Health and safety is important in every profession, and movie-making is no different. From stunt people performing dangerous feats to actors shooting in hazardous locations, there are a lot of factors that filmmakers have to take into consideration. Most of the time, production teams ensure that their sets are as risk-free as possible. That being said, however, there remain hair-raising incidents where movie crews threw caution to the wind in pursuit of art. And these 20 pictures are prime examples of why safety should always come first.
20. Apocalypse Now (1979)
As the old adage goes, war is hell. But the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 Vietnam epic Apocalypse Now made most conflicts seem like a walk in the park. Filmed in the Philippines during a rebel uprising, the movie was often shot mere hours away from real combat zones. To make matters worse, the country’s extreme weather laid waste to the production. Following a devastating typhoon, for example, whole sets had to be reconstructed.
Perhaps the biggest sufferer of the shoot, however, was lead actor Martin Sheen. Battling a drink problem at the time, the star fully immersed himself in the madness of the picture. To wit, Sheen’s intense opening scene – which he filmed blind drunk – saw him slice his hand on a broken mirror. Near the end of the production, Sheen was in such distress that he experienced a near-fatal heart attack. Certainly, it’s a minor miracle that the actor survived.