For mass bad luck this John Wayne classic is hard to beat. First the entire cast and crew were nearly wiped out in a flash flood. Female lead Susan Hayward survived an attack by a black panther, but worse was to come. The film was shot in the Nevada desert downwind from nuclear test facilities. The actors were exposed to 13 weeks of fall-out at the site of 11 atomic bomb tests. A number of the leading cast all later died of cancer, including Wayne, director Dick Powell and Susan Hayward. According to a 1980 article in People magazine, of the 220 cast and crew members, 91 had contracted cancer. 46 of them had died of the disease.
Four of the Poltergeist trilogy’s actors all died within 6 years of the first movie. Dominique Dunne, who played Dana in the first movie, died at age 22 after being murdered by her former boyfriend. Julian Beck, the 60-year-old actor who played Henry Kane in “Poltergeist II: The Other Side,” died on Sept. 14, 1985 of stomach cancer diagnosed before he had accepted the role. Will Sampson, 53 years old, who played Taylor the medicine man in “Poltergeist II,” died as a result of post-operative kidney failure on June 3, 1987. Heather O’Rourke, who played Carol Anne in all three Poltergeist movies, died on Feb. 1, 1988 at the age of 12 of septic shock.
Heath Ledger died in January 2008, six months before the film's release. Heath died of an accidental overdose/mix of prescription pills.
Christian Bale was arrested the night before the film’s London premiere for allegedly assaulting his mother and sister.
Morgan Freeman was in a car accident in Mississippi a few months after the release of the film. His car “skipped the road” and rolled down an embankment, Freeman was in serious condition with a broken shoulder and impaired hand.
A crew member named Conway Wicliffe died on a camera truck while running through a dummy action scene with the Batmobile—it crashed into a tree.
The Exorcist has had its share of creepy bad luck. Nine people died during the filming including Jack McGowran who died of a heart-attack just after completing his role in the film. 'Proof' that satanic powers were at work occured during the Italian Premiere at the Metropolitan Theatre in Rome when lightning destroyed a 400-year-old crucifix.
Christopher Reeve the star of the 1978 film became a quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse. He died in 2004 at the age of 52. Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane with Reeve, suffered a bout of mental illness in 1996, and was found dazed and filthy wandering the streets of Los Angeles, while Richard Pryor, who appeared in “Superman III,” died of multiple sclerosis. George Reeves, who was known for his role as Superman in the 1950s television program “Adventures of Superman,” died at the age of 45 in 1959. The official finding was suicide, but some believe he was murdered or the victim of an accidental shooting.
Before filming began Gregory Peck's son killed himself. Two different planes carrying cast and crew were struck by lightning. The crew hotel was bombed by the IRA as was a restaurant they were all due to dine at. A plane scheduled for use in the film, which was rescheduled and used for a commercial flight instead, crashed and killed everyone on board. Most remarkable of all was the fate that befell SFX guy John Richardson. On Friday the 13th of August 1976, Richardson crashed his car in Holland. His assistant was sliced through by the car's front wheel. Scrambling out of the wreckage, Richardson looked up and saw a road sign: Ommen, 66.6km.
Director Roman Polanski’s horror film told the story of a young woman whose husband trades their unborn child to sect of Satanists. A year after its release, Polanski’s own wife, the actress Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson Family. Tate was eight months pregnant with the couple’s first child when she died.
On March 31, 1993, eight days before the film was completed, Brandon Lee, was accidentally shot in the abdomen. A metal tip from a dummy bullet had become lodged in the gun that killed Lee, who was 28. Lee, the star of the film that has become a cult classic, was the son of martial arts film star Bruce Lee who died at the age of 32, from an acute cerebral edema due to a reaction to compounds present in the drug Equagesic.
An horrific helicopter crash took the lives of actor Vic Morrow, 53, and two child actors, Myca Dinh Le, 7, and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, 6, during the filming of a segment of the film directed by John Landis on July 23, 1982. All three were killed instantly. Two of the victims were decapitated by the helicopter’s top rotor blades.
All three key members of the cast died tragically. James Dean was killed in a car chase before the film’s release at age 23. Dean’s co-star Natalie Wood, drowned in unusual circumstances in Nov. 1981 when she was 44, and Sal Mineo, died five years earlier after being stabbed to death in an alley in West Hollywood, Calif. He was 37. Beverly Hills orthopaedic surgeon Troy McHenry, fitted his own car with parts from the Porsche Spyder that Dean died in. A year later he was killed when his Porsche Spyder hit a tree.
The filmmaker decided to shoot in the Philippines during the monsoon season, which resulted in the destruction of numerous sets. Meanwhile, Marlon Brando showed up overweight and essentially refused to learn his lines. Martin Sheen, who was drinking heavily at the time, suffered a heart attack. The film was delayed repeatedly as Coppola struggled to figure out an ending to the film, and the director was reportedly so sure his career was ruined that he threatened to kill himself several times during the filming.
During filming in Italy, assistant director Jan Michelini was struck twice by lightning. The second time this happened, the lightning bolt also hit James Caviezel, who played Jesus. Caviezel also suffered a dislocated shoulder in the whipping scene and got hypothermia.
Bond actor Daniel Craig needed medical attention three times during filming, while four cars crashed during filming, injuring two stunt drivers. A technician in Austria was stabbed by his wife during production, while one of the sets at Pinewood Studios was damaged by fire.
Here's a look at the films considered "cursed" because of tragedies and misfortunes that happened on the sets and to the cast members.