The Deleted Scenes on the DVDs

The Collector’s Edition and 2012 Blu-ray DVDs contain many (but not all) of the scenes that were cut to keep the film’s running time to a reasonable length. The following describes the scenes as they are named on the DVDs and tells where they would have gone in the film:

Scene Title Description Where It Fits into the Story
On the Way to Hickory On his journey through the countryside, Norman stops in Terhune for gas. There he encounters Junior, nosy owner of the gas station / general store (and coach of the local basketball team, as seen during the sectional game) and his basket-shooting son J. June. Before Norman arrives at Hickory High
Coach Dale and Cletus Walk Through School Cletus explains to Norman the importance of basketball in Hickory. After Norman visits Cletus in his office
Dinner at Cletus’s House Norman has dinner with Cletus and his wife and daughter during his first evening in Hickory. Loetta grills Norman about his personal life. Millie and Cletus mention the barbershop meet-and-greet that will take place that night. After Norman and Cletus talk outside on the farm at sunset
The Harvest The townspeople gather on Rollin Butcher’s 100-acre farm to harvest part of the corn crop by hand. Rollin and Norman discuss the topics of change and progress. After the basketball practice where Whit returns and apologizes and the curious townspeople are thrown out
The Transfer This is actually two separate scenes put together. In the first one, Norman vents his anger at Cletus after learning that Buddy, to avoid having Norman as a coach and teacher, has transferred to Terhune. In the second scene, Myra tells Norman she’ll be attending the first home game that night with her mother. She also compliments Norman on how he handled the difficult pep session that afternoon. The first scene goes after “The Harvest.” (Another scene, not included on the DVDs, came after “The Harvest” and before this one. It showed Norman in his classroom, finding out from the other Huskers that Buddy is absent because he has transferred to Terhune.) The second scene goes after the pep session and before the first home game.
Buddy Asks to Come Back As Loetta tries to engage a reticent Norman in conversation, Buddy arrives and tells Norman he wants to return to Hickory High and rejoin the Huskers. After the first home game against Oolitic
Dinner at Myra’s Norman has dinner with Myra and Opal at their home. Myra is uncomfortable having Norman there and becomes annoyed with her mother’s comments about her. After the sorghum grinding
Encouraging the Team At the end of practice, Norman tells the Huskers they must become a tough team to play against. Then Norman and Everett discuss Shooter. Before Norman visits Shooter at his home in the woods
Waiting for the Vote The Huskers and cheerleaders wait nervously in the church vestibule during the town meeting. They attempt to go in and defend Norman but are turned away at the door. During the meeting, after Myra says “Give him a chance” and before the attendees vote for the first time
Norman Thanks Myra Norman asks Myra why she stood up for him at the town meeting. At the conclusion of the meeting, as everyone is leaving
Praying for Victory In his pregame locker room talk, Norman advises the Huskers to play through their nerves and not to be overconfident. Rev. Doty wants to give the invocation, but Norman prefers that Preacher Purl do so. Before the sectional game
The Haircut As Opal gives Norman a haircut in her dining room, they discuss the upcoming regional game. After Norman visits Shooter in the hospital
The Caravan The team bus and other vehicles line up in downtown Hickory before heading toward Indianapolis and the state finals. All the townspeople are present to see off the Huskers and wish them luck. Norman and Myra discuss the future. After Norman speaks to a mob of reporters in the Hickory gym
  • At the beginning of “The Transfer,” Norman storms into Cletus’s office, saying, “I don’t understand it! What the hell is going on here? How in the hell could somebody transfer two months into the school term to play basketball at another school?” Although Norman doesn’t say so, he’s referring to Buddy.
  • Also in “The Transfer,” Norman asks Myra if she would like to accompany him to an Alan Ladd movie. Because this scene takes place right before the first basketball game of the season, Norman must be referring to Ladd’s film The Iron Mistress, released on November 19, 1952.
  • At the end of “The Transfer,” the writing on the blackboard doesn’t match what Norman was writing a moment before.
  • DA and hackman 2When Norman is reading next to a sunny window in the barn in “Buddy Asks to Come Back,” his book is Brave Men by Ernie Pyle. Pyle, born in Dana, Indiana, was a famous World War II correspondent. His wartime writings were collected in four books.
  • “Dinner at Myra’s” begins in the middle of a conversation about Shooter. Opal tells Norman that in high school Shooter “single-handed won the sectionals” and also played basketball at Franklin College. Now he owns a butchering business and is “good with the hogs, bad with the bottle.”
  • In “Encouraging the Team,” Norman asks Everett if his father has ever tried to give up drinking. Everett responds that Shooter “was sober for one summer about four years back; didn’t last.” This scene was supposed to go right before the scene where Norman offers to make Shooter his assistant coach if Shooter can stay sober.
  • In “Waiting for the Vote,” Loetta complains, “I can’t believe it. All this time we’ve been cheering our hearts out for a bunch of gutless, yellow-bellied windsuckers.” Merle responds, “I tried, Loetta,” and she snaps, “Not hard enough!” Merle’s comment refers to another deleted scene before this one, in which he attempts to convice the other Huskers that they should all enter the sanctuary and stand up for Norman.
  • Norman’s remarks to Rev. Doty in “Praying for Victory” refer to some dialog that was deleted from the beginning of the town meeting scene. Preacher Purl thought Norman should have a chance to speak on his own behalf at the meeting, but Doty disagreed.
  • Some viewers don’t know that Huskers Rade and Whit are brothers. A shot from “The Caravan” indicates this relationship. As the players and fans prepare to depart for the state finals, the Huskers are shown with their loved ones. Rollin Butcher walks toward the team bus with one arm around Whit and the other around Rade. Rade playfully hits Whit with his gym bag.

Read a summary of the original script to learn more about screenwriter/producer Angelo Pizzo’s initial concepts for the film.