In the motion picture industry, directors commonly shoot much more footage than they anticipate using and edit from there. The unused footage is sometimes released on a commercial basis as part of premium DVD editions. None of Brokeback’s deleted scenes has been released. Both Ang Lee and James Shamus have stated that they will not be. What is known about Brokeback’s deleted scenes comes from three principal sources: Focus Features publicity shots, interviews, and various scripts.
For reasons which are unclear, the media promotional materials for Brokeback Mountain included many images which were not in the film. It is possible that these materials were prepared before the film’s final edits were made or perhaps those responsible for the media materials simply did not concern themselves with the deleted scenes. One unusual and very useful resource in this regard is the Czech-based movie website http://www.bioscop.cz/_web/film/zkrocena-hora#fotogalerie. (To see all their Brokeback photos, click the “Zobrazit všechny fotografie” link near the bottom of the page.)
Of the scripts that we have been able to study, they were categorized as either not “official,” “possibly official but very early,” or “official and locked” by a person closely associated with the movie. All the script excerpts in our Deleted Scenes pages are from scripts that have been singled out as being authentic Brokeback Mountain scripts.
Most of the deleted scenes were “optional” from the start, inasmuch as they did not add crucial plot elements to the story. In some cases, the deletions served to further a specific directorial objective, such as to add ambiguity or to clarify a story point. In other instances, the reasons appear to be based upon the quality of the scene as it was shot.
Revised 18 November 2010