15 Facts About “Twister”

Roger Cormier and Mental_Floss present 15 Facts About Twister.  Here are three of my favorites…

5. BOTH HELEN HUNT AND JAN DE BONT WALKED AWAY FROM OTHER MOVIES TO WORK ON THIS ONE.
Helen Hunt (Dr. Jo Harding) passed up working with John Travolta in John Woo’s Broken Arrow (1996). After more than six months of pre-production, de Bont left his Godzilla (1998 version) directing gig because of studio feuds over the budget and immediately agreed to direct Twister instead.

9. THE TORNADO SOUNDS ARE MADE UP OF VARIOUS ANIMAL NOISES.
According to Variety, an altered recording of a camel’s moan helped create the storm sounds. It was reported elsewhere that a lion’s growl and a tiger’s snarl were remixed as tornado audio.

14. BILL PAXTON THINKS THEY MADE THE “PEPSI LITE” VERSION OF THE MOVIE.
“I’d love to direct a sequel to that movie,” Paxton said. “I’ve always felt like there was a Jaws version of that movie. I always felt like we did the Pepsi Lite version of that movie.”

14 Up-Tempo Facts About “Saturday Night Fever”

Eric D. Snider and Mental_Floss present 14 Up-Tempo Facts About Saturday Night Fever.  Here are three of my favorites…

6. IT HAS SOME ROCKY CONNECTIONS.
First connection: It was supposed to be directed by John G. Avildsen, whose previous film was Rocky. Ultimately, that didn’t work out and Avildsen was replaced with John Badham a few weeks before shooting began. Second connection: Tony has a Rocky poster on his bedroom wall. Third connection: Saturday Night Fever’s 1983 sequel, Staying Alive, was directed by … Sylvester Stallone.

8. THE WHITE CASTLE EMPLOYEES WEREN’T ACTING WHEN THEY LOOKED SHOCKED. 
In the brief scene where Tony, his boys, and Stephanie are loudly eating at White Castle, those were the real burger-flippers, not actors. Badham told them to just go about their business. He also told his actors to cut loose and surprise the White Castlers in whatever way they saw fit. The shot that’s in the movie appears to be a reaction to Joey standing on the table and barking, but Badham said it was actually in response to something else: “Double J (actor Paul Pape) pulling his pants down and mooning the entire staff of the White Castle.”

11. THE COMPOSER HAD TO SCRAMBLE TO REPLACE A NIXED SONG.
For Tony and Stephanie’s rehearsal scene about 30 minutes into the movie, Badham had used the song “Lowdown” by Boz Scaggs, going so far as to shoot the scene, including the dialogue, with the song actually playing in the background. (That’s usually a no-no, for exactly the reasons you’re about to read about.) According to Badham, no sooner had they wrapped the scene than Scaggs’ people reached out to say they couldn’t use the song after all, as Scaggs was thinking of pursuing a disco project of his own. Badham now had to have the actors re-dub the dialogue (since the version he’d recorded was tainted by “Lowdown”); what’s more, he had to find a new song that would fit the choreography and tempo of the dancing. Composer David Shire rose to the occasion, writing a piece of instrumental music that met the specifications, and that’s what we hear in the movie.

18 Catchy Facts About “Footloose”

Roger Cormier and Mental_Floss present 18 Catchy Facts About Footloose.  Here are three of my favorites

1. IT WAS BASED ON ELMORE CITY, OKLAHOMA.
Elmore City had forbidden public dancing by law since its founding. In January of 1979, the local high schoolers asked that the rules be changed so that they could have a prom, to the anger of the reverend from the United Pentecostal Church. The kids won and got to dance on prom night. Dean Pitchford (lyricist for Fame songs “Red Light”, “Fame”, and “I Sing The Body Electric”) read about all of it and visited the town. Pitchford had his screenplay after 22 drafts.

2. TOM CRUISE ALMOST PLAYED REN.
The producers wanted Tom Cruise, but he had a scheduling conflict with All the Right Moves(1983). Rob Lowe auditioned and blew out his ACL. “I have post-traumatic stress with anything having to do with Footloose,” Lowe said later, while recalling a party where Kenny Loggins asked him to do a karaoke duet of the theme song. “I was like, ‘I won’t do anything with that damn movie, but I’ll do Danger Zone from Top Gun.’”

