40 Fantastic “Behind The Scenes” Shots Of The World’s Most Iconic Films

Published March 21, 2017
Updated May 2, 2024

Movie-goers marvel at the stunning scenes that appear on the big screen. But going behind the scenes is exciting, too.

Filming Of Aliens
Sigourney Weaver and Bill Paxton take a coffee break while filming “Aliens.” Paxton passed away in February of 2017 after complications from surgery.reddit/mlslgn

Top Gun
Tom Cruise with director Tony Scott on the set of "Top Gun."Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images

Conan Destroyer
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Grace Jones behind the scenes on “Conan the Destroyer,” 1984.Flickr/randar

Rocky
Sylvester Stallone on the set of "Rocky."Getty Images

Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee with producer Fred Weintraub on the set of "Enter the Dragon."Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images

Carrie Fisher
The stars of "Star Wars" off set.

Citizen Kane
Orson Welles on the set of the classic "Citizen Kane."Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images

Planet Apes
Actor Maurice Evans has makeup applied on the set of "Planet of the Apes."John Bryson / Getty Images

Curtis Halloween
Jamie Lee Curtis kissing her masked co-star Nick Castle after an intense scene in 1978’s “Halloween.” reddit/CJ_Guns

Andrew Garfield
Andrew Garfield filming “Hacksaw Ridge.” John Gilbert won the 2017 Oscar for best editing on the film. reddit/mlslgn

Big Trouble Little China
Filming the alleyway gang fight scene for the 1986 cult film, “Big Trouble in Little China.” reddit/ Reddit__PI

Eraserhead Set
Jack Nance and David Lynch on set of “Eraserhead.” The surreal, black and white movie was director Lynch's first film.reddit/Reddit__PI

Lewis Lincoln Lunch
Daniel Day-Lewis takes a lunch break while filming “Lincoln,” a 2012 historical drama. reddit/ Reddit__PI

Gone Wind
Vivien Leigh being filmed in a scene from 1939's epic romance, "Gone with the Wind." reddit/Meunderwears

Saving Private Ryan
Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Ed Burns on set of Saving Private Ryan. The graphic war epic made over $481 million worldwide, making it the second-highest-grossing film of 1998.reddit/mlslgn

Judy Garland
Judy Garland engrossed in an issue of Life Magazine on a break from filming “The Wizard of Oz,” 1938. reddit/KevlarYarmulke

Spaceballs Set
Bill Pullman, Mel Brooks and Rick Moranis goof around on the set of the 1987 space parody “Spaceballs.”reddit/Reddit__PI

James Caaan
James Caan having a smoke after shooting his death scene in "The Godfather," 1972. reddit/artman

Leon Professional
Jean Reno on the set of “Leon: The Professional.” The controversial film by director Luc Besson is widely regarded as his best. reddit/bogzaelektrotehniku

Silence Lambs
Director Jonathan Demme feeds Anthony Hopkins a fry through the Lecter mask on the 1991 set of “The Silence of the Lambs.” reddit/ Reddit__PI

Behind The Scenes Corpse Bride
A glimpse of the complexity of stop-motion animation on the set of Disney’s 2005 fantasy, “The Corpse Bride.”Facebook

Behind The Scenes Gravity
Actors Sandra Bullock and George Clooney take creative direction on the set of the 2013 blockbuster, “Gravity.”Idle Live

Behind The Scenes Goldfinger
A candid photo of Sean Connery and Shirley Eaton behind the scenes of the James Bond flick, “Goldfinger.” Getty Images

Behind The Scenes Tron Legacy
Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde consult with "Tron: Legacy" director Joseph Kosinski against a very futuristic blue backdrop.Getty Images

Behind The Scenes Jaws
Lounging in six inches of water beside a rubber shark? All in a day’s work for the actors on the film set of the 1975 thriller, “Jaws.”photomediamag

Behind The Scenes Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick and his daughter focus on themselves rather than star Jack Nicholson on the set of “The Shining.”Reddit

Behind The Scenes Empire Strikes
An off-the-wall Father’s Day reunion with Mark Hamill, a Darth Vader stand-in, and many other crew members in attendance on the set of 1980's “The Empire Strikes Back.” Facebook

Behind The Scenes Metropolis
Brigitte Helm takes a much needed hydration break in the set of Fritz Lang’s 1927 epic German sci-fi film, "Metropolis."Public Domain

Behind The Scenes Coraline
The crew from Disney’s stop-motion animated classic, “Coraline,” constructs a chilly looking cherry blossom scene.Reddit

Behind The Scenes Rebel
Natalie Wood appearing oblivious to James Dean’s clowning around during a break from shooting 1955’s “Rebel Without a Cause.” Public Domain

Behind The Scenes Sesame Street
The late Jim Henson and friends bring Bert and Ernie to life from under the puppet trench on every kid’s favorite street, “Sesame Street.”Vintage Everyday

Behind The Scenes Sweeney Todd
Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter wait for light adjustments while filming Tim Burton’s “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” Wikimedia Commons

Behind The Scenes Monty Python
A candid snapshot of the Monty Python boys behind the scenes of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail," released in the U.S. on January 1st, 1975.The Star

Behind The Scenes The Howling
A man with his monster: director Joe Dante inspecting the creature from 1981’s horror classic, “The Howling.”Vintage Everyday

Behind The Scenes Alien
It takes a village to operate a xenomorph. Puppeteers position the giant "Alien" behind the scenes of one of the century’s biggest sci-fi movies. Reddit

Dr Jekyll
Before the days of CGI, old Hollywood sets were often grand and filled to the brim with cinematic contraptions. This elaborate setup from 1931’s “Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was no exception. Vintage Everyday

Behind The Scenes Life Of Pi
On the set of Ang Lee's visually stunning “Life of Pi.”JDB Records

Behind The Scenes Quantum Solace
Some cast and crew shown in an eerie silhouette on the set of the James Bond film “Quantum of Solace.” Karen Ballard

Behind The Scenes Roger Rabbit
A Jessica Rabbit stand-in saunters across an expansive “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” scene mock up.Vintage Everyday

Behind The Scenes Man Of Steel
“Superman Returns” star Brandon Routh surveys his Fortress of Solitude in this still from the 2013 Superman remake.The Movie Fund

Since the onset of moving pictures, people the world over have carried on a love affair with the silver screen. While films let us travel to other "realities," movie-goers can seldom see the less glamorous realities -- the long hours, the grunt work, the laughter and tears -- that go into producing the fictions they pay to see at the cinema.

Here, we take a peek behind the camera for a look at several popular films, and see how things look from the other side of the lens.

author
Erin Kelly
author
An All That's Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she's designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.
editor
Savannah Cox
editor
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
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Kelly, Erin. "40 Fantastic “Behind The Scenes” Shots Of The World’s Most Iconic Films." AllThatsInteresting.com, March 21, 2017, https://allthatsinteresting.com/behind-the-scenes-iconic-films. Accessed May 19, 2024.