Legendary Movie Scenes Most People Don't Realize Were Actually Improvised.
The scene in which the joker exploded the hospital and starts walking out was actually meant him to walk away while the hospital exploded at his back. But to make that scene more dramatic Heath Ledger (joker), stopped walking and in a moment of improvisation, smiled and messed with the detonator.
#16 The Godfather (1972)
While Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) sentences a man to be beaten for the beating of another mans daughter, the whole time he is stroking a cat on his lap. This was not at all a scripted scene. Coppola, the director of Godfather took the cat and told Brando to improvise with it. The cat loved Brando so much that it sat in his lap during takes for the whole day.
#15 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
When Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is on one of his epic adventures, he comes face to face with a man dressed all in black wielding a large sword. Jones simply pulls out his gun and kills that man in one single shot.
In the original script it was written that the scene will have a long, intense sword fight but the day before Ford got food poisoning and was too weak to do the scene. So he convinced the director to change it so that Jones just shoots his enemy.
#14 The Shining (1980).
In the scene where Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) is chasing after his wife Wendy Torrance (Shelly Duval) through the hotel. Wendy eventually hides in the bathroom but Jack starts hacking the door down with his axe. After making a large whole in the door Jack pokes his head through and says "Here's Johnny!"
This line was not part of Kubrick's original script and was improvised by Jack Nicholson.
#13 Jaws (1975).
While tossing meat into the sea in hope to lure the deadly great white shark closer in an attempt to kill it, Police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) gets his first shocking encounter with the shark and sees how massive it really is. Shocked he stumbles back inside the boat and utters the words "You're gonna need a bigger boat" to Captain Quint (Robert Shaw) this was completely off script but kept in because the director, Spielberg liked it so much.
#12 Reservoir Dogs (1992).
In Tarantino's script it said that Madsen had to cut his victims ear off but didnt give him any specifics about what to do when the ear was in his hand. So madsen improvised all his actions with the ear including the line "Can you hear me now?"
#11 Full Metal Jacket (1987).
Kubrick cast R. Lee Ermey in the role as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman directly after he heard a tape of him shouting insults. Ermey wrote 150 pages of insults and half of his character's dialogue was improvised.
#10 Pretty Woman (1990).
The iconic jewelry box scene, which Gere improvised when he closes the box on Roberts hand. It was a soft jewelry box on her fingers and she gave such a sincere laugh that the director kept it in the picture.
#9 Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).
Did you know that in the Two Towers, when Aragorn kicked the metal helmet and then he shouted, he was not supposed to yell? He was supposed to just kick it. But when he kicked it, Viggo Mortensen broke his toe, and he screamed because of that, and it looked good so they kept it in.
#8 Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
When Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) finally professes her love for Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in The Empire Strikes Back, his scripted reply was "I love you, too." Instead, Harrison Ford says, "I know." This was because Ford thought it was saying "I love you, too." is uncharacteristic of Solo.
#7 The Silence of The Lambs (1991).
The iconic "Hsssss" sound made by Dr Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) while he is telling his story about eating a liver was not in the original script. Anthony Hopkins did that to creep out the cast and decided to leave it in as it was a good way to creep out the audience as well.
#6 Midnight Cowboy (1969).
As Joe Buck (Jon Voight) and Rasto (Dustin Hoffman) walk across a street in New York a real NYC taxi cab drives down the same street and almost hits Hoffman, which leads Hoffman to bash on the hood and shout “I’m walking here!” Hoffman was still completely in his character and reaction was so genuine that director kept it in the actual film.
#5 Good Will Hunting (1997).
Robin Williams improvised by telling a story to Matt Damon about his character's wife farting in bed. This one of the most memorable moments of the film is due to William's improvisation. And the laugh was totally genuine.
#4 Dumb and Dumber (1994).
The most annoying sound in the world was improvised. The line where Lloyd asks Harry if he wants to hear the most annoying sound in the world wasn't in the script. The reactions of his companions was also unscripted.
#3 A Clockwork Orange (1971).
While Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his gang of 'Droogs' perform their horrific acts of violence, McDowell breaks into song and dance. Kubrick filmed the scene several times and was not happy with it each time until he let McDowell do whatever he wanted. McDowell decided to belt out "Singing In The Rain", and Kubrick loved it.
#2 Taxi Driver (1976).
The script written by Paul Schrader only stated that Travis should begin speaking to himself in front of the mirror, without any specific details on what sort of scene to play out. The lines which followed were improvised by DeNiro entirely on the spot. Which was “You talking to me?”
#1 Blade Runner (1982).
Blade Runner's tears in rain monologue was rewritten by Rutger Hauer the night before filming with the line "all those moments will be lost in time, and improvised the rest of the sentence.. like tears in the rain." This line was being added. When Hauer performed the scene, the film crew applauded and some even cried.
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