A Beautiful Mind: Eli Reed
Mari Cartel
December 18, 2001 AT 05:00 AM EST

Maybe one day there’ll be a great movie made up of all the steamy love scenes that were edited out of Russell Crowe’s films. In 1995’s ”The Quick and the Dead,” director Sam Raimi storyboarded but never shot Crowe and Sharon Stone getting hot and heavy. Last year, the Gladiator hunk’s on-screen tête-à-tête with Meg Ryan was chopped from ”Proof of Life.” And now comes word that his coupling with Jennifer Connelly for ”A Beautiful Mind” has hit the cutting-room floor.

While director Ron Howard denies such puritanical parsing, cinematographer Roger Deakins says a love scene was lost to improve the flow of the film — in which Crowe plays a troubled mathematician. ”It didn’t go very far,” Deakins says of the forsaken footage. ”It wouldn’t have been a big deal.” Try telling that to Crowe’s fans, perhaps hoping to glimpse a beautiful behind.

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