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25 Greatest Unscripted Scenes in Films
August 16, 2011 5:04 AM   Subscribe


 
See, SEE?! A reach around is common courtesy!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:23 AM on August 16, 2011 [20 favorites]


Not a great list:

- The compiler tells you to leave the captions on for explanations, but most of the captions don't give you any more information than "This scene/line is improvised."

- Also, the compiler doesn't seem to know the difference between "unscripted" and "improvised"; I doubt that R. Lee Ermey's lines were improvised on the spot. (Wasn't the "steers and queers" thing used in An Officer and a Gentleman?)

- And, really, they could have used a lot more Bill Murray; big chunks of Stripes and Ghostbusters were improvised.

That having been said, some of this was news to me.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:33 AM on August 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think the "steers and queers" thing was pretty standard DI ranting.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:35 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good to see that he didn't include Indiana Jones shooting the scimitar-wielding guy in Raiders, since it didn't happen for the reason most people think.
posted by pmurray63 at 5:35 AM on August 16, 2011 [17 favorites]




Unscripted does not mean improvised, it just means it wasn't in the script. Actors and directors often come up with good ideas on set.
posted by Pendragon at 5:49 AM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Actors and directors often come up with good ideas on set.

Someone please tell Michael Bay this.
posted by Fizz at 5:59 AM on August 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


I doubt that R. Lee Ermey's lines were improvised on the spot.

I don't. He's a retired U.S. Marine Corps Drill Instructor. Those guys talk like that in their sleep. No scriptwriter could do it better. The script probably just said "Do some DI stuff."
posted by three blind mice at 6:09 AM on August 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


While not strictly improvised, the iconic "Funny like a clown?" scene in Goodfellas was written and directed by Joe Pesci at Scorsese's request.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:19 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I doubt that R. Lee Ermey's lines were improvised on the spot.

I don't. He's a retired U.S. Marine Corps Drill Instructor. Those guys talk like that in their sleep. No scriptwriter could do it better. The script probably just said "Do some DI stuff."


Famously, Ermey was hired as a replacement for the actor who was originally cast as Hartmann (Ermey was initially hired as a technical advisor). During rehearsals, Kubrick was impressed that Ermey could improvise a profanity-ridden tirade for twenty minutes without repeating himself.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:20 AM on August 16, 2011 [18 favorites]


pmurray63: "Good to see that he didn't include Indiana Jones shooting the scimitar-wielding guy in Raiders, since it didn't happen for the reason most people think"

this was a great article, thanks
posted by I am the Walrus at 6:30 AM on August 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


since it didn't happen for the reason most people think

I think, like most good legends, there can be some doubt as to what really happened, but why are you so quick to believe this guy telling a new version of the story, and not Ford himself? Simply because it casts Spielberg in a less-flattering light?
posted by dirtdirt at 6:48 AM on August 16, 2011


Famously, Ermey was hired as a replacement for the actor who was originally cast as Hartmann (Ermey was initially hired as a technical advisor). During rehearsals, Kubrick was impressed that Ermey could improvise a profanity-ridden tirade for twenty minutes without repeating himself.

Also, when Ermey said the bit about the reach-around, Kubrick stopped him because he didn't know what a reach-around was, so Ermey explained it to him.

Imagine that conversation.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:12 AM on August 16, 2011 [24 favorites]


Unscripted does not mean improvised...
This.
There's no way in hell "Here's looking at you, kid." was Bogey winging it with the camera rolling. The scene was obviously set-up, blocked, lit, etc. for that line. The history of Casablanca was that the script was almost constantly being revised as they were shooting, so, while HLAYK may not have been in the current shooting script, it's pretty much guaranteed it went through the writer/director/cinematographer mill before being shot.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:13 AM on August 16, 2011


Plus 'Here's looking at you, kid' was said like six times previously in the movie, particularly during the Paris flashback. The line wasn't scripted in that it's something Bogart started saying to Bergman on the set, and they put it into the film. But they didn't get to the last week of shooting and say 'Um, oh maybe Rick says something neat to Ilsa! How about he calls her a kid.'
posted by shakespeherian at 7:17 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


That video listed the "I know" scene from "Empire Strikes Back," which is commonly known as being not what was originally written.

