Friday, July 23, 2010

For the Weekend: More Tidbits

Wow, it's been one busy week for me these past several days.  Unfortunately, that meant I didn't have time to do my normal research and peruse of the weekend schedule for you.  So, instead, I thought I'd comply a list of tidbits that I left out of previous posts.

"Animal House" - Donald Sutherland originally said "No" to appearing in the comedy.  It was only after talking with John Landis (who used to baby-sit his son Kiefer) that he finally agreed.  When they negotiated his salary, though, he got the choice of either a flat fee of $75,000 or a smaller fee and a percentage of the profits.  Thinking the film would bomb, he took the flat rate.  This means he lost out on an additional $3-4 million.

"Armageddon" - The asteroid that hits Earth in the opening scene (set 65 million years ago) is the same shape as the yellow strike in the Touchstone Pictures logo, one of the films production companies.

"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" - Katharine Ross did not like working with director George Roy Hill.  Therefore, her favorite scene in the entire movie is the bicycle scene, because it was filmed by the second unit crew.  In her words, "any day away from Hill was a good one."

"Dr. Strangelove" - Stanley Kubrick actually pushed George C. Scott to overact his part, which was very annoying to Scott.  He vowed never to work with Kubrick again.  As time passed, Scott saw the error of his ways and came to think of "Strangelove" as one of his favorite performances.

"Finding Nemo" - If you don't notice, the name of Deb's "twin" sister (aka her reflection) is Flo.  Deb and Flo...get it?  Ebb and flow, like the tides.  Cool, huh?  Gotta love those Pixar peeps.  :)

"Lawrence of Arabia" - The film took a very long to finish shooting.  Therefore, because of the retakes later in the production, there are scenes in the finished film where Peter O'Toole walks out of a scene a year older than when he walked into it.

"Monty Python and the Holy Grail" - Did you ever wonder where the Python boys found the picture of "God"?  Well, it's actually a picture of a famous English cricket player from the 19th century called W.G. Grace.

"North by Northwest" - I love the attention great directors always seem to play to even the little details, and Hitchcock is no exception.  There's a song playing in the background during Cary Grant's scene in The Plaza Hotel's Oak Bar, when his adventure begins.  You know what it is?  "It's a Most Unusual Day."  Oh, the foreshadowing in that. 

"Now, Voyager" - The image of Paul Henreid lighting two cigarettes at once became so ingrained in the public's mind that poor Henreid could barely go anywhere after "Voyager" without being accosted by women wanting him to light a cigarette for them.

"Stand by Me" - Rob Reiner is an avid non-smoker, even having campaigned for anti-smoking laws.  So when the script required the boys to smoke cigarettes, they are actually smoking cabbage leaves instead.

"The Apartment" - The great Paul Douglas was originally cast as the heartless Sheldrake, but sadly he passed away before filming began.

"The Empire Strikes Back" - Frank Oz did such a great job with Yoda that sometimes during filming, Irvin Kershner would give direction directly to the puppet itself, forgetting about Oz underneath.

"The Princess Bride" - Writer of the book and screenplay William Goldman was on the set the day they shot Robin Wright's dress catching on fire.  Obviously knowing what was going to happen, he still got so caught up in the moment that he screamed, "Her dress is on fire!" and thus ruined the take.

"The Sound of Music" - In the famous opening shot, where we swoop down on Maria singing the title song in the mountains, Robert Wise wanted the helicopter with the camera to get as close to Julie Andrews as possible.  What it resulted in was Andrews continually getting knocked to the ground by the draft, even when she dug her heels into the ground.

"Viva Las Vegas" - While filming the wedding scenes in "Vegas," several tabloids got a hold of the pictures.  Thus there were quite a lot of stories about Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret secretly getting married.

Aren't little bits of trivia so much fun?!  I hope one of them wets your appetite for a repeat viewing of some of your favorite films this weekend.  I'm gonna go park myself in front of my Wii and stream some Netflix goodies myself.  Have a great couple of days off, everyone!  Be back Monday with another fun film.  :)

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