TUESDAY’S TRIVIA TIDBITS.

Welcome back to Tuesday’s Trivia Tidbits. For those of you out of the loop, this is a little compilation of 10 movie related facts that I will be posting weekly and info that I always find interesting. So without further ado, this weeks are…

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1: Initially Russell Crowe turned down “L.A. Confidential” because he doubted whether he could convincingly play such a tough character. Once he was cast as Bud White he read in the book that his character was the largest cop on the police force, off-putting for him due to his medium-sized frame (just under 6 feet). To capture a “big guy” presence, Crowe lived in a tiny flat in which he could barely fit through any of the doors. This experience, he said, made him come to the set feeling like a giant.

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2: Ewan McGregor originally auditioned for the role of Mercutio in the 1996 film “Romeo + Juliet“. Harold Perrineau Jr, got the part but McGregor later got his chance to work with director Baz Luhrmann when he was cast as Christian in “Moulin Rouge“.

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3: Nicole Kidman Has appeared in “My Life” with Michael Keaton, “Batman Forever” with Val Kilmer, “The Peacemaker” with George Clooney and “The Portrait of a Lady” with Christian Bale. All four actors have played Batman in a movie.

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4: While making “The Godfather“, Paramount senior management were dissatisfied with the early rushes and considered replacing Francis Ford Coppola with Elia Kazan with the hope that Kazan would be able to work with the notoriously difficult Marlon Brando. Brando announced that he would quit the film if Coppola was fired and the studio backed down. Paramount brass apparently did not know of Brando’s dismay with Kazan over his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s – naming names of those thought to be involved in Communist activities.

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5: Meryl Streep was romantically involved for 7 years with actor John Cazale, whom she worked with in “The Deer Hunter“. He died in 1978 age 42 from bone cancer and ever since, Streep has been very reluctant to discuss the relationship with anyone.

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6: George Clooney sought the role of Jack in “Sideways“. However, the film’s director, Alexander Payne, felt that he was too big a star, and turned him down in favor of Thomas Haden Church. Clooney would later work with Payne on “The Descendants“.

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7: The characters’ names in “Inception” were not chosen by chance. They actually contribute to the story itself. DiCaprio’s character is Dom Cobb and Dom literally means ‘home’ in Polish. The root word “dom” comes from the Latin word “Domus”. Words like ‘Domesticated’ and ‘Domicile’ all share the same root and in the film he just wants to go home; Marion Cotillard’s character is called ‘Mal’, short for name ‘Malorie’, a name derived from French word ‘malheur’, meaning misfortune or unhappiness. The shorter version ‘mal’ means wrong/bad or evil (when a noun) in French, as well as some other Latin-based languages. Mal is of course, a disturbed character in the film; Ellen Page’s character is Ariadne and she makes her first appearance where she is called upon to create mazes. She is named after a character in Greek mythology who helped Theseus find his way out of the Labyrinth after killing the Minotaur. The name is also a reference to the opera “Ariadne auf Naxos“. The opera is a play within a play, just as the movie is a dream within a dream; Tom Hardy is an archtitect named Eames after Charles Eames and Ray Eames, a married couple well known in the fields of furniture design, buildings and architecture; Cillian Murphy’s character was named Robert Fischer as a tribute to champion chess player Bobby Fischer, his father’s (Pete Postlethwaite) character is named Maurice Fischer as an homage to artist M.C. Escher (full name Maurits Cornelis Escher), whose art was clearly an inspiration for many of the special effects in the film.

8: There are only six actors to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for their first screen appearance. They are: Orson Welles, Lawrence Tibbett, Alan Arkin, Paul Muni, James Dean and Montgomery Clift.

9: Martin Scorsese’s “Mean Streets” was originally titled “Season Of The Witch“. The change was inspired from a Raymond Chandler line, “Down these mean streets a man must go.” Film critic Jay Cocks suggested the change to Martin Scorsese, who thought it pretentious at first but eventually came to agree it was effective.

10: Courtney Love and Winona Ryder were both initially considered for the role of Marla Singer in “Fight Club“, but in the end, it came down to Helena Bonham Carter and Reese Witherspoon. Director David Fincher wanted Bonham-Carter, but the studio wanted a bigger name and chose to go with Witherspoon. In the end however, the decision was taken out of their hands when Witherspoon turned down the role as being “too dark”, and Bonham-Carter was cast.

