Phillip Thompson

Crime Fiction writer

Ever watch a movie and wonder, “Gee, I wonder if that was really in the script?” Yeah, me, too. There are plenty of rumors and myths about great movie scenes that weren’t originally in the script but turned out so well that the director decided to keep them in the finished product.

When Smokey and the Bandit was released, for example, we all wondered, “How in the hell can Jackie Gleason be so funny?” OK, maybe that was just me. Anyway, the answer was: because he made up most of his dialogue on the spot. I don’t know if that’s true, but if it is, then Gleason was truly a comedic genius — not that we needed Smokey and the Bandit to prove that point.

Likewise, Lee Ermey’s performance in Full Metal Jacket was so dead-on, that this was a case of brilliant writing, right? Well, not really. The story of Ermey — originally on the set as a technical advisor — showing up in a Marine Corps uniform and screaming at the cast like the D.I. he was once is well-documented, an ad hoc performance that got him a starring role and caused half the script to be tossed out the window.

But there are plenty of movies out there with little moments that, unless someone points them out, seem like a perfectly scripted part of the movie.  Well, it just so happens that the folks over at ScreenRant have done just that, with their “32 Greatest Unscripted Movie Scenes.” You can thank me later.

There are some in here that I already knew about (like Full Metal Jacket), but others were a real surprise. There are some very familiar names on the list and some of your very favorite movies — regardless of what you like. Won’t spoil it here, but here are the titles from which the list is compiled:

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Zoolander
  3. The Godfather (2 scenes)
  4. The Fugitive
  5. The Dark Knight (2 scenes)
  6. Robocop
  7. Pretty Woman
  8. Being John Malkovich
  9. Caddyshack
  10. Dumb and Dumber
  11. Knocked Up
  12. Good Will Hunting
  13. Aliens
  14. Tootsie
  15. The Usual Suspects
  16. The Warriors
  17. Dr. Strangelove
  18. Saving Private Ryan
  19. Jaws
  20. The Empire Strikes Back
  21. Reservoir Dogs
  22. Casablanca
  23. Annie Hall
  24. The Shining
  25. Blade Runner
  26. Midnight Cowboy
  27. A Clockwork Orange
  28. Taxi Driver
  29. The Silence of the Lambs
  30. Full Metal Jacket


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