Did you know De Niro improvised the most iconic line in Taxi Driver?

Published on June 9, 2024

Credit: Jon Tyson

Have you ever had an unexpected adventure or a spontaneous moment that turned out to be unforgettable? Well, that's exactly what happened in these famous movie scenes that became iconic moments in film history.

Some actors have a magical touch that goes beyond their acting skills, being able to create moments that stick in your memory , even though they were never part of the script.

Join us as we uncover these 10 completely improvised moments and lines that stole the show!


"Here's Johnny!"- The Shining (1980)

Credit: Padraig O'Flannery

It is no secret: Jack Nicholson is one of the most talented actors of all time, and the evidence is everywhere you look.

A big piece of evidence is the fact that one of the most famous lines in movie history came from his brilliant mind. The mythical "Here's Johnny!" from The Shining (1980) was entirely crafted by Nicholson as it wasn't found in the film's script or Stephen King's original book.

Yet, the actor's creativity, coupled with Kubrick's directing expertise, transformed that scene into an emblem of horror cinema.


"You're gonna need a bigger boat"- Jaws (1975)

Credit: Gerald Schömbs

Who could ever forget the legendary shark from Jaws (1975) ? With its huge mouth and sharp teeth, it frightened even the bravest spirits. So, when faced with the movie's formidable sea monster, actor Roy Scheider couldn't help delivering this creative line.

"You're gonna need a bigger boat," as later revealed, was a line used as an inside joke by the cast and crew, as the boats on which they did the actual filming were quite small. Thus, Scheider took the phrase and perfectly placed it within the film, even though it wasn't originally scripted.


"Here's looking at you, kid"- Casablanca (1942)

Credit: Auke Bakker

If you are reading this article, chances are you've watched the masterpiece** Casablanca ** (1942). And you probably know that one of its countless iconic lines was a spontaneous creation of the talented Humphrey Bogart.

The well-remembered line "Here's looking at you, kid" came out of Bogart's mouth and perfectly fit the moment. It worked so well that it was named the greatest-ever movie line by Premiere Magazine.

But here's a fact: the movie's script was not yet finished when filming began.


The lineup scene- The Usual Suspects (1995)

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While the famous lineup scene in The Usual Suspects (1995) was in the script, the actors’ fits of laughter were completely improvised. Or should we say, impossible to hold back!

As revealed by the film's screenwriter , Christopher McQuarrie, it was a small accident that caused laughter among the actors: let's just say one of them accidentally let out... a gas.

However, that spontaneous moment added a touch to the scene, and that shot ended up making the final cut.


"I'm the king of the world!"- Titanic (1997)

Credit: K. Mitch Hodge

Have you ever taken a cruise? If you're on the bow, your hair in the wind, you probably can't resist the impulse to imitate Leonardo DiCaprio, delivering that iconic line from the now classic Titanic (1997).

But, if it weren't for the actor's genius, the famous "I'm the king of the world!" would not have reached us, as it was not in the movie's script!

Sure, standing in front of the vast ocean may make you feel all-powerful, but DiCaprio's brilliance took it a step further and made up those lines while filming in a studio setting!


Leonardo's hand- Django Unchained (2012)

Credit: Caleb Fisher

Leonardo DiCaprio 's talent for improvisation isn't just a thing of one time. From Titanic when he was just a twenty-something, to his more mature roles in films like the western Django Unchained (2012) , Leo's talent always shines.

In Django , DiCaprio once again showed his acting skills, moving through unexpected turns like a champion.

During a passionate monologue, Leonardo DiCaprio's character slams his hand down on a table, and he actually cuts himself . Blood begins to dribble, but he incorporates the accident into the scene, as part of the plot. That's a mark of true talent!


"You can't handle the truth"- A Few Good Men (1992)

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From The Simpsons to Scary Movie , numerous series and films have quoted this iconic line from A Few Good Men (1992) that has become a pop culture hit!

But if it weren't for Jack Nicholson in his performance as Colonel Nathan R. Jessup, this memorable phrase from the famous courtroom scene wouldn't have had the same impact or recognition that it has today.

The actor took a simple line from the script, "You already have the truth," and transformed it into the legendary, "You can't handle the truth." It's proof of Nicholson's genius!


"Hey! I'm walking here"- Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Credit: Jon Flobrant

A gem of American cinema, Midnight Cowboy (1969) is a perfectly crafted masterpiece acclaimed by critics and audiences alike.

But even in this great classic, there's room for spontaneity. In fact, one of the most memorable moments in the movie wasn't even in the script. While playing the con man Ratso Rizzo, Dustin Hoffman found himself in the middle of real New York City traffic during filming. When a taxi unexpectedly went too close, Hoffman's instinctive response was perfect: "Hey! I'm walking here."


Chest-pounding scene- The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Credit: Chris Li

Leonardo is back once again. This time, joined by the incredible Matthew McConaughey. Together, they delivered one of the best moments of 21st-century film history: the unforgettable chest-pounding scene in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).

Turns out this bizarre gesture is something McConaughey often does before filming his scenes. But it was Leonardo DiCaprio who saw this spontaneous act and suggested incorporating it into the film's well-known scene. The eccentric nature of the characters allowed for this twist, which was accepted and appreciated by the director.

But wait, there's more! Believe it or not, part of the dialogue between the two characters was also unscripted .


"You talkin' to me?"- Taxi Driver (1976)

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Martin Scorsese , the successful director, revealed that one of the most famous lines in Taxi Driver (1976) and why not, in world cinema, was improvised by Robert De Niro.

