The Best Parts Weren’t Scripted: 15 Of The Best Improvised Bits In Movie History


Murray yawn PF WENN


Bill Murray only worked six days on Caddyshack but, in the process, stole the whole movie away from co-stars Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield. Even more impressive is the fact that Murray improvised all of his lines, from his speech about meeting the Dalai Lama to his iconic “Cinderella Story” moment. While Murray certainly created the film’s best bits, Chase was no slouch either– the actor improvised many of his lines, including the scene where douses co-star Cindy Morgan in massage oil, prompting her real-life reply “You’re crazy!” The film has gone on to become an infinitely quotable cult classic mostly due to the improv strengths of Murray and Chase. It also has helped define Murray’s real-life obsession with the sport (see the yawning snapshot above).


Stories We Like



  1. says:

    Why do you have The Shining linked with Taxi Driver anecdote?

  2. says:

    Actually, in Ghostbusters, there was only one line of improv in the whole movie: when Sigourney Weaver says “you’re not like a scientist… you’re more like a gameshow host.”

  3. says:

    What a load of crap!! Leftist garbage in analyzing ALIENS!!! Bad mouthing the Character that Paxton played as a coward and trying to paint with a VERY broad brush real life troops is as ludicrous as anything else I have ever heard. PLUS, this article indicates the author never saw the whole movie, because when the creatures came dropping through the ceiling all around them, there was Hicks, standing tall, giving it to’em, yelling, “You wants some of this? How bout you? You want some too?” He didn’t run or hid like Burke, or is that the authors definition of a hero?

  4. says:

    No mention at all of Peter Sellers’ extended, completely ad-libbed dialogue with James Mason at the beginning of “Lolita” (1962)? Whoever wrote this article knows little about either movies or history.

  5. says:

    #10 Harrison Ford, as did most of the crew, had food poisoning and could barely stand. *That* is why he suggested “just shoot the sucker”.

    • says:

      Lol I think ur *That* facts are a little off. Harrison ford in raiders of the lost ark had done the routine so many times he was exhausted that part is correct. And if you actually watch the special features instead of being told by a friend lol he actually had to take a piss and every time he tried the director would say hold on hold on let’s go through the scene one more time. Nor did he suggest anything. When he shot the guy the actor playing the swordsman was so shocked what just happened he didn’t know what to do. That’s why as the swordsman goes down on his knees the camera fades out from him to not show the look of confusion on his face. Watch the special features bro lol.

      • says:

        I can’t post links lol. google “Wikia Indiana Jones Arab Swordsman” and read the first entry lol. Then follow footnote 1 and read the interview with Spielberg and Ford lol. Then read the imdb trivia entries for this movie lol. Maybe you were watching a different movie lol.

      • says:

        Um…the swordsman doesn’t fall to his knees – he flips right over to his back and the camera stays on him. You can’t even see his face.

  6. says:

    I wonder if the writer of this knows that “Houston, we have a problem” is not a fictional, written movie line? It was first said in 1970 by commander Allan Lovell aboard Apollo 13. Tom Hanks took it from him.

    • says:

      He’s not using it as an example of a written line in movie or an improv by Tom Hanks. He compares it to the Jaws line as one that is often used in everyday situations.

    • says:

      Actually it is, the real quote is “Huston, we’ve had a problem”

    • says:

      The author didn’t say it was improvised. He said the line became highly quoted for the same kind of reason the Jaws line is. Try reading next time.

  7. says:

    This website SUCKS. Slow, bloated, crap.

  8. says:

    he didn’t talk to Speilburg, Ford had a cold felt sick they started filming he improvised the shot and the other actor and extras went with it on the spot the director loved it so it stayed in!

  9. says:

    The one about Ledger as Joker and the explosion, yeah it was improv but not planned at all like the article would have you believe. they only had one chance to get the explosion shot, no way to rebuild and reshoot so they are filming and it starts to blow, there was a malfunction and since Ledger is amazing he went with it fiddled with the detonator and when he jumps at the explosion its real he didn’t know when itwould our even if it would continue. great job Mr Ledger!

  10. says:

    The Empire Strikes Back WAS NOT improvised! It was CLEARLY a scene filmed later and tacked on. Notice that Han Solo is wearing his vest when he says “I know.” He’s not wearing it the REST OF THE TIME! They also cut away and back to him for a raction shot. If it wasn’t scripted, it wouldn’t have been “tacked on” to the original scene.

    To continue this blatant lie, the filmmakers actually cut off the bottom of the scene (in earlier cuts, you can clearly see that Solo’s wearing the vest). This lie’s been perpetuated, and I have no idea why.

    • says:

      Um, “improvised” doesn’t always mean the line jumped out of the actor’s mouth. It can also mean a line that isn’t in the script and was created on the set by the actor. Which is what happened with this line. The script had Han saying “I love you, too”, and Ford objected. He talked Lucas into the change he had in mind and they filmed it that way.

