“Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The
Sometimes the best moments in movies were complete accidents. Here are 9 examples.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey. Stanley Kubrick was originally going use Felix Mendelssohn’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” during the rotating space station scene, but one of his friends introduced Strauss’ “The Blue Danube” waltz during the editing process and he thought it worked better. Kubrick re-edited the scene to the new piece of music.
- The Usual Suspects. The iconic criminal lineup scene in The Usual Suspects was supposed to be dramatic and intense, but Benicio Del Toro farted throughout the whole scene, which made the rest of the cast laugh. The scene was then re-purposed to be more comedic, giving it a bit more edge than if the actors played it straight.
- Midnight Cowboy. The iconic scene from Midnight Cowboy features Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman crossing a busy New York street while a taxi almost hits Hoffman. Apparently, the scene was real and a taxi cab almost hit the actor, who didn’t break character, but rather worked with what was in front of him.
- Night of the Dead. George Romeo cast Duane Jones as the lead role in Night of the Living Dead because he was the best actor for the role and not because he was black. Romeo’s first film is full of social commentary because the white actors never say anything about Jones’ race. So over the years, Night of the Living Dead was viewed as a socially complex movie, even though Romeo never intended for that to happen.
- Breathless. One of the producers asked Jean-Luc Godard to make his debut film Breathless shorter, so instead of taking out scenes, he simply cut out slow moments to speed up the action. He also created a filmmaking editing technique called the “jump cut,” which is still used today.
- Easy Rider. During the trippy New Orleans scene in Easy Rider, Dennis Hopper just shot fun scenes without any regard for story or continuity, as if he were shooting home movies. Sometimes the camera would be out of focus, which gave the scene a trippy and drug-induced effect.
- Lord of the Rings. At the beginning of The Two Towers, Viggo Mortensen kicks an Orc helmet and drops to the ground screaming out of frustration that he lost Merry and Pippin. The moment wasn’t scripted and Viggo Mortensen was caught up in the emotion of the scene. It turned out that the Orc’s helmet was made from solid steel and he broke a few of his toes.
- Being John Malkovich. After John Malkovich finds out that people are climbing into his head to experience his life, he is spit out from the mysterious portal onto the side of the New Jersey Turnpike. As he walks away, someone in a truck hits him in the head with a beer can. As it turns out, the whole moment was unscripted and a few extra got really drunk while performing the scene over and over again. Director Spike Jonze like the moment, so he kept it in the movie.
- Casino Royale. While shooting the beach scene in the movie, Daniel Craig accidently came across a sand bank in the water, which forced him to emerge. The script called for him to simply float away, but the director liked the image of Daniel Craig emerging from the water that they kept it in the movie. It also a reference to past Jame Bond movies, only with female characters instead.