Director Danny Boyle is convinced it is James Franco's compelling performance in 127 HOURS which is making film fans faint - because he saw far worse "gross-out" scenes in JACKASS 3D.
In the film, the Spider-Man star plays real-life adventurer Aron Ralston, who had to amputate his arm with a blunt penknife to free himself from a boulder after falling down a crevice during a hiking trip in Utah.
And the bloody scenes in the film of Franco, as Ralston, hacking away at his own flesh have led to guests at screenings of the film, which is released in America on Friday (05Nov10), passing out.
But Boyle takes issue with claims the amputation in the movie is too gruesome, insisting it's Franco's acting that is having the profound effect on film fans.
He tells TheWrap.com, "We've definitely had screenings where some people had seen too much, and we think it's an empathy thing, not a gross-out thing. You'll see far worse in Jackass 3D or other movies. But James pulls you in so much with the performance, and you feel so vulnerable."
Boyle admits he thought about dropping the amputation scenes from the movie completely - but he was determined to stay faithful to Ralston's tale.
He adds, "I thought quite deeply about whether we should cut the movie when this first started happening. And God bless the studio, they left the decision to me. I thought, 'No, it would be wrong to change it now'.
"We deliberately followed the book (which Ralston wrote about his five-day ordeal) in this case, probably more carefully than in any other part of the movie, and to change it would be to trivialise what he went through in some way.
"I think the measure of it is just about right. It's not sensationalised, and it's not trivialised to make it look too easy or too quick."