ByTim Horton, writer at
Business Development Manager at Universally Speaking. @TimHortonGame | Email: [email protected]
Tim Horton

It's not gaming related but rather awesome! Courtesy of our sister site Tash Magazine Movies

It doesn’t matter how many times you watch a movie – sometimes you’re going to miss things, and it’s up to random lists on the internet to help put you on the right path. That’s to say, there’s always more than meets the eyes when it comes to the movies… sometimes the most interesting things take place behind the scenes, during the production process, or are so hard to spot that they slip under the radars of most movie-goers, until somebody brings it up at a party and everybody ends up going around in a circle saying things like: “Really? I don’t believe you! No!”

But knowing that little bit extra about something can’t hurt, can it? Especially when it furthers your appreciation or makes a certain part of a movie more interesting as a result. That’s the case with the 10 movies I’ve gathered up for inclusion on this list, anyway. 10 astonishing little tidbits that you probably didn’t know about a bunch of famous movie scenes, be it relating to how they got made, the actors who appeared in the scenes, or just some incredibly bizarre or interesting things you might have failed to notice. Just think: next time you can be that guy at the party. Woo!

10. Gene Wilder Only Agreed To Play Willy Wonka If He Was Allowed To Somersault In During The Character’s Grand Entrance – Willy Wonka & The Chocolate

All actors tend to make crazy demands at one time or another, because what’s the point in being an actor if you can’t order people around and make them do stuff for you? Gene Wilder, who played the iconic role of Willy Wonka in the movie adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, took this a step further when he went temporarily crazy and made an incredibly specific request regarding his own casting. If his request was denied, he would refuse the role. So what was it? Money? An easy work schedule? Nope: the man just wanted to do a somersault.

Seriously. Here’s what he wrote in a letter to the director of the movie before he was cast: “When I make my first entrance, I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp. As I walk toward them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I’m walking on and stands straight up, by itself; but I keep on walking, until I realize that I no longer have my cane. I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause.”

Why, you’re wondering, was this the only thing that Wilder wanted in exchange for his casting? No idea, except for the fact that – in his own words – “from that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.” And nobody would know if you were sane, either, Gene.

9. The Scarecrow Wields A Revolver In The Haunted Forest Scene – The Wizard Of Oz

Even if, for some reason, you actually saw this thing during that annual viewing of The Wizard of Oz that you oh so treasure, chances are that you wrote it off as an illusion of sorts – a trick of the eyes, caused by some weird set-up in the studio lights, or an odd camera angle, or the fact that it’s 1939, and things were different back then. But go back and give yourself some credit – the scarecrow really is holding a revolver in one scene during The Wizard of Oz. I’m not kidding.

And yet here’s a detail that most of us probably fail to notice each and every time we sit down to watch this classic movie, and for three major reasons. The first is… why in the name of all that is logical would the Scarecrow, an inhabitant of the magical land of Oz, be wielding a loaded gun? Secondly, it’s not really all that easy to spot, unless you’re looking for it. Thirdly, it’s near-impossible to see on TV versions. But it’s there, people. Right there, as Dorothy and the gang make their way through the haunted forest. With cold steel clearly in his grasp, though, I’ve just got question: why are they so afraid of the Wicked Witch?

8. Gene Kelly Performed The Iconic Rain Sequence Whilst Sick And Running A Fever Of 103 °F – Singin’ In The Rain

It’s easy to presume that, given how sprightly and healthy and – let’s face it – awesome Gene Kelly looks during Singin’ in the Rain’s most famous sequence, he’s in good nick, when in actuality, the man was on the verge of fainting at pretty much any moment. Yes, Singin’ in the Rain contains one of the all-time greatest musical sequences ever committed to celluloid, and although you can’t tell from the footage in the movie, Kelly’s as sick as a dog.

