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Best Improvised Movie Scenes

In honor of the improvised "Like Crazy," see top movie improv scenes, from "Taxi Driver" to "Casablanca."

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The Cafeteria Scene

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ANIMAL HOUSE (1978)

The making of John Landis’s 1978 comedy classic, Animal House, about an unruly group of fraternity members—Delta House—wreaking havoc on fictional Faber College in 1962, was like the Apocalypse Now of comedies. Originally, the cast was to feature Saturday Night Live alums Chevy Chase as Otter, Bill Murray as Boon, Dan Aykroyd as D-Day, and John Belushi as Bluto, but only Belushi was game. The studio forced the screenwriters to do nine drafts of the screenplay before finally green-lighting the project. Since Belushi’s character had very little dialogue, many of his scenes were improvised, including the entire cafeteria scene. When Belushi started piling food on his cafeteria tray, Landis told the camera operator, “Stay with him,” et voilà. The zit-popping scene was also improv’d by Belushi, and the shocked reaction from the cast is genuine.

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