So there you have it. 10 esoteric Tidbits to masticate on. Some you may know. Some you may not. If you have any thoughts, stick your donations in the comment box.
See you next Tuesday…

(For earlier editions of Trivia Tidbits click here.)

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48 Responses to “TUESDAY’S TRIVIA TIDBITS.”

  1. Absolutely love that fact about Russell Crowe going all Fee-fo-fi-fum for the part. And it’s good to see that Nicolas Cage didn’t let the title Season of the Witch go to waste and put it to good use. Well, he put it to use. Great facts as always Mark!

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    • Yeah Imagine Crowe feeling the need to do that. I’ve really really took him to a shrinking violet πŸ˜‰

      Haha, you made the mistake of using the word “good” along with Nic Cage. Cleverly remedied though. To be honest I can’t put that title with Scosese’s film. I’m glad he changed it.

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  2. Leave it to Chris Nolan to add even more depth to Inception (my favorite movie of that year). While I’m not the biggest Fight Club fan, I can’t imagine Courtney Love over Bonham-Carter. Lots of great tidbits!

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    • Cheers Bro. My favourite of that year was Inception too. It’s just loaded with detail and this is just a small example of how much work Nolan really puts in.

      I love Fight Club but can’t stand Bonham Carter. Although she was rather good in it. I certainly couldn’t see Reece Witherspoon doing it though.

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  3. Great trivia, love the Inception stuff.

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  4. These posts make Tuesdays worth getting up for : )

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  5. Another fine installment, Mark.

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  6. Ugh. Can you imagine Courntey Love in Fight Club? Dodged a bullet there. Although she would have brought some authenticity to that part I suppose, seeing as she’s a real life Marla Singer

    Meanwhile, if Brando wasn’t enamored of Kazan and held his HUAC testimony against him, why did he do “Waterfront”. Kazan’s HUAC appearance predates that film. In fact, many consider the film to be his defense of his choice to testify…

    It’s certainly, and famously, true that Paramount tried to get him replaced… but Coppola credits the Oscar he won for writing Patton for saving his job there. Saw it on the Patton extra features. That win came right in the midst of all the replacement BS, and he credits that with being the factor that finally got Paramount to settle down. πŸ˜€

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    • I suppose Love is a real life version of her. Who knows man, it might of worked. Not Witherspoon though. No way.

      That was the info I picked up about Brando but your right Fogs. I often questioned Brando’s integrity regarding On The Waterfront. Personally I love that movie but I hate the dubious message involved. It tarnished it somewhat for me. I’ll look into the Patton info though. Cheers man.

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  7. Awesome set of trivia yet again Mark!! Oh man, I’m glad Crowe ended up accepting the role in L.A. Confidential, he’s really the highlight for me in the film along w/ Guy Pearce!

    VERY cool about the names in Inception. Glad to see there’s a story behind those weird names. I initially thought, what kind of names are Dom and Mal?? I did know about Eames though, how appropriate!

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    • Thanks Ruth. I’m glad Crowe took it on as well. He absolutely superb in it and its one of my favourite performances from him. Pearce was great too as was Spacey. I just love the movie. It’s been in my top ten since the day it was released.

      Yeah, the inception names are very fitting aren’t they. It adds that little something more when watching it now. Clever as always that Mr. Nolan.

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  8. Interesting facts. I didn’t know that the names of Inception had really important significance.

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  9. Awesome stuff, as usual. In particular, 7, 9, and 10!

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  10. Alex Withrow Says:

    Whoa, this is awesome. Seriously great stuff all around. Well done!

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    • Thanks again man. Yeah, this is a weekly feature I do. It’s fun to put together and people seem to enjoy it, so long may it continue. There is a page on my main site that will take you to all of the ones that I’ve done so far. Feel free to peek around.

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  11. I really like this feature.

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  12. Sadly Kidman is separated from Adam West by 2 degrees, so she’s one short of perfection on co-acting with Batmen. But she’s probably closer than anybody else.

    Love the Russell Crowe tidbit.

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    • Haha! Adam West did spring to mind Morgan. As a matter of interest, who’s the two degrees?

      I like the Crowe one as well. It seems out of sorts for him though, considering he was getting into a few scrapes in his personal life.

