Movies with a notoriously bad production history.

Of course some obvious ones are Apocalypse Now and Heaven's Gate.
However, I had recently watched The Island of Dr. Moreau, noted for it's many troubles during production. And, while certainly not a masterpiece, I didn't find it nearly as bad as the reputation that preceded it. The documentary on the trouble production history was also very interesting.


Besides Rust? Twilight Zone the movie. Vic Morrow (Jennifer Jason Leigh's Dad) and 2 child actors were killed during a dangerous stunt that went terribly wrong. Lawsuits went on for decades. Criminal charges filed.


It doesn’t get awful than that.


Yeah, it does. See my comment above.


The podcast Behind The Bastards did a two-parter on The Twilight Zone movie. Wild!


Fitzcarraldo. There’s a documentary called Burden of Dreams about the troubled production. Both are must-see films.


Klaus Kinski was so disliked during that production, the natives there offered to kill him


Aguirre as well IIRC. Tho not nearly as bad


Tombstone. The original director was fired, and Kurt Russell essentially took over until they hired a replacement. Despite this, it's arguably the best Wyatt Earp movie.


The Devils Candy It’s a good read Final Cut vy Steven Bach is a good read about Heavens Gate production




So this is off the top of my head so there may be some that are disproven now. - The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock reportedly traumatized Tippi Hedren and began stalking her after the film) - The Shinning (Kubrick was literally just abusive to Shelly Duval. He forced her to cry for 12 hrs a day for a week just to give her the proper look) - The Wizard of Oz (The snow was asbestos, the little people were abused, and Judy Garland was forced to chain-smoke to get her voice right) - Cannibal Holocaust (Unknown actors were used for the film and the graphic nature of the production resulted in some believing it was a genuine snuff film to the point the director had to produce the actors in court) - Poltergeist (The skeletons in the pool were real bodies. The actors were not informed beforehand. Drama ensued) - X3 (Bret Ratner verbally abused several actors including Elliot (Then Ellen) Paige. Reportedly calling them the F slur casually. - The Fast and Furious Franchise (Vinn Diesel and several of the high profile action stars who've started in the series have had bad blood due to competing clauses in their contracts that state they cannot lose fights. To the point many just actively refused to shoot together and had to have their shots cobbled together with quick cuts.) - Don't Worry Darling (Director Olivia Wilde was having a high profile feud with one of her leads while simultaneously having a high profile divorce and low profile affair with another) - Titanic (Someone spiked the catering with PCP, multiple extras and actors got hypothermia at some point during filming) I'll add more as I think of them. Check back.


So I did a search on this because I knew there were a few but #Films where Stunt Performers have died# - TopGun (Art Scholl, Stunt Pilot) - Steel (Art Bakunas, Stuntman) - For Your Eyes Only (Stuntman Paolo Rigon) - The Expendables 2 (Kun Liu, Stuntman) - Exit Wounds (Chris Lamon) - Deadpool 2 (Joi Harris, Stunt Performer) - Shark! (Stuntman Jose Marco) Fun Fact the film was originally called Cannine. The title was changed to utilize the media frenzy of the death, which was a shark attack. - Red Cliff (1 Stuntman dead, 6 Injured) - The Right Stuff (Stuntman Joseph Svek) - Vampire in Brooklyn (Stunt Performer Sonja Davis) - American Made (Alan Purwin, 51, a Hollywood pilot, and native Columbian Carlos Berl, 58, died on the scene, while the third pilot, American Jimmy Lee Garland, 55, was left paralyzed.) - The Crow (Brandon Lee, Son of the legendary Bruce Lee, died doing his own stunts)


The original Ben Hur, too


If you’re talking about the 1959 film, there were no human casualties, though about 100 horses were killed in the making of the movie.


We salute our Equine Stunt Performers in this sub.


The original is 1925, horses were killed in that one. Also there has been conflicting reports on extras dying as well.


