Iconic movie scenes that were completely improvised

Joker (2019)
Joker (2019)
The Shining (1980)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Pretty Woman (1990)
Taxi Driver (1976)
The Godfather (1972)
Annie Hall (1977)
007 - Casino Royale (2006)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight (2008)
Captain Phillips (2013)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Casablanca (1942)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Walk the Line (2005)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Aliens (1986)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
Fight Club (1999)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Blade Runner (1982)
Roman Holiday (1953)
When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (1980)
Being John Malkovich (1999)
Foxcather (2014)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
The Fugitive (1993)
Django Unchained (2012)
Joker (2019)

In a performance that earned Joaquin Phoenix the Oscar for Best Actor, his character Arthur dances in the bathroom after killing three people in the subway. In the original script, Arthur was supposed to only hide his gun and talk to the mirror.

Joker (2019)

Phoenix was free to improvise and make his character even more impactful. The scene where Arthur crawls into the fridge caught the recording crew by surprise.

The Shining (1980)

Jack Nicholson unexpectedly shouted the phrase that marks one of the most iconic scenes in cinema: "Here's Johnny!".

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

The fire in the theater was beyond the control of the film's producers and yielded a totally realistic scene. Eli Roth and Omar Doom even had minor burns.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The warm-up ritual that Matthew McConaughey's character teaches Jordan Belfort (Leonardo di Caprio) over lunch was made up by the actor at the moment of filming.

Pretty Woman (1990)

Richard Gere unexpectedly closes the box with the necklace his character gives to Vivian, causing the most wonderful laugh in Hollywood by Julia Roberts.

Thirty years after 'Pretty Woman:' thirty things you didn't know about this classic

Taxi Driver (1976)

The legendary monologue of protagonist Travis Bickle in front of the mirror was entirely improvised by Robert de Niro, at the very moment of filming.

The Godfather (1972)

The cat that Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brandon) caresses in this scene had suddenly appeared in the studio. The actor decided to use the cat and continue playing the scene together.

Annie Hall (1977)

The moment in the film when Woody Allen's character sneezes on a very expensive load of drugs provoked laughter from the cast, because nobody knew that the actor and director was going to do that.

007 - Casino Royale (2006)

The image of the secret agent (Daniel Craig) leaving the sea was not foreseen. However, the actor stumbled upon a sandbank in the water and had to get up. It looked so impressive that he outshone the woman who was supposed to seduce him in this scene.

The Dark Knight (2008)

In this memorable performance by Heath Ledger, the scene in which his character (Joker) applauds James Gordon from inside a cell was a product of the actor's mind.

The Dark Knight (2008)

Another moment when Heath Ledger improvises is when the Joker plays with the detonator and causes the explosion in the hospital earlier than foreseen in the script.

Captain Phillips (2013)

When he was rescued from his high-jacked boat, the protagonist of the film, played brilliantly by Tom Hanks, got a treatment from the same doctor who attended Captain Phillips in real life. In the scene, the professional followed the exact protocols as used in these cases.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Actress Hayley Atwell was so impressed with Chris Evans's physique that she couldn't resist touching him. The scene made it into the final cut of the film.

Casablanca (1942)

"Here's looking at you" is considered one of the great phrases in cinema. It was improvised by Humphrey Bogart. In fact, the sentence is an expression used in poker, a game that the actor had taught Ingrid Bergman during the breaks of the recordings.

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

In the scene where Aragorn kicks a helmet because he thinks his hobbit friends were burned, Viggo Mortensen broke a few toes and his scream was truly heartfelt!

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Almost all of Sergeant Hartman's 15-minute speech to the platoon was improvised by actor Robert Lee Ermey. He had recorded a video with the idea and convinced director Stanley Kubrick to use it.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

The story that psychologist Sean Maguire tells about his wife having flatulence was improvised by Robin Williams, and Matt Damon's laughter at hearing it was a natural reaction.

Walk the Line (2005)

Joaquin Phoenix is a daring actor. In this film about singer Johnny Cash, he improvised the scene in which he destroys the sink of a bathroom.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

With a completely integrated cast, Marvel's films are full of improvised scenes. One of them is the conversation between the characters of Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, in the elevator, before pretending they need help.

Aliens (1986)

Also spontaneous were the words of Private Hudson, a character played by Bill Paxton in the movie 'Aliens': "Game over, man, game over!"

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)

Johnny Depp is another great actor who shines when he gets out of the script. In this film, he improvised a fun song on a container.

Fight Club (1999)

Director David Fincher did not warn Brad Pitt that Edward Norton was going to punch him for real in one of the scenes in the film. The reaction of surprise and pain of the character Tyler Durden was completely authentic.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Tarantino left Michael Madsen free to invent the sadistic dance that his character Mr. Blonde makes in the notorious torture scene of the film.

Blade Runner (1982)

"All these moments will be lost like tears in the rain." This phrase by Roy Batty before he dies was invented by the free and spontaneous mind of his interpreter, Rutger Hauer.

Roman Holiday (1953)

The scene at Bocca della Verità was improvised by Gregory Peck. Audrey Hepburn's reaction was authentic and became history in cinema.

When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

The scene where Sally (Meg Ryan) fakes an orgasm in a restaurant was not in the script and is the most famous of this film.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Ian McKellan accidentally hit his head to the ceiling in one of the film's scenes.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Jodie Foster was really scared by Anthony Hopkins' impromptu "Shhh..." in a scene of their characters, Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling.

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

The story that soldier Ryan (Matt Damon) tells about his brothers to Tom Hanks's character was the result of the actor's creativity at the time of the scene.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (1980)

Han Solo should answer "I love you too" after Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) declares her love for him. However, Harrison Ford chose to say "I know."

Being John Malkovich (1999)

The scene where the protagonist is hit by a can on the head while walking down the street was not part of the script. It was done by a drunken extra who drove by.

Foxcather (2014)

The scene where Channing Tatum's character breaks a mirror was foreseen in the script. However, the cuts he suffered on his head were serious and you can see how the actor really bleeds.

Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Actor Peter Sellers forgot that his character was paralyzed and, in the final scene of the film, he gets up from his wheelchair and says: "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk."

The Fugitive (1993)

When the fugitive tells Tommy Lee Jones's character that he killed his own wife, this actor changes his line to "I don't care."

Django Unchained (2012)

Leonardo di Caprio really broke a cup and hurt his hand at the dinner scene.

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