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      • Looks like there are a few options for links, according to the Oracle of Bacon. One option it gives is David Alan Grier, who was with Kidman in Bewitched and West in How to Get the Man’s Foot Outta Your Ass.

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  13. No keanu this week? Lol. Interesting trivia look forward to next week.

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    • No Keanu this week (Or “Chuck” as I like to call him now: see last weeks post) πŸ˜‰

      And no Drive or DeNiro for your other half either. I have to space them out sometimes but in future I might do a particular theme on occasion, where I’ll concentrate solely on one person or film. I just might.
      Cheers Carly!

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      • No more Keanu EVER Mark, come on!

        Great list as always buddy πŸ™‚

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      • Well… If there’s a demand my man then it’s my trivia duty to provide it. Carly seems to expect it. I have explained that they will be spaced out though. Speaking of which, I have a little something for you next Tuesday.

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      • She expects a lot, normally me to help around he house, so she is used to disappointment!!

        Always look forward to my surprises dude!! Roll on Tuesday.

        Oh, we need to get those questions done by the way, I have 1 ready, if you have 2 we are good to go πŸ™‚

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      • Haha! It’s easy to disappoint around the home front. I do likewise. πŸ˜‰

        I have one question maybe two an I’ve yet to edit my notes. I’ve got everything I want to say but I just need to put it together coherently. I’ll get on that in the next day or two and send it over.

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      • No rush, we will pass on the questions first πŸ™‚

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      • Cool and the gang man. I’ll drop off my ideas for questions soon.

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      • Lol I don’t expect keanu it’s just a pleasant surprise someone else appreciates his work πŸ˜„πŸ‘

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      • No expectations Carly? I can cross him off my list then. He’s had his moment in the limelight of Trivia Tidbits πŸ˜‰
        It’s a bit of strange one with “Chuck” though. I don’t always appreciate his work but I find him appealing anyway and if anything, his choice of films tend to be quite good.

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  14. Woah, never knew Witherspoon was so close to plying Marla! I’m so happy that didn’t happen.

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    • Me too Sati. She is one of those performers I just can’t take to at all. Saying that, I don’t like Bonham Carter either but, admittedly, she’s very good in Fight Club.

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  15. Fantastic post! You know how I love TTT! I especially dug #4 and #7 thru 10. Reese Witherspoon is a talented actress but I JUST CAN’T see her as Marla. I could see Courtney or Winona, though.

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    • Cheers Fernando. Glad to still feel your affection for TTT! πŸ˜‰ Yeah, I’m with you on Witherspoon. I don’t actually rate her and she certainly couldn’t have done that role.

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  16. filmfellahenry Says:

    Some more great facts man. Loved the Russell Crowe one: reminds me of the days when his roles actually counted for something. Glad clooney didn’t do sideways, as i think hayden-church did a great job. And kudos for the inception research: that’s pretty in depth!

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    • Thanks again Henry. Yeah, Crowe could be doing with a little turnaround in hi career at the moment. At one point he was on fire.
      I like the Inception one as well, it adds a little more depth (as if it needed any).

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  17. I have to agree with Sati — I can’t imagine Witherspoon as Marla. These bits of trivia are great — I’m glad you’re doing this feature! I hadn’t thought of the names in Inception, except for Ariadne, because that was so obvious. (I love Greek Mythology)

    http://eclecticbooksandmovies.blogspot.com

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    • It seems everyone is against the idea of Witherspoon as Marla and rightly so.
      I’m also a sucker for Greek mythology, it’s fascinating stuff and as a bit of a star gazer, it comes in handy to know a bit or two. Thanks for stopping by again, I’ll swing by on your link a little later on when I have time. Cheers!

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  18. Wow, I could not imagine Reese Witherspoon in Fight Club! Winona Ryder, on the other hand, would have been an excellent fit, I think. That would have actually been a lot of fun to see, though Bonham-Carter tore it up anyway.

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    • Couldn’t agree more Eric. Witherspoon-No. But Love-maybe and Ryder-definitely. As it goes though, Bonham Carter was excellent and I’m not normally a fan of hers. Cheers man.

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  19. I can’t picture Reese in it at all! Fascinating stuff. Amazing to think how many careers Batman and Robin killed off.

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