But to get a great understanding of that (I couldn't do it justice here on MetaFilter), pick up the book "The Making of Empire Strikes Back." Why? Well, during the filming of that scene, someone recorded the behind-the-scenes banter of the director, cast and crew. And it goes on for multiple pages. What you get is the tension between everyone, Ford, Fisher, etc. and how things for that scene were done on the fly. Say what you will about the Star Wars saga, but the price of that book alone is worth it for the pages of transcribed conversations during the carbon freezing of Han Solo.
posted by fijiwriter at 7:22 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


That article really is fantastic, thanks pmurray. I always thought that scene happened because Harrison Ford was tired after a long day of shooting. Didn't suspect it was really Spielberg's fault.

Loved this line:

I suppose the time that really sums up how similar we were was when I was walking along and Harrison’s kid came up, took hold of my hand and walked along with me — until I started to speak, which made him look up, scream and run off.

Scarred for life!
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:23 AM on August 16, 2011


Ah when Rutger Hauer and DeNiro were hot.
posted by stormpooper at 7:45 AM on August 16, 2011


They forgot one of my favorites. From The Philadelphia Story, when Stewart drunkenly heads over to Cary Grant's house ("Ohh C.K. Dexter HAAAAAVENNNN!"). While sitting in the "talking room" Stewart hiccups, and Grant says IIRC "excuse you". Improvised. One of the greatest movies ever made.
posted by asavage at 8:00 AM on August 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Excuse me!
posted by villanelles at dawn at 8:15 AM on August 16, 2011


Famously, Ermey was hired as a replacement for the actor who was originally cast as Hartmann (Ermey was initially hired as a technical advisor). During rehearsals, Kubrick was impressed that Ermey could improvise a profanity-ridden tirade for twenty minutes without repeating himself.

Might be apocryphal, but I heard somewhere that he did this on tape, and during the whole rant, someone was tossing tennis balls at his head to see if he could/would derail. He didn't miss a beat, or so the story goes.
posted by jquinby at 8:17 AM on August 16, 2011


Ermey's probably pretty comfortable with the improv thing. There's a bit in Seven where a phone starts ringing, he picks it up, says, "This idn't even my desk," and hangs up. IIRC, they were shooting in a real police station, and the phone just rang, and he answered it, and the director kept it.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:23 AM on August 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, the scene that Pacino and DeNiro have together in Heat was pretty much entirely unscripted. Thought that would be in the video.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:24 AM on August 16, 2011


Ah when Rutger Hauer and DeNiro were hot.
posted by stormpooper


I take it you haven't seen Hobo With a Shotgun?
posted by COBRA! at 8:32 AM on August 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Maybe not culturally significant, but in Zoolander when David Duchovny's character is explaining to Derek Zoolander why they brainwash male models, Ben Stiller misses his line and repeats his previous line, "But why male models?"

David Duchovny pauses briefly and improvises, "Are you serious? I just told you that. A moment ago."
posted by yeti at 8:35 AM on August 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


If we're talking improvised lines here, "This man has no dick" from "Ghostbusters" really ought to be in there.

*Also, I really hope I live in a world will Bill Murray really does randomly walk up behind people, put his hands over their eyes and says, "Guess who?" and when they turn around, he says, "And no one will believe you." I really hope this is the world I live in. A world without this actually happening would be so wrong.
posted by zizzle at 8:35 AM on August 16, 2011 [23 favorites]


If the annotation on the video is to be believed, I would give Dustin Hoffman the nod for the Midnight Cowboy scene. To be able to stay completely in character when a completely unplanned (and possibly dangerous) event occurs says a lot about deeply in-character he was.
posted by superelastic at 8:41 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a mistake. None of these are from Mike Leigh movies.
posted by koeselitz at 8:46 AM on August 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


(Also, some of these are pretty thin for "improvised scenes." Anthony Hopkins saying "hsss" in Silence Of The Lambs? How is that even a line?)
posted by koeselitz at 8:53 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


So now I can not only blame Kubrick for ruining "Singing in the Rain" for me, I can blame McDowell himself.
posted by hellbient at 9:00 AM on August 16, 2011


One of my favourites is from His Girl Friday. Cary Grant says a character "looks like that fellow in the movies, Ralph Bellamy" who was the actor playing the guy he was referring to.
posted by ODiV at 9:01 AM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


(Also, some of these are pretty thin for "improvised scenes." Anthony Hopkins saying "hsss" in Silence Of The Lambs? How is that even a line?)

