On Set, Off Camera

Recently, while doing Google searches for posters and stills, I began running across shots of actors in off-camera moments during the making of a movie. There’s nothing particularly profound about any of these, but I think they’re fun to see, and occasionally unexpected. These are mostly from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, with a few from earlier and later years.


Below are Kirk Douglas and Yul Brynner on the set of Cast a Giant Shadow (1966).

A card game during the filming of The Magnificent Seven (1960). Left to right are Robert Vaughn (back to camera), Yul Brynner, Brad Dexter, Charles Bronson, and James Coburn. Below that is a shot presumably from the same card game, with Robert Vaughn raking it in next to Steve McQueen.

Below are McQueen and Vaughn between shots on The Magnificent Seven.

James Coburn, John Sturges (director), Steve McQueen, and Charles Bronson on the set of The Great Escape (1963), followed by a shot of Sam Peckinpah (director), James Coburn, and Kris Kristofferson on the set of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973).

In the shot below, Muhammad Ali visits the set of The Dirty Dozen (1967) and talks with Lee Marvin and Clint Walker.Below are Lee Marvin and Richard Burton while making The Klansman (1974). I really like this shot. They both appear quite relaxed, despite, or perhaps because of, reportedly consuming gallons of booze on a daily basis during the shoot.Here’s a shot of Lee Marvin, Burt Lancaster, Richard Brooks (director), and Woody Strode while making The Professionals (1966).

Below, Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune promoting Hell in the Pacific (1968).

Here is a great shot of director Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune during the making of Red Beard (1965). I like the way they’re sitting and the cigarette in Mifune’s hand. This is followed by a photo of Kurosawa being visited by Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas during the production of Kagemusha (1980).

Here’s a shot of Roy Scheider and Steven Spielberg on the beach while filming Jaws (1975).

Below, Christopher Walken, director David Cronenberg, and Herbert Lom on the set of The Dead Zone (1983).

Nancy Allen, director Brian De Palma, and John Travolta killing time while making Blow Out (1981). Below that is an interesting shot of Martin Scorsese and De Palma, followed by a shot of Scorsese, Nick Nolte, and Robert Mitchum during Scorsese’s remake of Cape Fear (1991).

Here are Robert Mitchum and director Charles Laughton discussing Night of the Hunter (1955). Below that is a shot of Mitchum and Charles Bronson on the set of Villa Rides (1968).

Here are Charleton Heston, Stephen Boyd, and director William Wyler on the huge chariot race set for Ben-Hur (1959), followed by a shot of Heston, Wyler, a visiting Kirk Douglas, and Jack Hawkins.Below, Heston talks with Sam Peckinpah while making Major Dundee (1965).


Stanley Kubrick (director) and Ryan O’Neal making Barry Lyndon (1975).

Kubrick and Keir Dullea on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

Below, Kirk Douglas and Kubrick while making Paths of Glory (1957).

Woody Strode, Kubrick, and Douglas in the arena for Spartacus (1960), followed by Charles McGraw, Kubrick, and Douglas in the gladiator quarters.

Below, Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas celebrate the first year of production of Spartacus.

Below, Joe Turkel, Kubrick, and Jack Nicholson in the bar for The Shining (1980).

I love this shot taken on The Shining, with Nicholson out of focus in the foreground and Kubrick in focus reflected in the mirror as he takes the photo.

And this shot of Nicholson and Kubrick, with Jack flashing his trademark killer smile.

Kubrick and Malcolm McDowell preparing a scene in A Clockwork Orange (1971).

Below, George C. Scott plays chess with Kubrick on the set of Dr. Strangelove (1964).

At left, Tony Curtis and Kubrick during Spartacus; at right, Curtis and Marilyn Monroe while shooting Some Like It Hot (1959).






Director George Stevens, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor on location for Giant (1956), followed by a great shot of Hudson and Taylor.


Colin Clive, Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester take a break on the set of The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), followed by Karloff being made up by Jack Pierce for Frankenstein (1931).

Karloff in costume, surrounded by fans (one presumes). I’m not sure when this would have been taken, but given the Monster’s appearance, I’d guess it was during The Bride of Frankenstein.

Here’s a great shot of Karloff on a tea break, out of costume, but made up as The Monster. Notice the dainty way he’s holding the cup.


I’ll close with this shot of John Wayne, Angie Dickinson (with mile-long legs), and Dean Martin on the set of Rio Bravo (1959). I hope you’ve enjoyed this barrage of photos. — Ted Hicks

About Ted Hicks

Iowa farm boy; have lived in NYC for 40 years; worked in motion picture labs, film/video distribution, subtitling, media-awards program; obsessive film-goer all my life.
This entry was posted in Film, Home Video, photography, TV & Cable. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to On Set, Off Camera

  1. Really fun, Ted! Thanks for putting it together and sharing with us!

    Ira Wolfman 917.319.6522


  2. David M Fromm says:

    FUN !

  3. Greg Slagle says:

    Wow… amazing stills from some of my favorite films. Thanks Ted for sharing.

  4. tainui says:

    Amazing stuff!

  5. Ted, These are really fun. Great collection!

  6. Sharon van Ivan says:


    Loved these photos. What a great idea! Boris Karloff having tea is especially appealing.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Love, Sharon


    • Ted Hicks says:

      I just found the Karloff & tea shot earlier today while I was the library laying out the photos. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to include it. Glad you liked it.

      • Steven Thompson says:

        That shot of Karloff having tea is actually NOT Karloff at all but a model made by a brilliant artist named Mike Hill. Google him.

  7. James Schwantes says:

    Love this stuff. Keep it up.

  8. Judith Reinhardt says:

    Great fun. You’re amazing. Thanks Ted!

  9. Nancy H. Waks says:

    Great photos–and well curated!

  10. Donna says:

    Yes, very enjoyabld!
    Tx, Ted

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