Because of David O. Russell’s spontaneous directing style, a movie like American Hustle is sure to be a treasure trove of deleted scenes. As such, fans of the hit movie, which grossed $149.3 million and earned 10 Oscar nominations, will not be disappointed by the new Blu-ray, out Tuesday, March 18. For a movie that is so much about the acting, it’s fascinating to see the slight variations and wrinkles that the cast experiments with in the 11 deleted or extended scenes.
Remember the montage where Jennifer Lawrence housecleans to “Live and Let Die” as her husband’s elaborately orchestrated ruse begins to unravel — due to her lack of discretion? Well, the Blu-ray has that entire lip-synced performance, as well as a similar version set to Santana’s “Evil Ways.”
There’s also an epilogue for the film that features voiceover from Jeremy Renner’s convicted Camden mayor. Renner was the odd-actor out when it came to year-end awards, but for my money, his performance was one of the film’s highlights. More than any of the other characters, I thought Renner’s Mayor Carmine Polito, who’s sucked into the FBI sting arranged by compromised cons Irving Rosenfeld (Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Adams), really existed in this world — even if his hair defied gravity.
Perhaps Renner’s final soliloquy was cut because the story truly belongs to Irving and Sydney, two partners in love and crime who are only slightly smarter than the feds on their tail. In this exclusive deleted scene, filmed during the sequence where Sydney — or Lady Edith Greensly — vows to use all of her charm to con Richie (Bradley Cooper) after Irving refuses to leave the country with her, Irving pleads with her to finish this one last scam as the British lady she pretends to be. “You have to hold on to what we made,” he says before pleading. “You can cry British.”
Watch the scene below:
Clearly, Russell decided to go in a different direction than leaving Sydney heartbroken and demoralized. The scene that appears in the movie ends with Sydney slapping Irving in the face and threatening to get extremely close with Richie. As we learn, she might be the strongest character in the whole film.