We Were There, Too!

There are certain films whose specific sequences still remain etched in our memories after years. Most of the images we get to see normally feature actors but the real executors who made those scenes possible remain largely forgotten. Here we take a look at a few of the memorable scenes which have a story of their own.

Sidney Lumet’s directing the Attica scene in Dog Day Afternoon

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Dog Day Afternoon is considered a memorable film in Sidney Lumet’s career. The Attica scene from the film remains the most recalled scene from the film till today. The word Attica was whispered to Pacino by Burtt Harris, assistant director of the film. The entire scene was improvised with full consent from Lumet.

Brian De Palma directing the shootout scene in Scarface

Scarface (1983)

The firearm or Pacino’s ‘little friend’ used in Scarface is arguably the most famous firearm in the history of Hollywood. The grenade launcher was especially made for the film and was later sold to a prop house. Not many know that Pacino’s hands were burnt during the shootout scene and because of the accident it took two weeks for De Palma to do the scene.  

Jordan Peele directing the hypnosis scene in Get Out

Get Out (2017)

The hypnosis scene in Get Out is a standout scene from the film. It is said that when Peele wrote the scene, he ended up crying as the entire scene was cathartic to him.

Francis Ford Coppola explaining the severed horse head scene to John Marley just before take on the set of The Godfather

The Godfather (1972)

The scene when Jack Woltz (played by John Marley) wakes up with a severed horse’s head in his bed remains an iconic scene from the film. Coppola reversed his decision at the last moment and used a real severed head of a horse in place of a fake one.

Michael Mann chatting with his lead actors just before the filming of the iconic restaurant scene in Heat

Heat (1995)

A lot has been written about the scene when Al Pacino and Robert De Niro meet for the first time in a restaurant in Michael Mann’s Heat. It was also the first time the two stalwarts of acting were sharing screen space for the first time. As per Mann, no rehearsal was done before shooting the sequence and the idea to make it extempore came from De Niro. The scene was shot in an extremely organic fashion.

Sidney Lumet and Peter Finch just before the filming of ‘mad as hell’ scene in Network

Network (1976)

The entire film had a theatrical appeal to it and that was a deliberate ploy by Lumet. The cast did numerous rehearsals before the film actually went on floor. The ‘mad as hell’ scene was filmed in two takes. While filming the scene Peter Finch stopped abruptly because of his heart condition which Lumet was not aware of.

Steven Spielberg just before the filming of the ‘little girl in a red coat’ scene on the set of Schindler’s List

Schindler’s List (1993)

Steven Spielberg had picked the idea of showing the little girl in a red coat had come from a story that Audrey Hepburn had narrated to Spielberg during the filming of Always. The incident was about a little girl she had seen during WWII in a red coat when people were being loaded onto trains.

William Friedkin adjusting his camera while filming the chase sequence in The French Connection

The French Connection (1971)

The chase scene in The French Connection is considered to be the best chase sequence ever filmed. The chase scene wasn’t scripted and much was improvised during the shooting of the film. The crew was given permission to shoot from 10 am till 3 pm on the Brooklyn line of New York. The driver of the sequence was the same from Bullitt. It’s a different matter that the chase sequence that Friedkin had filmed in Jade remains closest to his heart.

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