Motion pictures are a form of art that has captured people’s imaginations for as long as anyone can remember. From action-packed blockbusters to heart-wrenching dramas, movies can transport us from the mundane realities of life to a world where anything is possible.
It’s hard to believe, but while scripts are an essential part of filmmaking, some movies were made without them. These movies were created using improv, resulting in a unique and unforgettable cinematic experience.
Best in Show (2000)
This mockumentary follows several dog owners competing in a national dog show. The movie was also entirely improvised, with the actors being given only a basic outline of their character’s backstory.
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America to Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)
The movie follows a fictional Kazakh journalist named Borat, who travels to America to learn about the country. Actor Sacha Baron Cohen performed most of the movie’s scenes in character while interacting with real people. The result is an uncomfortable yet hilarious look at American culture.
The Princess Bride (1987)
This classic fairy tale movie was mostly scripted but had several improvised moments. One of the most famous scenes in the movie, the “Battle of Wits,” was entirely improvised, with actors Mandy Patinkin and Wallace Shawn coming up with their lines on the spot.
Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-2021)
This television show follows comedian Larry David as he navigates his personal and professional life. The show is mainly improvised, with the actors being given only a basic outline of the scene they’re filming. The result is a series filled with awkward moments and uncomfortable situations.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
This comedy follows a 1970s news anchor named Ron Burgundy as he deals with changing social norms and the rise of female journalists. The movie was mostly scripted, but the actors were allowed to improvise during some of the scenes, which led to some of the movie’s most memorable moments.
Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
This comedy follows a group of counselors at a summer camp in the 1980s. The movie was mostly improvised, allowing the actors to create their characters’ backstories and dialogue. The result was a hilarious and over-the-top take on 80s summer camp movies.
This coming-of-age comedy follows two high school friends navigating a wild night, hoping to impress their crushes. The movie was mostly scripted, but the actors were allowed to improvise during some of the scenes, which led to some of the movie’s most hilarious moments.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
This horror movie follows a group of filmmakers investigating the legend of the Blair Witch in the woods of Maryland. The movie was mostly improvised, with the actors being given a basic outline of their characters and the story. The result was a terrifying and realistic portrayal of found footage horror.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
This comedy follows the life of high school student Napoleon Dynamite as he navigates his life in rural Idaho. The movie was mostly scripted, but the actors were allowed to improvise during some of the scenes, which led to some of the movie’s most memorable moments.