Welcome back to Trivia Tidbits. For those of you out of the loop, this is a little compilation of 10 movie related facts that I always find interesting. So without further ado, this weeks are…

1: Tommy Lee Jones was the studio’s original (and preferred) choice to play Snake Plissken in John Carpenter’s “Escape from New York“. The studio was reluctant to cast Kurt Russell, who ultimately got the part, because of his previous work.

2: The scene in “The Master” when Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) gets ethanol out of the torpedo on the ship to drink it, is based on a true story told by actor Jason Robards to director Paul Thomas Anderson.

3: After the film “Wag The Dog” started production and before its release, US President Bill Clinton became involved in a sex scandal and threatened military action against Iraq which mirrored the same story of the film itself. During the filming, Dustin Hoffman, his co-star Robert DeNiro and director Barry Levinson had an impromptu meeting with President Clinton at a Washington hotel. “So what’s this movie about?” Clinton asked DeNiro. DeNiro looked over to Levinson, hoping he would answer the question. Levinson, in turn, looked over to Hoffman. Hoffman, realizing there was no one else to pass the buck to, is quoted as saying, “So I just started to tap dance. I can’t even remember what I said.

4: Bryan Cranston auditioned for the role of David (played by Will Forte) in “Nebraska” but director Alexander Payne didn’t feel that he was right for the part. Matthew Modine, Paul Rudd and Casey Affleck were also considered.

5: The David Mamet/Al Pacino film “Phil Spector” revolves around the true-life murder of actress Lana Clarkson. Clarkson actually appeared with Pacino in 1983’s “Scarface“.

6: The last name of Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) in “Django Unchained” is a reference to Paula Schultz, the name on the gravestone that The Bride (Uma Thurman) is trapped under in “Kill Bill: Vol. 2“.

7: Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep wanted to make a movie together and “Thelma & Louise” was one of the scripts they considered. Ultimately, they decided to star in “Death Becomes Her” instead.

8: Edward Norton’s father was an attorney for president Jimmy Carter while his grandfather James Rouse, is credited with being the inventor of the modern shopping mall.

9: Danny Trejo’s character in “Predators” is named Cuchillo. Cuchillo is Spanish for knife. Many of Trejo’s characters in Robert Rodriguez movies have been named after knives: Uncle Machete in “Spy Kids” and it’s sequels, Razor Charlie and Razor Eddie in “From Dusk Till Dawn“, “From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money” and “From Dusk Till Dawn 3“. Navajas (Spanish for Blades) in “Desperado“, and he also, of course, plays Machete in “Machete” and “Machete Kills“.

10: Given that he has a penchant towards directing or starring in westerns, it’s interesting to note that Clint Eastwood’s name is actually an anagram for ‘Old West Action.’

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…

(For earlier editions of Trivia Tidbits click here.)

52 Responses to “TRIVIA TIDBITS”

  1. Tommy Lee Jones as Snake Plissken? No, just no. πŸ˜‰


  2. Legendary stuff!!!


  3. Old West Action, now that’s a great bit of trivia.


  4. great trivia list as always Mark! really enjoyed reading #3, #8 and #10 in particular


  5. Very cool I loved reading this today. Brightened up my morning.


  6. I can’t imagine Kurt Russell not being in those films. That was also a cool fact about Clint Eastwood’s name.


  7. That Eastwood one is a belter Mark! Great stuff as always.



  8. Nice trivia selections here Mark! Wow, I didn’t know Bryan Cranston auditioned for the role of David in β€œNebraska.” I like him a lot but I think Payne might be right that he’s not the right fit, it needs a much younger actor for that role. Will Forte was pretty good in it I think, despite usually being a comedian.


  9. Great tidbits as always, Mark. Absolutely loved 8 thru 10.


  10. TLJ as Snake??? No freaking way!!! LOL. Love the Clint Eastwood tidbit too. And Death Becomes Her over Thelma and Louise? Oops!


    • Yeah, Lee Jones doesn’t quite grab me as Snake either. That’s one of Russell’s best roles.

      Oops indeed, on knocking back Thelma & Louise. Streep and Hawn could have been great there. Instead they made a very mediocre movie.

      Good ol’ Clint. Try not to share that info with friends the next time your watching one of his westerns. I bet you can’t?? πŸ˜‰


  11. Where do you get these tidbits of movie trivia? Always a great read. Tommy Lee Jones as Snake?? Glad that one didn’t pan out.


    • The trivia is out there, Mark. I have many little pockets to look in πŸ˜‰ Glad to hear you enjoy them.

      As for Lee Jones, that just wouldn’t have worked. It’s hard to imagine anyone else in that role. Russell was great fun!


  12. Here’s another bit of trivia, Uncle Machete from the Spy Kids films is, in fact, the same Machete from those ridiculous Machete flicks as well. πŸ˜‰


  13. Cool trivia on Cranston, he is a wonderful actor but he would be a bit too intense for the part I think, even when he plays lovable guys he is not as innocent as Forte.


  14. 3 is my fave one so far. I’ve seen the movie and it’s great, but even without that trivia piece cracks me up.


  15. Some very good stuff yet again. Danny Trejo and his damn knife obsession. He’d be a scary guy to piss off in a bar, I’d say.

    Also, had no idea he had a character in Spy Kids named Uncle Machete. That’s pretty intense for what is intended to be a kiddie flick!


  16. Top stuff as always here Mark. You’ve reminded me I really need to watch The Master!


    • Much obliged Chris! You haven’t seen The Master yet? Man, that was my favourite film from that year. It’s absolutely outstanding.


      • I’ve got it recorded to watch actually. I remember your glowing review, I’ll try and get round to it sooner rather than later. Always nice to see PSH and keen to see more Phoenix after loving Her.


      • Hoffman is, as always, fantastic but if your in in the mood for more Phoenix then you’re in for a real treat. The Master is by far Phoenix’s finest performance. I even rank his work as one of the best performances I’ve ever seen from any actor. He really is that good.


  17. jackdeth72 Says:

    Hi, Mark:

    Good stuff!

    I was mightily impressed with Timothy Oliphant (‘Hitman’, ‘Deadwood’, ‘Justified’) supplying the voice of “Legend of The West” (Clint Eastwood) treasure hunting in the desert with a magnetometer and golf cart in ‘Rango’.

    Kurt Russell channeled Clint Eastwood for his ‘Escape from…’ films. And John Wayne in ‘Big Trouble in Little Tokyo’.

    I’ve been impressed with Bryan Cranston’s work as Hal in ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ and a complete turn around as Mr. White and “Heisenberg’ in ‘Breaking Bad’.


    • Hey Jack!

      Damn, man. I completely forgot about Oliphant in Rango. I thought the film it’s let was a little disjointed but it did have some memorable scenes.

      Spot on about Russell channeling Eastwood in one of his best roles and what’s not to like about Cranston? He’s a phenomenal actor. I don’t think he’d have worked as well as Forte in Nebraska (due to his age) but I reckon Cranston can turn his hand to almost anything.

      Thanks my friend! πŸ™‚


  18. Another grouping of extremely interesting tidbits! Thank you!


  19. Old West Action. Huh. That’s pretty interesting.

    As are the rest of these facts, none of which I previously knew. I love these posts, Mark. Keep up the great work!


  20. 3. Ha! That’s priceless. If you’ve made Hoffman speechless, then you know something is up.
    5. Never knew that!
    9. Nice… love this guy.


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