Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

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Thief
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Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Thief » Fri Apr 24, 2020 1:35 pm

This is a topic I'm always drawn to and curious about. What are some of the most amazing "happy accidents" or "lucky strikes" in entertainment? By that I mean, any instance where things didn't go as expected in a film, TV show, concert, album recording, etc. and yet, everything surprisingly worked out for the best. Kinda like the shark in Jaws not working.

Anybody want to share some?
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Death Proof » Fri Apr 24, 2020 1:39 pm

Great idea.

Speaking of Jaws, the shooting star scene was a happy accident and supposedly Spielberg has integrated a shooting star into all of his films since then.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Death Proof » Fri Apr 24, 2020 1:44 pm

On the subject of music, there's "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen. The group had pooled their money together for a studio recording but could only afford to do it once. Singer Jack Ely came in too soon after the solo but the drummer covered up for his mistake with a fill. Their cover became the definitive version, accident included:




Ely's vocal error is around the 2:00 mark
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Thief » Fri Apr 24, 2020 1:50 pm

Like I said, I always love reading about this instances, but I want to share a couple regarding casting...

I've been working on a project about The Shield lately, so I've been reading a bit about it. It seems that FX didn't like Walton Goggins for the role of Shane, so the creators wrote a couple of episodes first intended to highlight his acting abilities (see the second episode, "Our Gang", for some great moments from him). FX agreed but while his contract was still being negotiated, his character doesn't appear in a couple of episodes of the first season. I find this mind-blowing because he's amazing in the show. So if the creators hadn't gone out of their way to convince the network, who knows how the show would've turned out?

On a similar note, David Rees Snell, who plays Ronnie, was supposed to be only a background character (I think he doesn't speak in the first episode and is not credited). However, the writers decided to focus on the team and his character became more important as the show continued. Anybody that has seen the show knows how relevant he ends up being.

Yet another similar note, Jonathan Banks' role of Mike Ehrmantraut was supposed to be a one-shot on Breaking Bad as the Fixer, when he comes to Jesse and Jane's house to fix you-know-what. However, the reaction was so good that they decided to expand the role and the rest is history. From one of the more integral characters of the show, to a co-lead on the spin-off.

On a more recent example, I don't know if anybody here has seen Superstore, but if you have, chances are you've seen the hilarious Sandra, played by Kaliko Kauahi. I seem to have read somewhere that her role was supposed to be a very small one during the first season, but the reaction to her was so positive that they expanded her role, and she's now one of the leads.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by crumbsroom » Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:26 pm

Death Proof wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 1:44 pm
On the subject of music, there's "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen. The group had pooled their money together for a studio recording but could only afford to do it once. Singer Jack Ely came in too soon after the solo but the drummer covered up for his mistake with a fill. Their cover became the definitive version, accident included:




Ely's vocal error is around the 2:00 mark
Lol, I never noticed that before.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Death Proof » Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:38 pm

I assume you know the story about Indiana Jones. Tom Selleck was George Lucas' original choice to portray the famed adventurer but couldn't get out of his Magnum PI contract. As a result they went with Spielberg's choice of Harrison Ford.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by DaMU » Fri Apr 24, 2020 3:29 pm

Yeah, and also Ford's dysentery forced them to cut the fight with the swordsman, and Indy was just like, "How about I shoot the guy?"
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Death Proof » Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:02 pm

DaMU wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 3:29 pm
Yeah, and also Ford's dysentery forced them to cut the fight with the swordsman, and Indy was just like, "How about I shoot the guy?"
:up:
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Torgo » Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:38 pm

I'm not sure if this counts, but the coconuts/invisible horse gag in Monty Python and the Holy Grail is due to the budget being too small to afford real horses.
Is the movie better as a result? I vote yes.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by DaMU » Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:48 pm

Torgo wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:38 pm
I'm not sure if this counts, but the coconuts/invisible horse gag in Monty Python and the Holy Grail is due to the budget being too small to afford real horses.
Is the movie better as a result? I vote yes.
Yep!
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by DaMU » Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:50 pm

Small one: in The Evil Dead, Evil Shelly's hand was supposed to be cut off pretty quickly, but they couldn't quite get the prosthetic to work, so they changed it so Evil Shelly would chew through her hand, which makes the scene more gruesome/punishing.

[There's probably a lot of this kind of thing in indie flicks due to the short schedules and DIY demands.]
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:16 pm

Would improvised movie moments fall under this as well?
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Thief » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:29 pm

Torgo wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:38 pm
I'm not sure if this counts, but the coconuts/invisible horse gag in Monty Python and the Holy Grail is due to the budget being too small to afford real horses.
Is the movie better as a result? I vote yes.
Definitely.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Thief » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:30 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:16 pm
Would improvised movie moments fall under this as well?
Why not? Shoot.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:35 pm



On a related note, there is something to said for deadlines and low budgets as "serendipity pumps."
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:38 pm

Thief wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:30 pm
Why not? Shoot.
I don't really have a specific example in mind other than the more famous ones which everyone here likely already knows about. Just asking.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:40 pm

