Tuesday, January 13, 2015

14 Mind-Blowing Movie Facts You Probably Didn't Know

by Doug Schultz
My most click/flick bait title to date!

1. Professor Marvel's coat originally belonged to L. Frank Baum
In The Wizard of Oz (1939), a shabby coat was worn by Frank Morgan in his portrayal as Professor Marvel during the Kansas sequences. This tattered jacket, which was once quite elegant, was purchased from a local thrift shop by a costume assistant. When Morgan examined the coat, he found the name "L. Frank Baum," the original author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz children's book, stitched into a pocket. Baum's widow and the Chicago tailor who made the coat confirmed its authenticity. Although many, including Snopes, still have their doubts.

2. The Blues Brothers had a cocaine budget
That's right -- money specifically set aside for cocaine. I wonder what that line item was disguised as. "Character enhancements"? "Craft services, ET CETERA"? "No Coke! Pepsi!"? Related side note, while on the set of The Blues Brothers (1980), John Belushi actually told Carrie Fisher that she was doing too much cocaine. When JOHN BELUSHI confronts you about drug use, that's when you know you have a problem.

3. Bald. James Bald.
Sean Connery wore a toupée in most* of his James Bond movies (*excluding Dr. No, according to some sources). Connery began losing his hair when he was in his late teens/early 20s. When he started acting, he would wear custom-made wigs. Connery used various hairpieces throughout his tenure as 007. Then again, Connery himself asserts that Alex Trebek's mother pulled his hair out just last night.

4. Chris Pratt ruined a $150,000 scene in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Chris Pratt (Peter Quill) made "pew pew" sounds with his mouth when he fired his laser gun, thus ruining an expensive action sequence. Pratt explained, "I've never pointed a plastic gun at something and not gone [gun sound effect]." Related side note: Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) also made lightsaber sounds while filming Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). He claimed he couldn't stop because that's the way he did it when he was a kid.

5. The Lion King (1994) was originally called "King of the Jungle"

They changed the name once producers realized that, yeah, lions don't live in jungles. Related side note: the finished version of the song, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," was almost cut from the film. Composer Elton John had to convince Disney to keep the song in the movie. Good thing, too, as it won both the 1994 Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for "Best Original Song." It also earned Sir Elton a Grammy for "Best Male Pop Vocal Performance." And now you've got that song in your head. YOU'RE WELCOME.

6. Jeff Bridges smiles at pubes in The Big Lebowski

During the Busby Berkeley-inspired dream sequence in The Big Leboswki (1998), the Dude floats beneath a line of women dressed in bowling alley regalia. The ladies straddle Lebowski as he stares upwards at their respective crotches. Bridges later recalled, "My God, that woman has huge tufts of hair coming out of her leotard. I mean, the pubes are just insane! And I got to the next one and they’re even more glorious." He later discovered that they were all wearing pubic hair wigs (or "merkins"). It's unsure if that's the rug that tied the room together.

7. No maggots were harmed in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

A character named Brooks (James Whitmore) feeds a maggot to his pet crow. The American Humane Association (AHA) (or, according to director Frank Darabont, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals [ASPCA]), which monitored the filming of the movie, objected to the use of a live maggot (on the grounds that it was cruel to the maggot), and demanded that they use a maggot that had died from "natural causes." A dead wax worm was found, and the scene was filmed. If the filmmakers hadn't complied with this request, they wouldn't have been given the "No Animals Were Harmed" disclaimer at the end of the movie. THIS IS A REAL THING THAT HAPPENED.

8. Rope doesn't care about your broken foot
Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948) is composed of just 10 very long takes, smoothly assembled to make it look like one seamless scene (it's always reminded me of watching a filmed play). At the time, a camera magazine could only hold about 10 minutes worth of film, and all of the conventional cuts were made by having the camera pass by (or zoom in on) a dark object, blacking out the lens. Deep into a good take (which ended up making the finished product), the camera dolly, which is extremely heavy and runs on a track, ran over a crewmember's foot, thus breaking it. Rather than let the crewmember's scream ruin the scene, another stagehand covered his mouth and dragged him off set.

9. God doesn't like Jim Caviezel
During the filming of The Passion of the Christ (2004), Jim Caviezel (Jesus!) was struck by lightning while he was festooned on the cross. Right beforehand, assistant director Jan Michelini was also struck by lightning. Twice. C'mon Mel! Get your OSHA safeguards in order!

