Ford was a major pioneer in the Western genre, at least partially because he treated his cast and crew like actual pioneers. His 1924 movie The Iron Horse was lauded for its realism in portraying how miserable it was to work on the railroad, an effect Ford achieved by making the cast and crew miserable while working on a railroad. How miserable? Well, they lived in makeshift accommodations in bitterly cold temperatures, and on at least one occasion they watched their meal get slaughtered in front of them.
Also, in one scene he shot at his lead actor with live ammo. For realism.
Fox Film Corporation"Pee your pants harder, dammit! More urine! More! Yellower!"
Ford's commitment to authenticity extended to his casting choices, getting real cowboys (which were still around in the 1920s) to act in his movies. Anybody who could ride, shoot, and wear a ten-gallon hat could find work. Being authentic cowboys, they acted like authentic cowboys too, which involved a fair bit of drinking, fighting, and screwing. It's believed that several babies were conceived on set. Also, at least one assistant died due to pneumonia. Ford himself ended up plunging into an alcoholic episode that "only lasted a few days."
Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche/Getty ImagesThe liquor was real too. For realism.
Eventually they finished the film, and even though it was well over-budget and behind schedule and literally killed a guy, The Iron Horse became a cinematic classic. So it was all worth it.
Alfred Hitchcock Made A Cameraman Shit His Pants
NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
We've already told you about legendary director Alfred Hitchcock's tendency to torture his actresses, and, well, we don't really need to do much more with this sentence, do we? "Tortured actresses," pretty much captures it all, so we'll stop here.
Except no we won't!
Because there's so much more to Hitchcock's assbaggery. Consider the notorious "prank" he pulled wherein he bet a crew member that he wouldn't spend a night chained to a camera in a dark, deserted movie studio. The crew member happily agreed, because he had never seen a horror movie before, so Hitchcock handcuffed the man to the camera himself, offered the guy a healthy drink of brandy to "help him sleep," and went home for the night.
Silver Screen Collection/Getty ImagesA face you can trust, apparently?
The next day, the rest of the crew arrived on set to find the poor guy handcuffed to the camera, exhausted, crying, and covered in his own shit. It turned out that Hitchcock, bless his treacherous black heart, had poured a healthy dose of laxative into the brandy before offering it to the poor bastard. So there you have it. Even a filmmaking genius like Hitchcock can sometimes stoop to the level of Dumb And Dumber.
When he's not developing something like Uber, but in space, Chris writes for his website and tweets.
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