Take A Look At The 30 Most Dangerous Movies Ever Made

Making a movie isn’t cheap or easy, and especially, it isn’t safe. Many of your favorite Hollywood films involve lots of stunt doubles, hazardous locations, dangerous explosions, and many, many risky stunts. Although movie makers try their best to make their sets as safe as possible, sometimes things get out of control. So today, we’ll look at 20 movies that were extremely dangerous to make – and some weren’t even worth the risk!

Photo: Courtesy of Scribol

#30. Maze Runner: The Death Cure

During the production of Maze Runner: The Death Cure, star Dylan O’Brien suffered a terrifying accident that almost took his life. Although he doesn’t clearly remember what happened, he was reportedly thrown from a vehicle, which left him with a serious concussion and facial fracture, plus other injuries.

Photo: Courtesy of The Atlantic

Production was halted and O’Brien took time off to recover, but according to the young actor, recovering from his emotional trauma was harder than recovering from his physical injuries. After six long months, Dylan got back to work, and filming ended without any further inconveniences.

#29. Now You See Me

Heist thriller Now You See Me captivated audiences with its super cool magic tricks, and the actors actually had to perform these magic tricks instead of relying on special effects to do the trick. However, this ended up putting star Isla Fisher‘s life at risk during a scene where she was supposed to break out of a water tank.

Photo: Courtesy of The Verge

Isla was submerged in a tank of water with handcuffs on, which were equipped with a quick-release magnet to help her break out easily. However, for an unexplained reason, the handcuffs wouldn’t open, and Fisher was trapped. Luckily, the crew realized what was happening before it was too late, and she was rescued.

#28. The Crow

The production of The Crow witnessed one of the most tragic and haunting on-set accidents to ever take place. Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, was the star of the movie, and he performed his own stunts. However, the stunt he was performing wasn’t thought to be dangerous at all.

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How many movies have you seen where people get shot? You don’t think they’re using real guns, right? Well, while filming The Crow, Lee was shot with a gun that apparently contained a fragment of a real bullet. Sadly, he lost his life that day, and the movie was completed with a body double and special effects.

#27. The Hobbit

There was a lot of tragedy surrounding the production of The Hobbit, and the film received a lot of backlash for it. Unlike other movies on this list, filming wasn’t dangerous for the humans appearing in the film, but for the animals. It is believed that around 27 different animals died during the making of the movie.

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And no, they didn’t die because of some strange coincidence, but of dehydration, malnourishment, exhaustion, and even drowning. What’s even worse is that the production company tried to cover it up, and ended up upsetting people more. Better precautions were taken in the following movies of the saga.

#26. Waterworld

Waterworld was a terrible mistake in many ways. First of all, it was the most expensive film ever made at the time and it made less than half of its budget back. But the worst things that came out of this movie were the injuries that the cast had to sustain during filming.

Photo: Courtesy of Syfy

For example, two actors had to be rescued by divers after their boat broke down all of a sudden. Also, star Kevin Costner was suspended 40 feet in the air for a stunt for over 30 minutes while raging winds and seawater almost drowned him to death. Also, one of the rescuers almost died too. Luckily, everyone came out of that set alive.

#25. Troy

Troy was an extremely expensive movie centered in the famous Trojan Horse story, starring Hollywood hotties Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, and Christian Bale. Despite its beautiful cast, lots of ugly stuff went down on that set. For example, a stuntman named George Camilleri was injured and subsequently passed away from his injuries.

Photo: Courtesy of Empire Online

Not only that, but Brad Pitt played the famous Achilles, and you know what he ended up hurting while filming his movie? Yup, the Achilles tendon. His injury was so bad that production was halted for 10 weeks. Oh, and also a hurricane destroyed half of the set at one point.

#24. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

The Resident Evil franchise is the most successful saga based on a video game, and all movies have been a major hit. What captivated audiences were the incredible stunts and action-packed scenes that these movies brought, but what people don’t realize is that these scenes come at a great cost.

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Olivia Jackson, a stuntwoman for the last Resident Evil movie was horrifically injured during a motorcycle stunt that almost took her life. She was put into a medically-induced coma after half of the skin was ripped off her face, and her arm had to be amputated. Luckily, she has since recovered.

