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: In “Saturday Night Fever“, in Tony’s (John Travolta) bedroom there’s a poster for “Rocky“, a film directed by John G. Avildsen. The sequel to this film, “Staying Alive“, was written and directed by the star of “Rocky“, Sylvester Stallone. In fact, Avildsen was the original director of this film but was fired by producer Robert Stigwood shortly before principal photography began due to “creative differences”. John Badham was approached to fill in at the last minute. Tony also has a poster for “Serpico” on his wall. Avildsen was originally considered to direct that film as well, but left the project due to “creative differences.”

2: The three main characters in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” are named after dogs. Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) was named after screenwriter Willard Huyck’s dog, Willie (Kate Capshaw) is named after Steven Spielberg’s dog and Indiana (Harrison Ford) is named after George Lucas’s dog.

3: Kiefer Sutherland is named after Warren Kiefer, pen name of Lorenzo Sabatini. Sabatini directed “Il castello dei morti vivi“, in which his father Donald Sutherland made his theatrical film debut.

4: Anjelica Huston was offered the leading role of Annie Wilkes in “Misery” and was interested, but was unable to accept it due to her commitment to “The Grifters“. Bette Midler also turned the role down before it went to Kathy Bates.

5: In the closing credits of “Jackie Brown“, Quentin Tarantino gives special thanks to “Bert D’Angelo’s Daughter”. In the late 70’s, Paul Sorvino starred in a TV detective show, “Bert D’Angelo/Superstar“. Thus “Bert D’Angelo’s Daughter” is Paul’s daughter and Tarantino’s girlfriend (at the time) Mira Sorvino. Sorvino can actually be seen (out of focus) in a brief court room scene.

6: The original director of “Malcolm X” was going to be Norman Jewison but he had to withdraw from the project due to outside pressure demanding that the subject be made by a black film-maker. At one point Oliver Stone also expressed interest in directing it as a follow-up to “JFK“; Stone’s first choice was Denzel Washington, who went on to star in the title role when Spike Lee came on board as director.

7: The part of John Keating (Robin Williams’ role) in “Dead Poet’s Society“, was once intended for Dustin Hoffman. The film was also going to be Hoffman’s directorial debut before Hoffman withdrew from the film. Liam Neeson had then originally landed the role to be directed by Jeff Kanew, but lost it to Robin Williams when director Peter Weir came on board. Bill Murray was also considered at one point.

8: The name of the high school in “Carrie” is Bates High, a reference to Norman Bates from “Psycho“. In addition, the four note violin theme from “Psycho” is used over and over in the film.

9: Kate Winslet holds a unique position in Academy Awards history: Only twice have two actresses been nominated for playing the same character in the same film. The first two were Gloria Stuart and Winslet in “Titanic“. The second two were Judi Dench and Winslet in “Iris“.

10: Director Francis Ford Coppola explains on the DVD commentary of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” that Mina (Winona Ryder) and Jonathan Harker’s (Keanu Reeves) wedding was a reshoot done at a Los Angeles Greek Orthodox church. They filmed the entire ceremony with a genuine Orthodox minister and realized afterwards that Ryder and Reeves really were (unintentionally) married.

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. Mighty good stuff Mark. Annelica Huston in Misery? I can see that. She used to have that semi-wicked look going!


    • Cheers Keith. Yeah, Huston could have pulled that off. Bette Midler would have been interesting as well but Bates was outstanding. Probably the best choice overall.


  2. “They filmed the entire ceremony with a genuine Orthodox minister and realized afterwards that Ryder and Reeves really were (unintentionally) married.”

    Boy that would suck : )

    Love it!


  3. Great stuff. Imagine being unintentionally married. Sounds like the premise of a bad rom com. πŸ™‚


  4. 10. That’s hilarious about Keanu and Winona.

    9. Love me some Kate.

    8. Mark… question? Do you feel that DePalma paid homage or just completely ripped off Hitchcock’s style with films like Sisters, Body Double, Obsession, Dresses to Kill, etc.? Even Woody Allen borrowing from Bergman and PT Anderson borrowing from Altman didn’t feel like stealing quite the way that DePalma’s did.

    7. Actually met the actual teacher from Dead Poet Society once at MIT in Boston where he was giving a talk. He came to a luncheon at the faculty club where I was working as a waiter during my college years.

    6. Spike made such a fuss about Jewison directing X. Remember this is the guy who directed In The Heat of The Night with Poitier and a young Denzel Washington in A Soldier’s Story (with an all black cast) and then again in The Hurricane. I get what Spike’s saying (imagine Schindler’s List directed by a non-Jew) but Jewison actually would have been a great choice in this instance.

