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: Michael Keaton’s real name is, in fact, Michael Douglas. He had to change his name when he began acting because there was already a Michael Douglas in movies. While he uses a stage name, he has never legally changed his name to Keaton. Michael Douglas’ name, on the other-hand, is actually of Russian descent, his father Kirk’s real name is Issur Danielovitch Demsky. So in essence, there is only one Michael Douglas and that’s Keaton.

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2: Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz were the first actors who got an offer to appear in the film “The Lovely Bones” which would have been their second collaboration together (after “The Fountain“). However, while Weisz accepted her part, Jackman had to turn his down. Ryan Gosling was cast instead, although he would drop out as well due to creative differences. Gosling had gained 20 pounds and grew a beard for the role but three days before the shooting started he was replaced by Mark Wahlberg.

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3: During the production of “Dumbo” there was a long and bitter animators strike, in which half of the studio’s staff walked out. Some of the strikers are caricatured as the clowns who go to “hit the big boss for a raise“.

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4: Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Steve McQueen and Burt Lancaster all claimed to have turned the film “Dirty Harry” down. Initially, Warner Bros. wanted either Sydney Pollack or Irvin Kershner to direct. Kershner was eventually hired when Frank Sinatra was set to star, but when Sinatra dropped out, so too did Kershner.

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5: All the principal actors of “Saving Private Ryan” underwent several days of grueling army training – except for Matt Damon, who was spared so that the other actors would resent him, and would convey that resentment in their performances.

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6: When originally released in the UK a number of town councils imposed a complete ban on the showing of the film “The Exorcist“. This led to the bizarre spectacle of “Exorcist Bus Trips” where enterprising travel companies organised buses to take groups to the nearest town where the film was showing.

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7: Groucho Marx died three days after Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, due to the furor over the former’s death, the media paid little attention to the passing of this comic genius.

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8: For the infamous orgasm scene in “When Harry Met Sally“, the original script called for just Harry and Sally to talk about women faking an orgasm, until Meg Ryan suggested that Sally actually fake an orgasm at the table. Rob Reiner loved the idea and put it into the script.

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9: In 1969, after the success of “2001: A Space Odyssey“, Kubrick turned to one of his life-long obsessions into a motion picture screenplay – Napoleon. The script would have required an extremely large budget to be made into a film, and it was all on its way well into pre-production, when the studio suddenly decided to pull the plug after another big-budget biopic on the life of Napoleon, “Waterloo“, failed financially. Kubrick, angry and depressed that his film was canceled, would later in his career (and even in the production of other films) attempt to get the project back on its feet with different companies over the years. The requirements needed would have been to write a completely new screenplay, and Kubrick, feeling he couldn’t match the masterpiece that was his original draft, dropped the project.

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10: As an amateur boxer, Mickey Rourke put together a streak of 12 straight Knockouts. He became a professional boxer in 1991 and went under the nickname “El Marielito“. He retired in 1995 undefeated, after boxing a draw with “Irish” Sean Gibbons in Florida in 1994. It was during this sporting time that Rourke required surgery on many facial reconstructions that have left him looking the way he is now.

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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59 Responses to “TUESDAY’S TRIVIA TIDBITS.”

  1. You know… I don’t know the circumstances of the animator strike, so I don’t know if their complaints were valid or not… but Dumbo had to be about the worst time to pull it. The whole reason Disney was making that movie was to put out a quick, cheap film to turn a profit after the financial losses from Pinocchio and Fantasia. “Hey, boss, never mind the company verging on bankruptcy, we want a raise!”

    Never knew about all the different possibilities for Dirty Harry. Glad it didn’t go to Sinatra.

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    • Yeah apparently Dumbo and Snow White were the only Disney animations to use watercolour backgrounds as it was cheaper to do at that time. Like most strike action, it all about timing though. The workers tend to use an opportune moment and even though Disney would have been struggling, I’d imagine (like most big business) it’s all relative.

      As for Dirty Harry, I’d like to have seen Mitchum do it but apparently Lancaster refused it on the grounds of it’s right wing leanings in the story. Like you say though, I’m glad Sinatra didn’t do it.

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  2. A great set of facts matey… and any list that contains The Gosling makes me happy!! #gayforgosling

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  3. Good stuff Mark, good stuff πŸ™‚

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  4. Good trivia as always. I’ve heard that Kubrick wanted to make a movie about Napoleon before and think it would have been really interesting if he did.

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  5. Great stuff, Mickey Rourke looked so different back in the 80’s.

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  6. filmfellahenry Says:

    Another informative post, nice one. Such a shame about napoleon. After seeing how far kubrick got with pre-prod, its almost absurd that the studios lost faith, considering his uncanny ability to create wide appeal commercial successes from what are esentially art house films. Despite the failure of waterloo, id have bet that napoleon would have been a financial and critical success.

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    • Thanks again Henry. Such a shame about Napoleon right enough. You’d think by then that Kubrick had proved to studios that he was a great talent and able to handle big and elaborate projects.

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  7. Good stuff Mark. Like the Matt Damon fact. I wonder to what extent they really did resent him? always find it fascinating the lengths directors go to to get the performances they want.

