In the movie "Dinner for Schmucks", the actor David Walliams (who plays Mueller) has his index finger (with the famous ring of the family) cut by the blind "fool".

How was this effect achieved?

  • 1
    I've edited the question, because clearly (the vast majority of) actors are not going to allow their finger to be cut off just for a movie.
    – iandotkelly
    Aug 31, 2014 at 23:44
  • 1
    And to prove it ... here is an article with a picture showing the finger was there in 2013 ... 3 years after the movie. huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/04/…
    – iandotkelly
    Aug 31, 2014 at 23:51
  • 2
    They removed Lieutenant Dan's legs from Forrest Gump in 1994 with CGI, I'm sure they can remove Mueller's finger in 2010.
    – iandotkelly
    Aug 31, 2014 at 23:55

1 Answer 1


Faking a finger being cut off is pretty easy. First, they can just use a rubber hand for the closeup with the actual cutting. If the actor is wearing something with sleeves, their real hand is up the sleeve holding the rubber hand.

If the script needs the rest of the fingers to be moving around, you can make a glove with something fingerlike and some fake blood in one finger of the glove, and the actor can curl their real finger down onto the palm of their hand inside the glove. Then the fake finger can be cut. You can put tubes for fake blood in the palm of the glove.

Generally a scene like this will be done several times from different distances, with different amounts of makeup and prosthetics each time. From 20 feet away you just need a tube on the table under the person's hand that will spray or ooze blood. You might also need another glove later to make the person's hand look like they're missing a finger.

  • BTW I could swear I saw two different movies where some random guy's arm got slashed off by a sword... and the actor was the same. I guess there's a certain demand for single-handed stuntmen. So, one option to film cutting off a finger is to not have the finger in the first place.
    – IMil
    Nov 26, 2018 at 23:13
  • In one episode of The Young Ones (1982), Vyvyan (Adrian Edmonson) cuts off one of his own fingers as a stunt because he's bored. He starts off with 6 fingers, one of them obviously fake because the colour is different (Vyv is supposedly a medical student, so he could have got a finger from a cadaver). He then swings a machete at his hand, but misses and cuts off one of his real fingers instead! Cue fake blood spurting a metre out of the wound!
    – CJ Dennis
    Nov 27, 2018 at 22:59

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