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Old 07 May 2014, 11:26 PM
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Default Was there an actual amputation in Fellini's Satyricon?

The Titus Andronicus thread dredged up this '60s UL chestnut in my head. When Fellini Satyricon was released in 1969, a common rumor floated around that the scene where a slave's hand is chopped off was real. Supposedly, Fellini hired a terminal cancer patient who agreed to allow his hand to be cut off on screen in exchange for a large settlement that would allow his family to be financially secure after his death. (He was administered a local anesthetic before the deed was done, of course.)

Thing is, I can find no mention of this rumor on the World Wide Web, either confirming or denying it. Since it was a wide spread UL even in pre-internet days, I was surprised to not find any current references. Does anyone else remember this, and was it ever proven true or false?
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Old 08 May 2014, 01:30 PM
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If someone wants to see the scene the whole movie is posted here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0L-iJGFRzE

Amputation scene begins around 6:30.
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Old 09 May 2014, 05:23 AM
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I've never heard this particular urban legend, but I think the scene makes it pretty clear that it's not true. Not only do they not show the actual amputation on screen (which one would assume would be the point of the extreme measure of actually chopping off someone's hand), but the chopped off stump isn't terribly convincing as far as wound special effects go.
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Old 10 May 2014, 04:11 AM
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Icon402 Hand Mayhem

However this is true:

During filming of Ben Hur, director William Wyler noticed that one of the extras was missing a hand. He had the make-up department construct a prosthetic that included a protruding false bone to cover the man's stump for the scene where the galley was rammed by a pirate ship. Wyler made similar use of an extra who was missing a foot.

I also heard the same thing was true of the hand double for the actress playing the wife in Hitchcock's adaptation of the Roald Dahl story about betting a finger or two. Not that they maimed her, but hired her because of her missing fingers.
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Old 10 May 2014, 04:33 AM
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There was a milder, slightly similar instance in the Hangover movie. The actor who played the guy who got a tooth knocked out was actually missing a tooth, and had a prosthetic that was easily removed for the movie.
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Old 10 May 2014, 05:34 AM
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I was thinking about this, and realized the classic example of this, of course, is the young veteran in 'Best Years of Our Lives.'
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Old 10 May 2014, 10:24 AM
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Casting somebody for reasons like that is common. "Saving Private Ryan" cast actual amputees as some of the soldiers who's limbs had been blown off in battle.

"Vertical Limit" has Scott Glenn as an expert mountain climber who had lost several toes to frostbite on an earlier climb. For closeups of his foot they used one of the film's technical advisors, a real expert climber who had lost several toes to frostbite years earlier.
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Old 11 May 2014, 12:21 AM
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Another example is casting Raymond Griffith as a dying French soldier who whispered his dialog in All Quiet on the Western Front. Griffith was a major silent film star, but had lost his voice in his teens and couldn't speak above a whisper.

And, of course, there's Tod Browning's Freaks.
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Old 11 May 2014, 03:11 AM
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Oh, my goodness, you are correct, of course! How could I forget about either one of those amazing films.
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Old 13 May 2014, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NobodyAtAll View Post
I was thinking about this, and realized the classic example of this, of course, is the young veteran in 'Best Years of Our Lives.'
Played by Harold Russell, who really did lose his hands in World War II.
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Old 15 May 2014, 12:17 AM
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Did he get to keep the prosthetic? Becaue false teeth are expensive and extras usually don't get dental....
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