A montage is the assembling together of images in a film, usually in quick succession, often dissolving into one another. It can be used to convey action and the passage of time, newspaper headlines and theater marquees flying by as a dancer rises to stardom, or, as in the work of Sergei Eisenstein, to evoke … Read more
Rock group Duran Duran got its name from the science fiction movie Barbarella (1968). Duran Duran (the Concierge) was a character played by Milo O’Shea. The rock group Fine Young Cannibals got their name came from the movie soap opera All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960), directed by Michael Anderson and starring Robert Wagner and … Read more
The National Legion of Decency was formed in 1934, by a group of Roman Catholic bishops. Through it, films were reviewed and rated for their decency. If the movie was not approved, a boycott was advised.
The great Sarah Bernhardt, in Queen Elizabeth (1912, France), was the first actress to play Queen Elizabeth I.
It took about two weeks to make an average “B” movie in the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1930s-1940s. Or more precisely, between twelve to eighteen days.
Warner Baxter played Gatsby in the first, silent version of The Great Gatsby (1926). Lois Wilson played Daisy Buchanan.
Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker directed Airplane! (1980). David and Jerry are brothers.
For Me and My Gal (1942) was Gene Kelly’s film debut.
John Lupton played Jesse James in Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966), but nobody played Frankenstein’s daughter. Narda Onyx played Maria Frankenstein, the baron’s granddaughter.
Duane Jones played the black hero Ben in Night of the Living Dead (1968).
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers starred in ten films together. They are: 1. Flying Down to Rio (1933) 2. The Gay Divorcee (1934) 3. Roberta (1935) 4. Top Hat (1935) 5. Follow the Fleet (1936) 6. Swing Time (1936) 7. Shall We Dance (1937) 8. Carefree (1938) 9. The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle … Read more
Warren Beatty (Clyde Barrow) said, when describing his profession, “We rob banks” in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).
Richard Pryor played The Wizard of Oz in The Wiz (1978). The following played the other leads. Dorothy—Diana Ross Scarecrow—Michael Jackson Tinman—Nipsey Russell Cowardly Lion—Ted Ross
Geoffrey Unsworth and John Alcott were the cinematographers on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Alcott was also Kubrick’s cinematographer on A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), and The Shining (1980).
Al Pacino wanted $7 million for appearing in The Godfather Part III (1990), but settled for $5 million and points when director Francis Ford Coppola threatened to begin the movie with the funeral of Michael Corleone.
David Niven played James Bond in the movie Casino Royale (1967). His nephew, Jimmy Bond, was played by Woody Allen.
One female director has been nominated for an Academy Award. Lina Wertmuller was nominated for Seven Beauties in 1976. She didn’t win.
For a brief period from 1967 to 1969, Warner Brothers was known as Warner Brothers-Seven Arts. It got that name when it was acquired by the Canadian-based Seven Arts Productions. In 1969, Warner Brothers became part of Kinney National Service, which later became Warner Communications.
Stay-Put Lipstick brought adman Rock Hunter to sudden fame, which was endorsed by sex symbol Rita Marlowe (Jayne Mansfield).
The correct pronunciation of Demi Moore’s first name is Duh-MEE.
Check and Double Check (1930) was the first film to star Freeman F. Gosden as Amos and Charles V. Correll as Andy. The two white actors played the roles in black-face.
John Wayne Airport is at Santa Ana, Orange County, California.
Yes, Barbara Hershey changed her name to “Seagull”. In 1972, at age 24, she officially changed her name to Barbara Seagull. She has since gone back to using the name “Hershey.”
The shooting in North by Northwest (1959) is supposed to be a surprise to onlookers. But in the background, a boy extra (who has rehearsed once too often) puts his fingers in his ears before the gun goes off.
Samuel Goldfish was producer Samuel Goldwyn’s real name. The name was first coined in 1916 when Goldfish (1882-1974) formed a company with several partners, including Edgar Selwyn (1875-1944). Fusing the names of its founders, the new company was named “Goldwyn.” Goldfish liked the name so much he made it legally his own in 1918.
The Secrets of Life and Death was authored by Dr. Frankenstein in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). In Young Frankenstein (1974), How I Did It was also written by him.
Meryl Streep’s theatrical film debut was Julia (1977).
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936), directed by Henry Hathaway, was the first outdoor movie to be filmed in three-strip Technicolor”. It starred Sylvia Sidney, Fred Mac-Murray, and Henry Fonda. It was set in backwoods Kentucky in the early 1900s.
Four people are killed in Taxi Driver (1976): the pimp Sport; the “timekeeper” for Iris the prostitute; Iris’s Mafioso customer; and the grocery store robber.
Marilyn Monroe says to Charles Coburn in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), “I always say a kiss on the hand might feel very good, but a diamond tiara lasts forever”.
The main model of the spaceship Discovery used in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was 54 feet long. It was filmed moving along a track 150 feet in length. A smaller, 15-foot model was used for some shots.
No, Bonfire of the Vanities wasn’t the biggest box-office flop of 1990. It lost only $15 million. Havana was the worst, it lost $35 million.
Falconetti (Marie Falconetti, 1901-46), a French stage actress, starred in The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) by Carl Dreyer. This was Falconetti’s only film.
John Shaft, “the black private dick that’s a sex machine to all the chicks,” was played by Richard Roundtree in the movie Shaft. The Oscar-winning “Theme from Shaft” was by Isaac Hayes.
De Havilland’s (1916–). Fontaine’s (1917–) real name is Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland. Both were born in Tokyo to British parents and brought to California in childhood.
According to the song “Think Pink” in Funny Face (1957), Banish the black, burn the blue, and bury the beige.
