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NY explosion cut from movie

By KAREN BUTLER

NEW YORK, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington has Hollywood re-thinking some of its movies.

A scene where the New York, New York hotel in Las Vegas explodes was removed from the final cut of "Ocean's Eleven" after Sept. 11.

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Andy Garcia, one of the movie's stars, recently told reporters that the scene was innocently designed to show his rich casino-owner character tearing down an old hotel in order to build a new one.

"We were never bombing New York, New York," said the film's producer Jerry Weintraub. "It was just the hotel. You can not tie us into 9-11, no matter how you try."

"We had to implode a new hotel to build a new one," Garcia said. "My character was building an entire new structure and it just so happens that we chose New York, New York, because when you look at it from the point of view of where we were standing on top of this roof, you saw New York, New York and later on we just changed the point of view. It wasn't important that it was New York, it was just important that it be an older hotel in Vegas that we dismantled to build a whole, new structure."

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Matt Damon, who also appears in the hit movie, joked: "Actually, there was a line at the end of the movie originally that just said, 'No casinos were harmed in any way during the filming of this movie,'" pointing out that the New York, New York scene was filmed using movie magic, not real explosives.

Added Weintraub: "We just thought it would be a real goof to take down all of New York like that at that time. The roller coaster ... and all the hotel."

Although the Big Apple has been the site of many cinematic catastrophes and alien invasions in the past, in light of the tragedies of Sept. 11, many reporters who had seen the "Ocean's Eleven" scene in previews thought it seemed disturbing and inappropriate and were glad to hear it didn't make the final cut.

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