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21 Movies With Surprising Guinness World Records

July 22, 2020 1.2k votes 152 voters 6.8k views21 items

List RulesVote up the films with the most surprising world records.

Guinness World Records have been around since the 1950s, when Hugh Beaver, managing director of the Guinness Brewery, argued with friends about what the fastest game bird in Europe was, but couldn't find the answer in a book (it's a golden plover). Guinness World Records, now much more than a book, covers topics far beyond fast feathered friends, and its database of 53,000-plus items includes plenty of records related to film, TV, video games, and other entertainment. And some of them are surprising. 

Among the Guinness Word Records for films are things you might expect, like highest-grossing film at the global box office (as of April 2020, that would be Avengers: Endgame, with $2,797,800,564). A less lustrous but sweeter movie milestone is the first film to feature the tossing of a custard pie. (Hint, the movie came out in 1913.)

From MCU blockbusters and Hollywood classics to some truly obscure titles, here are some of the more unusual world records held by movies.

  • In the 1982 historical drama Gandhi, more than 300,000 extras (200,000 volunteers; the rest contract workers), appeared during the funeral scene for Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi.

    According to Guinness World Records, the scene was filmed on the anniversary of the real Gandhi's funeral, and had to be done in one morning.   

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  • In Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film The Shining, a scene between Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers) and Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd) required 148 takes - apparently not because it was complicated, but Kubrick just really wanted it to be right.

    The seven-minute conversation takes place as Hallorann tells Danny:

    When I was a little boy, my grandmother and I could hold conversations entirely without ever opening our mouths. She called it "shining."

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  • 'The Lord of the Rings' Trilogy: Largest Battle Sequences on Film
    Photo: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King / New Line Cinema

    Films in The Lord of the Rings franchise are known for their scenes of mass-scale confrontations, like the Battle of Helm's Deep, featuring what seems like an endless array of participants. According to Guinness World Records, the films featured more than 200,000 fighting characters - thanks to digital technology.

    The film's visual-effects creators used software appropriately called "Massive" to create the characters and make them interact in a realistic way.  

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  • 'Antz': First Film With Digital Water
    Video: YouTube

    The 1998 Dreamworks animated film Antz was the first film to "use computer software to simulate the properties of water," said Guinness World Records.

    Before Antz, filmmakers had used computers to generate fluid, but the effects "were drawn, frame by frame, using graphics programs." Water-y scenes in the film include an underground flood, condensation on a bottle, and a ride on a raindrop.

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