It probably didn’t help matters that this entire sequence is based around the idea that Kelly is getting soaked, which certainly could not have aided his recovery process. Then there’s the fact that he’s jumping around like a lunatic, performing an incredibly strenuous routine with a smile on his face. But Kelly persevered, shooting the scene with all the energy of a man who actually wanted to be shooting a Hollywood movie when he probably felt awful, and would have ideally liked to have been at home, watching reruns of I Love Lucy and sipping whiskey (it was a cold cure back then).

7. Jeff Bridges Would Furiously Rub His Eyes To Prepare For Any Scene In Which The Dude Might Have “Burned One” Before Appearing In – The Big Lebowski

I guess it would make sense to presume that Jeff Bridges just smoked a bunch of drugs before every scene in the Coen’s quirky masterpiece The Big Lebowski, because that would have been the right way to play this character, don’t you think? Well, no, actually, because Jeff Bridges is an actor, and that would probably have been a terrible way to make this film, as fun as it might’ve been. To achieve the Dude’s iconic, uh, “look,” then, Bridges adopted a different method.

Before shooting every scene in the movie, Bridges would approach his two-headed director and ask them whether or not they thought that the Dude had “burned one” before the scene in the movie was about to take place. The answer, as you probably gathered, was usually yes. As a result, Bridges would retire to a corner of the room, and proceed to frantically rub his eyes until it gave over the appropriate effect. Apparently, this was the only time he would ever take to discussing his character with the Coens throughout the entirely of production.

6. Tommy Lee Jones Improvised The Best Line In The Movie – “I Don’t Care” – During The Dam Scene – The Fugitive

Most people remember The Fugitive for Harrison’s Ford beard, and an astounding Tommy Lee Jones performance, for which he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. In the movie, a wrongly convinced criminal – played by Ford – goes on the run in an attempt to prove his innocence, and it’s up to Jones’ U.S. Marshal to track him down. The most memorable scene in the movie takes place inside a dam, where Ford and Jones confront one another, before Ford jumps to freedom.

It’s at this point where Ford, pointing a pistol at Jones, yells: “I didn’t kill my wife!” Jones reply is perfectly weighed: “I don’t care!” he shouts back. The beauty of this line, of course, sums up Jones’ position in the movie – he doesn’t give a damn whether or not Ford committed the crime or not, it’s his job to take him in, and that’s all that matters. Working out whether he’s innocence is for somebody else to do. Thing is, Jones improvised this brilliant line, one that no doubt helped him to win his Oscar and shape his character – his retort in the script was originally written as the very bland and horribly predictable: “So you didn’t kill your wife…”

5. Coconuts Were Used Instead Of Horses Because The Production Couldn’t Afford Them – Monty Python & The Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is often regarded as being one of the funniest movies ever made, a rare timeless comedy, helped by the fact that most of the jokes aren’t easily forgotten. One of the most memorable moments in the movie, of course, occurs when we’re first introduced to King Arthur: as he enters the frames of the movie, it’s not hard to see that he’s missing something: a horse. Instead, Arthur is followed around by a servant clapping two halves of a coconut together, recreating the sound of hoofs, whilst he “gallops” around on foot.

It’s a brilliant sight gag because it’s downright bonkers, and the exact kind of joke that you’d expect from the Monty Python trope. Some movie-goers might be shocked to learn, then, that these iconic scenes only spurred from the fact that the production couldn’t afford to provide its cast with actual horses, and were implemented as a way of getting around the problem. Of course, having the horses would have been nowhere near as funny, so it emerged as a blessing in disguise – proof that more money doesn’t always heed better results.

4. The Rain In The Background Of The “Bug” Scene Was Designed To Look Like Matrix Code – The Matrix

The Matrix tells the story of one Thomas Anderson, an office drone who finds out that his whole life is the sum of an extensive computer program, and also that he’s the chosen one, ’cause it’s a movie. The Matrix movies are crammed with tons of tiny details, of course, given the scope of story and the subject matter (“what is real?”), but here’s a little detail that occurs towards the beginning of movie that lots of people tend to miss.

