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: Richard Farnsworth was a stunt man for 40 years before becoming an actor. During this time he doubled for Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda, Montgomery Clift, Steve McQueen and Roy Rogers before eventually taking his own life with a self inflicted gunshot wound when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The year before this, he was the eldest actor ever (aged 79) to receive an Oscar nomination for David Lynch’s “The Straight Story“.

2: Three directors were offered to direct “Fight Club” prior to David Fincher. Peter Jackson was the initial choice of the producers, who had been impressed with Jackson’s work on “Heavenly Creatures” and “The Frighteners“. Jackson however, although he loved the Chuck Palahniuk novel, was too busy prepping “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” in New Zealand. The second choice for director was Bryan Singer, who was sent the book, but who never got back to the producers (he later admitted he didn’t read the novel when he received it). Next to be offered the job was director Danny Boyle, who met with the producers, read the book, and loved the material, but who ultimately decided to concentrate on “The Beach” instead. The producers then turned to David Fincher, after having been impressed with his work on “Se7en“.

3: Orson Welles chipped his anklebone halfway through production of “Citizen Kane” and had to direct for 2 weeks from a wheelchair. When he was called upon to stand up onscreen, he wore metal braces. The injury occurred in the scene where Kane chases Gettys down the stairs and Welles tripped.

4: The original falcon used to play Mordecai in “The Royal Tenenbaums” was kidnapped during shooting and held for ransom – production could not wait for him to be returned which is the reason that the bird that appears later in the movie has “more white feathers” – it’s a different bird.

5: When the film version of “Miami Vice” was still being developed by Michael Mann, Don Johnson (who originally played the character on TV) was asked who he would pick to play Sonny Crockett. Johnson suggested Colin Farrell – who eventually got the role.

6: In “Saturday Night Fever“, John Travolta originally wanted his disco suit to be black, until it was pointed out that in the darkened disco, his co-star’s red dress would make her easier to see than him. It was then agreed upon to be White.

7: Following the “eggplant scene” in “True Romance“, Dennis Hopper was concerned about being “shot” by Christopher Walken with the prop gun so close against his head for fear of being burned by the barrel. Director Tony Scott assured him the gun was 100% safe, and even tested it by having the prop man fire it against his (Scott’s) own forehead. But upon firing the prop gun the barrel extended about a third of an inch and Scott ended up on the floor with blood pouring from the wound.

8: In Robert Zemeckis’ “Cast Away“, actual lines of dialogue were written for Wilson the Volleyball, to help Tom Hanks have a more natural interaction with the inanimate object.

9: The line-up scene in “The Usual Suspects” was scripted as a serious scene, but after a full day of filming takes where the actors couldn’t keep a straight face, director Bryan Singer decided to use the funniest takes. A making-of documentary shows Singer becoming furious at the actors for the constant cracking-up. In an interview (on the Special Edition DVD), Kevin Pollak states that the hilarity came about when Benicio Del Toro “farted, like 12 takes in a row.” Del Toro himself said “somebody” farted, but no one knew who.

10: According to William Goldman’s book “Four Screenplays“, the main character of Paul Sheldon in “Misery” (eventually played by James Caan) was offered to William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Dustin Hoffman, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Richard Dreyfuss, Gene Hackman, Robert Redford, and Warren Beatty, all of whom declined. Jack Nicholson was also offered the role but passed because he wasn’t sure he wanted to do another movie based on one of Stephen King’s novels after what he had experienced with Stanley Kubrick on “The Shining“.

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.)


  1. Good call on the straight story. I was aware of the usual suspects one which is even funnier when watching it! Gimme the keys!


  2. Popcorn Nights Says:

    Great stuff! My mind’s now wandering thinking about a different version of Fight Club without Fincher at the helm. I think Danny Boyle would have made an interesting one, but they picked the right guy for sure.


    • Danny Boyle could maybe have pulled Fight Club off. However, it’s a superb film as it is and I totally agree, Fincher was the correct choice. It’s one of my favourite film’s.


  3. Sorry, I cannot picture Al Pacino getting his leg lopped off in Misery. LOL

    Great post once again Mark, I truly enjoy these on Tuesdays!


    • LOL. it’s hard to picture Pacino right enough. I find it hard to picture most of the choices but there’s certainly some interesting ones.

      Thanks Chris. Glad to hear that people still enjoy this little feature. Didn’t think if would last the pace but people keep on flocking back for more. πŸ˜‰


  4. Great as always buddy. De Niro would of rocked it in Misery πŸ™‚

    Making a little post now, got a link back to you, hope you don’t mind, just about tags πŸ™‚


    • Thanks man. Yeah, DeNiro might have worked. I still struggle to see it though. Still, it would have been interesting.

