There is a brilliant moment in Star Wars when a stormtrooper hits his head on a low ceiling. It was so brilliantly timed, they not only kept it in, but they added a sound effect to it in the 2004 DVD re-release of the movie. George Lucas also paid a tribute to the mistake in Attack of the Clones, by having Jango Fett bump his head in the same way.
A lot of actors like to do their own stunts, including James Franco. In Pineapple Express, there is a scene where Dale and Saul are running in the woods in the middle of the night. During a take, Franco ran into a tree and started screaming in pain. They kept this take for the movie. He wound up needing a few stitches in his head and instead of trying to cover it up with makeup, they covered it with a headband and called it a day.
There is a scene in the movie Foxcatcher where Channing Tatum head-butts a mirror. The scene was so powerful, it even make it into the trailer. When they filmed the scene, Tatum got so into it, he bashed his head into the mirror breaking through the glass and the back of the mirror and even some of the drywall! He sliced his forehead open and if you watch the scene you can see him is bleeding through it.
While we are talking about mirrors, remember Martin Sheen’s opening scene in Apocalypse Now? The scene was filmed on Sheen’s 36th birthday and he has admitted since that he was heavily intoxicated when the filming took place. The punch wasn’t planned, so the blood you see in the movie is real. The scene was so powerful, how could they not keep it?
How do you make a fight scene look as realistic as possible? You break the other person’s ribs! In The Godfather, there is a fight scene after Sonny discovers that his sister is being beaten by his brother-in-law, Carlo. He finds Carol and beats him on the sidewalk. Actor Gianni Russo ended up with multiple broken bones after the scene was completed.
There is dialogue in Pulp Fiction in both the first and last scene that is inconsistent on purpose. In both scenes, we see Yolanda and Ringo starting the robbery by jumping from their seat and they threaten the customers. In the first scene, Yolanda says "And I'll execute every mother fucking last one of you." But in the last scene, the line changes to "and I'll execute every one of you motherfuckers."
Tarantino decided to keep the difference in to show how the scene shifts its point of view from Pumpkin and Honey Bunny to Jules and Vincent.
In the famous scene in The Wizard of Oz when the Wicked Witch of the West appears, she arrives in a plume of red smoke by coming up a trap door from the floor. When she leaves Munchkinland, you will see that red smoke starts to comes from the floor a little early, and the actress goes to the trap door once again. Then there is a flash of fire and poof! She is gone. The timing wasn’t perfect with the smoke coming up too early, so they tried to reshoot it. Unfortunately when they did, there was a malfunction and her cape got stuck in the door. The fire heated up her make-up and she suffered from 2nd degree burns on her hands and 1st degree burns on her face.
During the filming of The Usual Suspects, Director Bryan Singer was fed up with his actors not being able to keep a straight face and laughing during takes. But when he watched the footage, he actually like the takes with the laughing better than he expected. So why were they laughing? In an interview, actor Kevin Pollak revealed that all the laughing was because Benicio Del Toro kept farting, take after take. This is why not a single actor could keep it together during the scene.
9. That Chest Touch In 'Captain America: The First Avenger'
About 37 minutes into the movie, Hayley Atwell who plays Peggy touches Chris Evans' chest and it almost feels like a surprise. Well, it turns out, it was. She admitted in interviews that when he emerged from the pod she was taken by Chris' physique and almost broke character. The filmmakers loved the moment and kept it in the film.
10. Captain Kirk’s Black Eye In ‘Star Trek Beyond’
During filming, Idris Elba took a swing at Pine and gave him a black eye. In an interview, Pine talked about the fight, and said, “Elba was exhausted and sweating and I could see the punch being thrown. I kind of knew instinctually that it was going to hit me. And it did.”
Instead of covering the black eye with make-up, the they decided to keep it in film. I guess they liked the whole tough guy look!
Ben Stiller was the writer, director, producer, and lead actor of the movie Zoolander, so it’s okay that he forgot a line here and there. In the movie, Zoolander asks J.P. Prewitt, played by David Duchovny, why male models were being targeted. Duchovny breaks into a monologue and explains to Zoolander how the fashion industry has been behind every major assassination of male models over the last two centuries. Stiller then forget his next line and just repeated, “But why male models?” It worked perfectly and they kept the line.
12. Star-Lord Dropping The Infinity Stone In ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’
Chris Pratt is the perfect Star-Lord. He is funny, charming, sexy and lovable. In the scene where the Guardians are introduce to the Collector, Star-Lord presents the Infinity Stone, one of the most powerful objects in the entire universe and in true Star-Lord fashion, he drops it. He then quickly picks it up again, without missing a beat, and keeps going on with the scene. While his comedic timing if perfect, it was actually a mistake and he wasn’t supposed to drop it at all. It worked so well, director James Gunn kept it in.
13. Aragorn’s Broken Toes In ‘The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers’
Viggo Mortensen insisted on performing all of his stunts in the Lord Of The Rings. In the second movie, Aragon kicks a Uruk-hai’s helmet when he thinks Merry and Pippin had been killed. The kick was planned, but on the 4th take, he did something unexpected. He let out a huge scream. They later learned that the powerful scream was because he broke two toes during the take. That, of course, is the take they used.
14. Westley Was Knocked Unconscious During ‘The Princess Bride’
In The Princess Bride, Count Rugen takes Westley hostage. In the scene, actor Christopher Guest had to clock Elwes over the head with the butt of his sword. They didn’t have any prop swords available, so Elwes suggested that Guest should just give him a little tap with the real sword instead. Yea, go for it! This was not a great idea, because the next thing Elwes knew, he blacked out and woke up in the hospital with stitches in his head. Whoops!
Daryl Hannah was a gymnast in real life, so during her audition, she suggested to director Ridley Scott that they should use her training for the movie. But even athletes have accidents. In the movie, there is a scene where Pris meets Sebastian. During a take, when she tried to rush off, she ended up sliding into a car and smashing the window with her elbow and shattering her elbow. The fall wasn’t planned, the glass wasn’t fake but Hannah didn’t break character and the scene ended up in the movie.
In the movie Django Unchained, Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, kills Django’s wife at the dinner table in front of her husband. During one of the takes of Candie’s monologue, DiCaprio slammed his hand into the table and accidentally shattered it. Blood started to flow and the camera kept rolling. Refusing to break character, DiCaprio kept going and they kept his unbelievable performance in the movie, bloody hand and all.