Does the rain on the window of the car in the background of the above picture look at all familiar to you? If you’ve seen The Matrix, it probably does, given that it was purposely lit and designed to look like the famous “Matrix Code” – free-flowing code that represents the happenings within the virtual world of the Matrix – which has become synonymous with the film. During the scene where Trinity removes the bug from Neo’s stomach, you can spot this brilliant little inclusion. The fact that the “Matrix code” is also often referred to as “Matrix digital rain” speaks volumes, too.

3. Francis Ford Coppola Found Don Vito’s Cat On The Paramount Lot And Put It In The Movie On A Whim – The Godfather

It’s strange how some things that end up being incredibly iconic stem from moments that – at the time, anyway – occurred on a complete and utter whim. That’s to say, the opening scene featuring Don Vito Corleone and his feline friend has become about as iconic as The Godfather itself, but the original script never called for such a thing to happen in the first place. In fact, it only ever occurred because of a last minute change.

Francis Ford Coppola, who wrote and directed The Godfather, apparently stumbled upon the cat whilst wandering around the Paramount studio lot – when it wandered onto the scene, Coppola let it roam about, because this was the ’70s, and stuff like that just happened back then. The cat proceeded to jump up onto Brando’s lap whilst he read his lines – from prompt cards – and the rest is history. Lots of Brando dialogue had to be re-dubbed, however, because the cat was purring so hard (Brando’s a great stroker) that it ruined most of the takes.

2. Linda Hamilton’s Twin Sister Was Used For The Scene Where The T-1000 Imitates Her – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Given how much awesome CGI there is inherent to James Cameron’s freakin’ awesome follow-up to his other freakin’ awesome movie The Terminator, it would be safe to assume that CGI was used to pull-off the shots in the movie where there needed to be two Sarah Connor characters on-screen at once, as a result of the shape-shifting T-1000, who likes to turns into her – if Cameron managed to render a liquid metal robot assassin, he could achieve something like that with ease, though, right? How hard could it be to pull off with a bit of split screen?

Not that hard, although Cameron opted for a different technique instead – an incredibly logical one that probably saved a lot of time and effort: he just used Linda Hamilton’s real-life twin sister, Leslie, in the background shots. So if you ever wondered why all those shots where there are two Sarah Connors looked so… unmanipulated… it’s because they were achieved entirely through the use of practical effects. Different twins were also used in an earlier scene when the T-1000 becomes a prison guard. If only ever actor had an identical twin – think of the insane movies we could make!

1. Stanley Kubrick Factored In Alex’s Pet Snake Because He Found Out Malcolm McDowell Was Terrified Of Them – A Clockwork Orange

Aside from being renowned as one of the all-time great movie directors, Stanley Kubrick was also renowned for being a cruel, cold and unsympathetic b*stard, whose idea of “inspiring” his actors usually meant shouting, embarrassing or making them so nervous that they’d do whatever he told them to do without question. Just ask Shelley Duvall, who went through a rather traumatic experience on the set of horror masterpiece The Shining as the target of many a Kubrick rant.

Malcolm McDowell, who played Alex DeLarge in Kubrick’s adaptation of A Clockwork Orange, also suffered at the hands of his director, who may or may not have been insane at this point. Upon discovering that McDowell had a phobia of snakes, Kubrick decided that – inside of just getting on with the movie – he would write in that Alex DeLarge had a pet snake, despite the fact that such a thing wasn’t mentioned in the book, and made no real difference.

This might have been more understandable had the scene in question required McDowell to be scared of snakes. It doesn’t. At all. He’s playing a character who keeps one as a pet, after all. Which totally proves that Kubrick didn’t like making movies – he liked having a job which gave him an excuse to terrorise people like some kind of twisted psychopath. Sort of funny, though.

Like this article? What have we missed? Let us know in the comments.


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