Unhappy coincidence or the jinx of the silver screen? It was a case of lights, camera, terror on these doomed film sets...
1. The real Omen
When The Omen came out in 1976, it terrified cinema goers. But not as much as making the film terrified its cast and stars, many of whom befell tragedy…
– The film’s scriptwriter was travelling in a plane that was struck by lightning
– The film’s lead actor, Gregory Peck, was also in a plane that was struck by lightning while on his way to London for filming
– The producer’s hotel was bombed by the IRA
– An aeroplane hired for aerial shots crashed on take-off, killing all on board
– A warden at the zoo where an outdoor scene was due to be filmed was mauled to death by a lion
On set, there was talk of a curse. Had the movie’s evil themes stirred something menacing? Some believe the dark forces working to stop the film were Satan himself.
2. Scary Superman
There have been many Superman films, but it seems anyone bringing the world’s strongest man to life is doomed.
– George Reeves played Superman in a 1951 movie. He killed himself soon after the film came out, the day before he was due to marry
– Christopher Reeve portrayed Superman from 1978-1987. He was paralysed in a horse riding accident and died of a heart attack at 52, in 2004
– Margot Kidder was Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve. She was involved in a near-fatal car accident and developed psychiatric issues
– Marlon Brando played Superman’s dad. His real-life son was given a lengthy prison sentence for killing someone, and his real-life daughter was diagnosed with schizophrenia and killed herself
– Lee Quigley was the baby Kal-El in the films. When he was 14 in 1991, he died after inhaling solvents
Not even the Man of Steel could stop the curse of the Superman films…
3. Wizard of odd
For audiences, the Wizard of Oz is bright and colourful. For those who made it, it was dark and frightening…
– During filming, the wires supporting the actors playing the flying monkeys snapped. Many of them were badly injured
– Actor Margaret Hamilton suffered third-degree burns on her arms, hands and face while filming the scene where the Wicked Witch of the West bursts into flames. Her stand-in suffered the exact same injuries re-filming the exact same scene
– Four months after the film was released, Frank Morgan, the actor who played the Wizard was in a road accident. He was left diasbled and his wife was killed. He himself died just before the film was shown on telly for the first time
– Clara Blandick, who played Aunt Em, killed herself after suffering years of painful arthritis
– Judy Garland, who played Dorothy, died at 47, having battled addictions all her life
Bad luck? Or was there something more sinister at work?
4. Curse of The Crow
The Crow was a movie that seemed doomed from the start…
– An on-set carpenter was severely burned in an accident
– Another crew member slipped and drove a screwdriver through his hand
– A lorry of expensive film equipment burst into flames for no reason
– Brandon Lee was cast in the role of Eric. During filming, the guns used by the actors should have been empty. Lee’s co-star fired from close range. The bullet hit Brandon in the stomach and he died. Invesigators ruled it an accident and footage of the incident was destroyed. A stunt-double was used to complete filming.
The curse of The Crow had claimed its ultimate prize.