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: Much of Michael Mann’s “Heat” was based on a real-life confrontation between Chicago cop Chuck Adamson (renamed Vincent Hanna in the film and played by Al Pacino) and the real Neil McCauley (played by Robert DeNiro). Adamson was a retired police officer whom director Mann had been working with off and on since the film “Thief” in 1981. They later worked together on two of Mann’s TV shows “Miami Vice” (1984) and “Crime Story” (1986). According to Chuck Adamson (and confirmed by Michael Mann), McCauley was a professional robber whom he had frequently crossed paths with. Events such as the scene between Hanna and McCauley in the coffee shop and the warehouse sting where McCauley got tipped off that the cops were around due to an officer making a noise really happened. In real life, Neil McCauley was killed during the robbery of a grocery store (similar to the bank heist shootout in the film) by Adamson’s team who were tipped off to the robbery.
2: Mark Ruffalo was set to appear in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs” in 2002 but had to drop out when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. His part went to Joaquin Phoenix. The brain tumor Mark was diagnosed with was found to be benign and following brain surgery, he fully recovered after suffering from a partial facial paralysis.
3: There are five actors who have portrayed Tom Ripley onscreen: Alain Delon in “Plein Soleil” (1960), Dennis Hopper in “The American Friend” (1977), Matt Damon in “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999), John Malkovich in “Ripley’s Game” (2002) and Barry Pepper in “Ripley Under Ground” (2005). None of the films have been officially connected to one another.
4: Gina Gershon had been originally offered the role of Sharla in “Killer Joe” almost 20 years previously when the script was for a play, but she turned it down because she could not imagine performing the infamous chicken-leg scene “eight times a week” on stage.
6: “Predator” actor Sonny Landham was apparently very volatile and a bit of a loose cannon. So much so, that the insurance company for the film issued him with a minder to keep him out of trouble. This still didn’t stop him from rappelling out of the top floor of his hotel at three in the morning, drunk, naked and wearing his underpants on his head. He went down five floors before swinging into someone else’s room.
8: Before David Fincher took over “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button” it was once attached to Steven Spielberg in the 1990’s with Tom Cruise as the lead. In 1998, Ron Howard was set to direct, with John Travolta in the lead and Spike Jonze was also in talks to direct at one point.
9: Much to Austrian director Fritz Lang’s dismay, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels were big fans of his film “Metropolis“. Goebbels met with Lang and told him that he could be made an honorary Aryen despite his Jewish background. Goebbels told him “Mr. Lang, we decide who is Jewish and who is not“. Lang left for Paris shortly afterwards.
10: Director Paul Thomas Anderson is the son of former ABC-TV announcer Ernie Anderson, who started his career as a Cleveland late-night monster-movie host named “Ghoulardi“. Paul Thomas Anderson’s production company is called “Ghoulardi Pictures“. One running Ghoulardi gag was to make fun of Parma, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb known for its Polish population. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character in Anderson’s third film “Magnolia” is named Phil Parma. One of Ghoulardi’s catch phrases was “Stay sick!“. In the same film, when Donnie Smith (William H. Macy) remarks to Thurston Howell (Henry Gibson) that he is sick, Thurston replies, “Stay that way.”
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.)