      Yeah, you know you can always mention me man. There’s no such thing as bad publicity. πŸ˜‰


  5. Good stuff Mark! Imagine Peter Jackson doing Fight Club!? That’s just bizarre, although he’s done some dark stuff so it’s not so out there I guess. Also love that they wrote lines for Wilson!


    • Can’t see Jackson doing Fight club at all man. I could see Boyle managing if though. He had a darkness to “Sunshine” and “28 days later” and a good kinetic approach with “Trainspotting”. He could have pulled it off. Maybe Singer as well.

      Love the fact that Wilson was treated as a cast member as well. πŸ˜‰


  6. Nice stuff as usual my friend! I always knew about the Usual Suspects scene and it’s really crazy to see how all that laughing and goofing around worked to the movie’s advantage.


  7. Of all the “Wow, did we ever luck out” tidbits you’ve offered us, I think Peter Jackson and Bryan Singer potentially directing Fight Club is the biggest. Good grief…. Singer MAYBE. Back when he still had his Suspects/X-Men A game, but Jackson? Good God no.

    Great behind the scenes stuff on the Usual Suspects. LOL πŸ˜€


    • Yeah, can’t see Jackson myself but Singer could possibly have done it. I still think Fincher was spot on though. They got the right man in the end.

      Did you just fart? πŸ˜‰


  8. I always get depressed when I think of the Straight Story. Such a good film and so sad to see Farnsworth take his own life right after filming. I only knew 6 this week, Mark. Thanks for the information! I’ll get you one day!


  9. my favorite part of Tuesday – right here!


  10. Yay, glad Tuesday Trivia is here again πŸ˜€ Lots of stuff I didn’t know about here Mark, that’s interesting that Johnson suggested Colin Farrell for Sonny, I think that worked out though Colin is sometimes hard to understand.

    Ahah, that’s funny about Usual Suspect. I think it’s Stephen Baldwin who farted, ahahaha.


    • Its back again Ruth!

      I hated Miami Vice but thought that Farrell and Foxx were decent choices for the roles. The film was abysmal, though.

      I think it was your man Gabriel Byrne that dropped one! πŸ˜‰


      • I didn’t really care for the film either, too bad as I love the show! Ahah, no way Gabriel did that, he’s too classy!!

        Btw, do you have any opinion about TV bad boys [or girls]? I needed something non Oscar-related for today’s post πŸ˜€


      • It was definitely Byrne. He’s was trying to remain too calm. πŸ˜‰

        Oooh! Tv bad boys or girls? I’ll need to have a think on that one. It’s been that long since I got into a tv series.


      • Would love to hear what you think! I can always rely on BBC to provide great characters, and the antiheroes are always fun to watch. Especially if they’re easy on the eye πŸ˜‰


      • I’ll have a little ponder and pop over with my decision. πŸ™‚


  11. That info about the falcon being kidnapped and held for ransom totally sounds like the plot of a Wes Anderson film.


  12. Always love these tidbits. several to talk about. That falcon story is pretty crazy. did they ever get the original back? and John Travolta? how funny. LOL.

    What an interesting story about Tony Scott though. can you imagine? wow.

    Nice work on this segment Mark. Thank you for continuing it


    • Welcome back T. I hav no idea whether the falcon was returned or not. As it was replaced, I can only assume they didn’t care if it came back. The show must go on.

      Yeah, Travolta not wanting to be upstaged eh?

      Thanks for dropping by again T. Without the enthusiasm of people like yourself, then this feature would have died a long time ago.


  13. Wonderful as always buddy! Really sad to hear that bit of news about Richard Farnsworth. I didn’t know his death was a suicide! So sad. I’ll always remember one of the last thing I saw him in. He had a small part at the end of The Getaway (from 1994 I think). It was a fantastic role for him and he provided some welcomed smiles in an otherwise dark movie!


    • Thanks man. Yeah, I really enjoyed Farnsworth’s presence. He always seemed to have some kind or healing quality about him. I remember him in The Getaway. That film also had a young Philip Seymour Hoffman, if I remember correctly?


  14. What kind of sick bastard kidnaps a falcon? πŸ™‚


  15. Great tidbits, man. SO glad they went with Ficnher for Fight Club. Didn’t know that about Fansworth. That’s very sad.


    • Yeah, poor Farnsworth man. Such a good actor as well. Fincher is definitely the right choice for Fight Club. It’s hard to think of it without him but Boyle and Singer could maybe have done a decent version.


  16. Another great list, Mark! I love the True Romance one, what are the chances! πŸ™‚


  17. Excellent post, loved the one about Usual Suspects. Such a great scene.


  18. I find it hard to connect Fincher of Se7en and Fight Club with benjamin button. Number 6 cracks me up.


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