Rare Photos That Go Behind Your Favorite Productions
You may have seen Star Wars and these other productions countless times, or watched a “making of” segment on a DVD, but have you ever seen your favorite films and TV shows like this? We’ve gathered rare photos from behind the scenes from the 1950’s and forward for a look into the people who made these great projects.
George Lucas and Star Wars Props, 1983
Director George Lucas stands surrounded by props and costumes from the Star Wars movie series. The image shows Lucas with a Millennium Falcon, R2D2, the Death Star and other recognizable icons from the film franchise. The photo was taken in 1983, perhaps as publicity for the then-new film Return of the Jedi. Ironically, when Star Wars was just a script, Walt Disney Pictures turned down the chance to make the films; the company later purchased Lucasfilm in 2012.
Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951
Marlon Brando in the film A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951. A Streetcar Named Desire was based on the Tennessee Williams play of the same name, and Brando starred in as Stanley it after playing the same role on Broadway. The film earned him an Academy Award nomination and helped skyrocket his career.
Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher on the Set of Star Wars, 1977
Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher pose on the set of Star Wars in 1977. Both individuals were relatively unknown actors at the time the movie was released, and only had one film credit each to their name. That all changed when Star Wars was a hit and spawned multiple sequels. Both actors reprised their characters in The Force Awakens.
The Beginnings of Sesame Street, 1969
The cast of Sesame Street on the stoop of one of the Street’s sets. Sesame Street debuted in November 1969 and is one of the longest-running programs of all time. The show was the first of its kind, an educational program designed to provide a complete curriculum for children. As of 2017, the show is still running, and now its first-run episodes are now broadcast on HBO, then later PBS in reruns.
Carrie Fisher and friends on Star Wars, 1976
Carrie Fisher and friends on the set of Star Wars, as shared from Fisher’s own image collection. Fisher would later write about her crush on Harrison Ford and reveal the two had a short-lived affair in 1976. The actress kept extensive diaries about the making of Star Wars and eventually they were published in a 2016 memoir, The Princess Diarist.
Chewbacca Takes a Break During Star Wars, 1976
A costumed Chewbacca takes a break on the set of Star Wars in 1976. Everyone’s favorite Wookie was voiced and portrayed by actor Peter Mayhew in the first film. He continues to fill the role in the film’s new installments, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and the unnamed 2019 Star Wars film.
Anthony Perkins on the Set of Psycho, 1960
Anthony Perkins poses with two unnamed women on the set of the 1960 film Psycho. Psycho is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most beloved movies and tells the story of Norman Bates who is eerily attached to his mother. Psycho is best known for its infamous “shower scene,” but this scene is also innovative because you never see the knife actually touch Janet Leigh’s character, instead the movie is cut to imply a murder. The legend of Norman Bates continues in the A&E series Bates Motel, a prequel to the movie which explores the life of Norman. Psycho is actually based on a 1959 novel by Robert Bloch.
Frankenstein Meets the Mermaid, 1948
Actors Glenn Strange and Ann Blyth meet on the Universal Studios lot in 1948. Strange played Frankenstein’s Monster in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein while Blyth played a mermaid in Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid. The duo had left their respective sets and were on their way to lunch. Universal Studios did a line of horror movies in the 1920’s through the 1950’s, and the series is known as Universal Monsters.
Pulp Fiction Cast in Downtime During Filming, 1990’s
Quentin Tarantino, Bruce Willis, Maria de Medeiros and Lawrence Bender on the set of Pulp Fiction. Pulp Fiction was Tarantino’s second movie and is well regarded as his best film. The film made waves at the box office and features a total of 7 narratives that are interrelated.
Brad Pitt and Edward Norton During Filming of Fight Club, 1999
Brad Pitt and Edward Norton on the set of the film Fight Club in 1999. Fight Club was adapted from the novel of the same year, and has become a cult hit. The film was directed by David Fincher, who also worked with Pitt on the film Seven.
Back to the Future Cast and Crew, 1985
Cast and crew on the set of Back to the Future in 1985. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis, who also wrote the screenplay. Back to the Future ended up grossing over $300 million and spawned two sequels.
Robert Shaw in Jaws, 1975
Robert Shaw on the set of the horror film Jaws. The actor portrayed shark hunter Quint in the film, and even though the film was a nightmare to film, it was a huge box office hit. Jaws featured three mechanical sharks who stood in for the shark throughout various scenes in the film, however, they broke down constantly.
Al Pacino in Scarface, 1983
Al Pacino on the set of Scarface in 1983. The 1983 version of Scarface is actually a remake of the 1932 film of the same name. Scarface has quickly risen to be one of the most beloved mob films ever, and in 2018, a new version from the Coen Brothers will hit theaters.