It wasn't even an improvisation, really. After Hopkins finished delivering the line and the shot was done, he did the little lip-sucking thing as a joke. He was breaking character for humor. Demme kept it in.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:02 AM on August 16, 2011


I was expecting the Cuckoo Clock speech from The Third Man.

Don't know if it counts as "unscripted" but Greene (the screenwriter) credits it to Welles.
posted by gauche at 9:08 AM on August 16, 2011


As has been mentioned before there really is a huge difference between improvised and unscripted. The Rutger Hauer scene in Blade Runner isn't improvised, it may not appear in that days script pages but every book on the subject relates how Hauer called Scott over before the scene because he had some ideas (including using lines from previous drafts, according to producer Micahel Deeley's book). So when they ran the scene, they all knew what was going to happen.

When something's improvised on the spot though, that's a whole different kind of magic (and in my experience sometimes it works, sometimes it's a disaster and you need to persuade the actor it's not a great idea going down that route).
posted by ciderwoman at 9:13 AM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I always imagine Nicholas Cage's body movements in the wolf scene in Moonstruck. I read that the script had instructed him to play it pretty angry, glower at her, etc., and instead he pulls out the little "let me fluff my wolfy sideburns" bit and makes light of the whole thing, like it's another defense mechanism he has. It makes his transition into frustration/anger when he flips the table so much better. It's the little improvisational tricks like that which get me.
posted by introp at 9:19 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This'd be a good time to rewatch another Cary Grant movie The Awful Truth, half of which apparently was improvised. Cary Grant also got much of his Cary Grantness from the director, Leo McCarey.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:20 AM on August 16, 2011


That Joker bit, where the hospital explosion fizzles out at first, and Heath Ledger's sort of frustrated reaction. That's the only moment I really took away from that movie. Lots of big deal stunts and explosions and scenery chewing, but the timing of that bit and the exploding hospital that followed immediately afterward -- that's the only thing that struck me as genuinely fresh and worth the trouble.

So good list for this inclusion alone.
posted by philip-random at 9:38 AM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


How can "Game over, man!" make the list?! Ugh.
posted by neuromodulator at 9:40 AM on August 16, 2011


And, to clarify, the "tears in the rain" bit from Blade Runner was written by Rutger Hauer, but he didn't come up with it while the cameras were running. He wrote it beforehand and then (if I recall correctly) called Ridley Scott into his trailer to pitch the lines.
posted by neuromodulator at 9:42 AM on August 16, 2011


That Joker bit, where the hospital explosion fizzles out at first, and Heath Ledger's sort of frustrated reaction. That's the only moment I really took away from that movie. Lots of big deal stunts and explosions and scenery chewing, but the timing of that bit and the exploding hospital that followed immediately afterward -- that's the only thing that struck me as genuinely fresh and worth the trouble.

So good list for this inclusion alone.


That beat was not improvised. You can see it in the pre-visualization animation they used to plan and storyboard the scene, which is on the blu-ray.
posted by EmGeeJay at 9:46 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Neither was the Malkovich bit, for that matter. The only source for that bit of trivia is a YouTube video (with screened comments) where someone pretending to be Spike Jonze relates that anecdote in a fake clip from a DVD commentary that doesn't exist.

Which is appropriately Kaufman-esque, I guess.
posted by EmGeeJay at 9:48 AM on August 16, 2011


I had to come back in and add this:

In a recent podcast, about the movieMidnight Run, Charles Grodin is quoted as revealing that the scene where he repeats his line "Why are you so unpopular with the Chicago police department?," it turns out that the repeat is because the cameras were running while he and De Niro were rehearsing and running lines. The repeat is not scripted -- Grodin is just re-starting the on-the-fly rehearsal sequence with De Niro.

Back to the vision quest...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:48 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can't access this at work (shh), so -- please tell me they have the whisper-in-the-ear at the end of Lost In Translation, yes?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:05 AM on August 16, 2011


I think, like most good legends, there can be some doubt as to what really happened, but why are you so quick to believe this guy telling a new version of the story, and not Ford himself?

