You’ll Love These Unbelievable Movie Facts.

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So, like the rest of us around the Credit Union, you probably have a longstanding love affair with the movies. You’re crazy about them. Comedies, dramas, documentaries, it makes no difference. When the lights go down and it’s you, your hot buttered popcorn and a great new film, well, that’s your idea of bliss. Yep. Us too.

Of course, having seen just about every movie since The Jazz Singer, it would probably take some pretty out there facts to blow your mind, and that’s where we come in. We’ve scoured the archives and put together this list of little-known facts about some of the best-known films ever made. They’re fun, they’re nutty, they’re fascinating, and they’re bound to impress your fellow cinephiles.

Roll ‘em.

  1. For Saving Private Ryan, the entire main cast was given basic, real-life military training. Except Matt Damon. The hope was that the rest of the cast would build up a resentment towards him which was necessary to advance the plot.
  2. Linda Blair’s incredibly foul-mouthed delivery during the exorcism scene in The Exorcist was so disturbing, it caused veteran actor and gentleman Max von Sydow to completely forget his lines.
  3. During the making of Pirates of the Caribbean, Johnny Depp spent over $60,000 on 500 coats for the cast and crew. And here’s a free bonus fact. Of the 600 special effects shots, 250 were needed just to remove modern sailboats.
  4. Steven Spielberg did finish college—in 2002. He took a 33-year hiatus, then turned in Schindler’s List for his student film requirement.
  5. To this day, Schindler’s List is the most expensive black and white movie ever made.
  6. Paranormal Activity cost $150,000 to make. It’s grossed over $210 million to date. That truly is paranormal.
  7. In James Cameron’s Avatar, every frame of CGI—which is about 60% of the film, and we’re talking 24 frames a second—took about 47 hours to render. Mind you, there was an army of computers attacking the project, but still.
  8. During the filming of My Left Foot, Daniel Day Lewis never left his wheelchair. He was so committed to his character, he had to be spoon fed and lifted around the set.
  9. Originally, the movie was called The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy, but then Paul Newman took the role and the title was swapped.
  10. Pixar’s Up was the first animated film to open Cannes. It was also the first 3D film to open the Festival.
  11. Those blue lasers lighting the egg chamber in Alien? They were on loan from The Who, who were using the studio next door.
  12. The charcoal drawing of Kate Winslet in Titanic was not drawn by Leo, but by James Cameron himself.
  13. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy was originally supposed to fight the Arab swordsman, but Harrison Ford was under the weather and unable to put up a proper fistfight. So instead, bang. He shot him.
  14. Darth Vader, one of the most iconic characters in cinema, was only on-screen for about 12 minutes in the original Star Wars.
  15. Disney was so pleased and grateful to the late, beloved Robin Williams for his performance in Aladdin, they gave him a painting by Picasso.
  16. It took three whole days for The Hunger Games to become the highest grossing picture for Lionsgate Movies.
  17. Sean Connery, possibly the coolest guy ever, turned down leading roles in Jurassic Park, The Matrix, Indiana Jones and Blade Runner.
  18. Speaking of Sean, he wore a wig in every single one of his James Bond roles.
  19. Walt Disney was a frugal man, and here’s a prime example. Fantasia—which was released in 1940—was originally a short called The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. However, when the film went over budget on the score, Disney decided to turn it into a feature film to make the most of the expense.
  20. Charlie Sheen, never a person known to do things in moderation, stayed awake for two entire days so he could look properly wasted for his role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Job well done.
  21. From 1992 to 2002, Pierce Bronson was contractually forbidden from wearing a tuxedo in any non-James Bond movie.
  22. Viggo Mortensen had no interest whatsoever in appearing in The Lord of the Rings. Until his son begged him.
  23. Fox passed on The Watchmen because they thought the script was positively unintelligible. Their specific description is unprintable here.
  24. That impossible basketball shot made by Sigourney Weaver in Aliens: Resurrection was not movie magic. The lady actually did it!
  25. Ryan Gosling got his part in The Notebook because the director was looking for an actor who “wasn’t handsome”. Right. We should be so ugly.
  26. The carpet in The Shining and the carpet on second floor of Sid’s House in Toy Story are virtually identical.
  27. During the making of Passion of the Christ, Jim Caviezel was struck by lightning. While he was on the cross. Nope, wasn’t injured. He recounted the moment. “What they saw was fire coming out the right and left side of my head. Illumination around the whole body. And during the shot they said, “Do you have it on camera?”
  28. Django Unchained was the first time in 16 years that Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t get top billing.
  29. Peter Sellers was paid a million bucks for his role in Dr. Strangelove. That was 55% of the film’s total budget.
  30. Psycho, from Hitchcock, was the first American film to show a flushing toilet.
  31. Walt Disney was not amused by Psycho. He refused to let Hitchcock film at Disneyland in the early 60’s because he thought the film was “disgusting”.
  32. When Apocalypse Now finishing filming, there was over 230 hours of footage.
  33. Star Wars was originally called The Star Wars.
  34. And speaking of one of our all-time favorite films, some Wookie suits were made from human hair.
  35. There’s a lot of great trivia about Star Wars. In Episode V, one of the asteroids is a potato. The other is a shoe.
  36. Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke about 700 words in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. His salary works out to about $22,000 per word.
  37. A costume assistant on The Wizard of Oz was hunting for an old coat for The Wizard to wear. She found one, and when Frank Morgan put it on, the entire crew just about lost it. For when Morgan turned the pocket inside out, written on the inside was the name L. Frank Baum (the author of the Oz books). Baum’s widow later confirmed that indeed this was his coat.
  38. Titanic cost more than the Titanic. The film cost $200 million, the boat a mere $120-150 million.
  39. In The Godfather, who can forget the scene when Marlon was petting the cat. Turns out, the kitty was never in the script. It happened to be a stray cat that walked onto the set, and Brando picked it up and started petting it.
  40. The next time you watch Jurassic Park, pay special attention to the scene in the kitchen where the Raptors bust in. Those animatronic models were quite finicky, and when one of them wobbles, you can see a technician’s hand reach in and try to steady it.
  41. Mickey Mouse was the first non-human to win an Academy Award.
  42. The MPAA refused to let Dreamworks use the name Meet the Fockers unless they could prove there was at least one family in America with the name “Fockers”.
  43. Due to some weird contractual obligation, the part of John McClane in Diehard had to first be offered to the man himself, Frank Sinatra, who at the time was 73.
  44. Billy Crystal considered turning down the part of Woody in Toy Story the worst decision of his career. He made up for it by taking the part of Mike in Monsters, Inc..
  45. In Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Lector, played by the incomparable Anthony Hopkins of course, never blinks.
  46. The robot from Wall-E was designed by Jonathon Ive, the same genius who did the iPod, the iPhone and so many other iconic Apple products.
  47. Peter O’Toole was nominated for an Oscar eight times, and never won.
  48. The pile of, well, poop, that young Jamal jumps into in Slumdog Millionaire was actually a delicious combination of peanut butter and chocolate.
  49. The hilarious orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally was originally supposed to go down very differently. Harry and Sally were merely going to talk about women faking orgasm, until Meg Ryan suggested that she actually fake an orgasm at the table. Rob Reiner loved it, and thus the classic scene was born.
  50. The Executive Producer of Toy Story, one Steve Jobs, picked Bob Dylan over Randy Newman to perform the soundtrack.
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