Are there two versions of The Notebook's ending? If so, why?
Last night, my partner and I watched The Notebook on (UK) Netflix.
At the end of the film, Noah climbs into Allie's bed, where they hold hands and talk about miracles. Cut to birds flying over a lake, followed by the credits. There is no clear indication of their deaths.
However, we both distinctly remember, from previous viewings, an additional scene, in which the couple is discovered, both deceased, the following morning. This is borne out by the Wikipedia plot summary, which ends:
While sleeping, both Noah and Allie pass away and a nurse discovers them in the morning.
Are there two different versions of the film's ending?
If so, how did these come about? Were the two endings perhaps the result of differing censorship requirements in different markets, a special director's cut edition featuring previously unused footage, or simply heavy-handed editing by Netflix for some reason?
Netflix UK/Ireland has posted tweets that it was an alternate version that existed and was supplied to them by mistake. Their claim is:
Things you should know…
– we did not edit the notebook
– an alternate version exists and was supplied to us
– we are getting to the bottom of it asap
– apparently some films have more than one ending?!
One note, this tweet and the outcry that prompted it postdates your question by several months (February of 2019). But, according to Netflix a second version does exist, and that is what was shown.
Esquire posted a similar report, however they speculate that because Netflix actually licensed the film rather than just hosting (Which gives them more rights), that they were providing an alternate ending as a possible prelude to a sequel.