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…
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.
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.)