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…

1: The Wachowski’s were two brothers that were responsible for “The Matrix” trilogy. One was Andy Wachowski and the other was Larry Wachowski. When you see their names on their most recent film “Cloud Atlas“, you’ll notice that Larry has now become Lana. After receiving hormone therapy for 10 years Larry became a female.

2: The film “American Gangster” was wrought with production problems. The original director was to be Antoine Faqua (“Training Day“) with Denzel Washington and Benicio Del Toro as the leads. Faqua also wanted Ray Liotta and John C. Reilly in supporting roles before Terry George was set to direct the film with Don Cheadle and Joaquin Phoenix. Eventually, Ridley Scott took over and Washington was reinstated as Frank Lucas alongside Russell Crowe as Richie Roberts.

3: Adolf Hitler grew a Chaplin moustache because he was well aware of how beloved Charlie Chaplin was throughout the world at the time and the reason he grew it was because he thought it would endear him to the people. As it was, Hitler was not at all a fan, he had been misinformed that Charlie was Jewish, and therefore despised him.

4: Oliver Stone believes he was one of the models for Travis Bickle in “Taxi Driver“, pointing out that he was being taught by Martin Scorsese at NYU film school at the time, and like Travis he was a Vietnam veteran turned N.Y.C. cabdriver and wore his olive drab army coat while on duty.

5: Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman were once roommates together in Hackman’s one-bedroom apartment. Hoffman slept on the kitchen floor. Originally, Hackman had offered to let him stay a few nights, but Hoffman would not leave. Hackman had to take him out to look for his own apartment.

6: There is a great deal of confusion regarding “The Shining” and the number of retakes of certain scenes. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the scene where Wendy is backing up the stairs swinging the baseball bat was shot 127 times, which is a record for the most takes of a single scene. However, both Steadicam operator Garrett Brown and assistant editor Gordon Stainforth say this is inaccurate – the scene was shot about 35-45 times. Brown does say however that the scene where Hallorann explains to Danny what shining is was shot 148 times, which is a world record.

7: Although Steven Spielberg wanted Charlton Heston to play Brody (the Roy Scheider role) in “Jaws“, the main reason he decided against casting him was because of Heston’s “saving the day” role in his previous movies, “Airport 1975” and “Earthquake“. Spielberg reasoned that if Heston would have been cast, it signifies to the audience that the shark has virtually no chance against the hero.

8: The last movie “Nirvana” frontman Kurt Cobain watched before he died was apparently Jane Campion’s “The Piano“.

9: The first-ever male to hold Jolie in his arms was Charley Boorman. He’d earlier served as a pageboy at the wedding of Jolie’s parents Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand during the “Deliverance” shoot (directed by his father John Boorman) and later happened to be present during the delivery of Jolie. Boorman was just 8-years-old and Jolie was but an infant. Today Boorman quips that his epitaph should read: “I was the first man to get his hands on Angelina Jolie“.

10: Before Al Pacino was eventually cast as Michael Corleone in “The Godfather“, it nearly went to numerous other actors; Martin Sheen and Dean Stockwell auditioned for the role. Oscar-winner Rod Steiger campaigned hard for it, even though he was too old for the part. Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman were all offered the part but all refused. Suggestions of Alain Delon and Burt Reynolds were rejected by Francis Ford Coppola. Paramount production chief Robert Evans wanted Robert Redford to be cast but Coppola wasn’t keen on the idea. Ryan O’Neal also became a front-runner, as did James Caan who went on to play Sonny and Robert DeNiro also tested for the role.

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 Tuesdayโ€ฆ

(For earlier editions of Trivia Tidbits click here.)


  1. The Oliver Stone bit is pretty interesting! I wonder what Scorsese would say about that. Also, the Wachowski thing is just one of those things that I wish I could unknow.


  2. As Larry David said, Hitler really did ruin that moustache for everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Fair play to Larry/Lana, if it makes him/her happy, etc, etc. Doesn’t stop the two Wachowski’s being some of the most overrated directors in the business!

    I can’t decide if reshooting a scene nearly 150 times is genius from Kubrick looking for the right take or a little too excessive. I feel for the kid who played Danny, that’s hard for a young kid to take!


    • Indeed Chris. Each to their own and you’re spot on. The first Matrix was great but the rest were crap. I also liked their debut Bound, though.

      If what they say about the young fella having to go through that many takes, that is just torture. It’s no wonder he never stuck it out in movies. Kubrick has probably scarred him for life.


  4. Interesting facts as always…didn’t know about the Hitler one…


  5. Interesting one about the one of Oliver Stone and Travis Bickle. I can imagine Charlton Heston as Brody, but I liked Roy Scheider in the part. Nice trivia.


    • I’d really like to hear more on the Stone/Bickle one. I wonder how true it is.
      Totally agree on Heston. I don’t actually like the man and Scheider was spot on in that role. Thanks man!


  6. I’m curious if Scorsese has ever addressed Stone’s belief? That very interesting. And can you imagine any other than Pacino in that role? No sir! Great stuff as always!


    • Like I’ve been saying to others Keith, it would be good to hear more from Scorsese on this. I Suspect it’s false but you never know.

      Nobody could match Pacino as Michael. Some interesting choices, particularly DeNiro, but I can’t really imagine anyone else.


  7. Charlton Heston playing Brody would have been brutal!


  8. Once again – great stuff!!!

    (Are we ever going to get another sit down session???)


    • It’s funny you mention that man. I’ve been thinking on that over the last few weeks. I put so much into them before that it completely knocked me on my ass. I will get another up and running soon but I’m not going to rush it.


  9. Fascinating stuff, as always.

    I’ve always heard that Heston was wanted for the Quint role though… pretty sure that’s how that story goes. I’ll keep my ears open.

    Meanwhile, I knew all of that about The Shining. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Oliver Stone is a crackpot. LOL


    • I had originally heard that it was Lee Marvin who was in the running for Quint. Who’s knows though. So many names fly around these things.

      It doesn’t surprise me that you were aware of that Shining one man. You pretty much done dissertation on that Lol.

      Stone a crackpot? Never! LOL


  10. Didn’t know about the Hitler/Chaplin connection. Nice find(s), Mark!


  11. sanclementejedi Says:

    Have you seen that behind the scenes look on The Shining Blu-ray? Shelly Duval looks crazier than Jack Torrance. Maybe it’s from doing all those takes ๐Ÿ˜‰


  12. Fascinating info as always, Mark ๐Ÿ™‚ You know how I look forward to TTT ๐Ÿ˜‰


  13. Nice to see this feature is still on Mark! Great trivia all around. Interesting about #7, yeah I think even Jaws has no chance against Moses ๐Ÿ˜€


    • Yeah, I’m still at it with this feature Ruth. Some weeks are dryer than others, though. Got a few nominations recently amongst other bloggers for a best feature but I keep getting my ass kicked. LOL ๐Ÿ˜‰ As long as the material keeps popping up then I’ll keep going.

      Oh… And yeah, all Moses had to do was part the sea right? Jaws had no chance! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  14. Another set of fantastic tidbits, Thanks Mark


  15. Great post — on #6, it’s no wonder Kubrick had a reputation for being such an insanely difficult director to work with.


    • Thanks! Yeah, I’d imagine it would have been a nightmare to work with Kubrick but his fastidious nature does seem to pay off. Not so good for his cast and crew but great for the audience.


  16. 3: Is that true?! Wow. Justโ€ฆ wow.
    4: Of course Stone believes that. Of course he does.
    8: Interestingโ€ฆ

    Really great stuff here all together!


  17. I’m stealing you for the next film quiz I’m on!


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