  11. says:

    Totally unwatchable. The video ads just ran over the clips.

  12. says:

    It wasn’t Coppola’s decision to have the cat in the scene, it was a stray that Brando picked up, a lot of your other mistakes have been pointed out already. Terrible article, misleading and thoroughly unresearched. You should actually get your “facts” straight before you publish something people will believe. Total garbage.

  13. says:

    How are we supposed to watch the clips when your freakin’ video advertisements start playing half way through? Nothing like Reservoir Dogs best scene ruined by the sound from a video about cooking fish. Thanks, styleblazer.

  14. says:

    The best lines in Independence Day were improv-ed By Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith. The director just let the cameras continue rolling after the scenes with them were finished and he captured such great lines he left them in the film.

  15. says:

    crap website

  16. says:

    On # 5, its DRILL INSTRUCTOR YOU MAGGOTS!!! The United States MARINE CORPS does not have Drill Sergeants .. thats the ARRRRRMMMMYYYY … Learn just a touch of what you are talking about would ya? Any Marine who reads this is probably having to get the skin crawling maggot feeling off right about now… Sheesh… the nerve of some people… SEMPER FI and Carry on! OohRah!

    • says:

      Also R. Lee Ermey never berated a cadet, for God’s sake he berated Marine Boots not cadets. What a maroon this author is.

  17. says:

    The Alien cast knew what was going to happen in the chestburster scene. They had read the script so it wasn’t a surprise. They just didn’t know how it was going to be filmed. They showed up on set and the cameramen were all wearing raincoats. The blood spurting on Veronica Cartwright was a surprise – her reaction is real. She falls down in the outtakes.

    All of this is in the Alien Quadrillogy box set.

  18. says:

    In Raiders, Harrison Ford was tired and a bit sick from food poisoning, but he also had a good point when he told Spielberg “I have a gun, why am I fighting this guy with a sword? Why don’t I just shoot him?”

  19. says:

    Oprah Winfrey improvised the entire “When I see’d you, I know’d there is a God” speech Sophia gave to Celie at the dinner table.

  20. says:

    “Here’s Johnny” makes perfect sense, since Jack is a nickname for someone named John.

  21. says:

    Agreed – this site is very poorly designed – way too many spinning/popping-up/auto-loading video thingies that take forever to load.

  22. says:

    Marion’s last name is Ravenwood, not Crane.

  23. says:

    Supposedly Harrison Ford’s improv in Raiders of the Lost Ark was due to the fact he had the stomach flu so after his opponent’s sword flourish Ford just pulled out his gun and popped the guy. With deadpan response, the unknown actor did a marvelous death flop. Spielberg called it a wrap and Ford went back to his trailer to continue his communing with the porcelain god.

  24. says:

    Brando and the cat isn’t original, or even very enterprising.

  25. says:

    Soooo, do all of your articles rob material from Cracked or just this one?

  26. says:

    Soooo, do all of your articles rob material from Cracked or just this one?

  27. says:

    If you’re 15 or younger, this is a must-read list. Bore, bore, bore.

  28. says:

    Harrison Ford wasn’t “winded” that made cause for the gun in the sword fight. he was sick with a fever. the author of this article doesn’t know ****

  29. says:

    it wasn’t Ledger’s idea to improve the explosion scene in The Dark Knight. there was a legitimate mistake that caused the timing of the explosions to be off and Ledger is genuinely surprised by the mistake. the author of this article doesn’t know ****

  30. says:

    De Niro told James Lipton on The Actors Studio that his monologue came from a teaching exercise given to him in one of his earlier acting classes. the author of this article doesn’t know ****

  31. says:

    Talks about Fugitive plays jackson County Jail Trailer….

  32. says:

    Ford wasn’t winded. He was ill – flu as I recall.

  33. says:

    i think Dustin Hoffman’s “I’m walking here” from Midnight Cowboy deserved a mention.

  34. says:

    “Harrison Ford is trying to get back Marion Crane.” Her name is Marian RAVENWOOD.

  35. says:

    The “Here’s Johnny” reference makes perfect sense. Just as Ed McMahon says the line, the curtain goes up; the face peering through the ax-chopped door piece is what appears behind the curtain.

  36. says:

    this website is so annoying

  37. says:

    “…The line tells you everything you need to know about misguided grunts like Hudson when placed in a war they can’t win…”

    Methinks a wee bit of the author’s personal and apparently “progressive” religious beliefs leached into an article where they don’t really belong.

    Hudson’s character ACTUALLY shows a guy that yes, is afraid, but also, yes, performs his tail off when the situation calls for it.

    Does EVERYTHING have to become about politics with “progressives”? Really?

  38. says:

    omg – your site blows…. can you pack more commercials in please!@!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>