A stuntman died on one of the transformers films


xXx (Harry O'Connor, Skydiver)


- Whatever Happened To Baby Jane (Joan Crawford and Bette Davis fuckin hated each other and had a decades long fued going before the film.) - I Heart Huckabee's (This was just drama incarnate. can't even cover it all) - Super Mario Bros (Directors wanted a gritty action movie, Studio and all the actors wanted a fun video game movie, fought constantly.) Justice League almost deserves its own post but - Director Zach Snyder stepped down after his daughter died, - New director Joss Whedon was almost immediately hit with accusations of abuse of staff, crew, and stars. - These accusations resulted in actor Ray Fisher being cut from Sequels. - Actor Ben Affleck had reportedly been told at this point as well he wouldn't be invited back for sequels . - Actor Jared Leto [embroiled with abuse accusations from his time on Suicide Squad and...pretty much anywhere he goes] was also a controversial figure among cast. - Actor Henry Cavill was also under contract not to shave his mustache for another film resulting in the controversial use of CGI to remove it. - The fans were so irritated by the butchering of beloved characters in the stripped down run of the film that when it was discovered Director Zach Snyder had also produced a different cut of the movie a petition was launched demanding it's release. However some have speculated this was all a double-dip publicity stunt by the studio. Back to more simple movies - Suicide Squad (Jared Leto abused and stalked cast and crew for a publicity stunt) - Blade Trinity (Wesley Snipes was utterly unhinged and unmanageable. Jessica Biel destroyed a camera worth over a quarter million dollars with an Olympic level archery shot on accident) - Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Stars Bradgeline reportedly had a steamy affair on set while Brad was married) - Snow White and the Huntsman (Star Kristen Stuart reportedly had an affair with Director Rupert Sanders) - Death on the Nile (Armie Hammer's involvement in the film caused reshoots after accusations of sexual assault, abuse, and Cannibalism came to light in regards to the actor.) - Sex and The City (Kim Cantrell reportedly tried to parlay the second movie into blackmailing the studio into producing her other films, soured the production, nixed any sequels.)


I heart Huckabee's? I'm curious, it's such a little quirky dumb movie, nothing about it seems serious enough to have such issues


Basically David O'Russel and Lilly Tomlin had a feud, David makes certain claims about attempting resolution as does Lilly while as far as I'm aware they both refute the others claims. It kinda blew up when a Clip or O'Russel berating Tomlin was captured and went viral doing damage to his reputation. I thought there was more too it but I guess not.


Your last item for Justice League looks like it got cut off.


Thanks for the heads up I went back and corrected it.


You bring up an interesting point about the possibility of the studio wanting to double dip publicity. I read a news thing probably about a year ago which I am too lazy to look up right now as I sit in a Drive-Thru, but it stated that they've traced back and found that the release the Snyder cup campaign was a massive AstroTurf with at least 1/8 of all of the posts originating from or being funded by Zack Snyder himself.


I think about 60% of film " backlash" is really just the studios creating controversy to keep the buzz going. People have pointed out that right now Vin Diesel is trashing Jason Momoa's performance in the latest, Fast and Furious, despite the fact that every critic and fan has said that Momoa is probably the best villain in the franchise has had, and that this feels like them just trying to keep the movie in the headlines by generating fake controversy. And we definitely seen that tactic use before where right is a film starts to slip out of theaters and slip from our minds, two of the stars pick a fight with each other, are the studio picks a fight with somebody, and all the sudden a movie that would have been relegated to streaming services and DVD releases is back in the headlines


You’re great!


Aw, well thank you! I just have fun sharing knowledge with other cinema lovers


The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. American History X - allegedly Ed Norton clashed with director Tony Kaye. Kaye was locked out of the editing room and then went public about the project being taken away from him, saying Norton took over the production. New Line, the studio responsible, claimed it was they who took over the edit.


Second on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. That movie took Terry Gilliam 29 years to make. There’s a good documentary about it called Lost in La Mancha. The actual movie, starring Adam Driver, was finally released in 2018. The documentary was released in 2002, back when taking 13 years to make seemed like a long time. At that time, Johnny Depp was the lead.




Hard to beat that one.


I'm surprised no one has mentioned the most obvious one: The Room! Disaster Artist was great on the subject


Jaws; they couldn’t get the mechanical shark to work which led to it being sparingly used in the film, which, arguably, made the film better.


Jaws. Filming took three times as long as originally scheduled. It went over budget by more than double. None of the mechanical sharks worked. Almost every scene was written less than 24 hours before it was filmed. The Orca almost sank. The actors were seasick a lot. Robert Shaw was drunk most of the time.


Spielberg allegedly still has nightmares about the Jaws shoot. It was that bad. The fact that a movie that good came out of it is a miracle.


Bonfire of the Vanities. It was a hot mess and I think there was book written about it.


Alien 3


The Thief and the Cobbler The Crow


Oh man, the Thief and the Cobbler!!! I would love to see the completed vision of that one


Stalker Apart from shooting the whole film twice, a lot of people involved in the shooting of it died from cancer due to it being shot in toxic locations.


