IMDb Polls

Poll: Unfinished films

This list of films were never unfinished by their directors for different reasons. In some cases we know versions edited by someone else from the original material, in others just parts of the movie that got to be recorded.

If the original director had had the chance to finnish his film as he visioned it, which one do you think would have been the greatest film?

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Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    Que Viva Mexico (1979)

    Director Sergei Einsenstein wasn't allowed into the United States to edit his film, and the producers could never send him the negatives into the USSR. The director considered the film to be his most important work and always regreted being unable to finnish it. There are several versions of the film today, the most famous from 1979 based on the notes left by Einsenstein.
  2. Vote!

    El Sur (1983)

    Lack of money forced director Víctor Erice to finnish production before shooting the last part of the film. The producer found the version with an open ending very powerful and decided to release it like that. Erice, annoyed left movies for several years before directing again.
  3. Vote!

    Crossroads of Laredo (1995)

    The first known work by Ed Wood was left unfinished by the director. The original negatives were rescued by Dolores Fuller and other producers, and after editing them and adding narration, were released in 1995
  4. Vote!

    I, Claudius (1937)

    The production of the film that was going to be directed by Josef von Stenberg was stopped after star Merle Oberon suffered an accident. The story of the film is shown in the documentary The Epic that Never Was. The novel that inspired this film was later used to create the acclaimed BBC series of the same name.
  5. Vote!

    Something's Got to Give (1962)

    The film was never finished after the death of the female lead Marilyn Monroe
  6. Vote!

    The Thief and the Cobbler (1993)

    The film was considered by its director Richard Williams, to be his masterpiece, and he worked on it for over 28 years. After a deal with Warner Brothers fell down, a completion guarantee took control of the film from Williams, and it was completed Fred Calvert who re-edited the film, left out many scenes and added songs tha completely changed the original form of the film.
  7. Vote!

    The Adventures of Pinocchio (1936)

    Italian film that was going to become the first animation from Italy and the first film adaptation of Pinnochio. Today it is considered lost, as only a few frames survive.
  8. Vote!

    Creation (1931)

    It was a project of stop-motion animation by Willis O'Brien about men encountering dinosaurs. 20 minutes of film were shot but the production was canceled because it was considered boring. The stop-motion techniques of this film were later used to create King Kong.
  9. Vote!

    The Deep (1970)

    Film directed by Orson Welles trying to make a less personal and more commercially viable project. After working for several weeks in Yugoslavia, production was stopped by lack of money. And despite several attempts to continue, it became definitively unfinished when star Laurence Harvey died.
  10. Vote!

    I Loved a Soldier (1936)

    Film starring Charles Boyer and Marlene Dietrich, it was intended to be a remake of Hotel Imperial (1927). The production was stopped after several conflicts between Dietrich and director Henry Hathaway and it was eventually filmed again under a different name and with a different cast.
  11. Vote!

    It's All True (1993)

    It was supposed to be the third film of Orson Welles for RKO. It was left unfinished after RKO ended its contract with the director. Welles tried to finnish the film with another company but he was unable to do it.
  12. Vote!

    Great Day (1930)

    Musical film by MGM based on a Vincent Youmans Broadway show. After eight weeks of filming the production stopped because star Joan Crawford was unhappy with her role. And while there were talks to rewrite the script and continue prodcution this never came to be.
  13. Vote!

    The Magic 7 (2009)

    Animated movie whose production started in 1990. Several actors recorded their voices since that decade, but after several delays there has been no work on the film since 2009.
  14. Vote!

    Moby Dick (2000)

    Unfinished film by Orson Welles, an edited version of the existing footage was released by the Munich Film Museum
  15. Vote!

    Doomsday Machine (1976)

    The production of the film began in 1967, but was interrupted by lack of money. The rights of the film was purchased and the movie was completed without the original cast or sets.
  16. Vote!

    Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno (2009)

    The film by Clouzot had a production full of problems including high temperatures, illnes of the main actor and a heart attack suffered by the director. After three weeks of filming it was abandoned. The existing footage was released in 2009 as a semi-documentary.
  17. Vote!

