The Terminator and eventual governor of California, himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger chomps down on a cigar while filming James Cameron's True Lies.
1993. Tony Savino/Sygma/Getty Images
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Stanley Kubrick in the midst of production on the political satire Dr. Strangelove.
His work with Peter Sellers also appeared with 1962's adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita.
1963.George Rinhart/Corbis/Getty Images
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Before Antonio Banderas was a household name, he starred in an action blockbuster called Desperado that showed he could lead a film of this caliber.
1995.Santiago Bueno/Sygma/Getty Images
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Brad Pitt said that he was becoming rather dissuaded by Hollywood and his career trajectory during the mid-1990s — until he met David Fincher.
The two are extremely close friends to this day and have worked on three major movies together.
The duo is seen here on the set of Se7en, which became a gigantic success.
1995.New Line Cinema/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images
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Francis Ford Coppola had to deal with terrible weather in the Philippines and his fairly unreliable cast throughout the 16-month shoot of Apocalypse Now.
April 28, 1976. Philippines.Dirck Halstead/Getty Images
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A remarkable swath of screenwriters attests to this day that Lawrence Kasdan's screenplay of Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the finest, most cohesive adventure scripts ever written.
Harrison Ford and director Steven Spielberg made four Indiana Jones films together.
1981. Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images
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Hong Kong "gun fu" movie legend John Woo watches as Nicolas Cage ensures he's on his mark and in position with the shot on the set of Face/Off.
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A young Leonardo DiCaprio being carried by co-star James Madi on the set of The Basketball Diaries.
The press run of this film was rooted firmly in anti-drug discussions, as well as honoring the writer of the source material, Jim Carroll.
1994. New York, New York.Mark Peterson/Corbis/Getty Images
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Roman Polanski with Mia Farrow on the set of Rosemary's Baby.
Farrow was served with divorce papers by her husband Frank Sinatra during the shoot. He was furious she accepted the role. He had demanded earlier she quit her career.
1968. Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images
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Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling chill out while the crew prepares to shoot on the set of The Nice Guys.
Both Crowe and Gosling reportedly took the roles specifically to work with each other.
2015. Los Angeles, California.TSM/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
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Director Lewis Milestone with Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Sammy Davis Jr. on the set of Ocean's 11.
1960.Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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Werner Herzog (center) directs dwarf actors on the set of his 1971 film Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen (Even Dwarfs Started Small).
The plot revolves around a group of institutionalized dwarfs who take over the asylum on a remote island, with mayhem ensuing.
1970.John Springer Collection/Corbis/Getty Images
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Will Smith, in character as heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, with director Michael Mann on the set of Ali.
Smith spent nearly two years learning about Ali, including physical training, learning his dialect, and studying his beliefs.
2001. Los Angeles, California.Peter Brandt/Getty Images
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Alfred Hitchcock and Janet Leigh on the famous shower set of Psycho.
This iconic scene had a profound effect on its star actress. "I stopped taking showers and I only take baths," Leigh later revealed. "And when I’m someplace where I can only take a bath, I make sure the doors and windows of the house are locked. I also leave the bathroom door open and shower curtain open. I’m always facing the door, watching, no matter where the shower head is."
This 45-second scene used a whopping 78 camera set-ups and 52 edits.
1960. Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images
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Martin Scorsese and Joe Pesci on the set of The Irishman.
Scorcese famously opted to work with Netflix on the project, as no other studio would likely green-light the unsettling epic, especially with its $140 million budget.
2017. New York, New York. Bobby Bank/GC Images
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Alfred Hitchcock and Paul Newman on the set of Torn Curtain.
The pair had an incompatible working relationship, as Newman wanted to keep refining the character and script, which Hitchcock found disrespectful.
"I think Hitch and I could have really hit it off, but the script kept getting in the way," Newman reportedly said afterward.
1966.John Springer Collection/CorbisGetty Images
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Paul Newman and Robert Redford as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid posing for a photograph on the set of the eponymous western.
George Roy Hill's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid inspired directors such as David Fincher to go into filmmaking.
1969. Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
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Francis Ford Coppola with young Vito Corleone, himself, Robert DeNiro, on the set of The Godfather Pt. II.
The role won DeNiro his first Oscar (for Best Supporting Actor).
1974. Paramount Pictures/Getty Images
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Marvel actors Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, and Chris Evans film a scene for The Avengers.
2011. New York, New York.Ray Tamarra/Getty Images
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Russell Crowe on the set of Ridley Scott's sword-and-sandals epic, Gladiator.
Scott decided on this particular location when he learned that the Forestry Commission planned to remove a section of the forest — so he convinced them to let him shoot there and help with the "deforestation."
1999. Bourne Wood, England.Ken Goff/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
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Edward Norton has said that making 25th Hour with Spike Lee was one of the best filmmaking experiences he ever had.
He also called Lee the most "rigorous" and "prepared" director he ever worked with.
2002. New York, New York.Tom Kingston/WireImage
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Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe in between takes while filming John Huston's The Misfits.
The shoot was plagued by regular 108 degree Fahrenheit heat and the crumbling of Monroe and husband Arthur Miller's marriage. On top of that, Miller was revising the script throughout.
1960. Reno, Nevada.Ernst Haas/Getty Images
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Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks on the set of Saving Private Ryan.
The Omaha Beach landing scenes cost $12 million and employed more than 1,000 extras. 20 to 30 amputees were used for some of the more gruesome sequences.
50 Behind-The-Scenes Photos That’ll Change The Way You Look At Famous Movies
When filmmakers speak of movie magic, they're not exactly joking. For some successful directors, their final products often seemed like impossible goals to reach at first. This is especially true for productions that were plagued with difficulties during the filming process.
