King Kong (1933)
Changing standards of censorship caused several cuts of the original King Kong to float around in the years following its release, but one sequence was cut before its initial release, and has never been recovered. In it, the title character shakes a log bridge and causes four sailors to fall into a ravine, where they’re devoured by giant spiders. The “spider scenes” was shown to the public exactly once, at a January 1933 preview screening in San Bernardino, California, and their intensity and vividness were just too much for that audience. “It stopped the picture cold,” recalled co-director Merian C. Cooper, “so the next day back at the studio, I took it out myself.” Over 70 years later, King Kong remake director Peter Jackson would re-create the spider sequence for the original film’s special edition DVD, but the original remains lost.