10 Famous Movie Scenes Where Actors Weren’t Acting

6. Subway scene in Irreversible

Cinema’s enfant terrible Gaspar Noe exploded onto the global film scene in the 1990s with his nausea-inducing “Irreversible.” It was not his feature film debut but was arguably his most accomplished work. Here, Noe tried to show the horror present in everyday situations that we always refuse to admit: the lack of empathy in people.

The avoidance of unnecessary complications in life have made people more indifferent than ever; generally, no one wants to help an unknown person in the time of actual distress unless there is malicious intent.

Noe exemplifies this notion in his film by showing a woman getting violently raped on the subway, which she was forced to endure as a reward of helping another transgender person who was getting raped by the same person priorly. The camera remains static throughout the film in the form of a silent spectator, unable to do anything but witness the horror in the screen.

In this timespan, some spectators enter the subway, watches this vicious crime from a distance, and flees from the place soon to avoid getting involved. Such was the intensity of the scene that the filmmaker himself was reported to feel uneasy during the shoot. Imagine the condition of Monica Bellucci, who agreed to shoot the scene in an unstimulated way.


7. Marty McFly hanging scene in Back to the Future Part III

Back to the Future III

Everybody’s favorite Marty McFly was going to die. Yes, real death and on the set of “Back to the Future Part III” while shooting for the said film. In “Back to the Future Part III,” McFly transports himself to the Wild West to save Dr. Brown, who is now trapped in this timeframe. In doing so, he faces the dangerous Tannen family and gets nearly hanged by the elder Tannen brother until Brown saves him.

Most of the scene was shot using body doubles, but there was no way to record the headshot with a body double. In this take, Michael J. Fox was hanged while standing in the top of a box. However, the expression was not right, so the director was forced to remove the box and in this short moment, Fox temporarily passed out. Finally, the result was something that the director liked.


8. Campfire scene in Easy Rider


How would you shoot a fun situation? Simply by making the cast feel the fun of the time. In the film “Easy Riders,” this fun translates to smoking weed. In the campfire scene, where the great ensemble cast of Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, and Peter Fonda arranges a campfire and discusses some really trivial and silly topics on the effect of weed, the cast was really high due to the effect of excessive weed smoking.

The scene really looked like an authentic loose talk because it was all real reactions from the stalwart cast. There is really no better substitute for a real situation if authenticity is to be maintained.


9. Love scenes in Love

The only person to be repeated in this list, Gaspar Noe in his 2015 Cannes shocker “Love” tried to show the contrasting emotions that play in the present and aftermath of romantic love. Love is not only a pleasure factory and fun emotion, but a complicated process involving fear and jealousy.

It was supposed to star Monica Bellucci and her boyfriend Vincent Cassel, but after they opted out due to the graphic nature of the film, Noe signed two new American and French talents. The ejaculation scenes as well as intimate scenes are real and shot in 3D.

In “Love,” after breaking up with his girlfriend, the protagonist Murphy starts to dream of their lovelier, lustier times together. The sex scenes in this film are not meant to be provocative, although they are graphic, as they are a remembrance of their lovely times, of the time when they explored the deepest corner of physical and mental intimacy. It is a tale of a protagonist who is literally addicted to love.


10. Butter scene in Last Tango in Paris

Last Tango in Paris

One of the most discussed scenes in retrospect in the light of the #MeToo controversy is the butter scene in “Last Tango in Paris”. It is now cited as a perfect example of workplace humiliation where the actress Maria Schneider, only 19 at that time, got anally raped by Marlon Brando on camera with butter used as a lubricant. The rape scene was in the script, but the use of butter as a lubricant was unknown to Maria, which was in fact unscripted.

In a 2013 masterclass at the Cinematheque Francaise, Bertolucci admitted that it was a last-minute suggestion from the method acting powerhouse Marlon Brando, and they both decided to not to inform Maria about this lubricant to elicit real expression of humiliation and disgust from her.

Schneider later alleged Bertolucci of destroying her career with this scene. Although reports resurfaced that most of the portion of this sex scene was simulated except for the novel addition of butter, and though the scene was as powerful as it was unexpected, it was a cruel example of filmmaking to force the actor for real expression.