Man at His Best

12 Iconic Movie Moments That Were Actually Made Up On The Spot

Scripts are for losers.

BY Rosie Fletcher | Dec 7, 2016 | Film & TV


Cinema is full of iconic moments. But sometimes these moments never appeared in the finished script.

With regular ad-libbing and improvisation as well as genuine mistakes being frequent occurrences on film sets, it's not surprising that some of the best-loved movie moments from cinema history almost never happened.

Check out these 12 iconic but unscripted movie moments—a few might surprise you.

1. Daniel Craig does an Ursula Andress in Casino Royale (2006)

It was a powerful introduction to 'James Blonde' Daniel Craig in the rebooted Bond series—Craig is swimming in the Bahamas in teeny blue shorts when he spies the hot wife of one of big baddie Le Chiffre's goons, riding by on a horse—he's planning to pummel her for information later. Bond stands up in the sea, the ladies swoon, and we all love him for referencing and gender-reversing the famous Ursula Andress entrance from Dr. No. Perfect. Only apparently it was an accident.

"Where we filmed, off the Bahamas, it's just one of those places where there is a sand shelf and the sand shelf happens to be three feet deep. Because the idea was, I was supposed to swim in and sort of float off, but I swim in and stand up. And it was just one of those things," Craig told The Telegraph. "I had no idea I would be haunted by it for the rest of my life."

2. DiCaprio cuts his hand for real—Django Unchained (2012)

While giving a speech over dinner, Calvin Candie (Leo DiCaprio) unexpectedly erupts into a foul-mouthed tirade and slams his hand on the table causing blood to visibly trickle down his hand. This was a genuine accident on the set but Tarantino continued to film as DiCaprio never broke character. He received a standing ovation from the cast and crew once the scene was over.

3. The most annoying sound in the world—Dumb & Dumber (1994)

Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels) pick up a hitchhiker (actually a hitman) and proceed to engage in some childish antics culminating in Lloyd enlightening the hitman on what the most annoying sound in the world sounds like. Jim Carrey's improvisation provides an incredibly funny moment, made even better by the quick glimpse of Jeff Daniels cracking up before the camera cuts away.

4. The Joker looks bemused as the hospital explodes—The Dark Knight (2008)

Heath Ledger's turn as Batman's deadliest foe earned the late actor a posthumous Oscar. One of his most memorable scenes is when he is leaving the hospital dressed as a nurse. He looks back and forth between the hospital and the remote detonator in his hand expressing confusion before it eventually blows up; an aspect improvised when the timed explosions were delayed without Ledger's knowledge.

5. "You hear that?"—Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) cuts off the ear of the cop they've got tied up in the warehouse, proceeding to then speak into the organ: "Hey what's going on? You hear that?" before laughing to himself. Tarantino had nothing scripted for Madsen to do once the ear was off, so he improvised this darkly comic moment of dialogue, heightening the impact of an already disturbing scene.

6. "Here's Johnny!"—The Shining (1980)

In one of The Shining's most iconic scenes, Jack (Jack Nicholson) begins chopping through a door with an axe before sticking his head through and proclaiming "Here's Johnny!". Nicholson had tried other lines but nothing seemed to fit. He eventually decided on this line in reference to a popular catchphrase of the time—the intro to The Johnny Carson Show.

7. Hannibal Lecter's hiss noise—The Silence of The Lambs (1991)

The infamous 'f-f-f-f' noise Lecter makes at the end of his 'liver and Chianti' story was in fact made up by Anthony Hopkins during a rehearsal. Director Jonathan Demme liked it so much it stayed and it went on to become one of the film's most infamous scenes. Anthony Hopkins would go on to earn an Academy Award despite having less than 25 minutes of screen time.

8. "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk"—Dr Strangelove – (1964)

Peter Sellers improvised so many of his lines, he was credited as a co-writer. One standout moment comes near the film's climax. While in character as the wheelchair-bound Dr Strangelove, Sellers stands up before uttering the line "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk". He had momentarily forgotten that his character was supposed to be disabled.

9. "I love you", "I know"—The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Seconds before being frozen in carbonite, Han Solo responds to Princess Leia's declaration of love with the slightly cocky response "I know". It's pretty badass but it was never in the script. The original line was supposed to be "I love you too" but Harrison Ford didn't think it fit and so changed it. It has since become one of the franchise's most quoted lines.

10. Alvy sneezes into the cocaine—Annie Hall (1977)

Alvy (Woody Allen) sneezes into a cocaine-filled container, sending the white powder everywhere. The sneeze was genuine and Allen ultimately decided to use this take in the finished film when the response from test audiences proved to be very positive. In fact, Allen had to do a re-edit to ensure no ensuing dialogue would be lost amongst any potential laughter.

11. The story of the flatulent wife—Good Will Hunting (1997)

Will (Matt Damon) is at one of his therapy sessions when his therapist Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) tells him a story of his wife and her farting habit. This whole scene was made up by Williams on the spot and Damon's laughing is completely genuine. If you look closely, you can even spot the camera shaking due to the cameraman laughing as well.

12. Indy shoots a black-robed would-be assailant—Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

You know this one already, right? This scene was originally intended to be a full-on sword fight. However, Harrison Ford was reported to have been struck with food poisoning and didn't feel up to swishing a sword around. Ford made the suggestion to Spielberg to just take out a gun and "shoot the sucker" which Spielberg loved. The result is one of the film's most memorable laugh-out-loud moments.


From: Digital Spy