Jodie Foster and Robert De Niro Talk Between Taxi Driver Takes, 1976
Actors Jodie Foster and Robert De Niro on the set of Taxi Driver in 1976 in New York City in a photograph by Steve Schapiro. The film Taxi Driver was a big vehicle for Foster, thanks to her role as a teen prostitute. Foster was actually a teen when the film was made, but it was also a reason that John Hinckley Jr. shot President Reagan.
Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu on Set for Kill Bill
Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu on the set of the Tarantino film Kill Bill. Both actresses would go on to star in Kill Bill 2. The movie Kill Bill was actually intended to be one long film but the movie was cut in half because of the very long running time.
Jerry Seinfeld During First Day of Seinfeld Filming, 1989
Jerry Seinfeld during the first day of production for the television series Seinfeld in 1989. Seinfeld, the creation of Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, was originally named The Seinfeld Chronicles when it premiered, but NBC changed the name after a similar-sounding show bombed in the ratings. Seinfeld was high in the rating went the show ceased production and the series finale was watched by 58% of viewers that night. The show’s characters had a brief reunion of sorts on David’s show Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Rob Lowe, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Robert Downey Jr, 1988
Actors Rob Lowe, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Robert Downey Jr. at the Governors Ball after the 1988 Academy Awards. At the time, Lowe was known for his roles in About Last Night, The Outsiders, and St. Elmo’s Fire. Parker was in several films in the 1980s, including Flight of the Navigator, Footloose and Firstborn. Downey Jr. met Parker on the set of Firstborn, and the two briefly dated until they broke up over his substance abuse issues.
The Cast of The Outsiders, 1983
Actors Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez, C. Thomas Howell, and Rob Lowe on the set of film The Outsiders in 1983. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Outsiders was the film adaptation of the critically-acclaimed novel by S.E. Hinton. Coppola filmed The Outsiders and its sequel, Rumble Fish, back-to-back.
The Breakfast Club Gang, 1985
Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall goof off on the set of The Breakfast Club. The movie was widely referred to as starring members of the “Brat Pack,” and helped make the young stars’ careers. This film, along with all of the others made by director John Hughes, take place in a fictional town outside Chicago called Shermer, Illinois.
Brigitte Bardot Filming Viva Maria, 1965
Brigitte Bardot on location during filming of Viva Maria in 1965. The film saw Bardot fall ill and an extra was killed during the production when he fell off an ox cart. Viva Maria was released in English and French.
The Cast of Pulp Fiction, 1990’s
Some of the cast of Pulp Fiction in between takes on the film in the 1990’s. Pulp Fiction was originally turned down by Columbia Tristar for its violence, but the Weinstein Company immediately wanted to make the film; the motion picture was the first financed by Miramax.
Diane Keaton and Al Pacino in The Godfather, 1972
Diane Keaton and Al Pacino on set for The Godfather in 1972. The Godfather was the first in a series of films adapted from the books by Mario Puzo. The movie was the first big role for Keaton who portrayed Kay-Adams Corleone.
Jessica Lange, 1976
Actress Jessica Lange photographed in 1976. Lange’s career began in 1976 with the movie King Kong and this picture is likely taken when the film was in production. Her career continues today, with the in-demand actress working in most of Ryan Murphy’s projects including Feud, Coven, Murder House, and Freak Show.
Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog, 1978
Muppets creator and puppeteer Jim Henson and Kermit on the set of The Muppet Movie in 1978. Henson created The Muppets in 1950 and one of their earliest appearances was on segments during the first season of Saturday Night Live. However, it wasn’t long until they headed to the big screen: The Muppet Movie came in 1979, followed by The Great Muppet Caper (1981) and The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984).
Carrie Fisher and Chewbacca During Star Wars, 1976
Carrie Fisher picked up by Chewbacca (portrayed by Peter Mayhew) on the set of Star Wars. Despite Princess Leia calling Chewie a “big walking carpet,” it seems that off the set, the two were pals. Mayhew is undoubtedly very strong as well, since he seems to be picking up Fisher with one hand.
Hannibal Lecter Gets a Snack, 1991
Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) is fed a fry between shots during the production of the 1991 film Silence of the Lambs. Often rated one of the best thrillers of all time, the movie is the story of a cat-and-mouse game between Hannibal Lecter and Claire Starling. Jodie Foster, who played Starling, says Hopkins portrayal of the killer was so terrifying, she didn’t speak to him once off-set during filming.
Steven Spielberg and E.T., 1982
E.T. director Steven Spielberg bathes E.T. on the set of the beloved movie. The director has stated that the design of E.T. was inspired by a pug dog and the poet Carl Sandberg, and that the alien doesn’t have a gender. The puppet was moved by a stunt man and in the kitchen scenes, a 10-year-old boy.
