• There are disturbing movie scenes, and then there are disturbing movie scenes. The following, from Norman Mailer’s Maidstone, is not for the faint of heart. The 1970 film is the ultimate example of Mailer’s cinematic philosophy, which held that a thin veil of fiction could better expose people for who they really were than the supposedly unadorned reality of Direct Cinema, then the documentary mode du jour. Shot over the course of five drug-fueled days in East Hampton, New York, Maidstone stars Mailer as an underground filmmaker and presidential candidate surrounded by both followers and enemies. Near the end of the film, reality bleeds, quite literally, into the film when Mailer’s costar Rip Torn explodes in a hammer-wielding fury and attacks Mailer. Luckily (or not, depending on your point of view), the cameras were rolling and captured the resulting violent brawl. Nothing about this splenetic rage is staged. (Warning: the clip contains NSFW language.)

17 comments

  • By JM
    August 27, 2012
    03:51 PM

    Worth mentioning that Mailer bit off a piece of Torn's ear in this scene.
    Reply
  • By David Kelly
    August 27, 2012
    07:29 PM

    I don't think Rip really intended to hurt Mailer too bad. Note that Torn drops the hammer on purpose once the fight ensues. Rip Torn IS a little crazy, AND he was on drugs, AND this is the result of a serious "method actor" who is a little crazy and on drugs. It is fascinating to see. Klaus Kinski, eat your heart out...
    Reply
  • By Mathew Seed
    August 28, 2012
    12:44 PM

    Rip Torn was just trying some hardcore improvisation. Trying to kill Mailer's character but not Mailer.
    Reply
  • By Paul J. Marasa
    August 29, 2012
    11:45 AM

    I'm a softie: I was worried only that they upset the kids. But Torn is one of the great crazy ones.
    Reply
  • By Shaun
    August 29, 2012
    04:58 PM

    Who's the loud-mouth drama queen? She's a better use for that hammer.
    Reply
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    • By Ed
      September 07, 2012
      08:50 PM

      HA HA! 5 gold stars!
    • By Edgar Neubauer
      September 09, 2012
      02:23 AM

      That woman was none other than the soon-to-be mother of Ms. Sandra Fluke. Could you not hear that magical timber of the fluke whine?
  • By Digg
    September 01, 2012
    02:47 PM

    Everything from CC hyperbolic scene description to the the actual contents of this clip is BS. This is bad college Improve Acting 101.
    Reply
  • By Jeff Stills
    September 01, 2012
    08:59 PM

    You're absolutely wrong, Dosch. It's a pretty well-known incident that people have been talking about for decades.
    Reply
  • By anne minich
    September 07, 2012
    03:46 PM

    real life! the kids crying says it all!
    Reply
  • By GTW
    September 07, 2012
    06:23 PM

    That wasn't faked. Anybody who says it is is an idiot. Although I saw blood running down the side of Mailer's cheek, I didn't see Rip Torn get his ear bit off. What surprises me is it wasn't broken up a minute or so earlier. The cameraman (obstinately hired to make the film) kept rolling the film and made no effort to intervene.
    Reply
  • By Alkmar
    September 07, 2012
    10:24 PM

    Of cource the camera kept rolling the director was distracted and forgot to call "cut"
    Reply
  • By Criteriophile
    September 07, 2012
    10:30 PM

    This is some sick shit. The fact that this was able to happen with complete disregard for the emotional well being of the children makes me want to vomit. There is a line between artistry and sickness. This is sickness.
    Reply
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  • By potlibaba
    September 08, 2012
    04:50 PM

    Mailer had balls. Thats the 70s for ya. Last 'tough' decade.
    Reply
  • By gerald doherty
    September 09, 2012
    03:11 PM

    were they actually flighting or making love
    Reply
  • By Ernie
    March 03, 2014
    02:46 PM

    I would bang both men.
    Reply
  • By Tomo
    March 08, 2014
    03:21 PM

    Me too Ernie : )
    Reply

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