Nobody’s stealing a living like Hollywood writers. Those who can’t act, sing, and those who can’t sing, write. Or don’t write. All your favorite lines were improvised by the actors –– the ones with the actual talent. Check out these examples if you don’t believe me!

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” (The Wizard of Oz, 1939) Judy Garland saw a billboard reading “Kansas City” and assumed she had crossed the border into Missouri. The dog playing Toto pointed out to her that there’s a Kansas City, Kansas as well, but Garland was unconvinced.

“Bond. James Bond.”(Dr. No, 1962 ) Sean Connery momentarily forgot his character’s first name.

“No, I am your father.” (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, 1980) James Earl Jones was feeling experimental that morning, and decided to attempt a weird, unexpected porno pivot midway through the shooting of this scene. Unfortunately, Mark Hamill was slow on the uptake and failed to reply, “Daddy?” to keep things moving.

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”(Gone with the Wind, 1939) Ever-irreverent, Clark Gable’s Rhett

Butler dismissed the set assistant’s concern that his moustache resembled “a scraggly penciled line, rather than the impressive, masculine whiskers we’d expect from a charismatic Casanova like yourself.”

“Why so serious?” (The Dark Knight, 2008) Heath Ledger took this moment to express serious artistic disagreements with director Christopher Nolan’s tonal choices. Rumour has it that Ledger’s attempt at a three-minute operatic interlude, an attempt to “pitch this movie to the gallery as well as the pit,” can still be found on the cutting-room floor.

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter
in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”(Blade Runner, 1982) No idea what Rutger Hauer was going for here, to be honest. He just popped a tab of LSD and started rambling. Ridley Scott reported, “We didn’t have any film left for a reshoot, but, hey, it sounded pretty cool, right?”

— A. Tawakley