American Beauty - cut content (rumoured/lost alternate ending of drama film; existence unconfirmed; 1999)
American Beauty is a critically acclaimed drama released in 1999. It was directed by Sam Mendes and starred Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning, and Thora Birch. The film won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2000 and Spacey won Best Actor for his performance.
In the released cut's ending, Lester Burnham is shot by Colonel Fitts. In an alternate ending, Lester and Carolyn's daughter, Jane, as well as Colonel Fitts' son Ricky, are arrested and put on trial for Lester's murder. The prosecutors use Ricky's videophillia against him as evidence. One version of this ending resulted in the two being guilty, while the other showed them both innocent. However, this alternate ending was left out with concerns that it would detract from the film overall.
It is currently unknown how much of the intended ending was filmed, and none has been found or released. While Mendes hasn't commented on the subject, many members of the film's crew remember filming at least some footage for these endings. It is possible that the scenes were removed by Mendes at the last minute or that they never existed at all.