One Gremlins scene was so divisive, the studio asked theater projectionists to cut it during screenings

The story of the making of 1984's Gremlins is as fascinating at the film itself, as the team behind it broke all the rules to make a classic still very much beloved today. 

There are, of course, numerous infamous stories, from the fact that studio Warner Bros. suggested there were too many Gremlins in the movie to the original script being far more violent than what we eventually saw on-screen.

One particular scene was a point of contention - the moment where Kate (Phoebe Cates) tells Billy (Zack Galligan) a tragic story about why she hates Christmas, which is linked to the death of her father. Perfectly pitched, the macabre moment is easily one of the most memorable scenes from the movie, but it almost didn't make the cut.

Studio executives were so concerned about how it would play to audiences, they asked director Joe Dante to remove it from the film. And when he said no - being backed by producer Steven Spielberg - the studio still decided to persist, taking matters into their own hands.

As the filmmaker tells Total Film in our new issue out on Thursday May 23, which features Twisters on the cover, the studio went as far as sending orders out to projectionists asking them to chop it from screenings. Dante revealed during our interview, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of the movie: "[The scene] encapsulated the whole ethos of the picture. There’s a duality of humor and horror but Warner Bros. just hated it. I heard after it was out they were sending instructions to projectionists to see if they could cut it, which thankfully didn’t happen."

All these years later, we now know that Warner Bros. really didn't have anything to worry about with the scene, which has long remained a fan-favorite moment.

Gremlins is available to watch now via 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, and streaming. And you can read more about it and a whole lot else besides in the new issue of Total Film when it hits shelves and digital newsstands on Thursday, May 23.

Check out the covers below:

Glen Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Anthony Ramos on the covers of Total Film's Twisters issue

(Image credit: Future)

Pre-order the issue here to bag your copy, or click here to subscribe to Total Film and never miss another exclusive. You’ll get every issue before it's in stores, and you’ll get subscriber-exclusive covers. 

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(Image credit: Future)
Emily Murray
Entertainment Editor

As Entertainment Editor at GamesRadar, I oversee all the online content for Total Film and SFX magazine. Previously I've worked for the BBC, Zavvi, UNILAD, Yahoo, Digital Spy and more.