When it comes to movie trivia, the internet is seriously abundant with the stuff – most of it useless and interesting to very few people, save for the most dedicated of movie nerds and people who don’t have jobs.
But sometimes an instance of movie trivia will come along with the power to stop you in your tracks completely. Movie trivia so darn good, that you can’t go on with your day until you’ve sent an email to everyone you know or made a point of standing up at work and shouting it across the office (in these rare cases, your boss will not disapprove, and a raise might be on the cards).
To celebrate awesome movie trivia in all its glory, here’s 10 amazing movie facts that just might blow your mind…
#10. Sigourney Weaver Made That “Impossible” Basketball Shot For Real – Alien: Resurrection.
Alien: Ressurrection is considered to be a somewhat naff entry in the Alien canon, and that’s partly because it’s an Alien film with a basketball scene in it. What is basketball scene doing in a movie like this, right? It’s Alien! Still, there’s a sort of reason why this moment exists – it’s to showcase how badass the “new” Ripley is, and sees her attempting to make an extremely tricky shot from past centre court without looking.
Sigourney Weaver wasn’t ever supposed to pull this off, by the way, nor was she ever expected to – it was always the intention of the director to use CGI to achieve the effect. Nah. Declaring something along the lines of “CGI is for wimps,” Weaver actually did it for real within a couple of takes. Look at Ron Pearlman’s face when she makes the impossible shot… he can’t believe just how freakin’ cool she is! Frankly, neither can we.
#9. Arnold Schwarzenegger Was Paid Approximately $21,429 For Every Word He Said – Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day would probably be most people’s choice for “best Terminator movie,” because that’s exactly what it is. And Arnold Schwarzenegger, who plays the titular character, likely remembers it as such, too, though not necessarily for the reasons you might expect: the actor was paid a whopping $15 million dollars to star, and only utters 700 words throughout the entire movie.
Which translates to around $21,429 per word. I mean, woah, right? Of course, Arnie does more than just say words over the course of the sci-fi classic, but I’m not sure you can really catch him doing much “acting.” That’s to say, this was a massively prosperous venture for the action hero” Uttering the iconic line “Come with me if you want to live” bagged him $171, 432 alone!
#8. Hitchcock’s Classic Was The First American Movie To Show A Flushing Toilet – Psycho.
When Psycho was released in 1960, it came to shock the world. Though all the murder and Freudian subtext was enough to stun audiences worldwide, the movie was also controversial for other, stranger reasons: a flushing toilet had never been put in an American movie, and Psycho set out to correct this. Toilets are, by association, disgusting, you see, and God forbid that anybody ever put one in a movie, right? Which means that there was probably somebody in the audience watching this movie thinking, “Oh, man, a flushing toilet? The implications are horrific!” According to movie lore, Psycho’s screenwriter was so adamant to get a flushing toilet into the horror classic, that he purposely wrote a scene that was based around such a thing occurring, when Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane wishes to dispose of some torn up pieces of paper. Controversial, hm?
#7. Michael Myers’ Mask Was Just A Captain Kirk Mask Painted White – Halloween.
Halloween is considered to be a defining work of the horror genre. Aside from its brilliant construction, eerie musical score, and iconic opening sequence, it’s Michael Myers (and his spooky mask) that makes the movie what it is: terrifying. So how did they come up with the mask? Surely it took a ton of time and heaps of effort to craft something so iconic?
Not really! Believe it or not, but Myer’s mask is actually just a Star Trek Captain Kirk mask painted white. That’s it. Tommy Lee Wallace, Halloween’s production designer, had an incredibly small budget to work with, so he went and picked up the mask for $1.98. So the reason that Halloween is probably so scary, then? It’s actually the spirit of William Shatner pursuing Jamie Lee Curtis around the house. Argh!
#6. Alfred Hitchcock Refused To Ever Meet With Steven Spielberg Because He Felt Like A “Whore”.
Alfred Hitchcock was one of Steven Spielberg’s greatest idols – so much so, in fact, that you can feel a clear Hitchockian prescene running through the entirety of his 1975 masterpiece Jaws. After the success of the movie, Spielberg decided that he might finally be able to meet with his hero, and spent days lingering around the set of Hitch’s latest movie, Family Plot. What happened? Hitchcock asked that the lingering man be removed. When Hitch was told that it was Steven Spielberg, and that he just wanted to spend 5 minutes in the master’s company, Hitchcock said that he knew who it was, and that’s exactly why he didn’t want to meet him. Why? Because Hitch felt like a “whore,” having agreed to provide to voiceover for the Jaws ride (for which he was paid $1,000,000). ” I can’t sit down and talk to the boy who did the fish movie,” he said. “I couldn’t even touch his hand.”
