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Top 10 Iconic Behind-The-Scenes Photos From Hit Movies

by Estelle
fact checked by Jamie Frater

A lot of hard work goes into making a movie, especially when there is hype and anticipation surrounding its release. Long hours and tough conditions often lead to off-screen moments that are in such contrast to the on-camera scenes that they become iconic. On this list are just a few examples of behind-the-scenes moments that are still awesome after all these years.

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10 Cameron in the water

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Titanic made a huge splash in 1997, becoming the highest grossing movie in history at that time. The movie features a host of memorable and quotable scenes, including Rose wanting to jump off the ship, Jack shouting that he is the king of the world, the car scene, the band playing in the midst of chaos and the woman who tells her children a bedtime story, knowing they are all going to die.

However, most fans’ favorite scene comes at the end when Rose and Jack are in the water and Jack is unable to clamber onto the floating door. Instead he dies from hypothermia in the icy Atlantic Ocean and sinks down beneath the surface. One of the most iconic ‘on set’ photos shows Cameron getting into the water with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio during the filming of this scene, highlighting his commitment to getting the job done.

9 Tobe Hooper at work

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Poltergeist (1982) was directed by Tobe Hooper and written by Steven Spielberg. The film became a massive commercial success, amassing over 120 million at the box office. The movie also gained the reputation of being cursed after a series of cast deaths.

Poltergeist features a lot of unforgettable scenes such as the ‘spirits in the TV’ and skeletons in the swimming pool. The photo below depicts Tobe Hooper directing another awesome scene: Robbie is yanked through his bedroom window by an ‘evil, possessed tree.’

8 Happy twins

Photo credit: Reddit

The Shining introduced the world to perhaps the creepiest twins ever when it was released in 1980. Even though there are only glimpses of them throughout the film, it was enough to give audiences nightmares for life. It is therefore good to see that the twins, played by Lisa and Louise Burns, were just regular little girls in real life. Check out this picture of them posing for the camera, smiling and clearly having a grand old time, even if they were still decked out in their creepy twinsies outfits.

7 Masterpiece in the making

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Jaws, released in 1975, was a massive hit in theatres worldwide. It grossed over 470 million from a budget of just 9 million and is a classic thriller that people enjoy to this day. As one can imagine, there are tons of behind-the-scenes photos that were taken during filming, but the ones featuring the giant mechanical shark named Bruce are truly iconic. The picture below features Bruce in all his glory during outdoor filming. Not sure what Joe’s doing. Flossing, maybe?

6 Bullet-time

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Before there was John Wick there was Neo. The Matrix is a mind-bending sci-fi action film that people either love to love or love to hate. The movie features mind-blowing bullet-time moves, the choice between the red or blue pill, and the Oracle. The image below shows Keanu Reeves in his Neo get-up, ready to make some magic in front of a green screen.

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5 Getting in on the action

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A lot of scenes in Saving Private Ryan received high praise for their graphic depiction of the horror soldiers had to face during World War II. Not to mention the heartbreaking scene where a mother learns that three of her four sons had died during battle. In this image, Steven Spielberg is having a chat to Tom Hanks about the details of the scene they’re shooting.

4 You’ll think a man can fly

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In 1951 Lippert Pictures released Superman and the Mole Men, the first Superman feature film. However, whenever anyone talks about Superman, it is impossible not to think of the man who really made the role iconic: Christopher Reeve. Superman: The Movie was released in 1978 and the tagline “You’ll think a man can fly” added to the excitement and anticipation surrounding its release. The movie cost 55 million to make and grossed over 300 million, earning praise and three Academy Awards Nominations.

This picture shows Reeve on set during filming, flanked by Colin Chilvers who was the Director of Special Effects.

3 Have the lambs stopped screaming?

Photo credit: reddit

Sir Anthony Hopkins might be famous these days for playing the role of Odin, but in 1991 he brought life to one of the most unnerving characters of all time: Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The Silence of the Lambs had a modest budget of 19 million but grossed over 270 million worldwide, becoming the fifth-highest grossing movie that year. It also earned 5 Academy awards.

Naturally, there were several behind-the-scenes photos taken during filming, but the eeriest of all has to be Hopkins trying to eat a french fry through his toothy mask.

2 Welcome to Jurassic Park

The simple line ‘Welcome to Jurassic Park, still has the ability to send shivers of excitement down one’s spine. Jurassic Park was a super blockbuster in 1993, grossing over 1 billion worldwide. The huge T-Rex stole the show on screen and off. In this image, a stage-hand is preparing the gigantic dino for filming. The animatronic T-Rex was used for the pivotal car scene, while a CGI version was used for other scenes where full-length shots were required.

1 The Empire Strikes Back

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The highly recognizable, crawling opening credits of the Star Wars films are almost as iconic as the movies themselves. The crawl is used to give details on the backstory and context of the film. A wall of text against a starry backdrop, this simple ‘scene’ has been replicated by TV shows including The Big Bang Theory and Glee (which references the Star Wars Holiday Special.)

This surprisingly low-tech, behind-the-scenes image reveals how the opening crawl for The Empire Strikes Back was filmed. The Star Wars crawls were inspired by similar ones used for Flash Gordon and the 1940s Buck Rogers film serials.

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fact checked by Jamie Frater

Estelle is a regular writer for Listverse.