June 24, 2004 -- YOU won't be seeing more of Colin Farrell this summer. One of the most buzzed about movie scenes of the season - his full-frontal nude turn in "A Home at the End of the World" - has been chopped because it was considered too distracting.
Audience members of both sexes cheered Farrell's full monty in test screenings of the art-house drama at downtown theaters - disrupting what was supposed to be a poignant scene.
"That was never what we intended," producer John Hart told The Post yesterday.
"None of us are prudish, Colin Farrell least of all, but when we saw that it was pulling people out of the movie - why would we do that to the story?"
Veteran Broadway director Michael Mayer, making his first feature film, decided to crop the scene - in which Farrell's character walks out of a bedroom in his East Village apartment wearing his birthday suit - so the actor is naked only to his navel.
The R-rated "Home," which is being released July 23 by Warner Independent Pictures, is a powerful New York-set drama about an unusual love triangle.
Farrell plays an emotionally scarred Ohioan who moves in with gay childhood pal Jonathan (Dallas Roberts) and winds up falling in love with his free-spirited roommate, Clare (Robin Wright Penn).
Based on a novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham ("The Hours"), the film is still far from strait-laced even without the nude scene - Farrell and Roberts kiss, and Sissy Spacek smokes a joint.
The makers of "Home," which Variety called "touching" and "emotionally rich" in a review on Tuesday, are not concerned about losing audiences because of the excised scene.
"If that's their reason for coming, I have no interest in them seeing the movie," Hart says. "That crowd is not going to get it - this is a movie dealing with very sensitive issues and it's a very moving film."
But Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, for one, is devastated.
"I was going to be the first on line for the movie," quipped the self-professed Farrell fan.
"As a movie critic, of course, I want whatever's best for the filmmaking process, but as a person, I like to see genitalia as freely as possible."
But those who saw the original version - which recently won the HBO Audience Award at the Provincetown Film Festival - say moviegoers are not missing much.
Farrell has nothing to be ashamed of, but he's "no Ewan McGregor," says free-lance film critic Howard Feinstein, who liked the movie.
"The scene was not titillating," Feinstein says. "He is merely walking from room to room, and it's a very brief scene."
Elle magazine film critic Karen Durbin saw the movie a couple of months ago and - gasp! - has no memory of the supposedly show-stopping scene.
"I'm sorry to say that a frontally naked Colin Farrell does not stay in my memory," she says somewhat sheepishly.
"I usually have a pretty vivid memory for nude scenes but I can't even recall it."
A handful of other preview audience members contacted by The Post yesterday also had trouble remembering details about the blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene, which is just a few seconds long.
"Probably that's why I don't remember," says Durbin. "I certainly don't want to insult the guy, God knows he's cute enough."
Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations, says chatter about the full frontal scene has already helped raise the film's profile.
"They'll still get an audience for it simply because people have heard of the movie," he says.
"There will be those that will be disappointed, but if they're going to the movie just to see full frontal there's plenty of pornography out there."
As for exactly how much the buzzed-about scene may have affected the box office?
"I can't put a dollar figure on that," he says.