17 Iconic Movie Scene Secrets: ‘Legally Blonde, ‘Star Wars,’ and More

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17 Iconic Movie Scene Secrets: ‘Legally Blonde, ‘Star Wars,’ and More

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17 Iconic Movie Scene Secrets: ‘Legally Blonde, ‘Star Wars,’ and More

You've seen them dozens of times on screen, but did you know this is what really happened?

From Frozen to Star Wars to Legally Blonde, here are all the secrets to film's most iconic scenes.

17 Iconic Movie Scene Secrets: ‘Legally Blonde, ‘Star Wars,’ and More
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‘Dirty Dancing’

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‘Dirty Dancing’

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As swoon-worthy as the lake scene is, Jennifer Grey revealed that Patrick Swayze was suffering from an intense knee injury, leaving him in agony as he lifted his costar in the air. Plus, the lake was really cold.

"I ­remember thinking: 'Can you die if your nipples explode?'" Jennifer joked.

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‘Jurassic Park’

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‘Jurassic Park’

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In the movie's most iconic scene, when a giant T-Rex comes and terrorizes a brother and sister trapped in a flipped jeep, the rain caused the robot dinosaur to malfunction. 

Normally, an alarm would sound when the T-Rex came alive, notifying everyone to scatter. But the rain caused it to malfunction and sometimes come alive on its own!

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‘The Shining’

‘The Shining’

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With his wife and son barricaded in the bathroom, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) tears down the door to get to them. The problem was that the real Jack, an ex-firefighter, was too good at tearing down walls that 60 doors had to be torn down until a believable scene was shot.

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‘Jaws’

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‘Jaws’

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Even film's mightiest creatures are no match for Mother Nature. Steven Spielberg's iconic shark often sank, needed nightly repainting from being in the water too long, and required its internal mechanisms replaced weekly due to the salt water.

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‘The Exorcist’

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‘The Exorcist’

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The iconic spider walk scene, when a young possessed girl walks down the hallway backwards with her hands and feet, was performed by a stunt double. 

The double was harnessed by wires as she was lowered down the stairs. The scene was originally cut from the film because it was too hard to edit out the wires in post-production. But a few years later, technology finally caught on and some CGI did the trick.

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‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’

‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’

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While sleeping in a tub, a young girl is pulled underneath the water by a clawed hand as she struggles to grab onto something solid. The scene was actually filmed in a bottomless tub in a swimming pool. The part where she's underwater, that's in the pool.

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‘Apocalypse Now’

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‘Apocalypse Now’

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Director Francis Ford Coppola tried to keep it under wraps, but star Martin Sheen actually suffered a heart attack from the grueling schedule. They had to fly in Martin's brother to stand in as the actor recovered. 

The grueling schedule can also be seen on screen, like in the opener where Martin was actually drunk, sliced his hand on a broken mirror, broke down crying and later attacked the director off camera.

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‘Indiana Jones’

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‘Indiana Jones’

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Because the Last Crusade was actually filmed in the heat of summer, Sean Connery and Harrison Ford removed their pants in scenes where they were only shot from the waist up to cool off. The above scene in their underwear is what made it to the final cut.

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‘Superman Returns’

‘Superman Returns’

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Shot in Australia, the Superman remake faced the problem of constructing an American cornfield from scratch. So that's what they did. Four months before the film began shooting, a crew completely built a dirt road and grew an entire field of corn.

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‘Pretty Woman’

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‘Pretty Woman’

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In the original screenplay for this 1990 rom-com, Julia Roberts’s Vivian Ward died of an overdose at the end, as former Disney studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg told reporters on March 2, per Page Six.

“Convincing [people] that we should make that at the Walt Disney Co., and that it’s a fairy tale and a princess movie, a lot of people had a hard time seeing it,” he said. 

“But, as they say, the rest is history.”