    Game of Death (1978)

    The film was unfinished after the unexpected death of its lead actor, Bruce Lee
  18. Vote!

    1 P.M. (1971)

    Film originally called One American Movie, which was an unfinished project by Jean-Luc Godard. Cinematographer D.A. Pennebaker edited and released the existing footage as a documentary.
  19. Vote!

    Number 13 (1922)

    One of Alfred Hitchcok's first films, which was pulled from production after the budget fell out. The handful of scenes that were shot are now considered lost.
  20. Vote!

    Notes Towards an African Orestes (1970)

    Oresteia film project by Pier Paolo Passolini which would be an version of Orestes set in Africa, the film was never shot as Passolini himself decided to abandon the idea. The preparation of the work is shown in this documentary.
  21. Vote!

    The March of Time (????)

    MGM musical originally called Hollywood Revue of 1930. After filming most of the musical numbers MGM considered it to be unmarketable and shelved the project. Many of the musical numbers filmed were later released as shorts.
  22. Vote!

    Don Quixote (1992)

    Orson Welles version of Don Quixote, which was left unfinished because Welles kept working on the script and getting new ideas. All the work done was stored and misslabelled to prevent anyone besides Welles from editing it. Despite this spanish producer Jesús Franco found the footage and made a version of the film.
  23. Vote!

    The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018)

    Film project by Terry Gillian based on spanish novel Don Quixote. The film started pre-production in 1998, but several problems have caused the project to be cancelled several times. As today Gillian has not abandoned the idea of completing the film.
  24. Vote!

    Legion Condor (1939)

    Film about the Nazi airforce that helped Franco defeat the Spanish republic in the Spanish Civil War. After the sign of a Nazi-Soviet pact in 1939, the production of the film was halted to avoid offending the russians who had supported the legal goverment of Spain.
  25. Vote!

    I cavalieri del deserto (1942)

    Italina war film that was going to be directed by Federico Fellini and Vittorio Mussolini. The film was left unfinished after the defeat of the Italian army in North Africa meant the plot could be an embarassment for Mussolini's goverment.
  26. Vote!

    Kato Ajanare (1959)

    Bengali film based on a novel by Mani Shankar Mukherjee, which was almost completed except for one scene which was abandoned due to financial problems, the seven existing reels of films were later restored.
  27. Vote!


    Unfinished crime film directed by Terence Young and starring Charlotte Rampling, James Coburn and Richard Burton. Apparently the film was abandoned due to the schedule of the three stars which made it very hard to have them together.
  28. Vote!

    The Other Side of the Wind (2018)

    Orson Welles project starring John HUston and Peter Bogdanovich, the director worked on and off in the project between 1969 and 1976 before definitively abandoning it. The existing scenes have been screened.
  29. Vote!

    The Professor (1919)

    Film starring Charles Chaplin abandoned after filming only one scene.
  30. Vote!

    Ramkinkar (1975)

    Documentary about sculptor Ramkinkar Baij, the film was about to be completed when the death of the artist prevented the filming of the last scenes.
  31. Vote!

    Slipstream (1967)

    One of the first efforts by a young Steven Spielberg, the film about a bicycle racers was left unfinished when the budget ran out. It was going to be Spielberg's first collaboration with cinematographer Allen Daviau (E.T., Empire of the Sun)
  32. Vote!

    The Story of William Tell (1953)

    Adventure film about Swiss national hero, William Tell, that would have starred Erroll Flynn
  33. Vote!

    Witch's Cradle (1944)

    Unfinished surrealist short silent film starring artist Marcel Duchamp.
  34. Vote!

    On the Silver Globe (1988)

    Production was stopped for ten years, so the final version of the film was released with voice-over narration covering the missing scenes.
  35. Vote!

    Passenger (1963)

    The final film by Andrzej Munk, it was left unfinished when the director was killed in a plane crash while working on the movie.

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