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Making Movie Magic

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Behind the Scenes

On the Waterfront 1954

Director Elia Kazan said the film-about violence on New Jersey docks-reflected reality. “There were gangsters watching me shoot the picture.” The key was Marlon Brando, because “he is a super-realistic actor.”

West Side Story 1957

Director Jerome Robbins told his cast to act like rival gang members. “He wanted the Sharks to stay over there,” star George Chakiris later said, “and the Jets to stay over there.”

The Silence of the Lambs 1991

What made Hannibal Lecter so scary? Anthony Hopkins has said it was the serial killer’s quiet simplicity: “That face mask he wears and that gurney they put him on … it’s so terrifying because it’s all very clinical and clean.”

Titanic 1997

While filming the epic disaster film’s many water shots, Kate Winslet said costar Leonardo DiCaprio “was a certified scuba diver and didn’t leave my side. He was amazing.”