10 Movie Scenes That Nearly Killed The Actor Playing Them, According To Reddit

wakanda forever, like so many other MCU movies, is sure to be filled with surprising and thrilling stunt feats. Moments like this highlight one of the key pleasures of cinema, which is showing audiences the almost miraculous things the human body is capable of doing.

However, often times such feats come at a cost. As Redditors have repeatedly pointed out, there are a number of notable instances where an actor or stuntman was nearly killed while filming, serving as a reminder of just how perilous movies can be.


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

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Clint Eastwood smoking a cigar in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The good the bad and the ugly, like many other spaghetti westerns, is very much about the trials and tribulations of the body. This was as true for the actors as it was for the characters, especially Eli Wallach, who suffered not one but three death threats. He accidentally drank acid, he was nearly hanged by accident, and was nearly beheaded during a train scene.

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As Redditor TheBrands360 says: “It’s a miracle that he made it out of the set alive before the end credits. A better question would be, “Which movie scene didn’t nearly kill Wallach while playing it?” Perhaps it’s the dangerous filming that gives the film its powerful and visceral authenticity.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

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Robin Hood shoots his bow and arrows

Robin Hood is widely regarded as one of best movies of the 30s. With its swashbuckling adventure and the undeniable charisma of Errol Flynn in the title role, it’s everything you’d expect from a film about one of America’s most famous outlaws. ‘story.

However, it was not without risks, because as linkhandford note, the production “used live arrows on stunt performers wearing extra padding. They hired the best archer in the world to shoot. As dangerous as that may have been, it gives the film an undeniable kinetic energy that helps explain why it remains so popular.

Rush Hour (1998)

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Jackie Chan holding a pool stick in Rush Hour.

Jackie Chan has always been one of Hollywood’s most charming stars. He knows how to smile in such a way that he bewitches both the camera and the audience. Moreover, he has also shown that he knows how to direct an action sequence as well. This means that he sometimes puts his own physical safety at risk, as in Peak hour.

As NorrinSparrow223 note: “there is a brief moment at the beginning of the film where Jackie Chan has to poke his head out of between two metal boxes that were about to slam into each other. Trouble was, they closed faster than expected, and he was lucky his reflexes were as quick as they were.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

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The wicked witch pointing

The Wizard of Oz is truly a classic film, and it is often considered one of the best fantasy movies. However, there were a number of on-set incidents, many of which were physically damaging to various cast members.

As DiamondBurinthRough points out: “Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch) was badly burned while doing a scene” in the film. The scenes in which she disappears into gouts of flame may be visibly imposing, but they were clearly the ones that carried a lot of risk for those involved in the making of the film.

Deliverance (1972)

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Burt Reynolds standing in front of a canoe in the water in Deliverance

Burt Reynolds has starred in many great movies, and there’s no doubt that Issuance was one of his best. It was a role that helped show just how bankable he could be as a major star. Additionally, he was also very willing to do his own stunts, including going over a waterfall.

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Kiermehn writes of the experience: “The director wanted to use a mannequin for the stunt, but Burt wanted it to look real. The fall ruptured his spleen and he nearly died. Unfortunately, the whole thing didn’t make the final scene much more realistic than if it had been done with a mannequin.

A Clockwork Orange (1972)

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Alex drinks Moloko in A Clockwork Orange

A clockwork orange is one of those movies that manages to be both deeply disturbing and utterly compelling. Much of that can be attributed to Malcolm McDowell, who gives one of his most iconic and deranged performances as Alex DeLarge.

Like many other actors, he endured a lot during filming, including a scene that nearly cost him his life. LeGlen explains: “There must have been an air vent in the bathtub when he drowned, but it didn’t work and nobody noticed. As mortifying as it is, it adds another layer of complexity to an already fascinating and dark film.

Sherlock Jr. (1924)

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A character reading a book in Sherlock Jr.

Buster Keaton managed to become a true comic book icon during the silent film era, even though he was one of those who didn’t really make the transition to sound. Among other things, he excelled in physical comedy, sometimes to the detriment of his own physical well-being.

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TServo2049 recounts a particular moment inscribed in Hollywood history: “In Sherlock Jr.., Buster Keaton did a stunt where he was hanging from the spout of a railroad water tower, then water started pouring out of the spout and knocked him to the ground. The scene went as planned, but the force of the water snapped Keaton’s neck. It is a testament to Keaton’s courage that he continued to film.

First Blood (1982)

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Rambo hides behind a tree in First Blood

Rambo is often considered both as one of the Sylvester Stallone’s best movies and also one of the best action movies. Unsurprisingly, the film contains plenty of action set pieces, many of which involved Stallone performing some of his own stunts.

Unfortunately for him, it ended in injury. As Kimchi_Cowboy explains: “Stallone fell on a tree in Rambo and it almost killed him. Hurt him badly. Although the film becomes a key part of the action film canon, it clearly comes at a cost.

Napoleon and Samantha (1972)

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Two children with a lion in Napoleon and Samantha

Jodi Foster has played many notable roles, and one of her first was in the movie Napoleon and Samantha, two children who essentially adopt an aging circus lion. Predictably, this led to a few mishaps on set, one of which particularly marked young Foster.

Travlynme2 writes: “Speaking on The show tonight, Foster said: “I was walking in front of him. He was on an invisible leash, a piano wire. He got tired of me being slow, picked me up and held me to the side and shook me like a doll.” It was a truly traumatic moment for the young actress, and she still bears the psychological and physical scars.

Braveheart (1995)

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Mel Gibson as William Wallace in combat in Braveheart

For many, Brave heart is part of best epic movies. It’s easy to see why that would be, as it focuses on Mel Gibson’s William Wallace as he attempts to lead the Scots against the invading English.

While Gibson gives a moving performance, the film was not without its dangers. As Thrusthamster writes: “Mel Gibson was almost run over by a horse that fell on him during a battle scene in Braveheart. A stuntman pulled him away just before he landed. Gibson’s work is a reminder of the physical cost of making such epic movies.

NEXT: 10 Greatest Movies of All Time (According to Reddit)

Andrea G. Henderson