10. Ghostbusters was originally set in the future
In Dan Aykroyd's first draft of Ghostbusters (1984) (originally titled Ghost Smashers), the story takes place in the future. You see, in that scenario, the "busting" of "ghosts" was a completely normal, worldwide profession, like paramedics and firefighters. It was director Ivan Reitman's decision to bring in Harold Ramis to rewrite the script, which instead concentrated on one group of "Ghost Busters" set in modern times working out of a fire station in New York City. Unfortunately, in the future, print really is dead.

11. Crispin Glover hates the ending of Back to the Future
Minor spoilers ahead (although if you haven't seen Back to the Future (1985) yet, you are dead to me) ... at the end of Back to the Future, the McFly family is wealthy, in a very Reagan's America, 1980's vision of success and happiness. Only thing is, Crispin Glover hates it. Glover plays George McFly, father of Michael J. Fox's teenage hero, Marty McFly, and he disagreed with the morality of the consumeristic message of the movie. After finishing the movie, he opted out of the sequels. Director Robert Zemeckis and cowriter Bob Gale decided to hire Jeffrey Weissman as a Crispin Glover doppelganger (in addition to using footage of Glover from the first movie to make it look like he was also in the sequel). But Weissman wasn't just a lookalike in glasses -- he actually wore prosthetics of Crispin Glover's face. After seeing the sequel, Glover sued, and now there are stricter regulations about filmmakers using likenesses. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) also changed its rules to prohibit its members from unauthorized mimicking of other SAG members.

12. Interstellar's science is awesome
Compared to most sci-fi movies that feature truly awful science, Interstellar (2014) is light years (GET IT?) better than the rest. I've gone on record as being a big fan, naming it one of my favorite movies of 2014. One of Interstellar's producers is Kip Thorne, a Caltech physicist who is one of the leading experts on general relativity and black holes. His team of scientists worked with the film's effects crew to make sure that every space shot followed the laws of physics. The movie's science is so good, that, according to Thorne, their work will soon be published in at least two science journals.

13. Dana Carvey didn't know the words to "Bohemian Rhapsody"

It's probably the most famous scene in Wayne's World (1992), but Dana Carvey (Garth Algar) didn't originally know the lyrics to Queen's 1975 song "Bohemian Rhapsody." He just mouthed along with the music (total Garth move). He later learned the words, but was reportedly unhappy with the final version of that scene, as he's obviously not singing the right words (the most obvious example of this is around the 2:50 mark in the above video).

14. Quentin Tarantino's giant purple dildo
Anyone who fell asleep on the set of Inglourious Basterds (2009) was photographed with a giant purple dildo next to them. Yep.


  1. Aw, c'mon, Doug, everyone knows about Ford's illness and the sword fig... oh. Well, played, sir. Well played. :P

    1. That title is the hackiest, most BuzzFeed-iest nonsense I could come up with. I'm sure most of you guys (i.e., our loyal friends and fans) know these movie trivia tidbits. But yeah, I always try to include a curveball banner image. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I've been burned by these lists so many times. (Did you know O.J. Simpson once almost played the Terminator but blah blah blah), so even though I know F This Movie would NEVER, I was still a little scared to click. That image choice is perfect.

    I must say, the title could be way more Buzzfeed'y though.
    "Woah! These Incredible Hilarious Facts About 14 Classic Movies Are Amazeballs And Will Literally Restore Your Faith In Humanity And CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Also, weren't the '90s great? Something about Jennifer Lawrence! Cat Gifs!"

    Related: When I clicked the link, Facebook recommended the Buzzfeed article "58 Facts You Probably Didn't know About The Star Wars Movies -May the facts be with you-"

    Also: it took me until about the third ridiculously captioned image before I realized this must be a Doug article.

    1. You also have to add a fake personal favorite to the title.

      "14 Crazy Movie Facts That Will Change the Way You Look at Movies -- Number 8 is CRAZY!!!"

    2. Hahaaaa, you should work at Upworthy. I had one of these in there before I edited it for length. Something like "Wait till you see number 6! OMG!"

  3. Some good ones there. I did not know Jeff Bridges smiled at Pubes crotchwaffle in the Big Lebowski. That's awsome ;)