20 Movies That Were Extremely Difficult To Make
The lavish lifestyles of Hollywood’s more famous actors and filmmakers may hint at a world of glamour and cash, but as this list proves, the process of actually putting a movie together is rarely a dignified process. What follows is a lengthy catalogue of ill-advised location choices, tantrums, dreadful acts of God, spiked bowls of soup, ruined studios, bruised egos, broken bones and shattered dreams.
For the prospective filmmaker, this article could be read as a cautionary tale of just how badly wrong a production can go. We suggest you pour yourself a strong drink before delving into the following accounts…
The Movie: Robert Altman’s live action musical version of the spinach-popping sailor stories.
The Madness: Huge amounts of money were spent building the fictional seaside town of Sweethaven in Malta, which took 165 workers seven months to complete and required the additional construction of a 250-foot breakwater to prevent it from flooding at high tide.
Rumour has it the delay-struck production was all but bankrupt by the end of filming, which explains the dreadful special effects during a scene in which Popeye punches an octopus.
19. Aguirre: The Wrath of God
The Movie: Herzog’s twisted adventure about a conquistador searching for El Dorado in South America.
The Madness: Herzog clashed violently with his star Klaus Kinski over the portrayal of Aguirre. Like, really violently.
At one point Kinski fired a gun at a hut where members of the crew were playing cards, shooting the top off one extra’s finger, while Herzog once found Kinski attempting to escape the production by boat and threatened to shot him unless he returned.
18. Twilight Zone: The Movie
The Movie: A film version of the long-running TV freakout, made up of four individual stories.
The Madness: During the filming of John Landis’ segment, called Time Out, exploding special effects squibs caused a helicopter to crash on-set, decapitating star Vic Morrow and killing child actors Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen.
The horrific accident led to a change in the laws regarding the conditions surrounding child actors.
17. Town & Country
The Movie: A New York-set romantic comedy starring Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton.
The Madness: Beatty’s perfectionist streak meant what should have been a simple suburban charmer turned into a distended nightmare. Although not directing, Beatty demanded a huge number of takes, meaning the film was still shooting in April 1999, months after its scheduled end.
Keaton and co-star Garry Shandling left to do other films, before returning a full year later to film Town & Country’s ending. It was another year before it was ready for release, by which time the film had cost $90 million – of which it earned back just $10 million.