No film goes exactly as originally planned, and, like in any job, accidents and mistakes tend to happen while shooting one. Usually, these mistakes are left in the cutting room or are offered to fans as bloopers for a peek behind the scenes, but sometimes, these mistakes turn out far better than what the director had originally envisioned that they are left in the film.
Whoever said that sometimes, movie magic happens by accidents, knew exactly what he was talking about because some of the most iconic moments in cinema were created completely by chance as you’ll find out if you keep reading… so, keep reading!
- 1999 – Fight Club – Ear Punch
Sometimes, acting is all about going with what “feels right”, and sometimes, that means punching Brad Pitt right in his ear! At least that’s what David Fincher thought and told Ed Norton to do. The scene in question concerns one of the movie’s earliest, where The Narrator (Norton) is learning how to fight. Norton was scripted to throw a “relatively meek” punch at Pitt’s shoulder, however, the director took him aside just moments before the cameras rolled, and secretly instructed him to hit Pitt in the ear. Norton did as he was told, which makes Pitt’s reaction – “You hit me in the ear?!” – all the more amusing.
- 2002 – The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers – Flag Flying
The moment when the flag rips loose from its flag pole and flies off as Eowyn steps outside of the Great Hall and stares into the distance gives the viewers actual chills. The symbolism is very clear – it speaks of the decline of Rohan, but it turns out that the cunning metaphor was actually a total fluke that occurred because it was very “windy” that day on the set.
- 2006 – Casino Royale – The Beach Shot
The image of Daniel Craig stepping out of the water ended up being plastered all over the promotional material for the film and also became the defining moment of his James Bond debut. It was widely interpreted as a nod to the moment Ursula Andress stepped out of the sea in the original Bond film, Dr No, but that was not the case. Craig was supposed to dive into the sea and float off, watching the beautiful Solange dismount her horse on the beach, but what actually happened was that, after diving into the sea, he hit a sand bank. So, instead of “floating off”, he stood up and walked out of the water, and in the process, accidentally recreated the iconic Bond moment.
- 2008 – The Dark Knight – The Bomb Mishap
The Dark Knight won Heath Ledger a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and it’s easy to see why. The guy redefined how the audience viewed Batman’s most notorious villain, The Joker. He made the character dark, scary, unpredictable, and best of all, funny. Remember the climactic scene where The Joker walks away from the hospital in his nurse uniform and there is that dinky explosion? Well, it was a one-time affair as the building was actually demolished, and originally, a huge explosion was supposed to go off. But, for some reason, it didn’t. Ledger never breaking character, stopped, gave the detonator a comical shake, tried the button a few more times and… BOOM! Cinematic history was made.
- 2012 – Django Unchained – Cut Hand
In one scene, the ruthless and powerful Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is angered to the core when he realised Django and Schultz’s real intentions. As the scene plays out, he slams his hand on the table. It was during one take of that scene when DiCaprio unintentionally slammed his hand into glass, creating a gash that later required medical care. In spite of all this, the actor stayed in character and continued with the scene, and even used his bleeding hand as a new dramatic prop. Tarantino was so impressed that he used this take in the final print. The fact that he didn’t even flinch shows how great of an actor he truly is. It’s a damn shame that it took his bear scene in The Revenant to earn him an Oscar when this was Oscar-worthy as well!
Well, this is all for now. Thank you for reading and make sure to tell if we missed any of your favourite accidental moments that made movie scenes better.
By Urmila Sabharwal