Interesting Movie Facts

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 12:01 pm

I thought I’d take a little break from all the good movie lists of late and bring you another installment of Interesting Movie Facts.  Gathered together after hours of searching through sites like Wikipedia, I’m hoping you’ll find these little slivers of trivia as fascinating as I did.  If you have any interesting movie facts of your own, be sure to share them in the comments section.

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Berry Berenson, the widow of Psycho’s Anthony Perkins, died on American Airlines Flight 11 during the events of September 11th, 2001.

As a child, Jet Li and the rest of the Chinese National Wushu Team performed for President Richard Nixon.  Nixon jokingly asked Li to become his personal bodyguard, to which Li reportedly replied, “I don’t want to protect any individual. When I grow up, I want to defend my one billion Chinese countrymen!”

When Sony executives expressed doubt over casting Leonardo DiCaprio as The Kid in The Quick and the Dead, star Sharon Stone paid for his salary herself.

Actress Virgina Madsen’s first experience as a performer came when she would help out her older brother, actor Michael Madsen, with his childhood magic shows.

The record for the highest free-fall stunt is 220 feet.  It was set during the filming of 1981’s Sharky’s Machine (starring Burt Reynolds).  The stunt was shot at The Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, and the stuntman was the late Dar Robinson (who later died while performing a routine stunt in 1986).

Clint Eastwood was not the first choice for the lead role in Dirty Harry.  The part was written for Frank Sinatra, but a previous wrist injury made it uncomfortable for him to hold Harry’s signature .44 Magnum, so he passed on the part.  John Wayne was also considered, but he was later deemed too old for the part.  Steve McQueen and Paul Newman also passed on the role before Eastwood was offered the part.  Audie Murphy was offered the role of the villainous Scorpio Killer, but he died in a plane crash before he could accept the part.

Many of the nude scenes for Brooke Shields in 1980’s The Blue Lagoon were done by older body doubles, and Shields had her hair glued to her breasts in many scenes.

Action star Dolph Lundgren speaks over five languages and holds a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney.

According to reports, Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise were said to have come to blows during the filming of Top Gun, with Kilmer coming out the victor.

After being impressed with a DVD of Paranormal Activity, executives at DreamWorks passed it along to Steven Spielberg to watch.  He took it home and later claimed that his bedroom doors locked by themselves after he finished viewing the film.  He had to call a locksmith to get out, and he brought the movie back to DreamWorks in a garbage bag, convinced that the DVD was haunted.

In the movie Borat, the lead character claims to be from Kazakhstan.  While this did not sit well with Kazakh officials, the film is said to be a favorite of the Kazakhstan national football team.

The unrated version of 1979’s Caligula, known as the first pornographic film to feature major stars (such as Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, and Peter O’Toole), includes such activities as orgies, fellatio, cunnilingus, anal fisting, rape, incest, tranvestism, urination, masturbation, and penile castration.

Sam Worthington, the co-star of Terminator Salvation, was recommended to director McG by none other than Terminator creator James Cameron.  Russell Crowe also put in a good word for his fellow Australian.

Daniel Stern was the first choice to play bully Biff Tannen in Back to the Future.  When he passed, the part went to Thomas F. Wilson.

Writing on Quigley Down Under began in 1974, and Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen were lead contenders for the role.  Production started in 1980, and McQueen was supposed to play the part, but he was unable to do so due to his declining health.  This caused the film to be delayed for a decade, and the part eventually went to Tom Selleck.

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Hope you enjoyed this list of interesting movie facts.  For even more juicy tidbits, click on the following links:

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