From what Ford says in your link, I have no problem believing that both stories are true. He says, "But as was very often the case when I suggested it to Steve - 'Let's just shoot the fucker' - he said he'd thought the same thing that morning."
posted by zerbinetta at 10:16 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Most of these aren't really improvised in the strictest sense of the word. Also, for a list of this type to be completely devoid of films by Mike Leigh or John Cassavetes suggests a high degree of ignorance.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:29 AM on August 16, 2011


If the annotation on the video is to be believed, I would give Dustin Hoffman the nod for the Midnight Cowboy scene. To be able to stay completely in character when a completely unplanned (and possibly dangerous) event occurs says a lot about deeply in-character he was.

Hoffman is, or at least was, famously hardcore about method acting. He was always in character. Always. He'd go to great lengths to live the character's life for a good while before the shoot--a practice that would eventually culminate in Lawrence Olivier's famous zinger, "Dear boy, have you tried acting?"
posted by Sys Rq at 10:42 AM on August 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


... or did he? Hoffman now says (sorry, link broken):

He has always said that the most famous story concerning his collaboration with Olivier on Marathon Man has been taken out of context. It was reported that, to prepare himself for a scene in which his character was supposed to have been kept awake for days on end, Hoffman himself refused to go to sleep all night. "Have you ever tried acting, dear boy?" his Lordship was alleged to have said. Hoffman now says that he was, in fact, out partying at Studio 54 the night before and that Olivier's comment was a mild rebuke for his debauchery
posted by ciderwoman at 11:03 AM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


The "Ask me again" towards the end of this scene in Almost Famous is my favorite.
posted by holdkris99 at 11:20 AM on August 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Speaking of Bill Murray, I've understood that practically his entire appearance in Tootsie was improvised. A true national treasure.

I was unsatisfied with the compilation, not just for the dull-as-bricks annotations, but for content choices. Improv, to me, is spur-of-the-moment acting that makes it to final cut, whereas unscripted includes many other things that may have been worked out as on-set alterations from the shooting script.
posted by dhartung at 12:01 PM on August 16, 2011


Metafilter: either a steer or a queer.
posted by clvrmnky at 12:13 PM on August 16, 2011


I would have thought it was more Metafilter: Always willing to provide a reach around.
posted by ciderwoman at 12:17 PM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Was that whole scene from Saving Private Ryan really improvised, anyone know?

It seems like a rather key point in the movie to have left the script blank and told Matt Damon "oh, just tell some stories or something!"
posted by mannequito at 12:42 PM on August 16, 2011


I'd imagine if it was included here then rather than improvised it was probably rescripted by Damon. I don't know if he is, but Meisner is very popular with a lot of actors these days (it's a spin off from the method), and a lot of Meisner actors have stories linked in to emotions, full of detail, that they use so it's quite possible Damon saw the script and asked to change it to something similar that he already had.
posted by ciderwoman at 12:49 PM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Long Goodbye where Elliot Gould and Sterling Hayden improvise their convo. by the beach and Gould refuses to take off his JC Penny tie but they still have an old fashion drinkin party is my favorite improvised scene.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 12:54 PM on August 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I suppose the time that really sums up how similar we were was when I was walking along and Harrison’s kid came up, took hold of my hand and walked along with me — until I started to speak, which made him look up, scream and run off.

I have a whole, new "Deckard is a replicant" theory...
posted by Freon at 12:56 PM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was expecting the Cuckoo Clock speech from The Third Man.

I was expecting the final shot from The Third Man. I've read that there was a happy ending scripted (how absurd would THAT have been?) and then they came upon the basic idea for the final shot - easily in the discussion for 'best final shot of all time'. Ebert says: "Joseph Cotten recalled later that he thought the scene would end sooner. But Reed kept the camera running, making it an unusually long shot, and absolutely perfect." I've read that elsewhere but it is eluding me right now.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:58 PM on August 16, 2011


Was that whole scene from Saving Private Ryan really improvised, anyone know?

