watch a hilarious lost scene from wes anderson's first film

We’re not really sure why the hilarious scene from "Bottle Rocket" didn’t make the final cut.

by André-Naquian Wheeler
13 December 2017, 7:25pm

Screenshot via YouTube

Wes Anderson has always centered his films on misfits and his directorial debut Bottle Rocket (1996) represents the beginnings of this obsession. The often-overlooked film tracks the slapstick hijinks of three wacky dudes (one played by Owen Wilson, in his first-ever role) trying their hardest to be criminals — and failing miserably. The film was not exactly a commercial success, but critics have always had a soft spot for it. This was proven when the the comedy was inducted into the prestigious Criterion Collection in 2008. Ahead of releasing the film on Blu-Ray this week, Criterion has now blessed Wes Anderson diehards with an unseen deleted scene.

The three-minute clip has a fast-paced, comical story arc. (What else would you expect from Wes?) The scene opens with Dignan (Wilson) fanboying over a cop and asking a million questions about his career. Dignan tries to help the cop arrest someone who was in his backyard — only to have the cop stumble upon his weed garden.

Fans are well-versed in Wes’s quirky sense of humor by now. But many viewers didn’t really “get” Bottle Rocket when it first came out. “I feel like I was never more confident than when we made [Bottle Rocket],” Wes revealed in a 2009 interview. “And never less confident than when we screened it.” In the same interview, he recalled sitting in a test screening and watching people leave halfway through the film. “They were leaving in groups. People don’t go to the bathroom in groups,” he joked.

Thankfully, Wes realized the value in his film’s very particular appeal. While he read plenty of audience reviews with missepllings (“suckd” being one), he also found one that restored his confidence in Bottle Rocket. “It was like an outline of a dissertation,” he remembered, “This girl [had] sat there a lot longer than everyone else and she quoted things. I said, ‘This is our audience!’”

Considering Bottle Rocket has now been inducted into the Criterion Collection — which also includes films by the likes of Fellini and Godard — hopefully Wes has now wiped that lukewarm reception from his memory. Because we don't think too many people are taking "bathroom breaks" during his films anymore.

Wes Anderson
Bottle Rocket