Faithful Cracked readers know that we owe things like penicillin, pacemakers, and even America to dumb-ass accidents. But what about the stuff that's truly important? Like, you know, a bunch of cool movie scenes? Well, it turns out that, much like how a healthy number of us wouldn't exist if it wasn't for boxed wine, Prince's Parade, and off-brand prophylactics, a number of classic movie moments were spawned thanks to ineptitude and/or randomness.
Yes, believe it or not, sometimes Hollywood doesn't know what the fuck it's doing. And sometimes that works out for the best, like when ...
6 The Star Wars Lightsaber Sound Was Discovered Thanks To A Broken Mic Cable
There's almost no element of the original Star Wars that hasn't become an integral part of the fabric of our culture ... with the possible exception of that werewolf guy at the cantina. Seriously, what's with that guy? Did George Lucas just swing by a Halloween Superstore on the way to the set?
He's what happened nine months after Chewbacca listened to Prince's Parade with some Ewoks.
But one thing we can all agree on is that lightsabers are fucking awesome. Whether it's being used to battle the forces of evil in an epic duel or merely amputate bothersome bar patrons, the lightsaber is one of the all-time great movie weapons. A big reason for that is the instantly-recognizable "KKSHHHWOOOON" sound effect it makes. But originally, the lightsaber had no sound, unless you count the one made by two middle-aged British men whacking each other with wooden dowels.
It's like the Star Wars Kid video, but sadder.
Since that's not very exciting, someone had to invent a sound for the lightsaber at some point -- a task which fell to sound designer Ben Burtt. If you don't know that name, you should. He's the pop culture hero who came up with the Star Wars blaster noise by hitting cables with a hammer, and Chewbacca's growl by taking a mic to a goddamn live bear.
"No no, I said make a laser sword sound! Stupid bear. Fine, I guess we'll use this for something else."
You'd think the most ubiquitous sound effect in one of the greatest movies ever wouldn't have come from a dumb accident, but it did. According to Burtt, he was carrying a tape recorder with a "broken mic cable ... the shielding had come off of it." Luckily, instead of electrocuting himself (which would presumably have given him the power to read women's minds), he inadvertently stumbled upon the sound of your childhood.
As he walked past the TV in his apartment, it "picked up the hum from the picture tube directly into the broken wire," and like a 12-pack of Miller Lite, it "made a buzz." Burtt thought it sounded appropriately space-wizard-like and used it as the basis for the lightsaber's sound. He probably could have gotten some sweet audio for the Emperor's finger-zapping power by taking a bath with a toaster, but luckily he never went that far.
5 The Most Famous Line In Jaws Was A Running Joke That Made It Into The Movie
Steven Spielberg's Jaws is considered both one of the greatest American films of all time and the first summer blockbuster. So, oddly, it's both high art and the reason Michael Bay is a multi-millionaire. By now it's become well-known that the suspense generated by the mostly unseen shark was due to the fact that the robot shark they built was a real piece of shit, making film history while ensuring that the violent Robo-Shark uprising won't happen for at least another century or so.
Personally, we find Spielberg's jorts way more terrifying.
But perhaps the most iconic moment in Jaws similarly comes from a random bit of luck. When Sheriff Brody (played by Roy Scheider) spies the shark for the first time, instead of more realistically filling the soundtrack with the sound of diarrhea on denim, he delivers the classic line "You're gonna need a bigger boat."
"For all the diarrhea, I mean."
According to co-writer Carl Gottlieb, the line came from a running joke amongst the crew. Apparently, the film's cheap-ass producers didn't hire a big enough boat to tow the giant barge full of lights, camera equipment, and craft services for filming at sea. So "You're gonna need a bigger boat" became a "catchphrase for anytime anything went wrong." Whenever something screwed up, someone would inevitably shout the line. Eventually, it got to the point where even Scheider jumped on the bandwagon (tugboat?) and started ad-libbing the line at different points in his performance.
"You're gonna need a bigger boat, fish."
"CUT! Roy, that makes no sense. Please stop, we're begging you."
Thanks to the film's editor, one moment where he dropped the in-joke made for one of the most memorable quotes in film history. That's like if it turned out that "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse" happened because Marlon Brando refused to stop quoting a local carpet commercial during The Godfather -- which, now that we think of it, is a scenario well within the realms of possibility.