What famous film landed its director in prison? A list of the top 5

What famous film landed its director in prison? A list of the top 5

What famous film landed its director in prison? Films and movies are supposed to be stories of fiction or true life stories with added lines to make them interesting. Then, actors play them out to make them look real to viewers while entertaining or educating them. But then, some movie-making processes became controversial and raised concerns. Consequently, members of society pushed for the prosecution of their directors.

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What famous film landed its director in prison?
People march along Sunset Boulevard from the Directors Guild of America in a candlelight walk and memorial for Sarah Jones, who was killed while shooting Midnight Rider. Photo: David McNew
Source: Getty Images

The making of many films has resulted in the prosecution of one or more movie crews, especially when a serious injury resulted in death. Midnight Rider is an example of a movie where the injury resulted in a fatality. The most recent fatality incident was in 2021 in the making of the movie Rust. While the older incident resulted in the jailing of the director, the 2021 incident has not been concluded yet.

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What famous film landed its director in prison?

Many producers, directors, and crews have been criticised for misdemeanours and unwholesome attitudes during movies and production. Others have been sent to jail for gross misconduct and carelessness that led to injury and, in some cases, death. Below is a list of the top five movies that landed their directors in prison:

1. Midnight Rider

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  • Director: Randall Miller
  • Screenplay: Randall Miller
  • Production companies: Film Allman LLC, Unclaimed Freight Productions
  • Country: United States

In 2014, Midnight Rider's director Randall Miller took a major risk by organising train scenes of the movie on functional rail tracks. The movie was a biopic about the Southern rocker Gregg Allman. However, as a train approached, several crew members could not manage to move out of the way promptly. Seven people were wounded when the train rammed into the set decor. Sarah Jones, a crew member, was killed due to the accident.

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According to The Guardian, Randall Miller and three others were charged with involuntary mansl*ughter and criminal trespass. The director has become the first filmmaker in the United States to be imprisoned for an on-set fatality after entering a guilty plea to involuntary mansl*ughter following the death of the crew's camera operator.

2. Rust

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  • Director: Joel Souza
  • Screenplay: Joel Souza
  • Country: United States

On 21st October 2021, one of the principal cast of the film Rust, a western culture film being shot in Mexico, Mr Alec Baldwin, was rehearsing for a scene that involved "cross drawing" a revolver when he pointed the prop gun toward the camera lens and fired a shot. The fired shot hit the cinematographer, Ms Hutchins, in the chest and the director, Mr Souza, in the shoulder. Ms Hutchins was airlifted to a hospital in Albuquerque but could not survive the hit.

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The union camera crew reportedly left the scene six hours before the incident due to unsafe handling of the props. No criminal charges have been pressed on anyone, while Baldwin insisted he is not at fault. He cited that he was unaware of how live ammunition ended up in the prop gun. It is also reported that everyone involved is cooperating with law enforcement and pressing a charge is not unlikely.

3. Cannibal Holocaust

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  • Director: Ruggero Deodato
  • Producers: Franco Di Nunzio, Franco Palaggi
  • Production company: F.D. Cinematografica
  • Release date: 7th February 1980
  • Country: Italy

The film Cannibal Holocaust demonstrates the tale of a team of documentary filmmakers. After embarking on a journey into the Amazon rainforest to film a series of documentaries about cannibal tribes, they got missing. The depiction of the scenes was violent, showing the horrors of the killing of the crew members. Ruggero Deodato, Cannibal Holocaust's director, was taken to court and charged with murdering his crew members.

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About ten days after the film premiere in Milan, the authorities ordered that the film be confiscated while the director was charged with obscenity. The film was released one year later while the people started speculating that the gruesome murders were real because they happened.

Some fueled this notion because the crews killed violently in the film did not appear publicly. Ruggero Deodato could free himself after the crew members killed in the film were seen alive.

4. Minnesota Delivery

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  • Director: Timothy Christian
  • Production companies: Baking Sota Films, Exquisite Arts Movie Lab
  • Release date: 15th April 2015
  • Country: United States

When the producer of Minnesota Delivery, Timothy Christian, could not procure other scenes for a robbery scene in the film, he used a public block in St. Paul, Minnesota. He reportedly did not obtain a shooting permit from the authorities before proceeding with the movie scene.

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As the actors with prop guns moved into position and tried hard to make the scene look real, the authorities got suspicious of the moves and found crew members with real weapons. They ordered them to lower their arms. The director and three other crew members were arrested and held until the authorities familiarised themselves with the plot.

5. The Wizard of Oz

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  • Director‏: ‎Victor Fleming
  • Production company: ‎WarnerBrothers
  • Release date: ‎1st October 2013
  • Country: ‎USA

Beginning in 2011, Gigapix Studios engaged over 750 investors to fund a 3D animated film of The Wizard of Oz. More than $22 million was raised for the animation video and other productions, but none of them saw the light of day.

The federal agents received several complaints before arresting the Gigapix employees in 2014. A 36-count indictment was pressed in the process. The charges showed that Gigapix executives "spent investor money on salaries for themselves... and to pay their personal expenses, employee salaries, and commissions."

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They never invested in the making of the film. In February 2015, two executives were convicted and sent to serve a jail term of eight and five years, respectively.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What was Francois Truffaut famous for? Francois Truffaut was famous in the French movie industry for advocating professionalism in acting and directing.
  2. Why is Christopher Nolan famous? He did a great job on movies like The Dark Knight Rises. He is famous for his non-linear storytelling skills.
  3. What happened to the director of Cannibal Holocaust? He was arrested because the depiction of the scenes was violent, showing the horrors of the killing of crew members.
  4. What is the controversy with The Wizard of Oz? The actors' injuries, encouraging a teenager to take pills to stay slim, and the set and filming process.
  5. Will the Rust film be released? It is still unknown.

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There are so many processes involved in the production of movies. Nonetheless, when discussing what famous film landed its director in prison, the above-mentioned ones take the top spot.

A recently published on Yen.com.gh, the movie industry has witnessed significant innovation over the years. In the 1800s, the first motion picture considered a movie emerged during the advent of motion pictures.

Different innovations have been brought in until devices were developed to capture bodies in motion and represent them in the same motion at a later time. So, what were the first movies created, and what did they look like? Check out the post to find out more.

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