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Category: Trivia

Map Of The Most Perfect US Road Trip, According To Science

Posted in Trivia

Josh Starling and InspireMore present Randy Olson’s Map Of The Most Perfect US Road Trip, According To Science.

Olson used a genetic algorithm that found the best routes…

This route takes you across the continental US and lets you stop at all the famous landmarks in each and every state.

If you actually plan to execute the trip, you should budget 13,699 miles of driving — or about 224 hours. Attempting to do the trip in one go would take about 9.33 days, although it would actually take 2–3 months to finish in reality.

I love road trips. Every year I take a few, but never any of this length.  Who has?

I did notice the Florida Keys weren’t included.  That’s a place I’ve never been and is definitely planned for a future road trip.  I’d also like to see the area of Custer’s Last Stand and that didn’t make the list.  You can click over and see the 50 locations that did and then start planning your next outing.

12 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT ‘BRIAN’S SONG’.

Posted in Celebs, Movies, Sports, Trivia, and TV

Me-TV presents 12 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT ‘BRIAN’S SONG’.  Here are three of my favorites…

JAMES CAAN WAS THE FASTER RUNNER IN REAL LIFE.
It seems James Caan grew up playing high school football and could run circles around Billy Dee Williams, so when they had to film their racing scene, Caan had to make himself go real slow to convince viewers that Williams’ was the speedier of the two.

BILLY DEE WILLIAMS WAS NOT THE ORIGINAL ACTOR CAST AS GALE SAYERS.
Louis Gossett Jr. was originally cast as Gale Sayers, not Billy Dee Williams. Just before shooting started, Gossett managed to tear his Achilles’ tendon. That’s when Williams stepped in and took over the role, shattering Gossett’s spirit worse than the pain of his injury. As the story goes, producer David L. Womper made a big promise to cast Gossett in the next beefy part he could place him in to cheer the actor up. That promise took six years to fulfill, but it was worth the wait when Gossett’s 1977 performance as Fiddler in Roots won him an Emmy and made him a star.\

‘BRIAN’S SONG’ WON MORE AWARDS THAN ANY OTHER ABC MOVIE OF THE WEEK
For airing Brian’s Song, ABC took home four Emmys and a Peabody Award. They also received commendations from both the NAACP and the American Cancer Society. In total, the movie was nominated for eight Emmy Awards. The only other ABC Movie of the Week films to get that kind of attention was The Immortal in 1969 (1 Emmy nomination) and That Certain Summer in 1972 (7 Emmy nominations, 1 win).

THESE ‘GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C.’ FACTS WILL MAKE YOU SAY ”SHAZAM!’ 

Posted in Trivia, and TV

Me-TV presents THESE ‘GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C.’ FACTS WILL MAKE YOU SAY ”SHAZAM!’  Here are three of my favorites…

IT WAS A SPIN-OFF OF A SPIN-OFF, OF SORTS.
The characters from The Andy Griffith Show were first introduced to American audiences in a 1960 episode of The Danny Thomas Show (Make Room for Daddy), “Danny Meets Andy Griffith.” It was more of a marketing maneuver, but technically that makes Andy Griffith a spin-off. The pilot episode of Gomer Pyle arrived as the season four finale of Andy Griffith in 1964.

IT WAS INCREDIBLY POPULAR, RIGHT UP UNTIL THE END.
The show finished outside the top three only once in its five-year run, when it slipped to No. 10 in the Nielsen ratings in 1967. Yet it bounced back strong, gaining some of its best ratings in its final season. In fact, Gomer Pyle was the second most watched show in television when it shut down.

FRANK SUTTON WAS A BLACK BELT IN JUDO AND SERVED IN THE ARMY.
As Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter, Sutton set the mold for the hard-as-nails, shouting drill sergeant so common to military narratives. Ironically, in real life, the actor failed a Marine physical and instead served in the Army during WWII, where he proved himself in taking part in over a dozen assault landings around the Philippines. He also had a black belt. That’s some man. Sadly, Sutton passed away too soon at 50 from a heart attack.

50 Movie Trivia Facts You (Probably) Don’t Know

Posted in Celebs, Movies, and Trivia

Gem Seddon and GamesRadar present 50 Movie Trivia Facts You (Probably) Don’t Know.  Here are three of my favorites…

46. Rocky (1976)  Did you know? There’s a scene when Rocky Balboa points out a mistake in the poster at the match venue, and it was in fact entirely unscripted. Sylvester Stallone was forced to add the line because the art department made a genuine mistake when producing the prop, making the Italian Stallion’s boxing trunks completely the wrong colour. Although, it does work to signify how Rocky isn’t treated with much respect as an underdog.

41. Alien (1979)  Did you know? When the Nostromo crew explore the Derelict ship they discover a gigantic chamber full of xenomorph eggs. It’s a dark, sinister room that required a certain type of lighting to create the right feeling. Ridley Scott found a practical solution to lighting it by borrowing blue laser lighting from The Who, who were rehearsing their stage show in the soundstage next door.

