LITTLE SHOP: Which Ending Do You Prefer?

Broadway Legend

Searched around but didn't see a thread for this particular question.

I know there have been many discussions about how the original ending to LITTLE SHOP was filmed for the movie but subsequently cut when it got very unfavorable feedback from test audiences. Personally, I think the happier ending does work best for the film and Frank Oz's theory does make a great deal of sense as to why it worked better for cinema audiences.

All that aside, however, I'm just plain curious as to what ending people on here prefer.

Do you like having Seymour and Audrey finally wind up "Somewhere That's Green?"

Or, do you get greater satisfaction watching the villain overcome and devour our poor hero?

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Updated On: 3/28/14 at 09:10 AM
Broadway Star
The original ending was released (finally) on Blu-Ray, etc., and is definitely the one I prefer, as it seems to match the rest of the movie better. You can't have a dark premise and then just plug a happy ending on it just because audiences like it better.

I'm not sure that a well-meaning guy who feeds people to a plant to impress a girl is really a hero, heh.

I don't recall the happy ending ever being tacked onto the musical.
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Chorus Member
I definitely throw my vote for the original downbeat ending. Yeah, it runs on a little too long, but it could have easily been shortened a little, and worked beautifully.
Broadway Legend
The original ending is better but it goes on waaaaayyyyy toooooo looooong.

I get that it was Frank Oz's homage to the pulpy monster movies of yore, but it would have been more effective if it was 3 minutes and not 10.

Also, I'm still pissed that they went through all the trouble to restore the original ending but still left out 90% of "The Meek Shall Inherit".

They could have at least included the whole scene as an extra.
....but the world goes 'round
Broadway Star
Well, I don't know that Oz ever tightened the original ending, since it was discarded. When Little Shop first came out on DVD, it just got popped on as a B&W extra, which freaked out Geffen, who actually recalled the entire run, since he didn't want that ending released. He later claimed he didn't want it released as a b&w work print with some VFX not completed, so that is what was subsequently released. I am unsure if that was Oz's final version or if they just never revisited it again as far as tightening it up, shortening it, etc., or if they just brought that workprint up to release quality.
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Broadway Legend
"Also, I'm still pissed that they went through all the trouble to restore the original ending but still left out 90% of 'The Meek Shall Inherit'.

They could have at least included the whole scene as an extra."

Totally agree, Taz. It's one of my favorite songs in the score, and I adore the filmed sequence.
Broadway Legend
Is there a cut somewhere of the full Meek Shall Inherit? It's so important dramatically that the cut is not just disappointing, but damaging to the piece.

When I popped in the Blu-Ray, I was so very happy to finally see the original ending. Even though the final sequence does go on waaaay too long, I'd still rather sit through that than that Reagan-era happy ending. Ugh.
Broadway Star
I haven't watched the whole movie with the original ending yet, so I don't know certainly if what I'm saying is what I'd truly feel. Still, it seems to me that putting that ending on the rest of the theatrical cut doesn't fully work. The changes from the stage version make Seymour less accountable for these deaths and less deserving of his own demise.

Orin's death is made to look more like an accident than a deliberate refusal to help. (Moranis looks way too freaked out to make me think he acted out of anything other than shock, even with his line near the end of the scene.) Mushnik's death becomes a just one because he tries to blackmail Seymour instead of taking him to the police. (This one is more arguable since Seymour does back Mushnik up to Audrey II's mouth, but it's not as deliberate as tricking Mushnik into opening Audrey II's mouth.) Of course, the portion of "Meek Shall Inherit" where Seymour almost destroys Audrey II and backs down is the part where he's really asking for death, and we never see that. All we get is his guilt and his attempt to run away with Audrey, which makes him seem more empathetic.

For these reasons, I think the original ending wouldn't gel with the rest of the theatrical cut for me.

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Updated On: 3/28/14 at 09:56 AM
Broadway Legend
The original ending, even though it certainly goes on too long, is the superior ending as far as I'm concerned.

With the happy ending, Seymour gets away with several murders scot-free and also gets the girl of his dreams. It goes against the 'cautionary tale' premise of the musical.
"You drank a charm to kill John Proctor's wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!" - Betty Parris to Abigail Williams in Arthur Miller's The Crucible
Broadway Legend
The original ending still doesn't feel "finished" - it goes on way too long with nothing but underscoring and tons of unnecessary destruction. It's still thematically superior and true to the rest of the movie, though. Plus, the death of Audrey is heartbreaking.

I feel like the full "Meek Shall Inherit" was once posted somewhere online- am I imagining that? Or have I read descriptions of it to the point that I feel like I've seen it?
Broadway Legend
I remember seeing a very rough print of the full "Meek Shall Inherit" sequence, either on Youtube or Bluegobo. I actually didn't care for it, as the whole dream sequence aspect of it seemed out of left field to me, and I understood why the decision to cut it was made.
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Broadway Legend
The original ending.. By far. The happy ending negates the entire plot.
It is a morality tale. It is Faust. The point is that you are accountable for your actions and fame and fortune are not worth selling your soul.
"Somewhere That's Green" is a deliciously wonderful song... it is also INCREDIBLY witty. The wit and cleverness is in the fact that Audrey dreams of ending up 'somewhere that's green' with Seymour.. and she does.. IN THE PLANT. Be careful what you wish for.

