Let’s talk some movie trivia! We love watching movies, but we also love reading about movies. I love to read facts and trivia about movies and actors. Usually when I’m doing research for an article about an actor or a movie I stumble upon a lot of great facts. In this article we will talk about some random facts about some great movies.
Props and sound
- Let’s talk about Monty Python and the Holy Grail. We follow King Arthur and his knights on their hilarious search for the Holy Grail. Instead of riding around on horses, they pretend to do this while some other men walk behind them making galloping sounds with coconut shells. While this may seem like a typical Monty Python joke, it actually was done out of necessity. Because of the low budget of the movie, they couldn’t afford real horses.
- Who doesn’t remember the final scene of Casablanca? It’s one of the most famous scenes in movie history. It is set on a small airport…right? Wrong! The scene was shot on a small sound stage, because of wartime restrictions. The airplane in the background is said to be a cardboard cutout and the ground crew walking around it consists of little people. It is said that the fog was used to mask the unconvincing prop.
- Jurassic Park is one of my favorite movies and I love the way Steven Spielberg brought to life great dinosaurs like the T-Rex, the Triceratops and the Velociraptors. I just love the scene with the Velociraptors in the kitchen at the end of the movie. There is just so much suspense in that scene and in my opinion the thing that makes it that tense is the sound made by the killer dinosaurs. You can imagine how hard I laughed when I found out that they used the sound of mating tortoises for it.
- In District 9: the alien language was created by rubbing a pumpkin;
- During the filming of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Alan Rickman (who played Professor Snape) had a new BMW. Apparently Rupert Grint (Ron Weasly) and Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) were not allowed to come anywhere near it. This had a valid reason (I think); during the filming of Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, the two boys spilt their milkshake in Rickman’s old car.
- Apparently Rupert Grint loves his ice-cream, because with the money from his first paycheck he bought an ice cream truck. His greatest ambition in life at that point was to be an Ice Cream Man.
- Talking about things to eat: did you know that all the food to be seen in the Great Hall scenes directed by Chris Columbus is 100% real. But because of the heat coming from the lights on set it spoiled and started to smell bad really fast. To solve this problem, they froze in all the foods and made molds for the other movies.
- Stephen King, the master of suspense, once said that Professor Umbridge (played by Imelda Staunton in Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix), is "the greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter".
Quentin Tarantino Movies
- There are a lot of great scenes in Pulp Fiction and one of them is the scene where Mia (Uma Thurman) ODs. To save her Vincent (John Travolta) has to stab a shot of adrenaline in her heart, with full force. Well that scene was actually shot in reverse; during editing he played the scene backwards, to make it look as natural as possible.
- Another fun fact from the Tarantino front. Do you remember the character Mr. Blonde (played by Michael Madsen) in Reservoir Dogs? The real name of Mr. Blonde is Vic Vega and he’s the brother of Pulp Fiction’s Vincent Vega (John Travolta). Tarantino actually planned to make a spin off movie about the Vega brothers (called The Vega Brothers), but he never made it.
- On to another movie starring John Travolta ánd one of Tarantino’s favorite movies of all time: Carrie (1975). If you ever saw this movie you know what happens in the “prom scene”. While filming this scene, Sissy Spacek (who plays Carrie) refused to wash off the fake blood and slept in her the bloody clothes for all the three days of filming. Why would she do that? Well she was afraid she would harm the continuity of the movie...
The Blair Witch Project
- The Blair Witch Project: Before shooting the only thing the actors got was a 35 page background of the plot. A lot of their emotions in the movie are real, because they had no real script. When they are sleeping in the tent for example, it suddenly starts shaking. The producers did not tell the actors this was going to happen, so they are genuinely scared at that point.
- The Blair Witch Project is a low budget movie: it only cost $60000 to make (while it made back around $248 million. One of the cameras they used during the movie, was brought back to the store for a refund after filming. And you know what? The producers actually got the refund! So this means that if you bought your camera at Circuit City, somewhere around the turn of the century, it might as well be one of the cameras that was used filming The Blair Witch Project.
- “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” 10 words that make my heart skip a beat and put a big smile on my face. These 10 words are the opening words for some of my favorite movies of all time. Of course we have to put some nice Star Wars in this article. Well those 10 iconic words are usually followed by a whole lot of other words, explaining the context and background of the story (accompanied by the wonderful Star Wars main theme…..tatata Taataaatatatataaataaaaa). I actually never thought about how they made this happen. We live in a digital world, but Episode IV was released in 1977 (3 years before I was born). Nowadays everyone can make something like it on a normal laptop, but how did they pull this off in 1977? I’ll try to explain it you in an understandable way: the opening crawls of the original trilogy were made using physical models laid out on the floor. The crawling effect was accomplished by moving the camera smoothly over the models. This had to be a very difficult task because they had to achieve a smooth scrolling effect.
- Harrison Ford received about $10000 for his role of Han Solo in Episode IV…Although we can’t be sure of what Ford got for his reprise in Episode VII we can be sure that it was a lot more than that (it’s said to be about $25 million!).
-And when you say Han Solo, you say Chewbacca. Everyone knows how Chewbacca sounds, but no one can imitate it; which is not that strange…his voice is a mix of walruses, bears, lions, badgers and some other dying animals.
- Where Chewie is nice and furry, Jaba is a disgusting slimy slug. Originally however he was designed as a furry creature. Imagine how that would have looked.
- To conclude this first and hopefully not last episode of this Movie Trivia article I’ll give you one last fact about Disney’s first full-length animated feature film: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). The movie received a very special Academy Award (The Honorary Award). Instead of the standard original Oscar statue, they received one full size statue ad seven miniature statues.
And they lived happily ever after!