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

Caddyshack

Murray yawn PF WENN

Photo: WENN.com

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).

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Comments

  • slyboots2

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

  • Barborak

    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.”

  • Roger Smith

    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?

    • Kohoutek

      I think that Ripley is the author’s (and everyone else’s) definition of a hero.

    • Serai 1

      *eyeroll* Why do wingnuts ALWAYS have to drag their politics into everything?

    • Won Word

      Your tears are so sweet. The more your butthurt, the sweeter they get. Please send me a bottle of your finest after 2016.

  • Kohoutek

    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.

  • localhost

    #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”.

    • Eighi

      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.

      • localhost

        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.

        • Won Word

          lol. I lol know lol what lol was lol he lol thinking lol?

      • theottoshow

        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.

  • Mike in Atlanta

    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.

    • JamesT

      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.

    • lujlp

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

    • Serai 1

      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.

  • Jim

    This website SUCKS. Slow, bloated, crap.

  • Drozzle

    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!

  • Drozzle

    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!

    • stevie68a

      The hospital was really a candy factory that was demolished for real. No CGI.

  • EP Sato

    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.

    • Serai 1

      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.

  • Dwight

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

    • Serai 1

      AdBlock is your friend…

    • Joe blow

      Potentially immensely amusing, but F***ing horrible with the commercials.

  • John

    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.

  • DiscoHarvey

    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.

    • Serai 1

      AdBlock is your friend.

  • Partridge Family in AuPairTree

    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.

  • realist

    crap website

  • Wolfy Wolf

    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!

    • Scott

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

  • hornacek

    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.

  • hornacek

    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?”

  • AnaRoW

    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.

  • Woodstockgurl

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

  • mgmchi

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

  • Babette Canton

    Marion’s last name is Ravenwood, not Crane.

  • swede

    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.

  • Ted_Fontenot

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

  • Geoff

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

  • Geoff

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

  • topperlove

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

  • a b

    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 ****

  • a b

    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 ****

  • a b

    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 ****

  • Steven Manson

    Talks about Fugitive plays jackson County Jail Trailer….

  • blank33

    Boob

  • JFairweather

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

    • Jance

      I was about to say the same thing.

  • dane

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

    • Mary

      I know! I wonder why that wasn’t mentioned!

  • HH

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

  • v_vsn

    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.

  • dread_pirate

    this website is so annoying

  • srpatterso

    “…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?

  • site waytcher

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