Getting a movie made is hard. It’s an expensive, sometimes demoralizing endeavor that often involves casting changes, periods of turnaround and multiple years. In short, it’s almost always a fiasco, but as Saving Mr. Banks illustrates, fiasco is a relative term. Sometimes procuring a book’s rights or getting a script that works or making a location cooperate takes so long and requires such an extraordinary effort that it goes way beyond the normal Hollywood bullshit. It leads those involved to wonder if the film will ever get made.

More often than not, movies with such glaring on-set or pre-production issues wind up lacking in some way or another. They get approved with scripts so neutered they lack impact, or they eventually involve so many producers they lack a coherent vision, or rumors of on-set problems get so loud they follow the movie around like a disease. As a general rule, less tinkering is usually better, but now and again, all of the effort actually comes together. In fact, some of the greatest movies ever released were complete nightmares to get made.

Let’s take a look back at some of those debacles…

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