Claim: A case of the runs led to one of Raiders of the Lost Ark's most memorable scenes.
Origins: In the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, one particular scene consistently brings the house down: Indiana Jones, having survived an elaborate chase through a casbah, is confronted by an Arab swordsman whipping through a flashy routine with a scimitar. Indy initially squares off against the deadly swordsman bearing only his trademark whip in his hands; then with a look of infinite fatigue and disgust, he casually pulls out his revolver and blows the bad guy away:
That bit of unexpected humor flowed not from the pen of a screenwriter but from the desperation of Harrison Ford. His desire to spend less time on this scene and more in a washroom led to an actor-inspired script change that was ultimately worked into the film.
Three months' of shooting in the blazing heat in Tunisia had resulted in a terrible bout
Occasionally, some confusion surfaces as to who — Ford or Spielberg — had the notion for this script change. The principals themselves don't appear to disagree on it being Ford's baby, but those who've heard the diarrhea story second- and third-hand have been known to get muddled on this point. (In a 1995 interview, George Lucas attributed the creative spark to Steven Spielberg, for example.)
As for whose idea it was, according to a 1981 interview with Steven Spielberg:
Last updated: 29 July 2014
Attanasio, Paul. "Harrison Ford: Currents of a Collaborator." The Washington Post. 24 December 1986 (p. C1). Dutka, Elaine. "Steven Spielberg Receives AFI's Award for Cinematic Achievement." Los Angeles Times. 4 March 1995 (p. F1). Lipper, Hal. "Ford in the Driver's Seat." St. Petersburg Times. 23 December 1988 (Weekend; p. 16).