Improvising the Scripted (Part II)

Scenes or dialogues that were not part of the original script, that were never supposed to have happened, but did nonetheless, and turned out to be memorable — now those are moments worth talking about. We did bring across a few of such improvisations quite a while back, which you can check out again by clicking here. And now we tell you a few more.

The Dark Knight is famous for probably every scene and every dialogue that is contained within the movie. But ages later, even if those were ever to be forgotten, the one thing that would still continue to shine is Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker.

Of all the strange and exhilarating things done by The Joker in the movie, his famous clap on hearing Jim Gordon’s promotion is quite iconic. Just like no one had asked The Joker to applaud, no one had said so to Heath Ledger as well. But Ledger performed this little piece which further adds to the unsettling feel around this character. Just a terrific piece of improvisation!

The classic movie Casablanca of an era gone by can hold your attention even today because of the captivating script and the incredible acting performances. To add to that is the charming and unforgettable set of dialogues, one of which is as famous as the movie now — “Here’s looking at you, kid”.

The line appears quite a few times in the movie, each time uttered by Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) to Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman). If Bogart had gone by the original script, he would have never uttered those famous words! As legend has it, this dialogue was something Bogart used to say to Bergman while teaching her how to play poker between takes, and eventually it found itself in the movie as an inside joke between the two. We aren’t complaining!

Remember the famous lineup scene from Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects? It comes quite early on in the film. You can have a relook here.

How about this — the whole scene is an improvised act! Writer Christopher McQuarrie wrote only one line for this scene – “Give me the keys, you fucking cocksucker!” and left it to the actors to enact it. And so when the cop says “In English, please” to Benicio del Toro, his reaction is also a genuine surprised one. Oh, and all the laughing before he utters his lines is because of his constant farting during the take. Improvisation, eh!?

So three memorable scenes from cinematic history all stemming not from long hours of thinking and picturising but from brief moments of genuine brilliance. Such is life at times!


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