ByTim Horton, writer at
Business Development Manager at Universally Speaking. @TimHortonGame | Email: [email protected]
Tim Horton

Again not gaming related, courtesy of Gamertag Gamings sister site Tash Magazine Movies, we have created a quick fire list of iconic unscripted scenes - Enjoy!

Much to the dismay of screenwriters, movies scripts aren't always set in stone. They are often like living objects constantly evolving during the filming process. Some films, like Jaws and Annie Hall, don't even have a finished script when the cameras start to roll.

Actors and actresses are regularly ad libbing, improvising or going off-script while reciting their lines. The main reason for this is because they have quite simply forgotten their next line. Sometimes the directors hate it - other times they love it. Occasionally the improved lines become immortalized as some of the most memorable in cinema history.

Check out these iconic unscripted scenes - you may be surprised at how many of your favourite lines were off-the-cuff.

Zoolander (2001)

In this scene involving former hand model J.P. Prewitt (David Duchovny) and the dimwitted male model Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), Prewitt - a conspiracy theorist - explains how the fashion industry has been behind every high profile political assassination of the last hundred years.

Zoolander asks, "Why male models?" Prewitt answers with a lengthy explanation, after which Zoolander responds again, "Why male models?" Stiller forgot his original line and just repeated his previous line instead. This prompted Duchovny to ad-lib his response "Are you kidding? I just told you like a minute ago."

The scene ends up reinforcing the movie's narrative of the brainless male model stereotype and Stiller turned a gaffe into one of the funniest parts of the film.

The Dark Knight (2008)

As the Joker (Heath Ledger) waits quietly alone in jail after having been arrested by Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), Mayor Garcia (Nestor Carbonell) shows up to look over Gotham's latest scourge. While there he also promotes Gordon to the position of Commissioner.

As the officers in the room applaud the announcement Ledger begins, unscripted, to slowly clap - never changing his facial expression. It was just a simple improvisation but one that was unsettling and darkly brilliant.

Robocop (1987)

When antagonist Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) is taken to the police precinct after receiving a solid whooping by RoboCop (Peter Weller), Boddicker spits a bloody glob onto the paperwork of the desk sergeant, followed by the line "Give me my f*ckin' phone call!"

Smith and Verhoeven briefly had discussed the unscripted moment before filming the scene but neglected to inform the extras - which was evident by their real and disgusted surprise as the scene unfolded.

Dumb and Dumber (1994)

There are many scenes in the film that show how moronic and simple-minded best friends Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) can be but this one showed how annoying they can be on car trips - and it was entirely unscripted. We thought a video was a much better portrayal of the sheer slapstick brilliance of this legendary pair.

Even hitman Joe Mentalino's (Mike Starr) hissy fit reaction to the scene was unscripted, which makes the scene that much funnier.

Editors pick!

Knocked Up & The 40 Year Old Virgin

(How i know your gay)

Crafting a good and funny insult is one of the hardest things to do but Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd are two of the best - proving it in these scenes of put down jokes.

Following on from The 40 Year Old Virgin these two deadpan kings formed not only a lasting friendship off screen but a completely improvised private joke. The classic argument 'How i know I know your gay'. This entire exchange between Pete (Rudd) and Ben (Rogen) in The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up was completely ad libbed by the two actors. The Knocked Up scene in the car is only a few seconds long on the final cut but as an extra on the DVD, the scene goes on for over six minutes.

Watch their faces as they struggle to keep a straight face throughout these severely entertaining scenes.

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

(Remembering the brothers)

During a brief break from fighting, Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) sits with Private Ryan (Matt Damon) swapping stories about what it was like back home for them both. The story Damon tells about his brothers and the barn was made up entirely by him during filming.

None of the story was part of the original script.

Jaws (1975)

(Gonna need a bigger boat)

While chumming the waters in an attempt to lure the deadly great white shark within range, Police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) gets his first look at exactly how massive the killer shark truly is.

Stunned, startled and filled with fear he stands up and utters the now famous line to Orca Captain Quint (Robert Shaw) completely off-script, "You're going to need a bigger boat.”

Turns out, he was right.

The Shining (1980)

(Here's Johnny)

Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duval) and her son Danny (Danny Lloyd) hide from the deranged novelist Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) in a hotel bathroom. As Jack begins chopping through the door with a fire axe and sticks his face into the splintered opening, he utters a phrase previously made popular by Ed McMahon on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson - "Here's Johnny!"

The line was not part of Kubrick's original screenplay and was improvised by Nicholson.

Taxi Driver (1976)

"You Talking to me?"

When screenwriter Paul Schrader wrote this scene it simply said "Travis talks to himself in the mirror" - there was no specific dialog given. Everything that insomnia-plagued taxi driver Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) says during his faux-conversation was improvised by De Niro on the spot.

To this day, whenever someone walks by a mirror they can't help but utter his now famous line "You talking to me?"

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)


The famous "hssssss" sound made by Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) during his story about eating a liver with "fava beans and a nice Chianti" to FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) wasn't in the original script.

Apparently it was something Hopkins did during rehearsals to creep out Foster - Demme and decided leaving it in was the best way to creep out his audience too.

These were our top picks of probably many unscripted movie scenes, please feel free to add below any and all of your favourite ad-libbed scenes you want us all to know about.


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