Movie scene turns into crazy real-life fight with HAMMER
A notorious movie from 1970 produced one of the most infamous outtakes in the history of cinema when a violent scene descended into a grizzly real-life fight involving a hammer!
The movie in question was ‘Maidstone’, a drama starring and directed by two-time Pulitzer winning author, Norman Mailer and Oscar-winning actor, Rip Torn.
Mailer took the lead role as Norman Kingsley, a director who runs for president while filming his latest movie, while Torn co-starred as his money-hungry half-brother.
The independent film was filmed over a five-day period in East Hampton, New York, and it’s been heavily rumored over the years that it had been a drink and drug-fueled movie set in which the actors were indulging in hallucinogens like LSD, which undoubtedly played a major part in the chaotic clash that the movie would become notorious for.
The altercation took place on the final day of what had been a largely improvisational, unscripted shoot from start to finish, and it seemed that the thin line between reality and fiction became blurred beyond comprehension for Torn, whose character was supposed to attempt to assassinate his brother.
As the camera’s rolled, Torn suddenly leaped at Mailer with a hammer and landed a blow to the actor/director’s head that drew blood from his scalp.
Apparently, the blow wasn’t accidental as Torn continued to attack the panicked Mailer, who yelled in disbelief, “you crazy fool!”
”You’re supposed to die, Norman,” a chillingly calm, yet psychotic looking Torn said, before dispensing with any notion that this was all part of the script as he called the director by his real name.
”Norman Kingsley, you must die. Not Mailer, not Mailer. I don’t want to kill Mailer, but I must kill Kingsley in the picture.”
At that point Mailer does well to clinch up with Torn to prevent him from striking again with the hammer and then retaliates by biting down hard on his ear, leaving damage that’s still visible to this day.
Torn then takes him down, but with Mailer still biting down on his ear he backs down, apologizing and agreeing to stop fighting.
However, after Mailer lets go of his ear, Torn suddenly says, “let me hit you,” and starts fighting him again, ignoring the director’s pleas to stop as he starts to strangle him from side control.
He only finally relents when Mailer’s wife at the time, actress and model Beverly Bentley, realized what was happening and began frantically shouting at Torn to stop, while the couple’s children, who were standing nearby, burst into tears.
Despite the fact the two hurled all kinds of insults at each other afterward, Mailer later decided to keep the whole crazy scene in the movie, making no attempt to edit out the fact that the actor’s real names had been used in it.
While the fight brought the project infamy, it ultimately couldn’t save it from being a huge flop at the box office that quickly vanished from the public eye and would ultimately bankrupt Mailer, though it resurfaced in 2006 after getting a DVD release.