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… 20140401-101732.jpg

1: The title of the film “American Beauty” refers to a breed of roses that while pretty and appealing in appearance, is often prone to rot underneath at the roots and branches of the plant. Thus, the tagline “…look closer” tells the viewer that when they look beyond the “perfect suburban life” they will find something rancid at the root.


2: Before Peter Weir took the director’s chair on “The Truman Show” writer Andrew Niccol was going to do it with Gary Oldman in the lead role instead of Jim Carrey. Dennis Hopper was also originally cast as Christof, but walked off the set after his first day and Ed Harris replaced him.


3: The film “Gravity” is ninety minutes long. In reality, the International Space Station travels at approximately 17,500 miles per hour, and orbits Earth every ninety minutes. The debris field also circles Earth every ninety minutes.


4: In one scene in “Killer Joe“, Dottie (Juno Temple) asks if Joe (Matthew McConaughey) is a detective like “Magnum PI“. McConaughey was in the running for playing Magnum in a big budget remake of the series in 2007. He eventually refused it as he didn’t want to commit to years of playing the same character.


5: Johnny Carson, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, and Orson Welles were considered for Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy” before Jerry Lewis. Carson was the only one that was actually offered the role before Lewis but he turned it down.


6: During the filming of “Moonrise Kingdom“, Wes Anderson rented an old mansion in Newport, Rhode Island for himself, editor Andrew Weisblum, and cinematographer Robert D. Yeoman, in which they had a room set up for editing the film. It had been arranged for the cast to stay in a nearby hotel, but eventually some of the actors also decided to stay at the mansion, including Edward Norton, Bill Murray, and Jason Schwartzman. Murray later joked that the theory was to have everyone close by so that they could all work “ungodly art-movie hours.”


7: As the film “Ali” lay in development hell for more than a decade, several directors attempted to make the film until Michael Mann was finally chosen. The list included: Oliver Stone, Spike Lee, and Norman Jewison. Oliver Stone was commissioned as the project’s director at one point. Stone’s very first choice for the role of Muhammad Ali was Denzel Washington. However, when Washington signed on to another boxer biopic, “The Hurricane“, Stone opted to make “Any Given Sunday” instead. “The Hurricane” was made by Norman Jewison in the end.


8: While discussing “Aliens” during an interview, Sigourney Weaver said that each time one of the actors was to die she would give them a bouquet of flowers before filming began. When it was time for the weasel-like Paul Reiser to be killed she gave him a handful of dead blossoms.


9: For “Cape Fear“, both Robert De Niro and Nick Nolte had to alter their physiques for the film because the 6’1″, bulky, Nolte is clearly larger than the 5’10”, slimmer De Niro. Nolte lost a good deal of weight while shooting the film and De Niro bulked up his muscles considerably until De Niro was clearly Nolte’s physical superior. Interestingly the original Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck) was also slightly taller than the original Max Cady (Robert Mitchum).


10: The medical condition experienced by Leonard (Guy Pearce) in “Memento” is a real condition called Anterograde Amnesia – the inability to form new memories after damage to the hippocampus. During the 1950s, doctors treated some forms of epilepsy by removing parts of the temporal lobe, resulting in the same memory problems.

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.)

44 Responses to “TRIVIA TIDBITS”

  1. “10 esoteric Tidbits to masticate on.” – LOL this is doing the rounds! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Another great list of picks in it Mark, thanks!


  2. 11. In reality, Paul Reiser is a shit eating rodent.


  3. Great list, Mark. Always interesting! My favorites were #1 and #5. Cool explanation of the title American Beauty and The King of Comedy–I couldn’t see anyone other than Jerry Lewis playing the role so I’m glad the others passed. ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Love McConaughey trivia! American Beauty is such a clever film, on multiple levels. I heard it’s a name of the rose but I had no idea about the hidden meaning.


  5. That’s really cool about American Beauty, I never knew that before, and now I appreciate that title so much more. Great job, Mark!


  6. Gary Oldman in the Truman Show? What?!?

    I rather like the Aliens one too!