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‘Rogue One’

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‘Rogue One’

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Director Gareth Edwards told SlashFilm why the climax of this Star Wars spin-off looked different than what the trailers made fans expect.

“What used to happen, and you can get a sense of this in the early trailers, the transmission tower for the plans was separate from the main base on Scarif. To transmit the plans, they had to escape and run along the beach and go up the tower,” he said.

“In cutting the film, it just felt too long. We had to find ways to compress the third act, which was quite long as it was. And one real, fast, brutal solution was to put the tower in the base, so they don’t have to run across the beach and do all of that stuff to get there.”

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‘Frozen’

‘Frozen’

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In an early draft of this 2013 Disney hit, Elsa was stood up at the altar and froze her heart so she could never be love again — with Anna unfreezing Elsa’s heart in the final act so Elsa could save the kingdom.

“The problem was, [the audience] didn’t care about Elsa because she had spent the whole movie being the villain,” producer Peter Del Vecho told Entertainment Weekly. “So Elsa became a much more sympathetic character, and instead of the traditional good-versus-evil theme, we had one that we felt was more relatable: that love is stronger than fear.”

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‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’

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‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’

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In the original script of this 1997 rom-com, Julianne (Julia Roberts) meets a new guy (played by Sex and the City’s John Corbett) at the reception after failing to foil the wedding in question.

But test audiences hated Julianne for her underhandedness, so producers and director P.J. Hogan expanded the role of Julianne’s gay best friend, George (Rupert Everett) so he gives voice to her conscience throughout the movie and then dances with her at the end, after all the other wedding guests have left. 

“That one scene somehow gave the audience permission to forgive her,” P.J. told Entertainment Weekly.

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‘Alien’

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‘Alien’

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Director Ridley Scott originally planned a bloody demise for Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) at the end of this 1979 sci-fi thriller.

“I thought that the alien should come in, and Ripley harpoons it and it makes no difference, so it slams through her mask and rips her head off,” he reveals to Entertainment Weekly.

He pitched the idea to Fox executives over the phone from London, and within 14 hours, one of those execs was in London threatening to fire Ridley unless he scripted Ripley’s suvival.

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‘Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith’

‘Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith’

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In a recently-resurfaced talk at the Academy of Art University, Star Wars concept artist Iain McCaig revealed the original plan for the end of Revenge of the Sith involved Padmé Amidala forming the Rebellion and nearly killing Anakin Skywalker.

“[Anakin] leaves. Moments later, in come the Separatists and right behind his back, [Padmé] is starting the Rebellion to overthrow him. Because Padme can see he is becoming a monster. 

“At the end, on Mustafar, when she goes to see [Anakin], she has a knife in her hands. She gets off the ship with the knife, she runs up and throws her arms around him, and he lets her. She’s got the knife to the back of [Anakin’s] neck and she’s going to kill him.

“But she can’t do it. She loves him too much to stop him, even when he becomes the monster.”

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‘Legally Blonde’

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‘Legally Blonde’

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Elle Woods's first choice in law schools was Harvard. But that wasn't the producers' first choice. The producers asked Yale, UCLA, USC and the University of Chicago to be potential schools for Elle but were ultimately turned down. Harvard was the only one that agreed. But the film isn't actually shot there — it's shot at a combination of UCLA and USC.

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‘Legally Blonde’ (again)

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‘Legally Blonde’ (again)

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Matthew Davis, who played Warner in this 2001 Reese Witherspoon comedy, told News.com.au he had real feelings for Selma Blair, his on-screen fiancée.

“I absolutely loved and adored Selma,” he said.

“I developed a crush on her at the time but she was with someone else — I think she was dating the guy from Rushmore [actor Jason Schwartzman], but he was coming around, and I was kind of like, ‘Who is this guy?!’”

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You've seen them dozens of times on screen, but did you know this is what really happened?

From Frozen to Star Wars to Legally Blonde, here are all the secrets to film's most iconic scenes.