31. American Psycho (1998)  Did you know? After catching an episode of The Late Show with David Letterman, on which Tom Cruise guest-starred, Christian Bale decided to base his portrayal of Patrick Bateman on the actor. According to director Mary Harron, Bale said it was Cruise’s “very intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes” that he thought would be perfect for Bateman.

21 Things We Learned from “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” Commentary

Posted in Celebs, Crime, Movies, and Trivia

Rob Hunter and Film School Rejects present 21 Things We Learned from The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Commentary.  Here are three of my favorites…

7. The novel doesn’t spend much time at all with the transit cop character played here by Walter Matthau as Lt. Garber, and the book actually has a separate character named Garber as well. The actor loved the script, written by Peter Stone — who had written two previous films co-starring Matthau — and once he expressed interest they began beefing up the role.

19. Sargent recalled it being a “golden safety rule” during filming that no one get close to the electrified third rail despite the mostly confident belief that it was powered off by the transit authorities. There was apparently always a risk that someone might turn it back on again by accident or because they were unaware that it was off for a reason.

20. They rightly point out that today’s action films would rarely allow the villain to take his own life. “He would have to be shot eighteen times by Walter Matthau, and then fall and then a train would run him over, and that would propel him into the street where he’d get hit by a bus.”

 

9 Tough as Leather Facts About “Rawhide”

Posted in Celebs, Movies, Trivia, and TV

Me-TV presents 9 Tough as Leather Facts About Rawhide. Here are three of my favorites…

EASTWOOD WORE HIS ‘RAWHIDE’ BOOTS IN ‘UNFORGIVEN.’
No need for a wardrobe department when it comes to Clint. To bookend his career as a cowboy, Eastwood wore his same Rowdy Yates boots in his Oscar-winning 1992 masterpiece Unforgiven.

LOADS OF SOON-TO-BE-FAMOUS FACES APPEARED ON THE SHOW.
That’s Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery taking aim in “Incident at El Crucero,” in a guest role that would foreshadow her gig as Mrs. Sundance. Star Trek crew members Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley appeared on the Western, too. Sitcom legends Buddy Ebsen, Barbara Eden, Alan Hale, Jr., June Lockhart, Gavin MacLeod, Marion Ross and William Schallert also pop up — just to name a few. Then there’s Martin Landau, Frankie Avalon, Anne Francis, Peter Lorre…

TWO EPISODES WERE SLAPPED TOGETHER TO FORM A MOVIE, UNTIL EASTWOOD PREVENTED ITS RELEASE.
Rawhide finished its run in the first week of 1966. By that year, Eastwood was a star of small and big screen. The classic Spaghetti Westerns A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) revolutionized the genre. To further capitalize on Eastwood’s fame, Jolly Film, the studio behind A Fistful of Dollars, pieced together a couple old episodes of Rawhide, primarily “The Backshooter” with Louis Hayward and Slim Pickens, and labeled the flick The Magnificent Stranger, the original shooting title for A Fistful of Dollars. However, Eastwood sued and had the 1967 film withdrawn.

21 Things We Learned from Rob Reiner’s “Misery” Commentary

Posted in Celebs, Crime, Horror, Movies, and Trivia

Rob Hunter and Film School Rejects present 21 Things We Learned from Rob Reiner’s Misery Commentary.  Here are three of my favorites…

2.  James Caan was not his first choice for the film, and he instead was turned down by Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, William Hurt (twice), Richard Dreyfuss, and others. “But at the end of the day you can’t imagine anybody else playing the part.”

13.  Bates was stage-trained and preferred excessive rehearsals while Caan is more “instinctive and naturalistic,” so they had to balance the rehearsal time to make it less than she wanted and more than he wanted.

18.  The novel has Annie chop off Paul’s feet and cauterize the stumps, but they opted to simply hobble him instead by having her break his feet with a sledgehammer. Their thinking was that they wanted him to be victorious in the end, and losing his feet would be too high of a price. “It was pretty darn painful to look at, so I don’t think we compromised it too much.”

 

 

The Making of the Spanish Language Version of “Dracula” (1931)

Posted in Horror, Movies, and Trivia

In 1931, as Universal Studios was preparing to film the now classic Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, it was decided that a Spanish version would be made at the same time.  Although the Spanish version would feature a different cast, the same screenplay and sets would be used as the English version.  Lugosi’s Dracula would film during the day and then that evening the Spanish crew would come in and film.  By all accounts the Spanish Dracula is excellent.

You can learn more about The Making of the Spanish Language Version of Dracula (1931) at Old Hollywood Films.

10 Things You Should Know About the Donner Party

Posted in History, and Trivia

James and Margaret Reed, Donner Party members. (Credit: Public Domain)

In 1846, the Donner brothers led a wagon train of pioneers heading to California.  Caught in the Sierra Mountains in one of the worst winters ever recorded, the settlers were forced to hunker down.  As their food and supplies ran out, and over half of the party died, most of the survivors were forced to resort to cannibalism.