I think I remember Matt Damon saying that they were reshooting the scene for Tom Hanks' reaction shots and he was just messing around trying to get Hanks crack up and Spielberg ended up liking the improvised story so much that they reshot Damon's part to include it. I don't remember where I heard that but I don't think I'm making it up. Or it could have been a dream. Wouldn't be the first time I had a dream about Matt Damon.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 1:11 PM on August 16, 2011


Speaking of Matt Damon (by extension) -- I've heard that Robin Williams' character's story about his wife breaking wind in her sleep was improvised as well, which is why Matt Damon is in particular hysterics.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:16 PM on August 16, 2011


During rehearsals, Kubrick was impressed that Ermey could improvise a profanity-ridden tirade for twenty minutes without repeating himself.

Wouldn't that have made Who's Line Is It Anyway? a different experience.
posted by JHarris at 1:17 PM on August 16, 2011


I just realized there's not a single Christopher Guest production in this group and I don't know how you can not include every scene from "Best In Show" in a list like this.
posted by wabbittwax at 1:23 PM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


(and in reference to some of the Mike Leigh comments, the improvisation with him comes in rehearsals, but once it's all done a formal script is written and when the cameras roll, there's no improvisation at all.
posted by ciderwoman at 1:30 PM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


And, to clarify, the "tears in the rain" bit from Blade Runner was written by Rutger Hauer, but he didn't come up with it while the cameras were running. He wrote it beforehand and then (if I recall correctly) called Ridley Scott into his trailer to pitch the lines.

And just to be the ultimate pedantic nitpicker, the line is "like tears in rain". I love the line and the fact that Hauer wrote that piece of dialogue himself, and it always bugs me to see the "the" added.
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:55 PM on August 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


How can any compilation like this not include the greatest cinematic line of all time? (Oh John Barrowman, you magnificent cheesetastic bastard.)
posted by kmz at 2:02 PM on August 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


never used baby shoes - don't forget some of it came from earlier drafts of the script too, it wasn't all Hauer.
posted by ciderwoman at 2:04 PM on August 16, 2011



Barrowman!

posted by villanelles at dawn at 2:28 PM on August 16, 2011


ciderwoman - fair enough. I still love the fact that Hauer was involved enough with the film and the character to invest in being part of that line's creation.
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:36 PM on August 16, 2011


It doesn't really fall under the category of improvisation, but this has been bugging me since I read this thread earlier - what was that Kevin Bacon movie that came out around the same time as The Sixth Sense, and was kind of similar. I think it took place in Boston and involved a haunted townhouse or something like that...

Anyways, late in the movie there's a scene of him in his back yard, and he gets frustrated and kicks something, a ball or a bucket, and it flies up and goes right through the second story window. Wasn't intentional, just pure luck.
posted by mannequito at 2:37 PM on August 16, 2011


Almost all of my MetaFilter comments are improvised.
posted by ODiV at 2:45 PM on August 16, 2011


It doesn't really fall under the category of improvisation, but this has been bugging me since I read this thread earlier - what was that Kevin Bacon movie that came out around the same time as The Sixth Sense, and was kind of similar.

Stir of Echoes.
posted by kmz at 2:49 PM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


According to Martin Sheen (in Hearts of Darkness, the documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now... kind of), he was really wasted during the shooting of one of the scenes in the opening sequence, and did not mean to smash the mirror in front of him. His NSFW discussion (from the documentary) of it here.
posted by Rykey at 3:15 PM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


the "tears in the rain" bit from Blade Runner was written by Rutger Hauer, but he didn't come up with it while the cameras were running. He wrote it beforehand

Similarly, if memory serves me right, Robert Shaw wrote Quint's USS Indianapolis speech in Jaws, but didn't make it up with the cameras rolling (obviously not, since I don't think the scene is done as a single take).
posted by Gelatin at 3:40 PM on August 16, 2011


This (Jack Nicholson's baseball commentary from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) was mostly improvised, I heard once.
posted by Danf at 3:45 PM on August 16, 2011


Stir of Echoes.