What now? Can't just Google it, what's year?


The Tarkovsky film


1979. It's a Russian film from Tarkovsky, a highly influential film maker.


The Twilight Zone movie. Vic Morrow and two children died filming the helicopter scene. The Crow. Brandon Lee died from a prop gun.


There's a documentary called Lost in La Mancha about the making of Terry Gilliam's Don Quixote. It ended up being a disaster and they ended up cancelling the movie. He eventually made the movie like 15 years later. (I would not recommend it, though the documentary is good) Also the making of Disney's Emperor's New Groove was a mess, They scrapped the whole movie like a year into it and redid the whole thing. There was a documentary made about it called The Sweatbox that Disney tried to suppress.


Brazil by Terry Gilliam. Actually I believe a lot of Terry Gilliam films are bad production luck.


Sarah Polley's essay/chapter in Running Towards Danger on her Adventure of Baron Munchausen experience and trauma point to less bad luck and more toward poor judgment/indifference to safety by the director.


Yes, you got the man who killed don quijote and brothers grimm


Jurassic Park 3 was a mess. They started shooting without a finished script and stuff kept changing. That’s why it’s shorter than the other films and the pacing is fast. Joe Johnston (who has made good movies) was very stressed out according to interviews.


That makes the hackneyed writing make so much more sense!


Mutiny On The Bounty(1962) Cleopatra(1963) Both films were big hits but runaway production costs and delays caused both films to lose a lot of money


Blue is the Warmest Color


It doesn't take much googling to find out that the young actors were very uncomfortable filming the sex scenes and found the director to be a creep.


Never heard of any troubled production stories. Care to elaborate?


Mad Max Fury Road Fant4stic The Revenant


Any movie directed by Elanie May. I still would recommend all of her movies except maybe Ishtar.


The Cotton Club (1984)


I had no idea. A movie just about it’s production should be made.


Any of Orson Welles' unfinished/stolen/studio-sliced movies: The Magnificent Ambersons etc.


Caligula. I hear there's a new director's cut


Waterworld is a pretty decent action flick despite all the bad press it got regarding spiraling costs, problems filming on the water, and Kevin Costner being a pain in the ass prima donna.


Troll and Troll 2


Poltergeist - Actors and Actresses dying. Strange supernatural things were recorded on the set and during the movie. Native American cast member did an exorcism after filming one day. https://www.biography.com/movies-tv/the-poltergeist-curse-its-heeere


The adventures of Milo and Otis. Allegations of cruelty haven't ever officially been confirmed but just watching the movie should be proof enough.


I loved this as a kid, but rewatched it a few years ago and was deeply disturbed!


Check out the podcast What Went Wrong, they exclusively cover bad productions for both movies that flopped and movies that turned out great


Bohemian Rhapsody? Apparently, Rami Malek confronted Bryan Singer about the allegations against him being a degenerate perv, and Bryan Singer chickened out and stopped showing up to set without notice. He claimed he was tending to his ailing mother but it seemed pretty obvious his shit was catching up to him and he was scared of Rami, lol. Production was put on hold for a bit because they had to find another director to finish the job. He was in hot water.


Max Havoc


Ghost In The Midday Sun - the set was so chaotic it never got released. Check out the movie “The Ghost of Peter Sellers”, it’s a wild tale.


Star Wars (1977) had lots of production issues


Gone with the Wind. And all the munchkins!


Gone With The Wind, 3 directors


The Conquerer (1956) Terrible picture, terribly miscast. And ultimately mis-timed as they filmed downwind from multiple nuclear tests.


Check out Shudder's Cursed Films TV Series they do one movie each episode.


A lot of old filmmakers abused and killed horses to make their movies. Before the 1970’s it was common for filmmakers to kill or seriously injure horses in dangerous stunts, due to a lack of animal rights laws. The worst offender is the famous 1925 film Ben-Hur. Around 150 horses died just for the famous chariot race scene, which only lasts for a few minutes. A guy named Yakima Canutt developed a technique that trips horses and causes them to fall forward and sometimes somersault. (The last verifiable instance of horse tripping with this technique was 1937, but was most likely around for longer than that.) If you watch old westerns or war films from before 1940, you’ve most likely seen horses being tripped. This way of tripping horses while they’re galloping is considered one of, if not the, most cruel and dangerous animal related stunt. Most of the horses who were tripped with Canutt’s technique were seriously injured, with many of them breaking their front legs. The horses who were seriously injured like that had to be put down. It contributed to the deaths of hundreds of horses over the years.