Evan Andrews and History.com present 10 Things You Should Know About the Donner Party.  Here are three of my favorites…

2.  They fell behind schedule after taking an untested shortcut.
After reaching Wyoming, most California-bound pioneers followed a route that swooped north through Idaho before turning south and moving across Nevada. In 1846, however, a dishonest guidebook author named Lansford Hastings was promoting a straighter and supposedly quicker path that cut through the Wasatch Mountains and across the Salt Lake Desert. There was just one problem: no one had ever traveled this “Hastings Cutoff” with wagons, not even Hastings himself. Despite the obvious risks—and against the warnings of James Clyman, an experienced mountain man—the 20 Donner Party wagons elected to break off from the usual route and gamble on Hastings’ back road. The decision proved disastrous. The emigrants were forced to blaze much of the trail themselves by cutting down trees, and they nearly died of thirst during a five-day crossing of the salt desert. Rather than saving them time, Hasting’s “shortcut” ended up adding nearly a month to the Donner Party’s journey.

7.  Not all of the emigrants engaged in cannibalism.
As their supplies dwindled, the Donner emigrants stranded at Truckee Lake resorted to eating increasingly grotesque meals. They slaughtered their pack animals, cooked their dogs, gnawed on leftover bones and even boiled the animal hide roofs of their cabins into a foul paste. Several people died from malnutrition, but the rest managed to subsist on morsels of boiled leather and tree bark until rescue parties arrived in February and March 1847. Not all of the settlers were strong enough to escape, however, and those left behind were forced to cannibalize the frozen corpses of their comrades while waiting for further help. All told, roughly half of the Donner Party’s survivors eventually resorted to eating human flesh.

9.  One rescuer singlehandedly led nine survivors out of the mountains.
Perhaps the most famous of the Donner Party’s saviors was John Stark, a burly California settler who took part in the third relief party. In early March 1847, he and two other rescuers stumbled upon 11 emigrants, mostly kids, who been left in the mountains by an earlier relief group. The two other rescuers each grabbed a single child and started hoofing it back down the slope, but Stark was unwilling to leave anyone behind. Instead, he rallied the weary adults, gathered the rest of the children and began guiding the group singlehandedly. Most of the kids were too weak to walk, so Stark took to carrying two of them at a time for a few yards, then setting them down in the snow and going back for others. He continued the grueling process all the way down the mountain, and eventually led all nine of his charges to safety. Speaking of the incident years later, one of the survivors credited her rescue to “nobody but God and Stark and the Virgin Mary.”

“The Thing” Got the Cinephilia & Beyond  Treatment.

Posted in Celebs, Horror, Movies, and Trivia

John Carpenter / Horror fans are going to love it that The Thing Got the Cinephilia & Beyond  Treatment.

Click on the link and you’ll find…

  • the Original Script
  • John Carpenter interviewed by Erik Bauer, Creative Screenwriting, January/February 1999.
  • Dean Cundey ASC discusses the making of director John Carpenter’s 1982 sci-fi horror classic.
  • STARLOG 060—JOHN CARPENTER DIRECTING THE THING
  • STARLOG 058—BILL LANCASTER ON SCRIPTING THE THING
  • STARLOG 059—AN INTERVIEW WITH DP DEAN CUNDEY
  • JOHN CARPENTER WITH ENNIO MORRICONE
  • FANGORIA—THE THING ARTICLES
  • The Incredible Effects of The Thing, Cinefantastique issue
  • THE THING: STORYBOARDS
  • and much more!

34 Things We Learned from Matt Reeves’ ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Commentary

Posted in Movies, and Trivia

Rob Hunter and Film School Rejects present  34 Things We Learned from Matt Reeves’ ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Commentary.  Here are three of my favorites…

12. The “donkey” apes used by the humans are named not because they’re being used as animal workers (like I assumed) but as a reference to Donkey Kong.

15. The way the virus shifts after killing off 99.9% of humanity towards a mutation that leaves the survivors unable to speak was an idea that originated in the original Planet of the Apes franchise where the apes used mute humans as slave labor. Co-writer Mark Bomback researched viruses and discovered details on the Spanish flu that mutated into catatonia and other non-lethal physical effects. “The humans are beginning to devolve while the apes evolve.”

20. The Colonel’s (Woody Harrelson) greeting to Caesar includes a whole Wellington/Napoleon reference that was added by the actor himself. Reeves thought it wouldn’t work seeing as he’s speaking to an ape, so Harrelson added the “you’re probably not much of a reader” line. It was also his suggestion to shoot an ape early on to spur Caesar and the apes back to work.

 

The Art of the Sailor

Posted in Art, and Trivia

When I was growing up the only people who had tattoos were sailors, marines, or circus folk.  Seems like almost everyone has some unique ink these days signifying something special to the wearer.

Back in the day a sailor’s tats had meaning and if you check out the chart above you’ll be in the know.  If you really dig the print by Lucy Bellwood you can get one here.

Source: Boingboing.