    5. What ever happened to Bert D’Angelo’s daughter?

    That’s all I got.


    • Yeah, poor Reeves πŸ˜‰

      As for DePalma, you definitely have a point there Dave. He did seem to rely a little too heavily on Hitchcock’s stuff. I’m a fan of DePalma and enjoyed many of his films he did sway a bit further than just a homage at times.

      Didn’t know that Keating was a real guy. That’s interesting, man.

      Jewison would have been a good choice. Your spot on, man an the films you mention are proof of that. Still, I really liked Malcolm X and Spike Lee done a fantastic job.

      Sorvino seems to have disappeared doesn’t she? I actually quite liked her as well.


  5. Great stuff as always Mark. I love that Reeves/Ryder fact, I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall when someone told them about that.


  6. Great trivia as always. 10 is pretty interesting, did Ryder and Keanu get divorced afterward? Oliver Stone directing Malcolm X, I could definitely see that.


    • No idea how the divorce proceedings went, man but I assume it would have to have happened.
      I can see Stone managing Malcolm X as well. Jewison too but Lee done well there. It’s a great film. Thanks man.


  7. LOL. We dodged a bullet having Bette Midler drop out of Misery, huh? πŸ˜€


  8. I couldn’t picture anyone in Misery besides Kathy Bates. She was so good.


    • I think the others mentioned could maybe have done it but you’re right. Bates is superb in that film. A worthy Oscar winner as well. Cheers Chris.


      • Angelica got Oscar nominated for The Grifters so she came out all right. Midler is too comedic for the role in my mind. Bates is just the right kind of crazy.


      • Huston was excellent in The Grifters. Didn’t know she was nominated, though. I think if given the chance Midler could have shown a dark side but everyone seems to agree that Bates is, most definitely, the right kind of crazy.


  9. Hey, another trivia involving our *Chuck* ahah, I thought his British accent was hilarious in Dracula but hey I still like him πŸ˜€

    Very interesting trivia about Saturday Night Fever, boy it’s been ages since I saw it but that song Stayin’ Alive is so iconic.

    Great set as always Mark!


  10. knew the first two, didnt know the rest. 2/10 ain’t bad ;/


  11. 1. I remember noticing the Rocky poster in Saturday Night Fever. I also saw Stallone’s Staying Alive, but never made any connection. Wow.

    2. I knew Indiana was named after Lucas’s dog (they actually debated the name Indiana Smith). Had no clue about Short Round.

    3. Donald Sutherland is one of those guys I always notice in movies but never identify as Kiefer’s father hahah.

    4. I may be wrong, but Kathy Bates got a Best Actress nomination for Misery, didn’t she?

    5. Yeah there’s a LOT of clever subtleties in Jackie Brown!

    6. So…did Plymouth Rock land on Spike Lee. (That was a god-awful pun…sorry.)

    7. I always confuse Bill Murray with Robin Williams, for some bizarre reason.

    8. And two years later, Halloween was made: both films have a character named Sam Loomis (Halloween and Psycho that is); Psycho stars Janet Leigh and Halloween stars her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis. Though that’s probably not an accident. πŸ˜‰

    9. That’s really amazing.

    10. Oh god. And next…?


    • You never made the connection between Donald and Kiefer Sutherland? I think they look very much alike.

      Yeah, I think Bates actually won the Oscar for Misery.

      As for Halloween and the relation to Hitchcock. I think that was Carpenter’s intention.

      Thanks for dropping in again, man. πŸ™‚


  12. Great tidbits as always, Marky!


  13. That’s crazy about Ryder and Reeves! Nice work finding that one out πŸ™‚


  14. I haven’t seen Misery yet, but I have seen The Grifters, and feel comfortable saying that Huston made a bad call on which film to take. πŸ˜€

    #10 is funny, but I doubt it’s really true that they were “accidentally married”. I know the laws in L.A. aren’t going to be exactly the same, but I’m pretty sure they’d still involve filling out and filing the marriage certificate, which would be pretty hard to do accidentally.


    • Yeah, Huston was great in The Grifters but Misery is far juicer role. In the end, I’m glad it worked out the way it did, though.

      As far as certificates go, that probably would be an issue but the ceremony itself was apparently legitimate. Thanks Morgan.


  15. Great trivia as always man.


  16. Was just talking about Dead Poets society with my brother the other day. Thought Williams was great but would have been real interested to see Bill Murray in that role.


  17. Popcorn Nights Says:

    Ace as always – great trivia. I’m not sure why you’d want to call a dog Short Round in the first place though, but presumably it’s not a tall, lean beast.


  18. That Malcolm X one is especially fascinating. One of my favourite biographies.


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