Actor injuries that made it into the movie


1 Like

Our high school drama coach, Remo Pisani, was fond of telling us an anecdote from TV’s Batman. He played Bass, one of the henchmen for Van Johnson’s Minstrel, and during one of the fight scenes either Adam West or Burt Ward punched him in the face, for real.

I always thought it was a little bizarre that Adam Ward played Robin, since in fact Dick Grayson was Bruce Wayne’s “ward.”

1 Like

I remember early in Buffy the Vampire slayer, James Marsters’ Spike had a very visible cut over his eye. After they decided to make his character more than a simple disposable villain, and several years after the cut had actually healed to make a distinctive scar, they made it a canonical part of the character’s backstory by giving Spike the scar from killing a slayer during the Boxer rebellion.


Several stuntmen died while filming The trail of '98

They showed Jackie Chan breaking his ankle filming Rumble in Vancouver The Bronx, including the cast on his foot, which appears during the end credits of that movie.

What they inexplicably don’t show is the next moment in the outtake when he slips a sneaker-painted sock over the cast, then proceeds to finish shooting the movie with a broken ankle, including a running jump between two rooftops.


The horrible screams of the Total Perspective Vortex victims in the radio series of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The last one was an accidental recording of Douglas Adams dropping a piano lid on his fingers.


One of the ‘things’ about most Jackie Chan movies is that the outtakes at the end show stunts where Jackie borked it and ended up faceplanting, eating a ladder, mistiming a jump and crashing into part of the set, and other ow-inducing moments. He has more broken bones than many professional athletes, and usually did his own stunts. He’s slowing down a bit now as he’s getting tired of beating himself up.


Was it just me, or did anyone else cringe when DiCaprio wiped his real blood on the face of the actor seated next to him? It may have made the scene more compelling, this bit of spontaneous improv, but I wonder how the actor on the receiving end of his inspiration felt about it?


Yeah…I was thinking the same.

That’s, like, got to be a violation of some OSHA law somewhere.


Since it was a different angle when he wipes the blood, it had to have been a different take. Likely, the real hand-cut gave them an idea for a beat and they quickly wrote it into the scene, but it’s fake blood that the woman gets on her face.


During a Saturday Night Live broadcast, John Belushi tagged Buck Henry with the end of his samurai sword. You could see him whip his head around like something was wrong, but he finished the sketch.
After the commercial break, he – and other cast members – sported a bandage above the eye for the rest of the show.

1 Like

Moe Howard was seriously injured in this scene at :48 when the table breaks and he falls down. He had broken ribs and a concussion, but still finished the take! Supposedly he passed out right after saying “Nothing.”

The Three Stooges were absolute consummate professionals.


I’ve read in several places that James Dean broke a knuckle during a police station scene in Rebel Without a Cause. Can’t find the scene on YouTube.

They do shoot with more than one camera at a time. There’s no “had to have been” about it.

Which is a shame, ‘cause everybody knows Leo is chock fulla diseases o’ the blood.

1 Like

The take we see in Wizard of Oz of the witch going up in flames wasn’t the one that burned Margaret Hamilton. The take where she was burnt was one where the elevator didn’t lower – so it’d be pretty obvious that she’d still be standing there. She had third-degree burns on her hand, and to make it worse, they had to remove the copper-based green makeup with alcohol from her horribly burnt hands.

1 Like

In the director’s commentary (There’s six different tracks, I can’t remember which) for the Two Towers, they note that Viigo broke his foot kicking a helmet in anguish, and that shot made it into the film.

Jackie Chan is one of the biggest studballs in the history of movies.


Another famous on-screen injury was Mark Hamill’s car crash not long before filming of Empire Strikes Back started. Supposedly the whole Wampa sequence was created to explain his facial scarring.

1 Like

During the trash compactor scene in the original Star Wars movie, Mark Hamill stayed under water holding his breath for so long that he broke a blood vessel in his face. The remaining scenes were filmed showing only his other side (per IMDB movie trivia). For some reason I thought this injury showed up in some of the later scenes.

If Cary Elwes book, “As You Wish” is correct - there’s one that made it into the film, The Princess Bride. When the six figured man knocks out Westley, apparently he really knocked him on the head, knocked him out and that made the cut. In the previous takes, trying to fake the stunt, it looked fake. So Cary told Christopher Guest to really hit him. And apparently hit him harder than either expected.