It’s the lost Steven Spielberg short film we’ll never see… and it’s hidden amongst the deleted material from one of his most popular movies. Thirty-five years ago, the Raiders of the Lost Ark director partnered with Richard Donner to make another relic hunting favorite, The Goonies, which premiered in theaters on June 7, 1985. Although Donner was the designated director, Spielberg came up with the story and was a frequent presence on set, helming individual shots and even entire sequences. One of those sequences became a minor storyline that was cut from the theatrical version, along with the movie’s original ending. To this day, none of that material has been seen. “They couldn’t find the footage,” Donner said of the missing Spielberg sequences in the 2010 making-of documentary, The Making of a Cult Classic: The Unauthorized Story of ‘The Goonies.’
So what have Spielberg fans missed out on all these years? The adventures of Bonzo and Bertha, two gorillas who escape from the Astoria, Ore. zoo while the titular treasure hunters — Mikey (Sean Astin), Brand (Josh Brolin), Chunk (Jeff Cohen), Mouth (Corey Feldman), Data (Ke Huy Quan), Andy (Kerri Green) and Stef (Martha Plimpton) — are on their subterranean quest to locate long-lost pirate booty before the Fratelli crime family gets to it first. In fact, the Goonies are inadvertently responsible for this primate jailbreak. As scripted by screenwriter, Chris Columbus, and seen in the finished film, one sequence requires the kids to bang on underground pipes, causing havoc in the country club above them.
What we don’t see is that their underground vandalism also frees several zoo animals, including Bonzo and Bertha. “Steven loved the gorillas,” Donner explained in The Making of a Cult Classic. “And I said, ‘You know, if you love them that much, you shoot it.” Once freed from the zoo grounds, Bonzo and Bertha periodically popped up throughout the rest of the film, at one point stealing the red Mustang owned by town bully Troy Perkins (played by Steve Antin), whose real estate mogul father, Elgin, is planning to force the Goonies’ families out of their homes. Surviving storyboards of that scene show the gorillas driving around in a golf cart before upgrading to the Mustang, which is the car they’re driving when they show up for the grand finale, originally set to take place at Mikey and Brand’s house instead of on the beach by One-Eyed Willy’s booby-trap laden pirate caves.
This article was originally posted on yahoo.com/entertainment/.