Was the filmed 'original' ending perfect? No, But VERY Godzilla and I appreciate it. Nevertheless, I will take it over the tacked on happy ending any day.
Leading Actor
I prefer the downbeat ending, though I agree it needs to be re-worked.
I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being. ``oscar wilde``
I only have the original black and white extras version on the recalled DVD. Although I liked it, it was too long and without any underscoring it just seemed overly bleak. Did they make any changes on this new Bluray release that would make it worth getting?
Broadway Legend
Art has a double face, of expression and illusion.
The ending of the play is infinitely better. The reason why the original ending didn't work in the movie is because in the movie, Audrey II placed Seymour into his/her mouth screaming and the Don't feed the plants montage was too long, it all seemed to tragic. Little Shop at it's base is more farcical and not to be taken seriously. Also, in the musical Seymour runs into the plant's mouth trying to kill it so he dies the hero rather than the victim
Broadway Legend
I prefer the ending that puts the greedy, selfish murderer inside the plant. It is far more fitting -- and is the intent of the original show.

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Broadway Legend
So I DID see "Meek Shall Inherit!" I couldn't recall.

The song is one of the best in the already pretty fantastic score- but the approach they took with the dream sequences was a bit too knowingly camp.
Broadway Legend
Watching the new Blu-ray with the extended (way too extended) ending, I actually prefer the theatrical version. Yes, it's upbeat, but it's also very tongue-in-cheek, and it works well. The "director's cut" is actually just a way-too-long ending with everybody dying and the plant taking over the city. It lasts too long. While I thought it was cool at first, it left me kinda numb (as in bored). When the credits rolled, I realized this ending sucked the life right out of the movie. I can see why this tested so poorly.

That said, I actually prefer the shorter version of this ending that you can still find on Vimeo and other sites. It also includes extended versions of "Some Fun Now," "The Meek Shall Inherit," etc. The plant devouring the city lasts half the length of the "director's cut" and it works a lot better, even if it's a downer ending.

So I ultimately prefer this cut that isn't available (legally) in any format.

But between the Blu-ray "director's cut" and the "original theatrical ending," I prefer the original theatrical ending. No contest.

"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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Updated On: 3/28/14 at 06:57 PM
Just watched the newly added ending on youtube, as I have the recalled version.

Far too long. How many Audrey II's do we need busting through buildings. Reminds me of the Kool Aid commercials: "OHHH YEAAA!"

I think there is also a disconnect between the imagery and the catchy song (A problem I find in most modern movie musicals) they don't seem to merge well, and having the song loop for so long is silly. They could have integrated more movement and dance.

HOWEVER, having now seen this restored version of the "original" ending, I can say I like both endings. And I'm always in favor of more screen time for those Fantastic Doo Wop Girls. The girls they chose for the movie are the best by far, IMHO. Such strong voices and blending.
Mr. Nowack
Broadway Star
Wow, that shorter cut works so much better. I had always assumed that they never got around to trimming down the full version of the finale, and that was why they released the overly long version on the Blu-ray. I guess they actually did!

As for which ending I prefer, definitely the original. even though the released version is too long, the alternate version is just so unsatisfying and as people have said, completely clashes with the film's themes up to that point.

That "Meek Shall Inherit" sequence was all wrong, I guess I see why they cut it. As much as I love the song and what it does for the story, that concept was a little too corny and took out some of the dramatic edge of the song. I do love what I assume was a slight homage to SINGIN' IN THE RAIN with Audrey's long scarf or whatever propelled up into the air.

I totally agree about the trio, they're sensational. It's too bad a lot of their smaller stuff was cut from the movie.
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Broadway Legend
I haven't seen the "downbeat" filmed ending, but since the original show accomplished the same thing in 4 lyric lines, i have to wonder why the film ending needed to be long. Sounds like the problem was indulgence, not tone.

For the record, the original ending on stage wasn't really "downbeat", it was outrageous and exhilarating! True, Audrey's death had pathos because it was a classic example of "be careful what you wish for", as others have said (and because Ellen Greene is so sympathetic).

But by the time the plant took over the world, everyone in the audience was doubled over with laughter.
Broadway Legend
Frank Oz explains on one of the commentaries that they wanted it to feel like one of those B monster movies from the 50s.

It's a cute idea and it works in the cinematic medium, but it simply goes on too long.

I will say that it looks fabulous. The sequence must have cost more than the rest of the movie to film and the special effects are impressive.

....but the world goes 'round
Updated On: 3/28/14 at 09:55 PM
Broadway Legend
Little Shop is a morality play. The original ending is what works. Though the uncut movie version was just way way too long. Audrey asks to be fed to the plant knowing her life is at an end, knowing it will benefit Seymour and finally she can be "Somewhere that's green". Seymour, realizing the plant is evil tries to kill it. "In there, inside that pod, I will hack you to bits!". He dies a hero. He is not rewarded for his being an accomplice in two murders.
I was working on Sesame Street at that time Marty Robinson and Ellen Green were an item back then. When she was called back to reshoot the ending she was pissed as hell! A morality tale doesn't work if you just say your sorry and then get what you want.... unless you are an Evangelican Christian.
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Deena Jones
Broadway Legend
What ever happened to Rick Moranis?!
Broadway Legend
Moranis, among other issues related to his family and personal life, has agoraphobia which has intensified with time. He rarely goes out in public now, but has recorded comedy and country albums from the comfort of his home.