What movie scenes have been reshot many times because the director asked his actors to do something impossible?

The cafeteria scene in Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man.

Peter Parker guesses that Mary Jane is going to slip on a puddle on the ground and catches her before she falls, while managing to receive her tray and her meal without dropping anything on the floor.

Who could imagine that this scene has been reshot 156 times!

An entire 16-hour day was devoted to filming this scene, and 156 takes were needed to get the shot where Tobey Maguire receives the apple, the carton of milk, the plate with the sandwich and the plate with the green jelly on the tray.

If the filming of this shot was so complicated, it is quite simply because it is not a trick. It’s really Tobey Maguire catching all these items on a platter.

Of course it helped, because the sandwich was stuck to the plate, as was the block of green jelly. Furthermore, his hand was also coated with a special adhesive to which the tray stuck. And an assistant on a ladder dropped the items above the board as accurately as possible.

Still, it took him 155 unsuccessful attempts before he managed to land the 4 elements on the board.

Note that in the shot that appears in the film (the only one where Maguire managed to catch everything), the hollow plate with the jelly lands balanced on the milk carton. Absolutely improbable… but true!

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