Hey folks, don’t know if you’ve noticed yet but it’s the festive season and something called “Christmas” is apparently upon us. During this time, gifts are supposed to be exchanged. As a result, I thought I’d gift you all with a Christmas themed trivia post as it’s been a while since I done some of these. So without further ado, this weeks Christmas Tidbits are…
1: Films made prior to “It’s a Wonderful Life” used cornflakes painted white for the falling snow effect. Because the cornflakes were so loud, dialogue had to be dubbed in later. Frank Capra wanted to record the sound live, so a new snow effect was developed using foamite (a fire-fighting chemical) and soap and water. This mixture was then pumped at high pressure through a wind machine to create the silent, falling snow. 6000 gallons of the new snow were used in the film. The RKO Effects Department received a Class III Scientific or Technical Award from the Motion Picture Academy for the development of the new film snow.
2: “Home Alone” is considered a traditional Christmas movie in Poland. It has aired on national TV during prime time Christmas season every year since 1990. In 2011 the movie aired on December 23rd with an audience of over 5 million, making it the most popular show aired during the Christmas season in Poland. One of the reasons for this is because the movie was one of the first western productions aired in Poland after the fall of communism.
3: The prosthetic make-up that Jim Carrey wore in “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” took 3 hours to apply. Carrey felt so horribly confined and uncomfortable in the latex skin he needed counselling from a Navy SEAL who taught him torture-resistance techniques.
4: The original concept of “White Christmas” was to reunite Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby, as they had been successful in “Holiday Inn” in 1942. Astaire refused, as he had “retired” at the time, so the part was reworked for Donald O’Connor. O’Connor eventually pulled out and the part was reworked at the last minute for Danny Kaye.
5: In “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation“, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) unsuccessfully attempts to demonstrate his handiwork with the house Christmas lights to his family. Afterwards, he asks his son, Rusty (Johnny Galecki), to help him check all the light bulbs again. Rusty looks at his bare wrist, pretending to have a watch, and excuses himself. Looking at a bare wrist and pretending to have a watch is actually one of Chevy Chase’s trademark gags.
6: Tim Burton has said the original poem of “A Nightmare Before Christmas” was inspired after seeing Halloween merchandise display in a store being taken down and replaced by a Christmas display. The juxtaposition of ghouls and goblins with Santa and his reindeer sparked his imagination.
7: There is a scene in “The Polar Express” at the North Pole City communications room featuring an elf describing a bad little boy in New Jersey named Steven who is terrorising his two little sisters. This line is a nod to Robert Zemeckis’ friend and mentor, Steven Spielberg. Spielberg grew up in New Jersey and has admitted many times that he frequently terrorised his two younger sisters.
8: On the final day of shooting of “Elf” in New York, it was just the director, Jon Favreau, Will Ferrell, and a camera man driving around the city looking for locations to shoot. They would jump out and ask pedestrians if they would be willing to be extras for some quick cash while Ferrell paraded around acting like Buddy. Much of the montage when Buddy first arrives in New York was filmed then, such as when he is getting his shoes shined and jumping between traffic.
9: As Tim Allen has a criminal record and Disney has a ‘no hiring of ex-cons’ policy, an exception was made in the case of “The Santa Clause“. Before he was cast, though, the role of Scott Calvin/Santa Clause was written with Bill Murray in mind.
10: Before Billy Bob Thornton got the lead role in “Bad Santa“, Jack Nicholson had read the script and wanted to do it. However, he had to turn it down because he was already committed to “Something’s Gotta Give“. Bill Murray was actually signed on for the role but, again, he dropped out for “Lost in Translation“…
… and on that note, I’d like to wish everyone a very “Murray Christmas”