Very often we hear about movie accidents, continuity errors, or actors breaking character in the final cut. This happens because (let’s face it), sometimes you can’t control everything, let alone control everything that’s happening when making a movie.
But sometimes these mistakes become assets to the movie and give it a unique turn. Here is the list of movie mistakes that made the films better:
10. Being John Malkovich – Hey Malkovich, think fast!
In this beautiful mind bending film made by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman, we get it all and we need no explanation. John Cusack discovers a secret tunnel that lets you enter John Malkovich’s brain and body, becoming him, enjoying what a man like John does on a daily basis.
As this activity becomes more regular on Cusack and everyone who knows about the tunnel, the famous actor himself gets involved.
There’s this one scene in which Malkovich sees the tunnel and completely freaks out, he starts walking the highway, then a guy throws a beer at his head shouting “Hey Malkovich, think fast!”, and the actor falls on the ground and shouts – in real pain – says Spike Jonze.
The thing was that they got some sneaked beer on the set, by the time the scene started filming, one of them was wasted. He ended up charging 700 usd for a day instead of a normal 100 usd an extra usually gets paid. The beer works great as a touch of hostility towards Malkovich, which works perfectly in regards of what he is feeling. Not a good day.
9. The Usual Suspects – The Line Up Scene
Usual Suspects is one of the most successful movies of the 90’s. Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro, Kevin Spacey, among others star in an extremely well-constructed thriller, which keeps you at the end of your seat for the whole hour and forty six minutes of it. (Keyser Soze!). However, there is one scene that was not pretended to go the way it went.
The Line Up Scene is an important one because it’s when the character introduces themselves. They are side by side in a suspects line.
As each of the characters says a particular sentence, they laugh, every single one of them. This wasn’t supposed to happen. It was a “serious” scene. The thing was, Benicio was having stomach problems, and couldn’t stop farting throughout the whole day. It makes the scene ten times better because opposed to just normal serious presentations, we get a glimpse of how well they know the police´s standard routine, and how little they are afraid of it. It’s one of the most celebrated scenes in the movie.
8. The Godfather – Luca Brasi’s Introduction
While filming the first Godfather movie, Francis Ford Coppola wanted a big, intimidating guy to play Luca Brasi. Luckily for Coppola, the set was visited by actual mobsters and their personal bodyguards. One of them was Lenny Montana, who got the part as Brasi just as Coppola saw him. He was a world wrestling champion, and a guy you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of.
The scene was simple: Meet Don Corleone and state his loyalty to him. But what ended up happening, is that Montana got so nervous around Brando, knowing he was a living legend. That he forgot his lines, and started mumbling.
Coppola saw this and loved it, to the extent that he filmed another scene in which Brasi is practicing what he is going to say to Corleone. This was a great decision (says Coppola) because it makes Brando’s character look more intimidating and powerful. For someone like Montana (who was huge) to be actually scared of the Don Corleone, was definitely an interesting take on it.
7. Easy Rider – Acid Trip
Easy Rider, one of the most influential American movies of the 20th century happened in the spirit the film proclaims: improvising, making decisions on the go, and remembering to have a good time.
There’s a scene that starts in New Orleans on Mardi Gras. It’s the beginning of an acid trip for Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. To make this sequence, Hopper decided to give all of his filmmaker friends 16mm cameras, and let them record whatever they wanted.
They went out and did exactly that. Problem is, everybody was having a great time and not paying much attention to what was being recorded. Most of it was out of focus, over exposed and too jumpy. Story goes Hopper lost his temper and broke a guitar in camera man Barry Feinstein’s head.
On top of everything the film was exposed to sun light, which made it had light leaks. In the end Hopper decided to keep it, and it is one of the most celebrated and original scenes in the movie, going perfectly with the parade and the trip itself. It feels like as if the drugs kicked in little by little.
6. The Last Temptation of Christ – It’s accomplished!
Based on the Nikoz Kazantzakis book, Scorsese’s controversial masterpiece stands as a different, radical interpretation of the standard biblical tale of Christ’s final days.
Towards the end, there is a scene in which Christ is nailed to the cross accomplishing the ultimate sacrifice for humanity. In this scene Willem Dafoe screams “It’s accomplished!”. Scorsese loved the second take and moved on. While getting ready to shoot another scene some camera man approaches him and tells him he, by accident, opened the filmed magazine, meaning there was probably a light leak on the film. Scorsese thought he had no time to re-shoot.
When he got back to New York he saw the take, there was indeed an Edge Fog, making the end of the scene full of flares and light leaks, colored red. Scorsese was delighted, “The Edge Fog became the resurrection of Christ, that’s cinema!”. Until this date it makes that particular scene feel more spiritual, full of light and maybe even the way heaven looks like, who knows.