If there’s one things movie fans love more than enjoying movies, it’s enjoying movie bloopers. It’s very fun to go back to your favorite films and notice weird errors that made it into the final cut. Sometimes, these are small errors you’d have to watch the film a hundred times to notice. Other times, they are large enough to drive a proverbial truck through.
However, there’s another kind of movie mistake out there: the kind of acting moments that were complete accidents but ended up making a scene unforgettable. These are the movie mistakes that aren’t actually blessings: the ones that directors end up keeping in the final cut of the film.
Some of these mistakes involve brutal onscreen injuries that these amazing actors completely ignored while they finished their scenes. Others involve making stripteases just a little bit too real. And others just involve passing gas and forcing Tom Cruise to smell it.
Just what are these movie mistakes? Fortunately, you don’t have to go on an all-night YouTube binge in order to discover these moments. Instead, all you have to do is keep scrolling to enjoy our list of 15 Movie Mistakes You Completely Missed (That Were Left In On Purpose)!
15. Fire – The Wizard of Oz
Even after all these years, the Wicked Witch of the West is one of the most iconic villains in all of cinema. This is partially due to her flair for the dramatic, such as when she exits Munchkinland in a ball of flame in The Wizard of Oz. As it turns out, though, this could have been a final exit for actor Margaret Hamilton!
While exiting through those famous flames, Hamilton received second-degree burns on her face and a third-degree burn on her hand. Adding to the pain was the fact that before she could be treated, the paint had to be painfully removed from her hands with alcohol. It was bad enough that the actor had to spend several weeks recovering in the hospital, and when she returned to work, she promised to never work with onscreen fire again. However, her brush with fiery death managed to stay in the movie!
14. Farting – Rain Man
Rain Man is a movie about the growing relationship between two brothers played by Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman’s character is an autistic savant, and there is a lot of comedy around how the two interact. The most famous example of this is a phone booth scene involving flatulence… that turned out to be all too real!
As it turns out, Hoffman really did pass gas inside the phone booth. That led to a bit of improvised dialogue between the two actors that stayed in the final film. The two actors remember this scene differently: Cruise said in a recent interview that Hoffman left him “grossed out,” while Hoffman has insisted that it was his favorite film moment of his entire career.
13. Leo’s Hand Injury – Django Unchained
Django Unchained was a film that took the world by storm. Part of what made it so interesting was that it had famous actors like Leonardo DiCaprio playing against type. In fact, the dreamy and charismatic DiCaprio played a horrific and violent racist… and it was a role that he literally shed blood for!
In one of the film’s most famous scenes, DiCaprio is giving an impassioned speech about racial inferiority. It took several takes to get the scene perfect, and the actors were getting tired and restless.
On the sixth take, DiCaprio slammed his hand on a table and broke a glass. This caused his hand to begin pouring blood, but he didn’t flinch and finished his lines. The room applauded when he finished, and director Quentin Tarantino left the bloody take in the movie!
12. Gandalf bumps his head – Lord of the Rings
Part of the fun of the Lord of the Rings movies is how director Peter Jackson plays with scale. One early example is seeing Ian McKellen’s Gandalf having trouble navigating his tall body inside Bilbo’s small Hobbit hole. He bangs his head on rafters, nearly walks into chandeliers, and generally engages in physical comedy as only a wizard can. As it turns out, though, some of this was not exactly acting.
Peter Jackson claimed that in one scene, McKellen banged his head on one of Bilbo’s rafters. McKellen kept going, and Jackson thought it was funny enough to leave in. Not only did it help to establish the silly humor of these movies early on, but it likely made many visitors to New Zealand’s Hobbit holes nervous about their own heads.
11. Linda Hamilton beats actor in revenge – Terminator 2
Linda Hamilton completed intense physical training for Terminator 2. She goes from being a meek and vulnerable waitress in the first Terminator movie to having arms of steel in the sequel. Her character, Sarah Connor, is now in a mental institute, and in one particularly gross scene, we see how a corrupt orderly likes to lick her face. Audiences cheer when she gets her revenge…and it turns out that Hamilton dug it, too.
The actor playing the orderly was supposed to convincingly hit Hamilton, but he kept holding back. During every take, Hamilton had to fall to her knees on the unforgiving concrete. She was getting understandably furious in take after take, so in the later scene where Sarah Connor attacks him, she didn’t hold back: James Cameron claims that she took a wooden stick and beat the man as hard as she could!
10. Confused Extra – Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is one of the most popular Star Trek movies. Part of this is because it’s so easy to relate to: this is the movie that had the crew time travel back to 1980s Earth, where they did an absolute terrible job of blending in. And in the case of Walter Koenig’s Chekov, it involved actually scaring people!
In one of the movie’s more memorable moments, Chekov and Uhura are trying to find nearby nuclear vessels. This meant that, in his thick Russian accent and at the height of the Cold War, Chekov was asking everyone to show him where “the nuclear wessels” are. At one point, the actor asks a non-actor on the street the question, and she responds that it’s across the bay. It was a funny and genuine response and stayed in the final film.
9. Scratched Eyes – A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange is a movie so pervasive that even those who have never seen it are familiar with its most iconic images. This includes the scene where Malcolm McDowell’s character Alex is experiencing the Ludovico Technique. His eyes are forced open and he must watch violent images while being forcibly given drugs to make him associate violence with pain and fear. It works well for audiences, too, as the scene is terribly hard to watch. And after filming it, McDowell was in danger of never watching anything ever again!