  7. Awesome trivia Mark! Lots I didn’t know here, interesting about the title of โ€œAmerican Beautyโ€ I never even realized ‘look closer’ was the tagline.

    I did know about Peck being taller than Mitchum though, he’s a big guy but oh so beautiful ๐Ÿ˜‰


  8. Good stuff as always Mark. Here’s some trivia right back at ya.

    Thora Birch was only 17 when she did the topless scene in American Beauty so she needed special permission from her parents as she was still a minor in the US. Her parents, Carol Connors and Jack Birch, were pornstars in the 70’s who actually had parts in the infamous adult feature Deep Throat. I guess it’s safe to say nudity was not a big deal in that family. Her mom Carol also made several appearances on The Gong Show. See if you can figure out why?

    On Ali/Jewison… Fun Fact: Norman Jewison was known for making quite a few African-American themed movies in his time. In the Heat of the Night, A Soldier’s Story and of course The Hurricane. He was also originally tapped to direct Malcolm X until Spike Lee and some people in the black community said they had “a big problem” with Jewison (read “whitey”) directing the film… lol. Spike said “Blacks have to control these films” and that was that, Jewison stepped aside saying “Malcolm X was “an enigma to me. I just haven’t licked it.”.” I like Spike but man he sure knows how to push peoples buttons sometimes.

    Also interestingly enough the man who made Fiddler on the Roof and was named Jewison… as Adam Sandler would say… “not a Jew.” He was actually a Protestant… and a Canadian!


    • Hey Dave!
      I knew about Jewison and Malcolm X. In fact, I featured it in an earlier trivia post.

      I didn’t know about Birch’s parents, though. That’s an absolute cracker. Thanks for that, man. You have educated me with that one. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • I heard Jewison mention in an interview that he was chosen to direct Fiddler BECAUSE they actually thought he WAS Jewish and only found out later that he wasn’t


  9. Great tidbits as always, Mark!


  10. Great trivia as always. I never knew that about The King of Comedy, but I have to say Jerry Lewis worked so well in that role I can’t even imagine Orson Welles doing better.


  11. Some interesting stuff, Mark. Wonder what living in that Anderson mansion was like. ๐Ÿ˜›


  12. Very interesting stuff, as usual. No clue at all about most of these. I was especially impressed by the American Beauty fact. As for King of Comedy, Johnny Carson? Really? Loved Johnny, but glad they didn’t go that route.


  13. Love that American Beauty fact, love stuff like that! And I find something very creepy about Sigourney Weaver giving people flowers before they die!


  14. Such a fan of this. I want it on an online Wall of Fame. Hope you had an awesome April Fools’ Day too.


  15. Nice stuff Mark. Knew about The American Beauty, Gravity, memento and KIng of Comedy bits. Liked learning about the ones from Aliens and Cape Fear.

    Keep em coming!


  16. Good spread of triv Mark. I can’t quite see Oldman in the role of Truman somehow, as great an actor as he is!


  17. Excellent trivia, I wasn’t aware of the Insomnia one.


  18. I think this is the first time I’ve actually previously known two of these: 1 and 10. Interesting.

    And Dennis Hopper in Truman Show . . . seems as if that couldn’t have been nearly as successful as Harris. Glad it worked out the way it did.

    Ditto that for Jerry Lewis in The King of Comedy.

    As always, Mark, I love these posts!


    • Ha! You’re getting better J.

      Couldn’t agree more on the Truman Show and The King of Comedy. They played out just fine the way they are.

      Glad to hear that you’re another fan of these posts, though. That’s what’s keeps me going. Otherwise, I’d have packed if all in ages ago. Cheers buddy!


  19. 1. How did I never know this? Amazing.

    2. Whoa, never knew the Hopper beef. Wonder what happened? Either way, Harris was remarkable in that role.

    5. I LOVE Lewis in that role, but Carson couldโ€™ve done something very, very interesting with it.

    9. I adore those Peck and Mitchum cameos.

    Great work as always, Mark!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: