LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Auction items from film 'Gremlins 2' at the Rare Film and TV Memorabilia auction at BFI IMAX on September 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
How A Gremlins 2 Deleted Scene Directly Tackles One Of Cinema’s Great Controversies
Without a doubt, film is the dominant artistic medium of the modern era, so when someone threatens film history, we should all be concerned. One such menace was media mogul Ted Turner who in the 1980s tried to colorize classic black and white films, and filmmakers got creative in how they opposed him, like one scene from Joe Dante’s “Gremlins 2.”
The issue of Turner’s colorization was so controversial that it eventually made its way to Congress which ruled against Turner and passed the National Film Preservation Act of 1988. The issue was largely because Turner’s colorizations were poor quality — they typically looked like the work of a kid with crayons — and threatened the integrity and history of classic films.
In response to this, Joe Dante wrote a scene in “Gremlins 2” that made fun of Turner and his colorization efforts. In the scene, the movie’s villain Daniel Clamp is distracted when he sees “It’s A Wonderful Life” playing in the original black and white. Clamp gets upset and presses a button that changes the movie to Turner-style murky color, making Clamp smile brightly.
The scene was eventually deleted because John Glover’s characterization of Clamp made him a loveable villain, making the joke lose some of its punch, and by that time the National Film Preservation Act had been passed. Additionally, Christopher Guest’s film “The Big Picture” had a similar colorization joke, so the “Gremlins 2” scene would have been redundant.