Some of the most revered movies, from Apocalypse Now to The Shining to Jaws, are often linked to the brilliance of their directors. However, filmmaking is a collective process. Every single movie set experience chronicled below makes that abundantly clear, for better or for worse.
"I thought my career as a filmmaker was over," he said. "I heard rumors...that I would never work again because no one had ever taken a film 100 days over schedule."
Of course, Jaws later turned out to be a massive success. But it's not the only movie that seemed like it was doomed before it hit the theaters.
From The Wizard of Oz to The Avengers, mundanity on set turned to magic on the screen. It just goes to show that sometimes a challenging journey can lead to a glorious destination — and one hell of a story.
Steven Spielberg Wrangles Jaws
Before Spielberg's horror classic hit the scene, summers without major blockbusters were commonplace. Jaws changed that for good.
It was the first movie to cross the $100 million box-office mark — though it nearly sank before production had even wrapped.
Centered around a seaside community plagued by a vengeful shark, it was vital for the fake great white to seem like a real animal. The then-27-year-old director quickly found that his mechanical terror — named Bruce after Spielberg's real-life lawyer — didn't even work properly.
"Every single day the shark was put in the water, something went wrong," said line producer Bill Gilmore. "Our own crew sarcastically referred to the title of the movie as Flaws."
The young filmmaker knew he had to adapt or drown. So that's exactly what he and his crew did.
"We shot anything and everything in the movie that didn't have a shark in it," Gilmore said.
Steven Spielberg on the set of Jaws.
With the original 55-day schedule extending to a whopping 159 days, it's no surprise that Spielberg thought his career was over. The budget, too, spiked from $3.5 to $10 million, which certainly didn't boost anyone's confidence.
Ultimately, no one could've predicted that the new minimalistic approach would improve, rather than ruin the film. With John Williams' terrifying score underpinning the tension, the director had a hit on his hands.
"The film went from a Japanese Saturday matinee horror flick to more of a Hitchcock, the less-you-see-the-more-you-get thriller," Spielberg said.
After an audience member at a Jaws test screening ran out of the theater to vomit — before ultimately returning to his seat, Spielberg finally knew for sure that his film hadn't failed.
The Hearts Of Darkness: The War Of Apocalypse Now, One Battle At A Time
According to Peter Cowie's Coppola, the renowned director Francis Coppola told screenwriter John Milius to "write every scene you ever wanted to go into that movie." The result was 10 drafts and over a thousand pages.
Though based on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness about the imperialist horrors in the Congo, Milius wanted to use the source material as "a sort of allegory. It would have been too simple to have followed the book completely."
"My greatest fear is to make a really sh-tty, embarrassing, pompous film on an important subject, and I am doing it," he said in the making-of documentary, Hearts of Darkness. "And I confront it. I acknowledge, I will tell you right straight from... the most sincere depths of my heart, the film will not be good."
An excerpt from the Hearts of Darkness documentary.
Filming in the Philippines — with a typhoon wrecking an entire set — the production became infamous for being disastrous. Coppola was forced to personally cover some $16 million of the film's $30.5 million budget, in the end offering all that his Godfather successes had purchased as collateral.
Realizing that a lead character isn't working, of course, only complicated matters. Martin Sheen replaced Harvey Keitel as the star, only to suffer a heart attack during the shoot. When Marlon Brando showed up on set an estimated 90 pounds overweight, Coppola was at the end of his wits.
"There is only about a 20 percent chance I can pull the film off," Coppola reportedly told his wife.
While initial screenings seemed to confirm his fears, post-production on the audio, tinkering with the voiceover, and substantially editing large portions of the film turned it into a masterpiece. Only perseverance and fighting the right battles led Coppola to glory.
His efforts on that set inspire filmmakers to this day.
The Shining: An Overlooked Production Hell
Stanley Kubrick was arguably the most notorious perfectionist in the history of American cinema. According to a ZFOnline interview with Joe Turkel, the seemingly simple "bar scene" wherein Jack Nicholson's character meets Lloyd the bartender took a whopping six weeks — to rehearse.
He then claimed that the same scene took nearly half a day to actually shoot, leaving him drenched in sweat by the time all was said and done. He also admitted that it was his favorite scene in the movie — lending some credence to Kubrick's methods.
Not unlike Apocalypse Now, the arduous production of this movie was later chronicled in a documentary. Perhaps most indicative of the stress on set were the scenes starring Shelley Duvall, who was routinely berated for her acting and eventually fell ill from stress for months.
The famous baseball bat scene between a crazed Nicholson and a hysterical Duvall, for instance, took a reported 127 takes, according to Rolling Stone.
"Going through day after day of excruciating work was almost unbearable," Duvall said. "Jack Nicholson's character had to be crazy and angry all the time. And in my character I had to cry 12 hours a day, all day long, the last nine months straight, five or six days a week."
An excerpt from Vivian Kubrick's Making The Shining.
She added, "I was there a year and a month, and there must be something to Primal Scream therapy, because after the day was over and I'd cried for my 12 hours... After all that work, hardly anyone even criticized my performance in it, even to mention it, it seemed like. The reviews were all about Kubrick, like I wasn't there."
On top of all this was Kubrick's insistence on using the Steadicam, which had only been developed a few years earlier and was relatively new technology at the time.
In the end, however, all the work and no play involved in the filming resulted in one of the greatest movies of all time.
A staff writer for All That’s Interesting, Marco Margaritoff has also published work at outlets including People, VICE, and Complex, covering everything from film to finance to technology. He holds dual bachelor's degrees from Pace University and a master's degree from New York University.