#5. There’s A Potato & A Shoe In The Asteroid Field – Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.
Being a production designer on any movie gives you a unique window of opportunity afforded to very few. That’s to say, you’re one of the people who might attempt sneak things into the movie that only you and your fellow co-workers know about. And that’s precisely what happened during the making of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, where the guys working on the asteroid field sequence decided to include a potato and a shoe.
Seriously. It’s extremely difficult to see properly, but you catch a glimpse of both of these objects soaring past the Millenium Falcon as it tries to avoid a flurry of asteroids. George Lucas himself didn’t even know about these hilarious inclusions until years after the movie was released in theatres, and people came out and told him.
#4. 532 Cars Were Destroyed Over The Course Of Production – Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
We all know just how much Michael Bay likes to use his movies as a form of “explosion therapy.” Even for Bay, though, destroying 532 individual vehicles during the making of his third Transformers movie seems somewhat excessive. Seriously. How (and why) did he achieve something like this, and who put up all the cars?
The budget, you’re probably thinking, must have been huge, and you’d be completely right in saying that. But none of that money went on the explosion-bound cars, as they were all given to Bay and his team by the movie’s insurance company for free – every single vehicle was flood-damaged, and were therefore considered to be worthless. Much like the movie that resulted from all this. Burn!
#3. The First Time Michael Caine Saw Heath Ledger As The Joker, He Forgot His Lines – The Dark Knight.
Most people will agree that the best thing about The Dark Knight was Heath Ledger. And this is strange, considering that the part seemed completely wrong for him the first time we all heard that he had been cast in the role. His subsequent transformation into Batman’s most famous nemesis was a genuinely remarkable feat (he won a posthumous Oscar).
And that’s exactly what Michael Caine would likely tell you, too, going on the basis that he forget to say everyone one of his lines the first time he ever saw Heath Ledger working his iconic Joker magic. The scene in question? One towards the beginning of the movie, where the villain crashes a Harvey Dent fundraising gig organised by Bruce Wayne/Batman.
The way Caine tells the story, this was the first time that he’d ever seen Ledger in character, and it frightened him so much that he just went blank whilst the scene continued on. Nolan didn’t see a point in re-doing the scene and the lines were cut as a result, because – let’s be fair – Alfred probably would’ve reacted in exactly the same way that Caine did in real life anyway.
#2. Jim Caviezel Was Struck By Lightning During The Sermon On The Mount Scene – The Passion of the Christ.
Perhaps if this slice of movie trivia had occurred on another movie, it wouldn’t have made the list – but all things considered, and given the subject matter of Mel Gibson’s controversial picture, the fact that the man playing Jesus was struck by lightning during production is just too bizarre to not bring up. Even if you’re not religiously-inclined, you gotta admit that it’s kind of spooky, huh?
This is made even more so when you realise that the scene being filmed at the time took place on a mountain top, whilst Jesus is giving the famous “Sermon on the Mount.” Of course, you’re more likely to get struck by lightning if you’re standing on a mountain top, but you can’t argue with the trivia value of this insane fact. Strange coincidence, or was God simply hating on Mel Gibson’s movie? Seems like his aim was a little off, if so.
#1. Qui-Gon Jinn’s Communication Device Is Just A Sensor Excel Razor For Women – Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.
One of the great things about Star Wars is the sheer attention to detail apparent in every frame. The production designers on all six of the movies obviously took pride in the work, and it shows. I mean, the weapons, the costumes, the gadgets… all of them feel real and intricately produced. Well, at least that’s what you might have thought, until you realise that some of the “props” are just, like, normal everyday objects.
In this case, we’re talking about Qui-Gon Jinn’s little communication device, which is just a redecorated Gillette Sensor Excel Razor For Women. Fine as it looks within the movie (we guess), how the heck did this even occur? Did a concept designer forget his was supposed to be conjuring up Qui-Gon’s com-device and, like, ask his wife for advice? Stranger still, this little thing was put into shops so you could buy it for your children at a whopping $30. If only our parents had known about the cheaper alternative, huh? Fun for all the family – especially mom.