As you can see, the actor’s eyes were actually forced open for this scene. And yes, it was as dangerous as it looks: McDowell scratched his cornea during filming and very nearly went blind. However, he managed to film the entirety of the painful scene and his cornea was able to heal.
8. Leo Flubs his line – Titantic
Titanic is a movie whose legacy is as epic as its namesake. It helped to cement the career of Leonardo DiCaprio, and the interactions of his character Jack with Kate Winslet’s Rose remain some of the sweetest onscreen moments in history.
In one of the most famous scenes, DiCaprio channels the nervous young lover in the realest way. While he’s getting ready to illustrate Rose, Jack is telling her where he wants her to pose. He points to a couch and then says “Over on the bed. Uh…the couch.”
The actual scripted line called for Jack to simply direct her to the couch. The “bed” moment was a genuine Freudian slip by the young actor, but it came across as very genuine, so director James Cameron kept it in the movie.
7. Boat-Hook Scar – Patriot Games
Sean Bean has enjoyed worldwide fame as a rugged, no-nonsense set of characters. Whether he’s Boromir in Lord of the Rings or Ned Stark in Game of Thrones, he always looks like someone ready for a fight. Part of this is because of a scar above his left eye, which he has thanks to Harrison Ford!
In the movie Patriot Games, Sean Bean played the villain (not much of a stretch, given his filmography). In the film’s climax, Harrison Ford’s character Jack Ryan is supposed to kill Bean’s character with a boat hook. Unfortunately, Ford actually made contact while filming, leaving Bean with a permanent scar. Not only does Bean refuse to cover up the scar, but he has had it emphasized in other roles to show how tough he is!
6. Clumsy Strip Tease – True Lies
True Lies was yet another in a string of action movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s got many great action beats, but this isn’t what makes it memorable. For many fans, the most memorable part of the movie was a striptease scene with Jamie Lee Curtis. As it turns out, much of this scene is as real as it gets… both good and bad!
For instance, the lingerie that is worn was part of the actress’s wardrobe at the time. And while most of the scene is played for its sultry sexiness, one part seems played for laughs: when Jamie Lee Curtis falls down mid-tease. However, director James Cameron thought that she played it off very well and it made the scene more realistic, so he kept it in the finished movie.
5. Broken Elbow – Blade Runner
Blade Runner is a movie about special agents who hunt down runaway robots. These agents are called “blade runners,” and it seems pretty accurate: replicants like Pris (played by Daryl Hannah) are good at running away from death. In the case of Hannah, though, she was pretty good at running towards death in her scenes!
When you watch the movie, you can see that she slips on the pavement while running away from Deckard. This caused her to smash one of her elbows through a nearby car window. This was not a movie special effect: she really did fall, and she later found out she had chipped her elbow in eight different places. However, the pain didn’t keep her from completing her scenes, and this damaging take was left in the final film.
4. Broken Toes – Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
At the end of Fellowship of the Ring, the Fellowship is scattered: Boromir is dead, Merry and Pippin have been kidnapped by orcs, and Frodo and Sam have headed towards Mordor. This leaves Viggo Mortensen’s Aragorn, along with Gimli and Legolas, to track down the kidnapped Hobbits. Early in The Two Towers, it looks like they are dead and this causes Mortenson some very real grief.
In order to underscore his character’s frustration, Mortensen kicks a nearby Uruk-hai helmet. He then immediately falls to the ground and screams in what seems to be impassioned rage. It was actually horrific pain— he broke two of his toes when he kicked the helmet. His painful scream makes it into the final cut of the movie, which is now guaranteed to make you wince every time you watch.
3. Broken Mirror – Nightcrawler
Jake Gylenhaal is one of many actors on this list who might be a little too devoted to their art. He is willing to actually suffer if it helps bring the suffering of one of his characters to life for audiences. In fact, during the filming of Nightcrawler, Gylenhaal’s intense acting gave him a bloody hand and a hospital visit. Nonetheless, he’d continue acting with a damaged hand for much of the movie.
It all goes down during the scene in which Lou Bloom is releasing his rage into a mirror. In order to add authenticity to his onscreen rage, Gylenhaal wailed on the mirror hard enough to make his hand bloody. However, he finished the entire scene, and then spent the rest of the movie hiding the injured hand behind his back during scenes.
2. Swinging Sleeves – Follow the Fleet
Fred Astaire acted in many iconic roles, and he remains one of the most famous faces of classic Hollywood. He was very gifted as a dancer, and also a consummate professional. We see evidence of both in the movie Follow the Fleet, in which he nearly gets knocked out mid-dance but continues with the scene.
He was dancing with his frequent co-star Ginger Rogers, and she had a fancy gown with sleeves that Astaire insisted each weighed several pounds. During the very first take of their dance scene, one of those heavy sleeves smacked Astaire directly in the face!
1. Eye vs Knife – Mission Impossible II
Tom Cruise makes it onto this list yet again. Previously, he was the victim of another actor who made things too real on set. However, in Mission Impossible II, it’s Cruise who got too real. And he did so in a way that could have gotten himself killed.
In one of the most well-known scenes from the movie, a henchman tries to stab Cruise’s character Ethan Hunt in the face. We get an extreme close-up of the knife near Cruise’s eye, and you can see the knife moving. As it turns out, it was moving because Cruise insisted the actor take the knife (which was secured by a chain) and try to stab Cruise in the face as hard as he could. This was to make everything look more realistic, and it made it into the final cut.
Got a fake mistake we missed? Head on over to our comments!
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