No matter how hard we try to pretend that TMZ writers would be out of job in the classic days of Hollywood, the fact remains that the movie industry has always been filled with insufferable assholes. Some of those assholes produced your favorite movie moments ever -- and some of them did that while putting their cast and crew through relentlessly horrible experiences, which they didn't always survive.
12Alfred Hitchcock Liked to Torture Actresses
Alfred Hitchcock was a genius, and by all accounts it was amazing to work with him ... as long as you were a dude.
Grace Kelly had to stand during Rear Window, while James Stewart just lounged around all day.
Hitchcock had a thing for the ladies, and it wasn't a healthy "thing." Even if you don't read anything into the fact that young, attractive blondes were continuously getting slashed, tortured or harassed in his films, his treatment of them off-camera was just slightly less deranged.
For instance, Hitchcock cast an unknown called Tippi Hedren in the lead role for The Birds -- presumably because he knew that a famous star wouldn't be quite as receptive to having massive piles of crap unleashed on her. Bird crap, to be more specific: For five days of filming, Hitchcock would throw live birds directly at the actress, peck, scratch and shit all over her. Not satisfied with the resulting terror, he ordered that the birds be physically tied to her, and one of them just missed clawing her eye out.
"Can you do that one again?"
All those scenes of the girl losing it in The Birds? She really is that scared, and since this was her big break, she didn't dare saying anything. The whole thing reduced Hedren to tears.
And then things got worse: Hitchcock became infatuated with Hedren, which he demonstrated by paying staff to follow her on her time off and sexually propositioning her (because chicks love guys who throw birds at them). When Hedren refused and demanded to be let out of her contract, the director vowed to ruin her career. And he did: For the next few years, Hedren remained under contract but made no movies. When she was finally released, demand for her had died down, and she spent the remainder of her acting career in relative obscurity.
Today this woman is better known as the mother of Melanie Griffith. Think about that for a second.
So what -- he had a weird relationship with one actress. We've all been there, right? Well, another of Hitchcock's victims was the lead actress of The 39 Steps. He'd shout "Bring on the Birmingham tart!" when calling for her on the set, and at one point he left her handcuffed to her male costar for hours until she developed bruises. Then in one scene, he needed a "shocked" reaction from her, so he started unbuttoning his pants as if he was going to whip out his cock.
For the love of God, DON'T PAN DOWN.
11Coppola and Apocalypse Now Nearly Kill Martin Sheen
Decades before Charlie Sheen lost his mind in front of a camera, his father, Martin, was doing the same thing in Francis Ford Coppola's classic Apocalypse Now. Martin Sheen's breakdown at the beginning of the movie is one of the most memorable opening sequences ever filmed. This impressive performance was fueled by rich source material, Sheen's need to exorcise his personal demons and Coppola's being an irresponsible jackass.
Geez guy, simmer down. It's just 'Nam, not a real war like Grenada.
Sheen almost didn't survive it.
Apocalypse Now is famous for being plagued with production problems, not the least of which involved its being filmed in the middle of an actual war zone. Coppola had agreed to shoot the movie in the Philippines knowing the country was in a state of civil war, because the president offered to support the production and lend them some military equipment (including helicopters). Coppola and his crew were there faster than you can say "tax break incentive."
Most people saw a horrible, divisive war. Coppola saw an opportunity to save some money for his wine business.
At one point, Coppola had to give back some helicopters because the government needed them for, you know, blowing up insurgents. The cast and crew could hear gunshots and explosions in the distance -- real ones -- but Coppola's main preoccupation at this point was about to adjust his schedule to accommodate the Philippine army's needs.
But apparently Martin Sheen didn't take things so calmly, because he suffered a heart attack in the middle of the jungle.
The horror was too much for him.
Sheen staggered a quarter of a mile through the jungle before reaching help. How did Coppola react? He was terrified ... that the producers might insist on transferring Sheen to an American hospital. So he quashed the "rumors" of a heart attack by claiming Sheen had suffered heat exhaustion, and had him back on the set a month later. Hell, we're surprised he didn't offer him to the Philippine government to help it fight in its war.