THE LIST

Bridesmaids (2011)
A lot of this movie was the talented comedic actresses in the cast going off book, but Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone’s “Air Marshall” exchange takes the cake.

Apocalypse Now (1979)
Marlon Brando’s performance as Col Kurtz was largely made up on the spot. And while we don’t endorse actors not learning their lines, we can’t fault what came of it in this instance…

Iron Man (2008)
Robert Downey, Jr surprised everyone in his comeback performance as Tony Stark. Everyone – because most of what he said wasn’t in the script.

The Jazz Singer (1927)
Al Jolson’s improvised dialogue pretty much invented the entire concept of talking in movies. Think about that.

Caddyshack (1980)
Bill Murray’s been giving improvised performances his whole career, but his hilarious ad libbed “Cinderella Story” on the golf course made Caddyshack the movie it is today.

Goodfellas (1990)
The “Funny How?” exchange between Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta was a genius bit of collaboration between Joe Pesci and Martin Scorsese – and no one else in the scene.

The Breakfast Club (1985)
The climactic scene in which the teenagers finally bond over how they came to where they were was based entirely on the actors’ knowledge of the characters. And it worked.

This is Spinal Tap (1984)
It goes to 11.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The home invasion scene never came together, until Malcolm McDowell was given reign to improvise on the next take. His brutal song-and-dance number makes this one of the most chilling scenes in movie history.

Robin Williams
From “GOOOOD Morning Vietnam” to Night at the Museum, Robin Williams was master of improv, and his riffs enriched every role he ever inhabited. We’ll miss his unique voice for years to come.

Category: Film, Weekend

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4 Responses to “Top 10 Improvised Scenes in Movie History”

  1. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    The Brando example, above, reminded me of this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjOtTYJns9Y

    ZG can actually act!

    Check how he reverts to his standard schtick, at the end of the clip.

    What a freekin’ hoot!

  2. DeltaV says:

    Thanks Barry.

  3. William_H says:

    This type of list has been popping up lately. One had Bogart’s, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” at number one. Seems like a pretty solid choice.

  4. Robert M says:

    Hard to believe the whip scene in Indiana Jones isn’t included. As for Good Morning VietNam it can’t be the age of the audience as they were parents for Aladdin which is a far superior product operating at two levels not one.

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