There’s almost always a blooper reel thrown in at the end of a film, despite the best efforts to keep production running like a well-oiled machine. Most outtakes are just that; a humorous error to be enjoyed by the cast later or give a supplementary behind-the-scenes look for fans in the audience.
But not all bloopers make it to the blooper reel. Some enrich their scene with such an improvisational charm they couldn’t be planned or replicated by the best writer-director-actor team in the business. Here’s a list of 5 film mistakes that were left in thanks to their one-off, show-stealing individuality.
1 – Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – Viggo Mortensen’s Broken Foot
Shortly after catching up with the site of the battle from the previous night, Viggo Mortensen’s Aragorn boots an Uruk-Hai helmet in frustration at losing 2 of his companions, Merry and Pippin. After several takes edging the helmet closer to the camera, the last and most believable boot sent the armour right past the lens, a scream into the air and a break into 2 of Viggo’s toes. Capturing this natural outcry of distress, Peter Jackson rightly chose to leave the take in to heighten the scene’s intensity.
2 – Django Unchained – Leonardo DiCaprio’s Sliced Hand
Amidst a particularly villainous monologue, Leonardo slams his hand down on the table in a rage at Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington’s newly discovered illicit romance. He’s so totally absorbed by his own prejudiced hatred that he fails to notice his hand has been left with a bloody cut that’s starting to drip all over the table. Only when his adrenaline finally subsides does he make any attempt to clean up his wound, a testament to DiCaprio’s resolve in finishing the scene true to the character.
3 – The Usual Suspects – Benicio Del Toro’s Farts
For a scene written with complete seriousness, the police line up scene in The Usual Suspects is pretty hilarious. Where brooding and a sombre mood should have dictated, instead was an unconcealable laughter at the oldest joke in the book; flatulence. Thanks to Benicio’s relentless gas, multiple takes were sullied with farts so funny that his co-actors couldn’t control themselves and director Bryan Singer was forced to keep the most humorous take. Nonetheless, it’s arguably the most memorable scene in the entire movie.
4 – Guardian’s of the Galaxy – Chris Pratt Drops the Orb
Sometimes staying totally consistent with the script is less important in film to having a character rich, driven and interesting narrative. This particular blunder proves just that; Chris Pratt is caught on camera dropping the treasured infinity stone onto the floor despite the script having him maintain control. This wasn’t an improv exercise but a genuine error that happened to fit with the main character persona as eloquently as anything the writer could have produced prior to the shoot.
No matter how you may try to plan for everything, there will always be elements in film that take a course of their own. But if telling a truth is key to storytelling, what better way to capture reality and cinematise it than by letting the unplanned pave its own original way.