A SCRAPPED ENDING … AND A MUCH BETTER ONE
Reiner: You see those four horses? At the end of the movie, we had a scene where Peter Falk leaves and the little boy picks up the book and is leafing through it, wanting to relive the book again. And he hears a voice outside his window and sees the four white horses with the four heroes on it, waving at him.
In order to find a horse that could carry Andre, we had to find a pulley system to lower him onto the horse, to take the weight off the horse.
They shot the sequence, but Reiner decided during the editing that it didn’t work. A more meaningful ending was written and shot later between the old man and the sick little kid.
Reiner: What Peter does here, I love: It’s an old man getting ready to leave.
[Falk stands, puts on his jacket, and slowly frisks himself.]
Reiner: I find myself doing that now. ‘Do I have that thing…?’
Reitman: It’s perfect, because we don’t want the movie to end there.
Reiner: This is the reshoot. This is the ending we shot new.
Fred Savage’s little boy is onscreen, saying: ‘Maybe you could come over and read it again to me tomorrow?’
Falk’s character answers: ‘As you wish …’
Which, as we learned earlier, actually means something much more.