Hey, over here! Five films overshadowed by off-screen controversy
Roman Polanski’s movie The Ghost Writer (showing Sat 16 Jul at 20:00 on M-Net and M-Net HD) was released in 2010, around about the same time as the US government was seeking his extradition from Switzerland to face charges of statutory rape leveled at him several decades ago.

Predictably, the film was completely lost in the legal furor, which is a pity, because it’s actually a pretty good little thriller.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only time that a movie has been overshadowed by off-screen antics, as these five films show.

Proof of Life

This thriller proved to be more thrilling in the tabloids than on the screen. Meg Ryan dealt her carefully cultivate image as America’s sweetheart a blow by having an affair with co-star Russell Crowe. Ironically enough, many critics complained that the two leads lack chemistry on-screen.

Mr and Mrs Smith (showing Fri 22 Jul at 20:30 on M-Net Action)

Another case of an off-screen affair overshadowing the onscreen action, although when you cast two of Hollywood’s most beautiful people as husband and wife, an affair is pretty much inevitable.

Terminator: Salvation

Christian Bale and his temper almost threatened to nuke the latest entry in the Terminator franchise. First, there was the leaked clip of his profane on-set rant directed at one of the crew members. Then there were rumours of him being involved in a domestic dispute and seeking counseling for anger issues. The rant and the various memes it inspired, meanwhile, proved to be the most entertaining thing to emerge from the production.  

The Beaver

Mel Gibson is currently persona non grata in Hollywood, which is understandable, since in the couple years he’s managed to offend pretty much every minority around and a couple of the majorities too. As a result, Mel’s latest film got quietly buried after being released earlier this year.

Anything Lindsay Lohan’s done since Mean Girls

Couldn’t think of the titles? Me neither, but I’m pretty up-to-date on her various court appearances, DUI and theft charges, jail sentences and trips to rehab.