Normally every industry carries with it some sort of urban legend. Some tales are based on actual fact while others are just tales. One such thing can be said about the script titled Atuk. The script is based on a book about an Eskimo coming to America written in 1963.
For over 40 years there has been interest in making this script a reality but it seems like every interested party dies. Comedians John Belushi, Sam Kinison, John Candy, and Chris Farley all expressed real interest in the lead role.
It’s incredible to think that all of these comedians would die within just a few years of of expressing interest in the role.
Video assist allows filmmakers to see a take immediately after it’s been shot. Video assist is key simply because it aids the filmmaker in deciding if the take should be shot again, and how. What a lot of people don’t know is that video assist was influenced heavily by Jerry Lewis. The Nutty Professor himself was something special.
When he put together his classic film The Bellboy Jerry Lewis used a video camera to record while filming. This technique did not initially get tagged as video assist; still it was something that created a whole new way to aide directors. The funny thing is that The Bellboy was Jerry’s first directorial effort.
When you think of epic films you think of Gone With the Wind and Titanic. Today Titanic stands out as an epic and a box office smash, like Gone With the Wind stands as an all time American classic. A little known about these films is that both were originally considered failures in the making.
Many considered Gone With the Wind a failure in the making; the book rights were a hard sell. Upon a preview screening the feelings were mixed and on general release the film became a sensational smash as well as a critical success. Nearly 80 years after its release the gone with the wind epic stands the test of time and is considered a standard bearer for epic filmmaking.
Titanic was considered a failure in he making much the same way as gone with the wind. No successful story was developed around the 1912 disaster. The film was getting abysmal notices in pre production and largely regarded as an overpriced failure waiting to happen. After completion and upon release Titanic became the biggest hit of the decade taking in over a billion dollars in worldwide box office and making mega stars out of its cast members.
Epics are risks and as such studios tend to give it mixed receptions and not nearly enough support. I wonder when the studios will learn how to navigate the iceberg of ignorance.
What makes movies memorable? A good story that’s built on the shoulders of strong dialogue and carried by strong performances. One often under looked portion of film that seems to get a minimal amount of credit is the great insult. The great insult can sometimes be the shinning part of any memorable story. Below is a list compiling ten memorable on screen insults that are still quoted to this day.
The Princess Bride– I’ll explain and I’ll use small words so that you’ll be sure to understand, you warthog faced buffoon.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory- “You’re a crook! You’re a cheat and a swindler! How could you do a thing like this, raise up a little boy’s hopes and then dash all his dreams to pieces? You’re an inhuman monster!”
Step Brothers- “I swear, I’m so pissed off at my mom. As soon as she’s of age, I’m putting her in a home”
The Big Lebowski- “I don’t like your jerk-off name. I don’t like your jerk-off face. I don’t like your jerk-off behavior, and I don’t like you, jerk-off. Do I make myself clear?”
Get Carter ( Michael Caine ) – “You know, I’d almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow.”
Bridesmaids- “You look like an old mop”
Full Metal Jacket – “It looks to me like the best part of you ran down the crack of your momma’s ass and ended up as a brown stain on the mattress!”
The Breakfast Club- “ Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?”
The Wizard of OZ- “You clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous junk!”
Monty Python and the Holy Grail- “I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!”
May the creative insult live forever, it makes this world a little better!
When you think of films with a cult following The NeverEnding Story and Labyrinth come to mind. Part of the reason why people tend to remember these films fondly is because beyond the complex story there were some truly awesome musical puppet numbers to accompany them. The film Labyrinth was hugely popular because of a tremendous soundtrack put together by the star of the film, David Bowie.
A little known fact about this film is that the part of the Goblin King was originally being heavily pitched to Michael Jackson, who at the time was starting work on the early stages of the Bad album and still riding a wave of success with Thriller. It’s hard to imagine the King of Pop in that role, since Bowie made it so uniquely his own.