#23. The Hangover Part II

The premise of The Hangover is very simple: a bunch of guys who do a bunch of stupid stuff. Therefore, the production of this film involved a lot of dangerous things, and those in charge should’ve taken more care and made sure that nobody got hurt while doing all that stupid stuff, right? Well, they didn’t.

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Scott McLean, the stunt double for Ed Helms, had to stick his head out of the window of a moving car, and the scene had to be perfectly timed so that he wouldn’t hit his head against anything, but you can guess how that turned out. He was so severely injured that he had to re-learn how to walk and talk, but luckily, he has fully recovered.

#22. Top Gun

American action drama Top Gun launched Tom Cruise‘s career and was a commercial hit, grossing over $356 million at the box office. The movie is basically about pilots and planes going really fast, so you could guess that being on that set was pretty dangerous – and you’d be correct.

Photo: Courtesy of The Independent

Although all the aerobatic pilots featured in the film were trained and experienced professionals, accidents still happened. One pilot’s plane, unfortunately, spun out of control and crashed into the Pacific Ocean, and was never found, unfortunately. Of course, this footage never made it to the film.

#21. Ben-Hur (1925)

Ben-Hur is an epic historical drama set in Roman times that was released in 1925 (not to be confused with the 1959 remake). At the time the movie was made, not many security measures were taken, and the law wasn’t there to protect people from injury on set. This led to a very tragic incident while the movie was in production.

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A stuntman lost his life when his chariot malfunctioned on set. Not only that but also most horses used in the movie lost their lives as well due to the mishandling they suffered and the poor conditions they had to endure on set. But the most disturbing thing is that the footage of those scenes was used, and the death of the man was carefully removed.

#20. Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola‘s Apocalypse Now is a Vietnam epic that follows the story of a soldier who embarks on an extremely dangerous mission to kill a renegade officer accused of murder. This movie certainly makes most conflicts seem like a walk in the park, as it depicts practically everything that could go wrong during war times.

Photo: Courtesy of Scribol

But the movie was actually filmed during a rebel uprising in the Philippines and shot a couple of hours away from the combat zone. Not only that but also the extreme weather of the location endangered the production more than once. For example, a typhoon destroyed the whole set at one point. Oh, and Martin Sheen suffered a near-fatal heart attack on set as well.

#19. Titanic

All the risks taken in order to make Titanic were certainly worth it. After all, with a global gross of over $2 billion, it is to this day one of the highest-grossing movies in history. However, the movie took a lot of sweat, blood, and tears to be completed. So many stunt people were injured while filming the sinking ship scene that, in the end, filmmakers had to do it with CGI.

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But the most dangerous part of making this movie actually occurred while the crew was taking a break. Someone apparently spiked the clam chowder dinner everyone was enjoying with the hallucinogen P.C.P., and 150 people were hospitalized. However, many others actually enjoyed the ride!

#18. Supersize Me

Supersize Me is a super-successful documentary where a man named Morgan Spurlock is shown as he tries a very dangerous experiment: only eating McDonald’s fast food for 30 days. This drove Spurlock through a very dark place, where he put his physical and mental health on the line.

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By the end of the movie, Spurlock gained 24 pounds, increased cholesterol, and fell into depression. But thanks to his sacrifice, the dangers of fast food were exposed, and McDonald’s actually stopped serving extra-large Super Size portions due to the repercussions of the movie. Also, Morgan made a full recovery.

#17. The Sword Of Tipu Sultan

The Sword of Tipu Sultan is a Bollywood movie made in 1990 and it is known as the movie where the worst on-set accident in history ever happened. While the production of the movie itself wasn’t dangerous, a tragic accident led to the death of 62 crew members.

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A fire broke out and became too dangerous to contain, leading to a massive loss of lives never seen before on a movie set. The director of the movie, Sanjay Khan, made it out alive but required 70 different operations after the accident. The source of the fire was never identified.

#16. The African Queen

The African Queen, filmed in 1951, was a pioneer of location shooting, as most films were filmed in studios at that time. This one, however, was filmed in Sub-Saharan Africa, and with that decision came many, many downsides. First of all, after drinking local water, most of the staff contracted dysentery, and it gets worse.