The iconic "You talkin' to me?" monologue was not in the script; it was a spontaneous creation of the actor during the filming of the exceptional mirror scene . It's the small details like these that make Taxi Driver a true classic and Travis Bickle an unforgettable character.

Naturally, this role made De Niro earn an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.


10 Bubbling Tales Behind Your Favorite Sodas

Published on June 9, 2024

Credit: Mohamad Babayan

Sodas have been a fizzy fixture in our lives for over a century, and we tend to take them for granted. But behind the sugary bubbles, there are intriguing anecdotes and tales of ingenuity and entrepreneurship.

From Coca-Cola's mysterious recipe to the curious origin of tonic water, here are 10 surprising stories from the history of carbonated beverages.


A Closely Guarded Formula

Credit: Laura Chouette

The legendary Coca-Cola was concocted in 1886 by American pharmacist John Pemberton.

The name referred to two of its original ingredients - coca leaves and kola nuts - and the drink was marketed both as medicine and as an alternative to alcoholic beverages, which were beginning to be seen as harmful to society under the influence of the temperance movement.

While it is speculated that the primary taste of Coca-Cola comes from vanilla and cinnamon, the complete recipe is a closely guarded secret, and ingredients are shipped in numbered containers to syrup factories.


Marketing Genius

Credit: Sam Cumming

Pepsi, the challenger to Coca-Cola's throne, also began in a pharmacy. Created by pharmacist Caleb Bradham in 1893, Pepsi aimed to cure dyspepsia (indigestion). Initially named "Brad's Drink," it was rebranded as Pepsi-Cola in 1898, with the name "Pepsi" being inspired by pepsin, an enzyme aiding digestion. The drink gained much popularity during the Great Depression due to its affordable presentation in 12-ounce bottles and clever marketing strategies.


The Soda That Made You Smile

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In 1929, Charles Leiper Grigg introduced 7-Up, originally named "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda." It is speculated that the unusual name came from the seven main ingredients and the "mood-enhancing" lithium citrate, a drug used to treat bipolar disorder and depression in some patients. However, lithium citrate was removed after 1948, when the government banned the use of the drug in soft drinks.


Breaking the Mold

Credit: Unseen Histories

Created by pharmacist Charles Alderton in the 1880s, Dr Pepper defies categorization. According to the FDA, the unique drink "is not a cola, nor a root beer, nor a fruit-flavored soft drink." Rather, it is often placed in a category of its own, called "pepper soda." Just like Coca-Cola, its formula is kept a secret, allegedly stored in two halves in separate Dallas banks.


Born in the Shadow of War

Credit: Renato Trentin

During World War II, Coca-Cola's German operations faced ingredient shortages due to the American embargo on the country. Max Keith, head of Coca-Cola's German branch, devised Fanta using locally available resources. Its name stems from fantasie (German for "imagination"). Originally sold as a cola beverage, its current formulation with orange flavor was not developed until after the war, in 1955.


Moonshine Roots

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Mountain Dew's origins trace back to the Appalachian region, where moonshiners brewed homemade spirits known as "mountain dew." In the 1940s, Barney and Ally Hartman created a lemon-lime soda as a mixer for moonshine since they had difficulty obtaining their preferred soda. In 1948, they trademarked the name "Mountain Dew" for the soft drink, and its early bottles referred to its bootlegging origins with the use of a cartoon hillbilly character.


Sassafras Spirit

Credit: Perry Merrity II

Root beer consumption can be traced back at least to the eighteenth century. But, by then, both Native Americans and early European colonists were already familiar with the medicinal benefits of its main flavoring ingredient, the root bark of the sassafras tree. In the 1840s, pharmacists began producing root beer as a medicinal tonic. The first to successfully market a commercial brand of root beer was pharmacist Charles Elmer Hires. Despite initially calling the beverage "root tea," he switched to "root beer" to improve sales among Pennsylvania coal miners.


The Cola Wars

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The rivalry between Coca-Cola and Pepsi, dubbed the "Cola Wars," has raged for over a century. From taste tests to marketing campaigns, both titans have sparred for soda supremacy. Their intense competition has fueled innovation, as the two companies continued to introduce new advertising techniques, such as Coke's first celebrity endorsement and the introduction of the iconic 1915 contour bottle. One of the craziest stories goes back to 1992, when Pepsi launched Crystal Pepsi, amidst a clear craze in the consumer market. Coca-Cola retaliated with a "kamikaze" product, Tab Clear, intended to undermine Pepsi’s new product line.


Tonic Water’s Colonial Origins

Credit: Jez Timms

Tonic water originated in colonial India, where British officials mixed quinine with water and sugar to create a bitter tonic to prevent malaria. Schweppes commercialized tonic water in 1870, adding carbonation and creating a refreshing soft drink that is both bitter and sweet. Over time, the beverage gained popularity as a cocktail mixer, particularly with gin, and is occasionally blended with non-alcoholic drinks like in espresso and tonic.


The Rise of Energy Drinks

Credit: Jesper Brouwers

The recent energy drink craze began in the 1980s with brands like Red Bull and Jolt Cola. Marketed as revitalizing elixirs, these beverages contain caffeine, taurine, and B vitamins to boost energy. However, beyond the large amounts of caffeine, it is disputed whether other additives have any effect whatsoever on alertness and cognitive performance. While some ingredients claim to boost energy, scientific evidence supporting their effects is lacking. Energy drinks are also frequently used as mixers with alcoholic beverages, especially with vodka and other potent spirits.

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