It’s true then that even kings have limitations sometimes.
The general feeling is that The Godfather has come full circle and pretty much there are no more stories to be told. The truth is that the series has had a fourth part talked about for nearly two decades and while nothing’s come of it yet, you never know.
In the late 1990’s after the third installment there was a push for a fourth. The general idea was that the fourth installment of The Godfather would focus on the reign of Vincent Corleone, the character portrayed by Andy Garcia. The 4th installment would be the Corleone Family’s descent into drug trafficking and Vincent Corleone’s decline with a death similar to that of Pablo Escobar’s.
The story was supposed to have flashbacks to the golden days of the family and some of the original story key character’s early days.
The movie has been pretty much on the back burner since the death of Mario Puzzo in 1999 but given the strength and iconic nature of the films you can never say anything for certain.
It’s almost certain that you are thinking Orson Welles became some sort of religious devotee by reading the tittle of this entry, not so. The fact is that when he made the classic Citizen Kane Welles made an enemy of the legendary media mogul William Randolph Hearst. Essentially Welles pissed him off by creating a character that was based on him, a person that engaged in gaudy self-barony.
Welles was warned by many people not to try and tangle with Hearst in any respect but he did it anyway. When Hearst realized what Welles had done he was looking for ways in which to smash Welles down. One night Hearst planted a girl in a hotel room, the girl was naked and she was supposed to scream rape and get Welles arrested. Welles was giving a lecture somewhere.
On the way back to his room a janitor of the goings told Welles on so he never went to the room. That night Welles was spared but the following years would be a sort of nightmare for Welles as he was somewhat blacklisted as a difficult and casuist individual.
When you think about stars being under contract to do specific films you think about salaries that number in the millions and on top of that you think of back end points, merchandising and so on. If you go back about sixty years or more the case was completely different.
Stars that showed promise usually got signed to seven-year contracts for their specific studio. When stars signed contracts they were usually unknowns that were more than likely going to be used as either fillers or B-side attractions. During the 1930’ s, 40’s, and 50’s most of those studio system contracts paid something like $100 per week and were a good way for developing talent. Stars like Marilyn Monroe, and Clint Eastwood were developed that way.
The seven-year contract was a way for the studios to also own their people and do with them as they pleased. Today the ball game is different and stars come and go as they please.
When you watch your favorite classics, do you ever wonder what it was like behind the scenes? Often times your favorite films have incredibly interesting but obscure stories that no one knows too much about. Below is a list of obscure little facts about some of our favorite modern classics.
The Jaws shark was nicknamed Bruce, after Steven Spielberg s attorney, whom Spielberg still employs as his attorney to this day.
During the filming of the entrance to Rome scene in Cleopatra, Elizabeth Taylor feared that she may fall off the platform, so she pulled the hair of the little boy in front of her in order to avoid falling.
The spider used for Wild Wild West was originally meant for use in the Superman that was supposed to star Nicholas Cage. The spider was supposed to be super villain Braniac.
Marlon Brando was considered a wash out by 1970, so he was told that he needed to audition for the role of Vito Corleone in The Godfather. Studio execs were absolutely floored by his interpretation and offered him the part.
The first Batman film was actually made in 1964, the title was Batman Dracula and it was directed by Andy Warhol. Warhol screened it a few times because DC did not give him permission to use Batman.
Another Batman fact that will leave you speechless; The 1989 Batman film was initially offered to Bill Murray but he turned it down. Holly SNL Batman!
The original title for Ghostbusters was actually Ghost Smashers.
While riding high as the top grossing male star of the late 70s Burt Reynolds was considered as a possible candidate for the part of James Bond.
The famous chariot race in 10 Commandments actually met with several casualties that can be seen on screen as many people were trampled by horses.
The film that was expected to be the breakout hit of 1977 was a flop titled Damnation Alley. The film had a 17 million dollar budget and as far as priorities went, it was a priority above Star Wars.