Leonardo DiCaprio During Filming of Django Unchained, 2012
Leonardo DiCaprio rests between takes on the set of Django Unchained. The actor has climbed on a ladder to get the same viewpoint as director Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino described the film as a “Spaghetti Western” set in pre-Civil War deep south and it was influenced by the 1966 film Django.
Bill Murray Naps on Set of The Fantastic Mr. Fox, 2009
Bill Murray naps on the set of The Fantastic Mr. Fox in between takes. The movie is a stop-movie action comedy based on the book by Roald Dahl and used a miniature set as seen here. Great Missenden, a village in Buckinghamshire, England and Dahl’s former home, was the inspiration for the set’s design. The set used tiny trees and tiny sand.
Kenny Baker Eats in R2D2 Costume, 1976
Actor Kenny Baker takes a break for a sandwich in between shooting one of the Star Wars films. Baker played the beloved droid for the first films in the trilogy, then was credited for the other films made years later. Technology made it so that a man didn’t have to actually sit inside the R2D2 costume like Baker did, and the character was replaced with CGI or a remote-control model. Baker was a consultant on the other films including The Force Awakens.
Robert De Niro and Baby During Raging Bull, 1980
Robert De Niro holds a baby as the two operate a clapboard during the production of Raging Bull. The movie was adapted from fighter Jake LaMotta’s memoir of the same name, and was directed by Martin Scorsese. De Niro was inspired to do the movie after reading the memoir on the set of The Godfather 2 and showed it to Scorsese to encourage him to make the movie. After reading it, Scorsese was moved by the story of LaMotta and eventually saw himself in a similar way to the fighter. He then made the film.
Boba Fett Unmasked During Star Wars Special Edition, 1997
Don Bies, the man behind Boba Fett is unmasked between filming scenes set in Jabba’s Palace for the Star Wars special edition re-release. The character of Boba Fett was originally portrayed by Jeremy Bulloch. The whole reason he got the part? He could fit in the costume, and so his brother, who was working on the film, recommended him. Bies and Nelson Hall stepped in for the Special Edition filming.
Setting up the Train Scene for Back to the Future Part III, 1990
A shot for the train pushing the Delorean is set up for Back the Future Part III. The scene was where Doc and Marty try to get the Delorean up to speed to travel by having it pushed by a locomotive. Back to the Future Part II and III were made back-to-back to make production easier. The third film would be the last in the franchise, as Doc ended up in love and married with kids to Clara. The Back to the Future simulator ride that was previously in Universal Studios theme parks was a mini-sequel to the events of the movie; the ride was replaced in 2009.
A Raptor On a Break During Jurassic Park III, 2001
John Rosengrant wears a half-suit of a raptor during the filming of the third movie in the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic Park III, 2001. Unlike the other films in the series, Jurassic Park wasn’t directed by Steven Spielberg, but it did have scenes taken from the two books for the series by Michael Crichton: Jurassic Park and The Lost World. Joe Johnston, who directed the movie said that the script was never finished completely during the production, and Michael Crichton apparently passed away never having watched the film.
Marie Antoinette Uses a MacBook, 2006
Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman use an Apple Macbook in between takes on the set of Marie Antoinette. Dunst played the charming queen Marie Antoinette in the film, which was directed by Sofia Coppola. The film’s production is amazing as they were given relatively free reign to film in the real Palace Versailles, which gave the film an authenticity that would be hard to mimic with CGI.
Travolta and Willis are Pals During Pulp Fiction, 1994
John Travolta and Bruce Willis share a laugh in between takes on the set of Pulp Fiction. The movie’s title is a reference to the crime novels during the mid-century modern era.
Even Pulp Fiction poster was designed to look like an old paperback novel, complete with a 10 cent sticker. Hollywood lore says that Travolta did the film at a bargain-basement price of less than $150,000 as a way to break out of his family-guy movie image after making the Look Who’s Talking films. The move was a smart one as audiences and directors saw him in a new light and Pulp Fiction helped boost his profile significantly.
A Green Scene is Used for Inception, 2010
Ellen Page and Leonardo DiCaprio film in front of a green scene for the movie Inception. As a good deal of the movie is set in a dream world, the movie had to use extensive CGI sequences. Christopher Nolan, who directed the movie, said that he originally intended Inception to be a horror film about “dream stealers.” He decided to rework it as a science fiction heist film and it went on to gross $825 million dollars, a nice take over its budget of $160 million.
Filming Life of Pi, 2012
Actor Suraj Sharma acts in a scene for Life of Pi against a green screen during the production of the film. Life of Pi is based on the novel of the same name by Yann Martel and features the story of a boy adrift in the ocean with only a tiger for company. Sharma was 17 when he made his film debut with Life of Pi and before it, he had never acted. Director Ang Lee says Sharma was chosen because he looked like the character Lee envisioned when he read the book.