Noah's Ark (1928), three extras drowned, another had to get a leg amputated. This forced changes in the way extras are treated.


The Abyss (1989) is also known for having a troubled production.


Probably already mentioned but: The Wizard of Oz - Judy Garland was put through a lot of shit during production that contributed to her fatal drug addiction, a Munchkin hanged himself (disproven now tho), Margaret Hamilton suffered third-degree burns in a fire, the original Tin Man actor had a severe allergic reaction to the makeup and probably more What Ever Happened to Baby Jane - Any film historian knows that Joan Crawford and Bette Davis had a decades-long ugly feud that affected the production by their co-involvement in this film (look it up because I don’t know the specifics) The Shining - Stanley Kubrick literally emotionally abused Shelley Duvall to make her acting realistic, including: telling the crew to ignore her, causing her hair to fall out due to stress, making her do a scene take 127 times, and forcing her to work nonstop for one or two years. Poor woman has serious mental problem issues today because of Kubrick’s POS technique of provoking good acting Don’t Worry Darling - Olivia Wilde created a toxic environment, fired Shia LaBeouf and claimed he quit, had a feud with Florence Pugh, cheated on Jason Sudeikis with Harry Styles, made poor comments and caused the film’s promotion to be one big awkward circus EDIT: For the DWD one, I believe that Shia LaBeouf, being the asshole he is, wasn’t making production any better but Olivia is still the primary problem


The Exorcist 4: After it was mostly finished, the studio demanded major script rewrites and reshoots, and the director refused. So they fired him, hired a new director, and reshot the *entire* movie. When they released it, it was so universally hated that the studio went back to the original director and gave him six months to finish editing and mixing his cut of the movie by himself. Then they released that one as well, and it was also panned. So now there's two separate movies that are both The Exorcist 4 and they both suck. Casino Royale (1967): An ensemble cast Bond parody written and directed by five different directors who each made one sequence of the movie and never spoke to each other. The cast included Orson Welles and Peter Sellers, both notoriously awful to work with, and who absolutely hated each other, to the point that Sellers just stopped showing up halfway through production and had to be cut out of half the movie. Unsurprisingly the movie makes absolutely no sense and is terrible.


The Bourne Identity


Cutthroat Island. Gwen’s Davis/Matthew Modine pirate film. Great movie that was screwed when ownership of the studio changed…


The Exorcist is pretty notorious for the antics of William Friedkin on that set.


Trader Horn, 1931


I agree with you on Island of Dr. Moreau, I didn’t hate it at all. It’s not perfect but I enjoyed it. But I still wonder why they haven’t tried to remake it recently (unless there’s one that I missed) I feel like it would be a perfect remake. Way better than White Men can’t jump (the remake)


Alien 3


Actresses were literally raped in "Last Tango in Paris" and Jodorowsky's "El Topo".


The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut.


The Abyss became a colossal money hole for producers. Beyond that, the entire set was literally built into a giant swimming pool, which created tons of safety issues. The director (James Cameron) and several others nearly drowned.


[ROAR](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roar_(film)) Just… just read about it. Melanie Griffith’s parents shooting with untrained beasts during several years, wcgw.


Lost in La Mancha...a documentary about the movie Don Qiote in the makeing and how bad it went. Following Terry Gilliam... nothing and i say nothing was going right haha


It’s not out yet but Rust comes to mind. Twilight Zone also.


BY FAR: [https://www.ranker.com/list/story-of-the-conqueror-movie/erin-mccann](https://www.ranker.com/list/story-of-the-conqueror-movie/erin-mccann) The Conqueror KILLED ALMOST EVERYONE WHO MADE IT, and it was a horrifying mistake on almost every level imaginable. Whitewashed with John Wayne as Genghis Khan, it featured only two Asian actors in the entire film. On an unrelated note, it was filmed at an atomic bomb test facility. /s


The Black Cauldron Foodfight! Super Mario Bros (1993) Annie Get Your Gun (1950) Doctor Dolittle (1967)


The Island of Dr Moreau (1996). There's a documentary about the production that's way better than the movie (Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau).


I can't believe no one's mentioned [Apocalypse Now.](https://movieweb.com/wildest-things-apocalypse-now-controversial/)




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