Improvised Scenes In Our Favorite Movies That Actually Turned Out To Be Genius

Movies are a complicated thing to create. While most of the time it works like this - there's a script written, the director, actors, production crew, etc. share that script and then try and recreate it to the letter - it's not always like that.

You see, some of the best moments in movies aren't in any scripts. They're the result of accident, improvisation or sheer silliness from the cast or the crew. 

These 15 movie scenes weren't scripted, but that doesn't make them any less great for it. We're sure you'll remember watching many of them yourself. 

1. The Swordfight From Raiders Of The Lost Ark


The script said "big swordfight." Harrison Ford, however, was sick and wanted the scene over with. So after the man in black makes his big entrance, he shoots him and that's how it stayed.

2. The Godfather's Cat


The cat made this scene all the more menacing. Interestingly, the cat wasn't supposed to star in the movie at all. Brando found him wandering the grounds that morning and just picked him up.

3. Applause In The Dark Knight

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The creepy moment when Heath Ledger's Joker starts clapping at Commissioner Gordon's promotion? It was a spur of the moment ad lib from Heath.

4. Pretty Woman Necklace Scene


When Richard Gere offers Julia Roberts a necklace and then snaps the box shut, it was a practical unscripted joke. Julia's laugh was so real, however, that they left in the movie.

5. Murray's Genius In Caddyshack


The best-known moment in this movie is when Bill Murray's character begins to mumble a story about an unknown golfer winning The Masters. It was something that Murray made up on the spot. 

6. Dumb And Dumber And The Most Uncomfortable Car Ride Ever

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None of the fight in the car in Dumb and Dumber was scripted all three actors just riffed on how they felt and went from there. 

7. Aliens

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The oft-quoted "game over!" from Aliens as said by Private Hudson, Bill Paxton, during the slaughter of the space marines in the first alien attack, was never in the script. 

8. More Murray In Tootsie


Bill Murray plays Jeff Slater in Tootsie. The party scene in which Murray was required to talk non-stop had no script. So Murray made it all up on the spot.

9. The Most Famous Thing About The Warriors

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When Luther, played by David Patrick Kelly, starts the fight in this movie by winding up the rival gang, the line "Warriors, come out to play!" is a pure ad lib. 


10. More From The Godfather


This may be the most famous line in The Godfather, but Richard Castellano added the "Take the cannoli" from the top of his head. It worked, though.

11. Most Of Dr. Strangelove

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Believe it or not, much of the script was thrown aside for this classic film as Peter Sellers simply made stuff up as he felt like it. When he stands at the end of the film and says, "Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!" he made it up on the spot.

12. Saving Private Ryan Makes Damon A Star


The story told by Matt Damon (Private Ryan) to Tom Hanks (Captain Miller) during the break in the fighting? It was invented there and then by Damon. 

13. The Size Of The Jaws Boat


The immortal line from Roy Scheider's Chief Brody is "You're going to need a bigger boat." It was a spontaneous remark and never appeared in the script.

14. Casablanca's Famous Line


It might be the most famous line in cinema history but "here's looking at you kid" was something Bogart made up on set when playing poker with Ingrid Bergman.

15. The Shining's Too

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Jack Nicholson's near-immortal line from The Shining was "Here's Johnny!" and it sparked a thousand memes. It was also nowhere to be found in the script. 

16. Putting A Team Together In The Incredible Hulk


When Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) meets General "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt) and says, "I hear you have an unusual problem. What if I told you we were putting a team together..." the whole scene was improvised. Hurt says they'd never got around to scripting it.

17. Thinking Fast In Being John Malkovich


Remember the scene in Being John Malkovich when a driver hurls something from his car at Malkovich and then shouts, "Hey, Malkovich, think fast?" The line was pure ad-lib. The extra had just been told to throw the item.

18. The Martians In Mars Attacks!


All of the Martians "barking language" was invented by Frank Welker, the voice actor. There was nothing in the script at all for The Martians' contribution to the movie. 

19. A Vacation In Terminator 2


When the T800 old model terminator in Terminator 2 gets nearly destroyed and says, "I need a vacation." The line was improvised by Arnie based on a script note on the appearance of the robot at that point in the movie. 

20. The Pub Session In Shaun Of The Dead


Simon Pegg's Shaun is left laughing as Nick Frost's Ed tells a bunch of stories in the pub to help cheer him up. Pegg's laughter wasn't feigned as Frost had made up the stories on the spot, and Pegg had never heard them before. 


21. The Broadcasts In Good Morning Vietnam

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In the Robin Williams classic movie Good Morning Vietnam, none of the radio broadcasts in the movie were scripted. Williams made each one up as they were filmed.

22. The Shaved Head In 50/50


Joseph Gordon-Levitt takes a razor to his head and removes all his hair in the movie 50-50. Seth Rogen's look of horror as he does so is very real; that was never in the script. 

23. The Yodeling Cry In Tarzan The Ape Man

Under The Mango Tree

This might seem obvious in hindsight, but Johnny Weissmuller (who was a yodeler in his personal life) invented the famous cry for Tarzan. The script had simply asked for a call that would bring all of Tarzan's jungle friends together. 

24. Upsetting Feminists In Borat


The full title of the movie is Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The scene in which Borat alleges that it's been proven that women "have a brain the size of a squirrel" was all a riff on an idea of upsetting feminists. No script was provided. 

25. Wait A Minute In The Jazz Singer


“Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet." The famous utterance of Al Jolson (Jakie Rabinowitz) in the movie is, of course, unscripted. It was meant to be a silent movie.

26. Colonel Kurtz In Apocalypse Now

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Brando turned up to Apocalypse Now's set hugely overweight. Then he promptly decided to rewrite all of his own lines. “You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill," is the most well-known example of a movie full of ad-libbing by a master. 

27. A Funny Guy In Goodfellas


Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) says, "That's funny, you're a funny a guy," to Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci). Devito comes back with, "What do you mean funny? The way I talk? Funny how?" Joe Pesci had gone completely off script this point and says he based the unscripted scene around a real conversation he'd had with a mob boss. 

28. Why Male Models In Zoolander


David Duchovny patiently explains to Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) why they will be male models. Stiller then says, "Why male models?" It's very funny and fits with the character perfectly. However, it wasn't supposed to be said at all. Stiller really had forgotten he'd already asked the question. 

29. Time To Die In Blade Runner


“All these moments will be lost like tears in the rain. Time to die," was what Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) said as he died on the roof. What he was supposed to say was several pages of scripted dialogue, but he thought it didn't add value and made up his own lines instead. 

30. He Knows In The Empire Strikes Back

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When Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) tells Han Solo (Harrison Ford) "I love you." He replies, "I know."

In the script, he was meant to say, "I love you, too." George Lucas initially hated the change but was finally won around by the rest of the cast. 

It's quite incredible how a film can be changed by the actors in it, isn't it? We're glad that they were able to though, these are all great movies made a little better by going off script.

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