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  8. I love these what ifs, man. Can you picture Sinatra as Dirty Harry? LOL. Come ON!! πŸ˜€

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  9. ray brayne Says:

    “Exorcist Bus Trip”! Great title for a movie. Imagine the trip back from the show. A bus full of screaming memes, the bus driver could own their souls! And depending on your point of view, could be a terrifying horror movie or laugh out loud comedy!
    If Kubrick were alive today he’d be working in TV. His subjects were always so big and broad, like “Barry Lyndon”. Napoleon would need multiple episodes. TV could fill the bill, like “Rome”. Interesting that there’s sometimes more than a year between seasons. This could accommodate Kubrick nicely!

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    • Haha. That would make a great film Ray. The way Hollywood are going with remakes and re-boots, this could go down as an original idea for a change. You could have a lot of fun with that.

      As for Kubrick, wouldn’t that be superb to have him put everything into a long running tv series? You’re right man, it would entirely suit his meticulous nature and probably result in the best tv ever made.

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  10. Oh my, I had no idea Keaton’s real name is Michael Douglas!! Great find there Mark.

    I didn’t know about that Exorcist Bus Trips, but man why did you have to put that exact photo of Regan… that darn face still haunts me!

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    • I almost missed your comment there Ruth. Don’t know how that happened.
      Anyway, Yeah. Keaton is of Scottish heritage apparently. Hence the name.

      Lol on the pic! I did try and find a photo of one of the buses but couldn’t find any. Had to go with the old favourite. πŸ˜‰

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      • Oh Keaton is part Scot? Well I like him even more then πŸ™‚ Can you believe it Mark, I FORGOT today is Gerry Butler’s birthday!! I never did that, I mean I’ve always got things planned weeks before for his tribute, shame on me! I still would be doing a tribute tonight though, and a commentary on his career. Hope you’ll lend your support on your fellow Scot πŸ™‚

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      • You forgot Gerry’s birthday? 😦 I’m shocked Ruth. You’ll have to get cracking on that piece then. As always, I’ll lend my support to my brethren. I look forward to seeing what you come up.

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      • I was gonna say, Ruth. I actually put up a GB post today and thought for sure I’d find one at your page!

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  11. GROUCHO! I love Groucho. I know Elvis is “the king”, but give me Groucho anyday.

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  12. Always awesome here – A+!

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  13. Victor De Leon Says:

    awesome post. I actually learned a few things! thanks! πŸ˜€

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  14. Oh so that’s why Mickey looks like a freakin’ lion nowadays?!? Lol I knew that but it’s pretty cool to see that the guy actually kicked some ass when he boxed. He’s still a nut though. Nice post, as always bud.

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    • Lol. Yeah, he’s hardly Mickey Mouse is he? I’ve always liked him though. Been a big fan of Rourke since as far back as I can remember. I also happen to share a birthday with him. πŸ˜€

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  15. It’s a shame about Rourke – he used to be such a handsome guy. I’m glad Gosling wasn’t in Lovely Bones after all, that was such a bad film.

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    • He does look weird but he’s proved recently that he still has the acting chops.

      Yeah, Gosling is certainly too good for The lovely Bones. I didn’t hate the film but it could have been much better. Thanks Sati.

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  16. The only one I knew about on this list was Keaton/Douglas. A great list of tidbits man. Nice post

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  17. Great tidbits, as always, Marky! Loved 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7 πŸ˜€

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  18. Mark, I am going to start spreading the rumor that I gained twenty pounds and grew a beard for a role, as a means of avoiding dieting. πŸ™‚

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    • Haha. What’s good for the Gosling is good for the gander! LOL. It’s a perfect excuse. I’ll use the same for looking a little rough around the edges a lot of the time. Great to see you around here again Adam. πŸ™‚

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  19. Those are some cool facts. I knew about Keaton. As for that picture of Ryan Gosling, it had me confused as I’ve never seen him like that. Rourke always remains an interesting person for the choices he has made (and still makes)

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    • Thanks Nostra! Yeah Gosling looked similar to that in Lars and the Real Girl. If you haven’t seen that it’s worth a look. As for Rourke, he’s made many strange choices over the years. I’m still a big fan though.

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  20. All great – but learning that “Kirk Douglas” isn’t Kirk Douglas’ name blew my mind.

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    • Haha. Yeah, I’d heard this years ago about Kirk. He changed it from his original Russian name which eventually resulted in Keaton having to change his. It’s a strange old game showbiz.

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  21. Great post! I am still laughing over those Exorcist bus tours. Nothing makes a film more irresistible to the public than banning it.

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  22. Bummer we never got that Napoleon project from Kubrick. Would have loved to have seen that!

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  23. Wow. Robert Mitchum as Dirty Harry? I would still want to see it. Did you see The Lovely Bones? I kept hearing Weisz and Wahlbery were miscast.

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    • Yeah, I can see Mitchum doing a great job there. Not so sure about Frank Sinatra, Though.

      I did see The Lovely Bones and it’s was okay. Nothing special, but yeah, Weisz and especially Whalberg didn’t work for me. Really liked Susan Sarandon in it though.

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