Improvisation. It is a tool in the acting world that can transform a scene from being pretty good to being absolutely iconic. Some of the most famous moments in the history of Hollywood have been made up on the spot. Specifically, when it comes to what actors say in the movie, not everything that is written in the script may be translated onto the big screen. On the flip side, the performers may make up their own lines on the spot if they forgot what they were supposed to say in the first place. More often than not, this will infuriate directors, and end up on the cutting room floor. But sometimes, filmmakers prefer the actor’s ad-lib compared to what they originally intended.
As a result, these moments have produced some of the finest examples of cinematic gold. For some reason, quite a few of Rob Reiner’s movies have included moments of improvisation that made the final cut. In fact, the director’s hilarious mockumentary on rock n’ roll, This Is Spinal Tap, is, for the most part, made up of moments of completely unscripted dialogue. So many ad-libs were included that the three main actors were given writing credits. Also, actors such as Jack Nicholson, Anthony Hopkins, and Harrison Ford have on numerous occasions made up their own lines in more than one of their movies.
For some directors, the creative process is ongoing even during the filming of the movie. They like the movie to come to life and for its actors to fully immerse themselves in the world it’s set in. This often paves the way for some fantastic improvisation. Not all filmmakers are comfortable with this style. But for those who are, the use of improvised lines has created some of the finest moments in cinema. Join us as we run through some of the most successful movie lines that were not originally in the script.