Magic is what is usually created on movie sets, but at times actors put themselves in dangerous situations to get the perfect shot. Despite safety precautions, disasters have struck several movie sets throughout the years. Accidents seem to increase when the project is working with a tight budget and time constraints.
Stunt doubles do not get enough credit for the dangerous job they do and at times, their stunts do not have happy endings. Stunt work accounts for at least half of film-related injuries, and as you might assume, injuries on movie sets are not common, but they do happen more than one would think. There have also been several deaths on movie sets throughout the years. The first recorded death during the filming of a movie took place back in 1928, on the set of Noah’s Ark, and the most recent death took place on the set of The Expendables 2, in 2012.
Movie extras are often seen as expendable, and because extras are desperate for a piece of the spotlight they are often willing to put themselves in situations that can have painful endings. Extras are willing to take whatever abuse a director will send their way in hopes of getting a real opportunity in the business. Whether it’s the star of the film, a stunt person or an extra, a movie set can be a dangerous place to be. Here are 12 of the worst things to happen on a movie set.
12 Now You See Me
Isla Fisher played a magician in the movie Now You See Me. Fisher got in trouble while inside a water tank. During the scene her release chain got stuck in her costume. Fisher’s scene included her banging on the water tank like she was in distress so the movie crew did not immediately realize that she was in "real" trouble.
11 The Edge
Anthony Hopkins managed to escape death during the filming of the 1997 movie The Edge, which also starred Alec Baldwin and a male Alaskan Kodiak bear named Bart. During the filming Hopkins was taking pain medication for a neck injury. While filming in Alberta, Canada, he fell into a river that had freezing cold temperatures.
Brad Pitt suffered an ironic injury while he was filming the movie Troy, back in 2004. Pitt played Achilles in the movie. Achilles is a powerful-demi-god that was brought down by an arrow to his heel. The story of Achilles' fall is supposedly why the tendon around the heel is now known as the Achilles tendon.
9 Moulin Rouge
Nicole Kidman was injured while filming Moulin Rouge because she was “desperate” to have an 18 inch waist. The stunning actress used a corset to achieve that and broke a rib while having the corset fitted.
8 Top Gun
Famed stunt pilot, Art Scholl, died when his plane crashed into the sea during the filming of Top Gun back in 1985. A search was conducted for Scholl by the Coast Guard, but they could not locate Scholl and the search was called off. It was concluded that he did not survive the crash.
7 Twilight Zone
Three deaths took place during the filming of the 1983 adaption of the Twilight Zone, and those deaths actually helped change the way that movies are made. Vic Morrow, the star of the TV series Combat, along with child actors Renee Chen and Mycah Dinh, were killed by a falling helicopter during the adaption of Rod Sterling’s Twilight Zone.
Cameras were rolling as pyrotechnic fireballs engulfed the wings of the helicopter. The fire forced the pilot down into the river below where the actors were wading. The movie crew watched horrified and helpless as the helicopter crushed 6-year-old Renee. The helicopter then toppled over and the blades sliced through both Morrow and 7-year-old Myca Dinh.
6 The Three Musketeers
The 1989 film The Three Musketeers suffered a loss when English actor, Roy Kinnear, was filming a scene on horseback. Kinnear fell off of his horse and suffered a broken pelvis. He was taken to a Spanish hospital. The next day, while in the hospital's care, Kinnear had a heart attack and died.
Kinnear was survived by his wife, Carmel Cryan, and his three children.
Harry O'Connor, a well-known and respected skydiver and stuntman, was killed while doing a stunt in Vin Diesel’s film XXX.
O’Connor was a retired Navy Seal who had made a great name for himself in the stunt business. He was a highly trained skydiver. O’Connor had worked on several other films including Charlie’s Angels, The Perfect Storm and Soldier.
4 The Dark Knight
Conway Wickliffe, 41, a special effects technician was killed shooting a stunt for the 2008 Batman sequel, The Dark Knight.
Wickliffe was sitting in the backseat of a Nissan 4x4 that was travelling 20mph as a stunt was being filmed from the vehicle. Wickliffe was leaning out of the window of the car operating a camera when the vehicle struck a tree.
3 The Expendables 2
A stuntman was killed and another seriously injured, during the filming of The Expendables 2. The deadly accident happened while filming on the Ognyanovo reservoir in Bulgaria. The two men were performing a stunt, which included them being inside a rubber boat during an explosion.
One stuntman was killed and the second was rushed to an area hospital where he underwent a five-hour surgery.
2 The Conqueror
Back in 1956, John Wayne starred in The Conqueror, a film about Genghis Khan. Many people who took part in this film suffered greatly. Some of the scenes in the film were filmed in a secluded area of St. George, Utah. The location was downwind from a desert where the U.S. military tested nuclear weapons just two years prior.
1 The Crow
Back in 1993, Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon Lee, 28, was killed on the set of The Crow. Brandon was on the edge of superstardom when a small explosive charge, that was being used to simulate gunfire, went off inside of a grocery bag.
Reportedly Lee activated a toggle switch that was placed underneath the grocery bag and that set off the charge. The explosion caused Lee to be struck in the abdomen by a projectile. Lee collapsed on set and was rushed to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Lee showed no vital signs upon arrival at the hospital and was unresponsive in the emergency room. Doctors performed surgery to remove the projectile. Lee never regained consciousness.
Sources: huffingtonpost.com, moviepilot.com
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