- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
Some of the most famous movie scenes of all time cannot be credited to the film’s screenwriter or director, but rather to the actors themselves. When actors improvise, it can create some of the most authentic scenes because, well, they truly are authentic.
Occasionally actors are asked to do this, but more often than not, they choose to stay in character even when something goes haywire on set. In one instance, an actor uses improv when he is almost run over by a car, and in another, when a drunk extra enters the scene! In other cases, actors were simply goofing around with their lines and the other actors.
Instead of these scenes ending up in the bloopers, they are seen in the final cut of the movie. Improv even makes for some of the most iconic scenes of all time. Which of your favorite movie scenes were originally mistakes? Read on to find out! (Note: some videos contain graphic violence and adult language.)
10) The Usual Suspects
This 1995 film follows a con man who has to relay to the police his version of events that led up to a crime scene on a boat. In the most famous scene, the five main characters have to line up for the police and repeat a line for them. It was originally supposed to be a serious scene, but the actors couldn’t keep their act together on set. Director Bryan Singer became so fed up that he just let them improvise the scene, and the result is what appeared in the movie. The actors’ laughter here is all authentic!
In the famous scene where the alien bursts out of a man’s upper body, the other characters' reactions are all real. Director Ridley Scott intentionally didn’t tell most of the actors what exactly was going to happen to the man and what special effects would be used, so their looks of pure horror are… pure horror.
8) Silence of the Lambs
In this 1991 horror film, serial killer Hannibal Lecter tells FBI Agent Clarice, “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti,” and then hisses. Actor Anthony Hopkins meant the hiss to be a funny joke, but it’s now one of the creepiest scenes in the movie.
7) Taxi Driver
An ad-libbed scene turned into one of the most famous lines of all time in Taxi Driver. Robert De Niro wasn’t given any lines in the script for the scene when he looks at himself in the mirror, but when he started talking to his reflection on a whim, “Are you talkin’ to me?” went down in history.
6) Pretty Woman
In this classic romantic comedy, Richard Gere snapped the necklace case shut on Julia Roberts’ hand as a spur of the moment trick. Her reaction and laugh, however, were so great that the scene made the final cut of the movie.
5) Midnight Cowboy
In the 1969 drama Midnight Cowboy, this scene was shot with hidden cameras on a street with real people and traffic because the crew couldn’t get a permit to shut down a New York street. When a taxi cut off the actors, Dustin Hoffman shouted, “I’m walkin’ here!” in this famous scene.
4) Being John Malkovich
During the filming of Being John Malkovich, some of the extras snuck beer onto the set and got buzzed. In this scene, a couple of these rebellious extras drive a car by the main characters, and one throws a beer can at Malkovich’s head, yelling, “Think fast, Malkovich!” Instead of getting thrown off set, the directors loved the scene, and even upped the extra’s pay!
3) The Dark Knight
In the famous scene where the Joker blows up Gotham General Hospital, there wasn’t supposed to be a delay in the explosions. When Heath Ledger realized that the explosions weren’t on time, he stayed in character and fiddled with the detonator until they happened. It’s now one of the most well-known scenes in the movie.
2) When Harry Met Sally
In the famous fake orgasm scene in this classic movie, the line “I’ll have what she’s having,” isn’t said by an actress, but by director Rob Reiner’s mother, who happened to be on set that day!
1) The Shining
In this Stephen King horror film, Jack Nicholson chops through the bathroom door where his wife is hiding, sticks his head through the hole, and declares, “Here’s Johnny!” This famous line was improvised by Nicholson in reference to the introduction to Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show.
Image: Youtube Screenshot