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Katharine Hepburn, the main star of the movie, was one of the sickest people on set, and she actually had a bucket next to her during the whole shoot, so she could throw up between takes. After this, the staff started drinking whiskey to avoid drinking the contaminated water, and you can guess how that turned out…

#15. The General

Buster Keaton was venerated as one of the kings of slapstick comedy in the 1920s. Of course, during that time, CGI didn’t exist, so all stunts were real. So when Keaton made The General, where he played a locomotive driver, he had to do all sorts of crazy things on a moving train.

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Keaton lost consciousness by being exposed to cannon fire during a scene, for example. Also, a staff member was shot with a rifle and another was even run over by a train – and sadly, we don’t know whether either of them survived. Hey, at least the movie was a roaring success, and it was one of Keaton’s most famous films.

#14. The Wizard of Oz

Although The Wizard of Oz is one of the happiest, most colorful movies ever made, production was a far cry from that. In fact, it was basically torture for most of the cast, thanks to the lax safety laws of the 1930s, which didn’t really protect actors and stuntmen from danger.

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For example, actress Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch, had to wear very thick, green makeup that was actually very flammable, and due to malfunctioning pyrotechnics, she suffered pretty bad burns. Also, the Tin Man, Buddy Ebsen, suffered a severe reaction to his aluminum-based body paint, which left him in an iron lung for a while.

#13. Street Fighter

Unlike some of the amazing movies that we’ve had on our list so far, Street Fighter was definitely not worth all the risk the actors were exposed to. With a painful 11% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, not even the filmmakers want to remember it existed. And during production, the crew had to endure a bunch of inconveniences.

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While shooting in Thailand, rumors of a coup led the government to close main roads, so actors had to access the set by boat. Also, the actors were forced to use real blades for fight scenes instead of fake ones, for reasons that remain unclear. Luckily, no one was injured, but it could’ve been very, very serious.

#12. Jackass: The Movie

It is no surprise that Jackass: The Movie made it to this list – after all, the whole point of the movie and the TV show that inspired it is to watch a bunch of guys injure themselves doing stupid stuff. The problem, however, is that sometimes they injured themselves more than they intended to.

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Johnny Knoxville almost died several times during filming. For example, he was knocked out by a boxer, and was sent to the hospital to receive stitches. He also almost broke his neck after flipping a golf cart upside down. However, according to him, that got him the best footage of the entire movie.

#11. Come And See

Come and See is a harrowing experience to watch, as it takes viewers through the atrocities committed by the Germans in the U.S.S.R. during World War II, and is considered one of the greatest anti-war movies ever made. That is because it portrays the brutal realities of war. Filming such a realistic movie came with its costs, however.

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For example, real ammunition was fired instead of having fake guns, which could’ve seriously killed someone. Not only that, but there were teenage actors in the movie who had bullets flying inches over their heads! Everyone was under extreme stress and had a terrible time during filming – and we’re not surprised.

#10. Shark!

Although Jaws is definitely the most famous shark movie ever, before came Shark! in 1969, which showed the terrors that come with the ocean’s most dangerous predator. The movie used real sharks, as opposed to Jaws, which mostly had robot sharks, and this led to a terribly tragic accident that happened on set.

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A stuntman named Jose Marco was mauled to death by a great white shark on set, and that’s just the beginning of this horror story. Producers then used the incident as publicity for the movie and even allowed pictures of the accident to be put on magazines. This led to director Samuel Fuller to quit in disgust.

#9. The Expendables 2

Although it looks super cool on screen, being a stuntman is extremely dangerous, and it goes terribly wrong a lot of times. Such was the case during the filming of The Expendables 2 in 2012. While filming an action sequence, stand-ins Ken Lieu and Nuo Sun were caught in an explosion. Sun survived his injuries, but Lieu sadly didn’t.

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The families sued the production but weren’t successful. Then, during the filming of The Expendables 3, Jason Statham almost drowned to death after the truck he was driving went off a cliff. This wasn’t the production company’s fault, and filming continued as normal after the incident.

