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Explaining That "Weird" Cut In Poltergeist. Read The Missing Scene

Why Is There A Strange Cut In The 1982 Horror Classic, Poltergeist?

If you're a fan of the 1982 Horror classic, Poltergeist then you will be very familiar with that "weird" cut in the movie.  It's 32 minutes and 47 seconds in to the movie and the scene is where Diane is explaining the strange phenomenon that is happening in the kitchen.  First, she shows to Steve a chair scraping across the floor all on its own then she does the same with Carol Anne.  Steve leans up against the kitchen wall and is completely shocked at what just happened.  It's at this point Diane starts to explain the sensation of being pulled and then...A very abrupt cut.  One moment we are listening to Diane and suddenly it cuts to Diane and Steve at their next door neighbours door.  Why the sudden cut?  It's on the VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray and even the streaming versions.  Why does this awful and weird cut exist in the movie, Poltergeist?  Watch the clip below to see the cut:

Well, the answer is to do with Pizza Hut.  You see, at the beginning of that scene mentioned above, Carol Ann appears and is promised a visit to Pizza Hut.

Mommy didn’t cook any dinner.

We’ll go to Pizza Hut, all right?

Later on in the scene Steve says "I hate Pizza Hut."  Well, the fast-food company got wind of this and were not happy with MGM.  This complaint was late in the day when it came to the movie's production.  In fact it had already gone to print so a quick solution was needed, hence the very rough and crude cut you see in the movie today that has been with us since the beginning.  Some fans of the movie even remember the cut at the premiere but some movie goers and fan of the movie swear they remember the complete scene.  Here is the missing scene in script form and if you do remember it, please let us know.

You can't believe the feeling.

What's the gag? There a magnet back there? He looks behind the door in the dining room. Nothing. Steve just stands for a long moment in hapless silence, then...

I hate Pizza Hut! Where's supper? I don' t understand, Diane. What the hell's going on around here?

Steve sidesteps the chalk marks, removing himself from the active area.

I figured I'd never explain it to you. So I showed you instead, but don't ask me how or what. Just help me figure out what to do.

You mean there's no gimmick?

Not from inside the house. Maybe Tuthill got himself a super remote from the Radio Shack.

Carol Anne adjusts her helmet and sits inside her launch circle. Diane and Steve are having the discussion across the room and aren't aware of her.

Maybe the shakeup and this thing...relate.

No shit.

Daddy, look at me!!

They turn but it's too late. Carol Anne shoots across the room faster than before, and with no one to catch her.


At a sickening speed her helmet smashes into the wall. Diane SCREAMS Steve runs over. An eight-inch hole in the wall and the cracked plastic on the helmet testify to the force of impact. Carol Anne is dazed but unhurt.

You promised pizza.



The front door opens and Tuthill steps into the bug light. An obvious strain in this conversation.

The motives various, the feelings mutual. About a thousand mosquitoes chow down on the Freelings while they talk.

Hi, Ben.

Mr. Tuthill.

TV's off in here. If your set's acting up again...

The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams and a whole lot more.


  1. I DEFINITELY remember this scene being longer, and I have ALWAYS remembered, and wondered what happened. I saw it in Massachusetts the weekend it came out as a kid. I also seem to remember Diane describing the sensation in some sort of vaguely sexual way. Something like... Remember the night when you first did (fill in the blanks) to me? It felt like that. That was the reason I always remembered it, because as a kid, I thought it was very naughty. Who knows, maybe I', nuts regarding the conversation, but I totally remember the scene differently.

  2. I also remember this scene in its entirety. Although I was only 4 when it premiered, I know I've seen it because I remember thinking (after Steven says he hates Pizza Hut), "I love Pizza Hut! (I still do actually). This weird "I've seen the scene, but it doesn't exist in any buyable format. But I know I've seen it!" It's "haunted" me for years. It's like the Mandela effect at play. I believe it will always linger in the cemetery of my mind of lost thoughts with no origin point. They just wander about asking, "do you know the answer?" I'm actually watching Poltergeist while I type this, which doesn't help.

  3. After the kitchen scene the omitted scenes are from in their bedroom - smoking pot again - and they were discussing it and were wondering if the same thing happened to the neighbors. So after they get a little high they go next door and ask the neighbor. Which explains why Steven was laughing a bit.

  4. I remember that scene and the scene after that explains the weird cut. After the kitchen scene they are in their bedroom discussing what happened in the kitchen. They are getting high again and wondered if the neighbors are having the same issues. After they get high they go next door, Steven laughs a bit which makes more sense now since they just smoked. I can only assume there may have been a bit of an uproar from viewers maybe about the amount of illegal drugs being used and they are parents. Just a guess.

  5. I to remember that scene. I was 12 when I saw this film at least 4 times. I was interested because I lived in a haunted house, laugh if you must but it's true. Nothing like the movie, but still. I remember that whole scene and then going to the neighbor's. To bad Steven Spielberg doesn't clean up and add to like he did with ET.


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