Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of 'The 'Burbs' by Watching This Alternate Ending

Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of 'The 'Burbs' by Watching This Alternate Ending

Feb 18, 2014

Get ready to feel old. It’s the 25th anniversary of Joe Dante’s The 'Burbs, starring Tom Hanks as a suburbanite who tries to uncover the truth about his mysterious new neighbors. It’s one of those underrated gems from the 1980s, full of Dante’s signature black humor. Screenwriter Dana Olsen’s approach sums up the movie best: “As a kid, it was fascinating to think that Mr. Flanagan down the street could turn out to be Jack the Ripper. And where there's fear, there's comedy. So I approached The 'Burbs as Ozzie and Harriet meet Charles Manson.” 

We don’t want to spoil the ending of the movie for you, but things get a little crazy for Hanks’ Ray Peterson. The Playlist has spotted the movie’s alternate ending on YouTube, and while it doesn’t resolve itself perhaps as neatly as the theatrical version (though some might disagree), there’s an amusing monologue from Henry Gibson’s Werner Klopek about living in the suburbs. Also, according to IMDb (spoiler alert):

"In the original script Ray Peterson was intended to be killed by Dr. Klopek. However, once Tom Hanks was cast in the role, the studio didn't think the audience would appreciate witnessing his death on-screen, so the ending had to be reworked. Several alternate endings to the film were also shot where items other then bones were discovered in the Klopek's trunk, including dead cheerleaders and the garbage men seen earlier in the film."

We’re kind of sad that dead cheerleaders didn’t make the cut. Another random, weird factoid about the ending? “This is the only Universal film to include the Universal logo at the end of the film,” IMDb confirms. 

Dig into one of Dante’s alternate endings for The ‘Burbs to celebrate the movie’s anniversary.


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