in the upper right portion of the photo? The head and shoulders are hidden by the tree behind Zeb, but I could easily imagine the camera panning back around to the other side of the tree (after it was done with Zeb's portion), showing the audience the face of a dead Jimmy Stuart. Perhaps that would have been too saddening/horrifying for the audience to actually see, so this scene was cut. Of course, the fact that the wounded soldier seems to have had his right leg blown off at the knee doesn't help make this scene any more palatable, either.


DELETED SCENE #4: Another deleted scene that has been reported to me involves the water tower that falls over during the buffalo stampede scene. I have been told by a viewer that when he originally saw the movie when it first came out, he saw the water tower fall completely over onto the ground (instead of the current version where we only see it tilt, but not completely crash onto the ground).  UPDATE: I've been told by Larry H. that the scene was indeed originally in the first theatrical release, but was deleted soon after, as when the tower fell it strikes a buffalo squarely on the rump. The animal drops down, hesitates, gains its footing and continues the stampede.  It wasn't like the tank fell directly upon the one buffalo, it hit the moving blanket of herd and the one just got the edge of it. Supposedly an animal rights group complained and the scene was pulled. Interestingly, the water tank was not as heavy as it appeared, as it was hollow with an upper deck which held about a foot of water for the spill.


This picture is from a colorized lobbycard from 1963. It is probably a collage, as the buffalo herd and water tower
are likely two different photos combined together. Even so, it serves as a visual reminder of what I'm talking about.

UPDATE: the following "lost" photo was sent to me by Karl-Heinz Becker, showing the flood of water that spilled out of the fallen watertower. Thanks, Charly!


DELETED SCENE #5: I have just acquired a photo from deleted scene number five. This scene shows a Rawlings family picnic: Zeb and wife Julie (Carolyn Jones) are at a picnic table with their daughter Eve, and one of the boys is dangling from a nearby tree. Zeb appears to be trying to get to the boy in a hurry, perhaps to keep him from falling. Chronologically it occurs before the train holdup, while they are still in the mining town. There was a very similar scene described in Louis L'Amour's book, although the picnic was on the ground, and not on a picnic table (but even the checkered tablecloth was mentioned). The boys were playing hangman, with one pretending to be a bandit, and one a lawman (like his dad). I was lucky to find a photo of this deleted scene amongst a collection of 8x10s on Ebay. The other twenty photographs all had familiar scenes from the movie, except this one.


DELETED SCENE #6: If you read the condensed screenplay fragment, you will see at the very end that it talks about Zeb, Julie, Lillith, and the kids in the final scene riding the wagon before they start singing "Home In The Meadow". It says that a group of townspeople rode up firing their guns into the air and yelling, giving them a noisy sendoff, and showing their appreciation for Zeb's role in the victory over the train bandits. Louis L'Amour's book also says that the riders included Marshall Lou Ramsey, and that they presented Zeb with an expensive rifle as a gift. They then ride away, leaving the family alone. If you look at the movie's theatrical trailer (as shown on the prior version of the DVD), you will see a part of this scene. Marshall Ramsey is on the left, you can see the glint of light from the badge on his chest. The Rawlings' react with alarm, afraid that gunmen are chasing them, and Zeb reaches for his rifle until he recognizes Ramsey. This scene happens shortly after they had left the town, as you can see buildings behind them (a large dark one is just behind and to the right of Julie's hat).

Here is a photograph from that same missing scene:


DELETED SCENE #7: Also in the theatrical trailer was a scene only a few seconds long, which shows a locomotive rolling forward into the railroad camp. The vantage point is from behind the moving locomotive, and we see several men leaning out the window and firing rifles at the attacking Indians on horseback . This scene was cut from the movie. In the screen capture below we see the smoke from the rifle of the closest shooter, with the first of two Indians on horseback coming into view on the far right side.


DELETED SCENE #8: Another piece seen in the theatrical trailer was another brief scene in which Thelma Ritter and Debbie Reynolds are looking down and laughing at someone alongside of their wagon crossing the river. This was just after the scene in the movie where we saw the wagons crossing the wide river with the help of taught ropes from one side to the other (you can see one of the ropes for another wagon on the left). I wonder what they were laughing about? Who knows how many other such short pieces were also lost during the editing process?


I would love to get more information on either the Hope Lange/Henry Fonda deleted scenes or the other scenes listed above (or any others I am not aware of). If anyone has any information on these topics, or knows where I can get a copy of the script, please let me know.  Thanks!

 

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