4. MADONNA AUDITIONED FOR ARIEL.
Had she gotten the part, it would have been her first feature film role. That didn’t come until 1985, in A Certain Sacrifice. Lori Singer got to play Ariel Moore instead.

14 Fun Facts About “‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

Roger Cormier and Mental_Floss present 14 Fun Facts About ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?  Here are three of my favorites

1. IT WAS ORIGINALLY INSPIRED BY THE WIZARD OF OZ.

Joel Coen revealed as much at the 15th anniversary reunion. “It started as a ‘three saps on the run’ kind of movie, and then at a certain point we looked at each other and said, ‘You know, they’re trying to get home—let’s just say this is The Odyssey. We were thinking of it more asThe Wizard of Oz. We wanted the tag on the movie to be: ‘There’s No Place Like Home.’”

3. THE TITLE IS FROM A PRESTON STURGES CLASSIC.

Sullivan’s Travels (1941) was a Hollywood satire about a comedy director who wanted to make a serious, epic drama, travels the country to research it, and discovers the world is better off laughing. The movie the character wanted to make was titled O Brother, Where Art Thou?.

8. THE MUSIC BECAME AN UNEXPECTEDLY HUGE HIT.

For the movie’s music—and even before they’d finished the script—the Coens turned to musician/producer T Bone Burnett, whom they had worked with on The Big Lebowski  in 1998. Along with singer-songwriter Gillian Welch, Burnett found the songs for the movie. Its soundtrack—which combined original and traditional bluegrass, country, gospel, blues, and folk music—was the first movie soundtrack to win the Grammy for Album of the Year since 1994. More than eight million copies of the album were sold.

35 Fabulous Facts About Frank Sinatra

Mental_Floss presents 35 Fabulous Facts About Frank Sinatra. Here are three of my favorites

27. SINATRA DIDN’T LIKE MARLON BRANDO, AND BRANDO DIDN’T LIKE SINATRA.
Sinatra was always known as one of Hollywood’s most likeable stars, but Marlon Brando apparently didn’t agree. The two didn’t hit it off when they starred in 1955’s Guys and Dolls. Sinatra, who allegedly wanted Brando’s role in the film, referred to his co-star as “Mr. Mumbles,” while Brando nicknamed Sinatra “Mr. Baldy.”

32.  THE BEATLES’ “SOMETHING” WAS ONE OF SINATRA’S FAVORITE SONGS.
Frank may not have loved (okay, he hated) rock and roll, but he was a big fan of the George Harrison-penned “Something.” The song became a sample in Sinatra’s live set toward the end of his career.

34. HE WAS A TOOTSIE ROLL FAN.
According to dead-celebrity expert Alan Petrucelli, Ol’ Blue Eyes was buried with some Tootsie Rolls, along with a few other choice effects, including cigarettes, a lighter, and a bottle of Jack Daniels.

21 Thrilling Facts About Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”

Roger Cormier and Mental_Floss present 21 Thrilling Facts About Michael Jackson’s Thriller  Here are three of my favorites

3. THE ALBUM’S TITLE WAS ALMOST MIDNIGHT MAN.
Quincy Jones asked arranger/songwriter Rod Temperton to come up with an album title. He wrote down 200 to 300 possible titles in his hotel room before deciding on Midnight Man. The next morning he woke up and the word “Thriller” popped into his head. “Something in my head just said, this is the title,” recalled Temperton. “You could visualize it on the top of the Billboard charts. You could see the merchandising for this one word, how it jumped off the page as ‘Thriller.'”

5. VINCENT PRICE MADE LESS THAN $1000 FOR HIS WORK ON THE TITLE TRACK.
Jones’ then-wife Peggy Lipton knew Price. The horror movie legend managed to record his part in two takes. Once the album got big, Price expressed frustration over his meager paycheck and said that Jackson had stopped taking his calls.

19. THE “THRILLER” MUSIC VIDEO COST $500,000.
The Showtime cable network footed $300,000 of the budget for the rights to first air the music video and the “making of” feature, with MTV paying the rest to broadcast it after Showtime. Jackson asked John Landis to direct the video after seeing his work on the movie An American Werewolf in London. “I want to turn into a monster,” Jackson told Landis. “Can I do that?” Landis wrote the disclaimer that appears in the beginning of the video because Jehovah’s Witnesses (a group which Jackson belonged to at the time) told the artist that “Thriller” endorsed Satanism.

1 2 3 17