There are sometimes accidents on the set of films and even if the safety standards are much higher today than in the 20th century, it still happens that actors, stuntmen or people from the technical team get injured. . We all know the horrible stories of deaths during the shooting of dangerous films, but sometimes accidents happen on films that don’t seem so dangerous.
1. Orson Welles fell 10 feet while filming Citizen Kane
While filming the scene where Charles Kane yells at Jim Gettys in Citizen Kane, Orson Welles stumbles and falls 3 meters high. Luckily, he only hurt his ankle, but still had to stay in a wheelchair for 2 weeks.
2. Stallone was moved to intensive care while filming Rocky IV
One day on set, Sylvester Stallone wanted to play smart and told Dolph Lundgren to forget the “choreography” and try knocking him out for real. Bad news, Stallone stayed 9 days in the hospital after this scene.
3. Miles Teller broke JK Simmons’ rib on the set of Whiplash
During filming, Miles Teller had to rush Simmons in anger. The problem is, he went too hard and the actor suffered a broken rib. Teller later said that while he regretted hurting Simmons, it was somewhat satisfying to play that moment when the character finally rebels after being bullied for weeks.
4. A stuntman had a very severe head injury on the set of Very Bad Trip 2
While leaning out of the window of a moving car, stuntman Scott McLean was hit head-on by a passing car. If you remember the movie, this is the scene Stu tries to get the monkey trying to get away. The stuntman was admitted to hospital with very severe head trauma and doctors confirmed that he was very lucky to survive the accident.
5. Malcolm McDowell suffered eye injuries while filming A Clockwork Orange.
When we watch the scene where Alex has to watch scenes of violence, strapped to his seat with blepharostats that keep his eyes open, we say to ourselves that it must hurt a lot. It was not just an impression since the actor Malcolm McDowell was injured in the left eye, at the level of the cornea, to the point that he could no longer see from this eye for several days. When he asked Kubrick to stop the scene, the director refused.
6. A stuntman became paraplegic after an accident on the set of Harry Potter
In 2009, stuntman David Holmes was Harry Potter’s understudy for the film’s most dangerous scenes Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. While the young man was rehearsing a flight scene where he was strapped to a harness, he was thrown backwards to reproduce the effects of an explosion, but nothing happened as expected. David Holmes broke his neck against a wall and has been paraplegic ever since. He had to give up his stunt career, but developed other projects, he even launched a podcast in 2020 in which he invited Daniel Radcliffe to talk about the films.
7. A stuntman was seriously injured on the set of Mission Impossible II
In 1999, stuntman Mark Connolly suffered a serious accident on the set of Mission Impossible II : he was hit by a motorcycle while he was shooting at a helicopter. Mark Connolly sued Paramount Pictures for damages because the accident caused so many injuries that he had to give up his career. The stunt manager was accused of failing to ensure the safety of the actors to avoid losing a day of filming. In 2007, Mark Connolly was diagnosed with cancer, which accelerated the trial. He will end up winning the trial and will receive more than a million dollars, but will die of his illness a few hours after learning the verdict.
8. Several people were injured on the set of the movie Roar
At the beginning of the film Roars, a sign indicates that no animals were harmed during the filming of the film. The same cannot be said for human beings since dozens of people have been injured by the wild lions present in the film. Actress Melanie Griffith, for example, was mutilated to the point of needing a hundred stitches.
9. A stuntwoman lost her arm while filming the latest Resident Evil.
As stuntwoman Olivia Jackson prepared for a fight scene over the trussing of Resident Evil: Final Chapter, it was decided at the last moment that she would do a motorcycle stunt. This reckless decision caused an accident: the stuntwoman had to have her arm amputated and filed a complaint against the producer.
10. Actress Taylor Hickson was injured on the set of Ghostland
In the movie Ghostland, Taylor Hickson plays Vera and there’s a scene where the actress had to bang on a glass door harder and harder. The door was supposed to withstand his blows but, you can imagine, it didn’t go as planned. The glass shattered and the actress received all the glass shards. 70 stitches were needed to treat her and Taylor Hickson now has a scar on her face as a (bad) memory of this terrifying moment.