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Movies That Make Audiences Faint: A Brief History

Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours opens in theaters tomorrow, and thanks to a storyline that involves James Franco having to amputate his own hand after getting it trapped underneath a boulder, there have been numerous reports of fainting and even vomiting in the aisles at early screenings. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: in fact Entertainment Weekly is asking whether it’s a compliment. Of course this isn’t the first time that a film has caused theatergoers to feel queasy enough to pass out. Granted there’s always the possibility that these incidents are simply carried out by paid actors, aiming to garner the film more hype (the practice of planting fainting actors in theaters dates back to the 1930s). Regardless here are eight other films that elicited some unpleasant physical reactions.

Dracula (1931)

Bela Lugosi’s classic portrayal of the blood sucker was apparently too much for some in the early days of the “talkie.” In an introduction o a reprinting of the novel, Joan Acocella explains that, “ladies were carried, fainting, from the theatre.” Robert Pattinson eat your heart out.

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