#8. Silence

Through his long, accomplished career, Martin Scorsese has had to deal with a lot of controversies, especially due to his films’ depiction of violence. For example, his portrayal of Jesus in The Last Temptation of Christ, led to radicals bombing a cinema in Paris. And when he made Silence in 2016, he already had a feeling that something was going to go wrong, as it had in the past.

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One of the buildings used in the movie’s set was not in optimal shape, and producers became concerned with its safety conditions. Construction workers went in to repair it, and that is when the building collapsed. Two contractors were injured and one was killed in the accident.

#7. Noah’s Ark

Ah, the 1920s – what a time to make movies! No safety regulations, no CGI, barely any special effects; basically, an actor’s nightmare nowadays. But back then, it was completely normal to come into work, not knowing whether you’d be alive to see the movie come out in theaters. Such was the case of Noah’s Ark in 1928.

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It is reported that 600,000 gallons of water used in the production to simulate the Great Flood wreaked havoc on cast and crew. Over 30 ambulances were called to help those who were injured, but for some, it was too late. Three people died, and one had to get his leg surgically removed after the accident.

#6. Ftzcarraldo

German director Werner Herzog is known for taking his craft extremely seriously, so much so that he ate his own shoe once, for whatever reason. He also hypnotized his cast for Heart of Glass in the name of art. But the strangest and also most dangerous movie he ever made was Fitzcarraldo in 1982.

 

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As the movie was filmed in the jungles of South America, both the cast and crew fell victim to several diseases. A few extras even lost their lives from illness, unfortunately. The cast was also attacked by native tribespeople, were caught in a plane crash, oh, and someone lost his leg due to a snake bite.

#5. Roar

Roar is a 1981 film about a man who lives among lions, tigers, and other big cats in Africa. You’d think that a movie about wild predators would take all necessary precautions to make sure that no one gets hurt during filming, right? Well, that wasn’t the case here, and at least 70 crew members were harmed during production.

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They used real animals and the staff wasn’t properly trained to handle them. Many people were attacked by lions, such as cinematographer Jan de Bont, who needed over 120 stitches. Also, the animals themselves were harmed, as a few of them escaped and police ended up panicking and killing three of them.

#4. Twilight Zone: The Movie

Very few movies have a more tragic background than Twilight Zone: The Movie. While shooting the movie, a helicopter lost control and crashed, killing three actors: Vic Morrow, Myca Dinh, and Renee Shin-Yi Chen. But what came up afterward only made the situation worse.

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After the tragic events that transpired, it was discovered that Le and Chen, who were under 10 years of age, had been illegally hired. Five crew members were charged with manslaughter but were later acquitted. However, this situation led to stronger laws on safety and child labor in movies.

#3. The Conqueror

The story behind The Conqueror is actually unique – but in the worst way possible. Unlike all movies on this list, the production of this film went without a hitch, and the movie was a great success. However, years later, something strange started happening to the cast and crew of the Genghis Khan biopic.

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Over the years, more than 90 people who had been involved in the movie were diagnosed with some form of cancer, and many of them lost their lives. After many years, it was discovered that the location where the film was shot had been a nuclear bomb test site, and everyone had been exposed to radioactive fallout.

#2. The Viking

Although The Viking was a pretty forgettable movie, it was one of the most fatal film productions of all time. The footage shown in the film was made by explorer Varick Frissell, who set sail with the SS Viking into the Newfoundland coast. Needless to say, things didn’t go as planned.

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During the expedition, there was an explosion inside the vessel, and all crew members lost their lives. It was a total of 27 people, Frissell included. The wreckage was so terrible that the source of the explosion and most bodies were never found. The movie was named The Viking after the ship.

#1. A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick‘s A Clockwork Orange is by far one of the most dangerous movies ever made. The film is about juvenile delinquency in the UK, and it shows plenty of disturbing, violent imagery, that apparently even inspired copycat attacks in the country. But it was Malcolm McDowell, the star of the movie, who suffered the most during production.

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For starters, McDowell cracked his ribs, was repeatedly spat on by a co-star, and infamously had his eyes held open with clamps – and yeah, that was real. Did you think it was made with special effects? Nope! McDowell ended up with painfully damaged corneas. Oops.

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    Angeles

    24 - Argentina.

    She's a journalist and a website developer based in New York.

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