Pretty good scary movie despite using the same setup plot device as Office Space.
posted by Hoopo at 5:03 PM on August 16, 2011


I was expecting the taxi scene from On The Waterfront, though apparently that's another famously improvised scene that wasn't improvised at all.
posted by ShutterBun at 5:42 PM on August 16, 2011


This comment from the Harrison Ford's stuntman link is fantastic:

Harriet Bee · 12 weeks ago
That scene where Harrison Ford just takes out his pistol and shoots the Arab swordsman (instead of engaging him in a real fight) is such a tired cliche. And from the sound of it, the extended sequence originally planned (and meticulously rehearsed) would have been so much cooler. I am so disappointed that we never got to see that scene. Spielberg really let us down on that one. It makes me sick. Why did Spielberg have to get on that plane at 3:00? Surely he could have caught the next plane. What utter selfishness to deprive us the action sequence that we deserved. We paid the money for our movie ticket and then were cheated. The classic bait and switch. I can't watch 'Raiders' now without getting angry and physically sick to my stomach. Shame on you, Steven!


IF YOU HAD NOT HELD DOWN EACH AN EVERYONE OF US WHO PAID COLD HARD DELICIOUS AMERICAN DOLLARS OF MONEY FOR YOUR 'FILM' AND MADE US SUFFER THROUGH A SELFISH ODYSSEY OF SLACK CHEATING LAZYNESS, STEVEN STEALBERG THEN MY LIFE WOULD NOT NOW BE A HOLLOW STINKING EXCRESCENCE DAMN YOU TO 10000000 PITS OF HADES DAMN YUO I SAY
posted by Sebmojo at 6:08 PM on August 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Similarly, if memory serves me right, Robert Shaw wrote Quint's USS Indianapolis speech in Jaws, but didn't make it up with the cameras rolling (obviously not, since I don't think the scene is done as a single take).

John Milius wrote a 10-12-page draft that was far longer than they could use. Shaw edited it down to about 5 pages. It was shot in two consecutive nights -- during the first, Shaw was quite drunk, then cold sober the next night. Pieces of both are used in the movie, but good luck trying to spot the difference!
posted by pmurray63 at 6:23 PM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


why are you so quick to believe this guy telling a new version of the story, and not Ford himself? Simply because it casts Spielberg in a less-flattering light?

Didn't suspect it was really Spielberg's fault.


For the record, I don't "blame" or "fault" Spielberg. It was simply a decision made during production that happily resulted in one of the movie's most memorable moments. As I mentioned on my blog after I read the article, I had several people tell me, "I don't want to spoil the movie for you, but there's this one scene ..." and THAT was the scene they described. I think the end result was far more memorable than if the scene had continued as originally planned.

And yes, I don't think it entirely contradicts the more famous version. Reading the Times article, you can see why Ford probably felt awful and was happy to cut things short. At that point it simply comes down to how exactly you define "improvised."
posted by pmurray63 at 6:40 PM on August 16, 2011


It was shot in two consecutive nights -- during the first, Shaw was quite drunk, then cold sober the next night. Pieces of both are used in the movie, but good luck trying to spot the difference!

Hardcore!
posted by kirkaracha at 9:15 PM on August 16, 2011


I don't think the scene in Indiana Jones would have worked nearly as well if they had a big set action piece of Indy taking on the swordsman in black. It would certainly wouldn't have been remembered as well. I am old enough to have seen it in the theater when it was released and that scene got deafening laughter and applause. It sure set the idea in your head that Indy was just as badass as Han Solo and if George Lucas would have a chance he'd probably digitally alter it so Indy didn't shoot first.
posted by Ber at 7:08 AM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Stir of Echoes.

Couple of things I really liked about Stir of Echoes: 1) It's clearly made by someone who likes and has a lot of respect for horror films and the horror genre (just listen to the director's commentary, which is truly excellent) 2) with the exception of one scene, all of the effects were made without CGI. I like CGI-based movies just fine, but I can see how going without them shows off a bit more cinematic talent.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:24 AM on August 17, 2011


To clarify the Hauer line further, the majority wasn't improvised or even written by him: it was cut down from a longer, clunkier monologue and he added the line "like tears in rain" to the end of it. It was talked about in detail on the Dangerous Days documentary and there's a good breakdown on the Wikipedia Page. The original line Hauer modified was:

"I've seen things... seen things you little people wouldn't believe... Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion bright as magnesium... I rode on the back decks of a blinker and watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments... they'll be gone."

As seen in the 1981 shooting script.
posted by gregoryg at 10:44 AM on August 17, 2011


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