From 'Silence Of The Lambs' To 'Star Wars', The Timeless Movie Moments That Weren't Actually Scripted

American Airlines Presents Empire Live will run next month in London.

03/08/2016 15:18

Film fans will be flocking to London for a weekend next month, celebrating the best of the big screen. 

American Airlines Presents Empire Live runs from 23 to 25 September, a weekend of exclusive screenings, Q&As with movie makers and film stars, and all sorts of special treats for fans of the big screen.

Highlights include a live script read of ‘Trainspotting’, a preview of Louis Theroux’s ‘My Scientology Movie’ and nostalgic tributes to David Bowie and ‘Stand By Me’, now 30 years old.

Click here for more info, and in the meantime, warm up with our list of iconic movie moments that weren’t actually in the script but somehow made it to the big screen, and enduring glory…

  • The Godfather (1972) Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
    In Francis Ford Coppola’s classic Oscar winner, we see a cold-hearted Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) sentence a man to be beaten whilst creepily stroking a cat. While the scene is now considered iconic, it wasn’t in the film’s original script. Coppola reportedly found the stray cat while walking through the Paramount studios car park. Right before the scene was filmed he gave Brando the cat to see how the scene would play out. Evidently the cat made it into the movie but not without creating a problem. Apparently its purring muffled some of Brando’s infamous lines which meant that they had to be looped over.
  • Jaws (1975) Directed by Steven Spielberg
    While throwing fish guts into the ocean to try and lure the unknown beast to their boat, police chief Brody (Roy Scheider) gets his first look at the killer shark, and how truly massive it is. When he gets back to Captain Quint (Robert Shaw) in a stunned and startled manner he says, "You’re going to need a bigger boat" - a totally unscripted line which made the scene timeless.
  • Dumb and Dumber (1994) Directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly
    In one of the film’s many hilarious scenes we see best friends Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels) unknowingly pick up hitman Joe Mentalino (Mike Starr) who they mistake for a hitchhiker. Joe soon begins to regret getting in the car with the duo as they mess around endlessly while the poor guy is stuck in the middle. At the end of his tether he shouts “Guys! Enough!” causing Lloyd and Harry to settle. It doesn’t last for long though before Lloyd asks, “Hey, wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?” and proceeds to yell in his ear. Yes you guessed it, the entire scene evolved on the go. The original script from the Farrelly Brothers meant for Harry and Lloyd to test his patience with an argument over jelly beans but Carrey and Daniels decided to improvise instead.
  • Good Will Hunting (1997) Directed by Gus Van Sant
    The late great Robin Williams proved his humour in the Gus Van Sant classic 'Good Will Hunting'. In a scene during one of their many therapy sessions, Sean Maguire (Williams) decides to tell Will Hunting (Matt Damon) about his late wife and her flatulence. The story causes audiences and Hunting to laugh spontaneously. While many may think the story had come from the script, Williams actually made it up mid-scene. Damon’s laugh is genuine and if you look close enough you can see the camera shake a tiny bit which is most likely to be the cameraman also laughing.
  • Midnight Cowboy (1969) Directed by John Schlesinger
    In one of Midnight Cowboy’s many memorable scenes we see Ratso (Dustin Hoffman) walking down a New York street with Jon Voight’s character Joe Buck. A yellow cab nearly runs Ratso over leading him to bang on the hood of the car and shout “I’m walking here!” But did you know that while filming a cabbie ignored the ‘street closed for filming’ sign and decided to drive down the road anyway, almost knocking Dustin Hoffman over. The scene was kept in the film and in true Ratso style the line “Actually, that ain’t a bad way to pick up insurance y’know” was added.
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Directed by Irvin Kershner
    Considered one of the most famous ‘I love you’ scenes in film history is the exchange between Princess Leia and Han Solo in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Han Solo is about to be encased in carbonite so Princess Leia confesses her love for him. It was originally scripted for Han Solo to admit his love back by saying “I love you too,” however, Harrison Ford decided that Han Solo wouldn’t say that and instead replied with “I know”. And who says romance is dead?
  • Silence of the Lambs (1991) Directed by Jonathan Demme
    When psychopathic Dr. Hannibal Lecter is in the middle of telling a story to FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) about eating the liver of a census-taker he finishes with a creepy hissing sound, making his cannibalistic ventures all the more revolting. This hiss was not originally in the script but was something that Hopkins tried as a joke to freak Foster out during rehearsals. Director Jonathan Demme decided to add it to the scene and the creepy addition worked wonders for Hopkins who received an Academy Award for his role, even though he got less than 25 minutes of screen time in the film.
  • Taxi Driver (1976) Directed by Martin Scorsese
    In this classic scene we see that Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) is beginning to lose his rationality. While standing topless in front of a mirror he decides to talk to himself, pretending that he is confronting the politician he is planning to kill. Whilst gazing at his reflection he repeatedly says “You talkin’ to me?” before he whips out his gun. Pretty much every part of this scene is improvised. The original Paul Schrader script just stated that Travis talked to himself in the mirror so De Niro decided to go to town delivering one of film’s most memorable quotes.


American Airlines presents Empire Live will run from September 23rd – 25th 2016, The O2, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX

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