That Time Michael Caine Got Pooped On By Bees Filming A Movie

Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth in the Dark Knight Rises
(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

Since Michael Caine has almost 200 acting credits, there’s bound to be a few duds. The distinguished 85-year-old actor recently reflected on the one role he might tell his younger self to pass on if he could: it was the 1978 disaster flick The Swarm. He just couldn’t get along with his bee costars. Here’s what Caine said:

One day we were all having a conversation with live bees above us, and suddenly we noticed all these little black dots on our shirts. The bees were shitting on us. And so the first review was in, but we didn’t know it at the time.

Yikes! I don’t blame him, working with live bees sounds terrifying – even though the fact that they pooped on them is a hilarious visual and a great reason why a live-action Bee Movie should never exist.

In Michael Caine’s recent interview with Rolling Stone, he expressed that he has little regret about the roles he didn’t take, because he seldom would say “no” to a role. Caine’s open-mindedness to his roles likely contributed to his over-60 year massively successful acting career that still is very much ticking today. Saying “yes” more can lead to some rather interesting experiences.

In the case of The Swarm, Michael Caine said “yes” because of the star-studded cast involving Henry Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Jose Ferrer. He didn’t even read the script, he just went for it and in turn became part of one of the most best bad movies of all time. Just take a look at this highlight reel from the “thriller”:

The Swarm is about a swarm of killer bees who fly from South America to Houston, Texas to raise terror on the town. It was directed by Irwin Allen, who produced classic sci-fi television shows of the ‘60s including Lost in Space and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. It was a box office bomb and critical failure, but it was named one of the most enjoyably bad movies ever made by Razzie Award founder John J.B. Wilson.

Even so, The Swarm adds to Michael Caine’s incredible range. He’s done everything from frequenting Christopher Nolan movies to starring as Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol. That’s just in recent years though; starting in the ‘60s, Caine became an unlikely British icon and movie star.

When he first found his role on screen transitioning from “movie star”, Caine contemplated retiring, but Jack Nicholson of all people convinced him otherwise, with the opportunity to become the character actor he is famous for being right now.

Michael Caine will star next as Lord Boresh in Medieval in 2019, which is about how a 14th century Czech warlord Jan Zizka (played by Ben Foster) defeated the Teutonic Order and Roman Empire.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.