The Shocking and Tragic Accidents Kept Hidden Behind-the-Scenes

By Sarah Norman | May 2, 2023


Some of the most iconic movies and TV shows of all time were produced in the '70s, '80s, and '90s. From James Bond to The Dukes of Hazzard, Scarface to Top Gun, and Blade Runner to Terminator 2, these productions have stood the test of time, becoming beloved classics. However, what many viewers may not know is that behind the scenes, filming these works was often an incredibly risky business, with cast and crew members suffering serious injuries, and sometimes even losing their lives. From the cursed set of The Exorcist to the chaos of Apocalypse Now, this article will take a look back at some of the most shocking accidents that occurred during the making of some of the biggest films and TV shows of the 20th century. Keep reading to find out more.

test article image
(Universal Pictures)

While filming the movie Waterworld, actresses Jeanne Tripplehorn and Tina Majorino were thrown overboard from the trimaran they were on when the bowsprit broke. Luckily, nearly a dozen rescue divers were nearby and helped bring them back aboard. During filming, Kevin Costner was tied to the mast of his trimaran during a squall, which nearly caused him to die. Some cast and crew members also suffered from seasickness and jellyfish stings. Additionally, Kevin Costner's stunt double, Laird Hamilton, ran out of fuel on his jet ski and was lost at sea for a few hours after filming a scene.


test article image
(Sony Pictures Releasing)

The 1997 thriller Anaconda had audiences on the edge of their seats with its depiction of a documentary film crew's encounter with two giant anacondas in the Amazon. But it turns out that the film's production was even more harrowing than the story it portrayed. Due to budget constraints, the filmmakers opted to create two massive animatronic puppets to bring the snakes to life. However, these complex mechanisms malfunctioned during shooting, causing one of the puppets to attack star Jennifer Lopez for real. With over a ton of metal and wires bearing down on her, Lopez was in serious danger of injury or worse, but fortunately she escaped with only some footage of the snake's realistic movements to show for it.