Werner Groebli, “Frick,” took his stage name from a border town in his native Switzerland. Hansreudi Mauch, “Frack,” took his name from the German word forfrock. The team of two clowns appeared in such films as Silver Skates (1942) and Lady, Let’s Dance (1943).
In his confrontation with a bank robber in Dirty Harry (1971), Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) fired six shots. The robber was not shot.
Yes, Mr. Memory (Wylie Watson) in The Thirty-Nine Steps (1935) was based on a real person. Director Alfred Hitchcock said the man with the phenomenal memory was based on a music hall performer known as Datas.
Playwright Mary Chase placed Harvey, the invisible rabbit companion of Elwood P. Dowd, at six feet, one and a half inches tall. Elwood P. Dowd was played by James Stewart in the movie version of Harvey (1950). James Stewart was six feet, three and a half inches tall.
Every Which Way But Loose (1978) and Any Which Way You Can (1980) featured an orangutan. The orangutan’s name was Clyde.
Ann Sheridan was “The Oomph Girl”. Veronica Lake was “The Peekaboo Girl”. Lizabeth Scott was “The Threat”.
The chimp from Bedtime for Bonzo died in a trailer fire in the early 1950s, along with his four stand-ins, on the day he was scheduled to help present the first Patsy Awards for animal achievement.
Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? was the film in planning that set director John L. Sullivan on the road. He had become famous doing popular movies like Hey Hey in the Hayloft and So Long, Sarong.
There were no male actors that appeared in The Women (1939). The all-female cast includes Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, and Paulette Goddard.
Claudette Colbert says she’s proven that “The limb is mightier than the thumb” by revealing her leg to hitch a ride in It Happened One Night (1934).
Little Sheba was the name of Lola Delaney’s (Shirley Booth’s) dog in Come Back, Little Sheba (1952).
Edmond O’Brien is an accountant dying of radiation poisoning (caused by iridium) in the original D.O.A. (1950). In the 1988 remake, Dennis Quaid is a college professor also dying of radiation poisoning.
Bountiful in A Trip to Bountiful (1985) was in Texas. It was the hometown to which Mrs. Watts (Geraldine Page) wanted to return before she died.
In the 1920s, John Wayne was a University of Southern California student who worked as a laborer and bit player on the Fox lot, where he got to know director John Ford. In 1929, Wayne and fellow USC football player Ward Bond came out to Annapolis with the entire USC football team to appear in … Read more
June Allyson took the role of madcap heiress Irene Bullock (played by Carole Lombard in the original 1936 version) in the remake of My Man Godfrey (1957). David Niven took the role of Godfrey Parke, the rich man posing as a butler (played by William Powell in the original).
Fitch Fulton, father of special-effects man John P. Fulton, painted the backgrounds for Gone With the Wind (1939). There were about two hundred backgrounds all together.
Clara Blandick, who often played aunts, such as Aunt Polly in Tom Sawyer (1930) played Auntie Em in The Wizard of Oz (1939).
Hitchcock used the word MacGuffin to mean a pretext for a suspense plot, an object or secret, such as military plans, of vital importance to the characters but of no real importance to the filmmaker. He thought his best MacGuffin was the set of vague “government secrets” in North by Northwest (1959), because this MacGuffin … Read more
Spencer Tracy’s last words on film were “Well, Tillie, when the hell are we going to get some dinner?”. It was the last line of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967).
Rachel, Rachel (1968) was Paul Newman’s directorial debut. The movie starred his wife, Joanne Woodward.
Sidney Howard is credited with the screenplay for Gone With the Wind (1939).
John Wayne directed two films. He directed The Alamo (1960) and codirected The Green Berets (1968) with Ray Kellogg and (uncredited) Mervyn LeRoy. Wayne also directed some scenes (uncredited) of The Comancheros (1961, directed by Michael Curtiz).
The rear window in Rear Window (1954) was located in Greenwich Village in New York City.
Will Rogers called Guinn “Big Boy” Williams for his large size. Williams supported Rogers in movies like Almost a Husband (1919).
Ethel Merman in Call Me Madam (1953) said, “When you call me madam, smile”.
Twenty-nine “Carry On” films were produced in Great Britain, beginning with Carry On Sergeant (1958), and ending with Carry On Emmanuelle (1978).
John Ford played a Ku Klux Klan member in The Birth of a Nation.
Wicked Stepmother (1989) was Bette Davis’s last film.
Cary Grant had five wives: Virginia Cherrill, Barbara Hutton, Betsy Drake, Dyan Cannon, and Barbara Harris.
Judy Garland was sixteen when she made The Wizard of Oz.
Three movies featured the premise of body-switching between a young person and an older person: 18 Again, Vice Versa, and Like Father, Like Son. A fourth, Big, dealt with a young person magically matured into an older one. The premise dates back to the 1947 Vice Versa, where a child (Anthony Newley) switched bodies with … Read more
Paul Newman ran the family sporting goods store in Cleveland, Ohio before becoming an actor. His first critical acclaim came with his Broadway debut in Picnic in 1953; his first screen appearance was in The Silver Chalice (1954).
The million-dollar legs belong to a racehorse by the same name. Betty Grable’s legs and the rest of the actress appeared in the movie too.
Bob Hope’s Fancy Pants (1950) was a remake of Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), where Charles Laughton played the role later retailored for Hope.
Carrie (1976) featured John Travolta. Cat’s Eye (1985) featured James Woods? Creepshow (1982) featured Stephen King. Here the author played a farmer who was slowly covered with green fungus.
Rita Hayworth’s famous World War II pinup photo appeared on the cover of Life magazine in 1941.