Films that put the actors and crew through hell

I hope this is the right forum.

I’ve seen a lot of the “making of” documentaries on DVD’s. On quite a few of them the actors and crew talk a lot about the strenuous conditions of the set or the stunts they had to perform were really hard etc.

One that pops out in my mind is “The Abyss”. Apparently James Cameron put those guys through utter hell to make that film. I think Ed Harris even came close to drowning on one occasion. They literally had to spend most of the day underwater in the tank (some of the actors’ hair considerably lightened because of all the chlorine contact).

I also recall that the crew of “The Two Towers” had t-shirts made that read something like “I survived Helm’s Deep” because that scene took a long time to shoot and the conditions in New Zealand were rough.

My question is are there or is there any film(s) that are generally considered to be the roughest on the crew that made them?

Twilight Zone: The Movie

Thanks needscoffee.

The helicopter accident that happened during the making of that film was indeed a tragedy.

I’m looking more for films that put the majority of the crew through the ringer. Movies that were just physically hard to make because of the requirements of the film, not some accident.

More specifically I’m wondering if there’s a movie that’s considered to be the pinnacle of this by those in the know.

Apocalypse Now is probably the first one that comes to mind.

For a more in-depth portrait of the constant difficulties and bad luck faced by this production, you should check out the making-of documentary, Hearts of Darkness.

Incidentally, I think this thread is going to be moved to Cafe Society soon.

I am producing one now where we are looking at at least 18 months to get the right weather for that last shot. Crew and cast are getting pretty frustrated, especially me since I am the one who has to watch the weather and make predictions about water runoff levels in the river. I think the director is willing to do it at times other than a full moon at this point.

Take a dollar bill and grasp its ends. Rapidly and repeatedly snap it taut and loosen it. Ask ‘What’s this?’ Say, ‘It’s the last sound Vic Morrow ever heard.’

Werner Herzog is known to be a somewhat difficult director. He threatened to shoot Klaus Kinski and then himself on Aguirre: The Wrath of God.

I’ve seen “Hearts of Darkness” and, yes, that did seem like a real trial. I should have mentioned it in my examples.

What I would like to know is, say there were a cocktail party of the movers and shakers in hollywood. There is a group conversation that gets into a pissing contest of who was involved in the hardest movie to be a part of and the conversation goes like this:

Boy I was in movie X and it went was sheer hell. Another person says "yeah but I did “Y” so shut yer yap. Then a third person says “I was in ‘Z’” which makes everyone shut up.

NDP I considered cafe society but I thought the answer to my question is more a matter of opinion hence the forum I ended up posting to. I’ll leave it up to the mods to have the final say.

Yeah, check out the documentary Burden of Dreams.

I would love to work with Werner Herzog. Even if I hated every minute of the process, god what an experience.

Any Werner Herzog movie with Klaus Kinski in it. Watch the making off of Fitzcaraldo, seems making the movie was as much a herculean task as what the main character was trying to achieve in this story.

Sorcerer by Friedkin seems to have been a pretty tough ride as well (maybe it comes with every movie set in the jungles of South America).
P.S; yes, definitely watch the Burden of Dreams.

I’ll have to look for it. I have My Best Fiend* (and Fitzcaraldo – I’ll have to check for extras).

Enough unfortunate things happened during the making of Terry Gilliam’s film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote that production was completely halted. The documentary about it, Lost in La Mancha, is supposed to be pretty good.

Wikipedia says Gilliam is working on the movie again. Maybe it’ll get done around the same time as Duke Nukem Forever.

All three films made for Project Greenlight seemed pretty horrific, but the problems may have been played up for the show. Or maybe all movies suck to work on.

Oh, and Heaven’s Gate had a tremendously long shoot which was very hard on the financiers, animals, and, ultimately, viewers. Apparently the actors had a pretty good time with the studio’s money though.

During the filming of Jurassic Park in Hawaii (with only 1 day of filming left), the island was hit by Hurricane Iniki. The cast & crew were stranded in a damaged hotel, with no power and limited food for a few days before they could be evacuated. That was pretty rough on them.

But it was only a few days, and due to an accident of weather. Not anything done by the makers of the film.

You must be psychic.

Divine ate actual dog shit for John Waters in Pink Flamingoes. I don’t think you can top that.

I remember reading that getting into the role of the Joker for The Dark Knight was very difficult for Heath Ledger. I just drunkenly tried to find a cite, but it’s all super-secondary.

Jaws was difficult to film because Bruce (the mechanical shark) tended to break down fairly often, causing the cast and crew quite a bit of frustration.
Any Stanley Kubrick movie was hard on the cast and crew, just because he had a reputation for being a perfectionist who did take after take after take after take. Makes for some very long hours on set.

In Full Metal Jacket, there’s a scene where Pvt. Pyle (Vincent D’Onofrio) gets slapped by Sgt. Hartman (R. Lee Ermey) and knocks his cap off. D’Onofrio told Ermey to actually slap him during the scene. He probably regretted that since Kubrick then made them do the scene over and over many times, with Ermey really slapping D’Onofrio each time. There’s probably not much acting behind D’Onofrio’s hurt expression on his face in that scene in the film. That’s real pain you see there. :stuck_out_tongue:

There were also problems with the local residents – they saw the cast & crew as a way to make big bucks during the off season, and tried to overcharge them outrageously for everything.

An oldie but a goodie, The African Queen. Shooting a film in 1950 in the Congo bush cannot have been much fun.

So it’s coming out sometime in 2011? I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up for DNF, but I’m so stupidly excited that’s it’s almost done.