Actually, I read recently that, in Django Unchained, DiCaprio actually did cut his hand on the glass after he slammed it down on the table, yet continued acting and worked the blood on his hand into the scene.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Thief » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:44 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:40 pm
Actually, I read recently that, in Django Unchained, DiCaprio actually did cut his hand on the glass after he slammed it down on the table, yet continued acting and worked the blood on his hand into the scene.
Oh yeah, that's a good one.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Macrology » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:02 pm



The Dixie Cups were just riffing in the studio when they recorded what became their most famous song and the most iconic version of Jock-A-Mo. Quoting Wikipedia: "The Dixie Cups version was the result of an unplanned jam in a New York City recording studio where they began an impromptu version of "Iko Iko", accompanying themselves with drumsticks on an aluminum chair, a studio ashtray and a Coke bottle." The producers mixed in a few things, but aside from that they released it as recorded, which accounts for how remarkably sparse the track is.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by MrCarmady » Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:14 pm

If we're talking music, Malcolm Mooney quitting Can after having a nervous breakdown and then the band members stumbling upon Damo Suzuki busking in Munich, making three of the best albums of all time before he in turn quit to become a Jehovah's Witness. Both Monster Movie (with Mooney) and Soon Over Babaluma (after Suzuki's departure with Karoli and Schmidt doing the vocals) are great albums, sure, but how fortuitous is it that they were sitting at that particular café that day?
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Jinnistan » Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:55 pm

Can would have been great if their singer was an asthmatic cat. Which.....both Mooney and Suzuki.....are slightly preferable to.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Jinnistan » Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:58 pm

Lemme see....

Midnight Cowboy's famously stolen street scene where Hoffman is nearly hit by a car and inspiring the most iconic line of his career.

Similarly in Raging Bull, when De Niro gets into a spontaneous window argument with a neighbor.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Thief » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:22 pm

In Shawshank Redemption...
...the scene after Red finds Andy's box, and walks past the grass with all the insects jumping and flying by was improvised by Darabont in the moment.

Also, Red's gesture of looking over his shoulder for someone was improvised by Freeman.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by DaMU » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:40 pm

Nice!

Other improvisations. Apparently Matthew Lillard improvised two or three memorable lines in the climax of Scream. "Don't hit me with the phone, dick!" and "I always had a thing for ya, Sid!" and maybe one more.

Mark Hamill improvised the wink to 3PO and kissing Leia on the forehead in The Last Jedi, and Benicio Del Toro improvised his final line: "Maybe."
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Patrick McGroin » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:26 pm

Thief wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:22 pm
In Shawshank Redemption...
Also, Red's gesture of looking over his shoulder for someone was improvised by Freeman.
EDIT: The whole scene is great with the cicadas buzzing in the background and the sound of the trees rustling in the wind. But that precise moment is like my favorite part of the movie. I kid you not.

Of course it's the second time he does it that really sells it.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Thief » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:42 pm

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:26 pm
EDIT: The whole scene is great with the cicadas buzzing in the background and the sound of the trees rustling in the wind. But that precise moment is like my favorite part of the movie. I kid you not.

Of course it's the second time time he does it that really sells it.
Oh yeah.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Spencie Returns » Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:20 pm

The Netflix show The Movies That Made Us has an episode about Ghostbusters' origins, where all the right people, ideas and attitude just happened to jump in front of a rolling camera. Dan Ackroyd's original script was some convoluted, lore driven space adventure that would leave the Wachowskis scratching their heads. The whole thing was pretty much made on a whim, halfway expecting to call itself Ghostbreakers over a legal dispute, and filming multiple takes using both titles just in case.

#releasetheghostbreakerscut
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Jinnistan » Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:06 am

A good musical example would be the Beatles' Rubber Soul cover. The photographer, Robert Freeman, was showing the group the latest pictures, slides projected onto a cardboard frame, when the cardboard fell back against the wall, elongating and tilting the image. The lucky picture being projected at that moment became the iconic cover.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by MrCarmady » Mon May 04, 2020 10:40 am

Just found out that the ending of The Graduate, one of the most legendary endings of all time, was a bit of an accident, fascinating:

https://www.dailybulletin.com/2017/12/2 ... ne-church/
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Thief » Mon May 04, 2020 2:10 pm

MrCarmady wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:40 am
Just found out that the ending of The Graduate, one of the most legendary endings of all time, was a bit of an accident, fascinating:

https://www.dailybulletin.com/2017/12/2 ... ne-church/
Yes! That's another one I forgot to bring up. I just saw the film for the first time in April and afterwards read about that. It's amazing how such a small unexpected thing really adds up to the overall impact of the film.
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Re: Happy Accidents and Lucky Strikes

Post by Thief » Mon May 11, 2020 5:57 pm

Just remembered another one that probably everybody knows, but I've always found surprising and interesting and it's the casting and performance of Tom Cruise as Lestat in The Interview with the Vampire. For those that don't know about it, Anne Rice (author of the novel and the screenplay) harshly criticized the casting of Cruise and vouched for actors like Julian Sands, John Malkovich, Peter Weller, Jeremy Irons, and even Alexander Godunov (Karl in Die Hard). She even suggested swapping Cruise with Pitt. The studio stuck to their guns and the result was what I think is the best performance of the film and probably my favorite Cruise performance. Eventually, Rice ended up praising Cruise's performance after seeing the final film. She even contacted Cruise to compliment him and apologize for her initial comments.
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