Welcome back to Tuesday’s Trivia Tidbits. For those of you out of the loop, this is a little compilation of 10 movie related facts that I will be posting weekly and info that I always find interesting. So without further ado, this weeks are…

1: Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” originally had a voiceover narration, which was written in the script but he eliminated it, and filmed the movie so that the audience discovered the clues at the same time Jake Gittes did.

2: During filming one of the night scenes in “The Blues Brothers“, John Belushi disappeared and could not be located. Dan Aykroyd looked around and saw a single house with its lights on. He went to the house and was prepared to identify himself, the movie and that they were looking for John Belushi. But before he could, the homeowner looked at him, smiled and said, “You’re here for John Belushi, aren’t you?” The homeowner then told them Belushi had entered their house, asked if he could have a glass of milk and a sandwich and then crashed on their couch. Situations like this prompted Aykroyd to affectionately dub Belushi “America’s Guest“.

3: Jennifer Lawrence is the youngest actress to be nominated for two Best Actress Academy Awards and the 2nd youngest recipient of the award upon winning for “Silver Linings Playbook” aged 22; the youngest recipient is Marlee Matlin, who won for “Children of a Lesser God” aged 21.

4: There’s a scene in David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” where Adam Kesher (played by Justin Theroux) smashes a producers’ car windshield with a golf club. This is a reference to the famous 1994 incident where Jack Nicholson did the same. Nicholson’s nickname is “Mulholland Man“.

5: Matthew Modine turned down the Tom Cruise role, Maverick, in “Top Gun” because he objected to the film’s Cold War politics. Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Matthew Broderick, Sean Penn, Michael J. Fox, Scott Baio and Tom Hanks also turned it down. Rob Lowe, Eric Stoltz, Robert Downey Jr and Charlie Sheen were considered for it. Sheen would later go on to spoof the role in the 1991 comedy “Hot Shots“.

6: Screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie’s inspiration for the character of Keyser Soze in “The Usual Suspects” was a real-life murderer by the name of John List, who murdered his family and then disappeared for 17 years.

7: Before Dustin Hoffman auditioned for his role as Ratzo Rizzo in “Midnight Cowboy“, he knew that his all-American image could easily cost him the job. To prove he could do it, he asked the auditioning film executive to meet him on a street corner in Manhattan, and in the meantime, dressed himself in filthy rags. The executive arrived at the appointed corner and waited, barely noticing the “beggar” less than ten feet away who was accosting people for spare change. At last, the beggar walked up to him and revealed his true identity.

8: Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar was approached several times to direct “The Paperboy” before Lee Daniels. He seriously considered making it his first English-speaking feature but finally declined. Allegedly, he participated in early versions of the script.

9: John Turturro role of Bernie Bernbaum in the Coen’s “Miller’s Crossing” is a performance that’s actually based on the film’s cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld.

10: According to an interview with “Predator” director John McTiernan, the “hole in the jungle” appearance of the Predator was played by Jean-Claude Van Damme in a “blue screen” (actually red) suit. Van Damme quit after two days, unhappy with being cast as an uncredited special effect, but can be seen as the Predator in “If It Bleeds We Can Kill It: The Making of ‘Predator’“. The alien was scrapped, redesigned and was eventually played by Kevin Peter Hall who was over 7 feet tall.

So there you have it. 10 esoteric Tidbits to masticate on. Some you may know. Some you may not. If you have any thoughts, stick your donations in the comment box.
See you next Tuesday…

(For earlier editions of Trivia Tidbits click here.)

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  1. Jennifer Lawrence is always a welcome treat on here :)

  2. Ok this needs to be said: Can anyone see Scott Baio having “the need, the need for speed”? MJ Fox or Matthew Broderick? Nooo way! LOL! Good stuff Mark.

    • Yeah, Baio doesn’t quite cut it does he? Nor does Fox or Broderick. They’re all a tad Dorian Grey. They don’t age like the rest of us and always seem like little teenagers. Cheers Keith.

  3. Great post, glad you included Jennifer Lawrence.

  4. Great stuff as always mate. That Van Damme picture is beyond weird, as is the thought of having him in that role!

    Also, really like the new header logo, it looks wicked!

    • Yeah, Van Damme was the original Predator. It’s a weird thought man.

      Thanks for the compliments on the new header. My thanks go to Chris (Filmhipster) for that great work. I love it. It fits in just nice.

  5. Glad Polanski took the narration out. When are directors going to realize that films always work better without it? Blad Runner improved 100% when they took that narration out. Dark City, too…

    • I’m glad he took it out as well but in all honesty, I enjoyed the Blade Runner VoiceOver. I know it didn’t make sense at times but I loved that it added that film noir feeling. I enjoy the film without it as well, though, but I agree for the most part, a lot of films are better without it and Chinatown comes under that.

      • daveackackattack Says:

        The irony of that narration is that Ford deliberately dead panned the voice over hoping they wouldn’t use it.

      • Yeah, I heard that about Ford. Apparently he had a bit of a nightmare on set. I still love it, though. It adds that little bit more atmosphere. Apart from the iconic Indy, Deckard is a real favourite of mine from all the characters he’s played.

  6. Love your new header!!

    Great pic of Lawrence!! LOL – Is she giving Tyson her thoughts on his stalking her????

    • Great header isn’t it? Thanks to Chris!

      Yeah, I think that is Lawrence’s response to Tyson. That poor guy. He gets that from Lawrence and abuse from us. ;-) He can take it, though.

  7. Ahah, that trivia about John Belushi is a hoot, great find Mark! I love Lawrence, she’s got spunk and comes across so real, hope she stays that way. I still need to “Chinatown” but I definitely will :D

    Great set as always, Mark. Oh and I love your new header!

    • Thanks Ruth. “America’s Guest”. Good ‘ol John Belushi. LOL.

      You haven’t seen Chinatown? Oh, you must remedy that as soon as you can. It’s a classic.

      Yeah, I’m lovin my new header as well. It’s been long overdue and my good pal Chris kindly gave his time to fixing it up for me.

  8. 8 of 10. Good list Mark! I’ll get you one day!

    • Oooft! I’m just keeping you at bay Nick. You’re a little close for comfort on them though. I do imagine that one day your hit the target. Thanks man. ;-)

  9. Great trivia as always. The one about Mulholland Drive is interesting. That film is in my personal top 5.

    • Yeah, I remember seeing that scene and relating it to the Nicholson event. Then when I dug a little deeper it turned out it was deliberate.
      I know you’re fan, as am I. ;-)

  10. Wow, some great stuff here. Too bad for Jean-Claude Van Damme, would have been his best role.

    • Yeah, could have been his best role but nobody would have known it was him and it could have dictated the rest of his career. He was probably right to bow out. Cheers Chris!

  11. So was any of that JCD footage used in the film? Crazy story about Hoffman.

    • I’ve never seen the “making of” the film Adam but apparently there is a brief moment that is JCVD. All the rest was Kevin Peter Hall. I suppose the making of it would clarify it all.

      Great story about Hoffman. I love that one as it’s one if my favourite roles of his. He’s superb as Ratzo.

  12. If any of you guys are on Reddit I posted this on there. Give it a bump http://redd.it/1alkge

  13. Knew the predator one, didn’t know any of the others. 1/10 ain’t bad? nice!

  14. I’ve always liked that story about Belushi. I really hope the homeowner took a photograph. Can’t you just picture them going through the photo album with someone later on? “Here’s our wedding pictures, here we are at Niagara Falls, here’s our daughter’s first birthday, here’s John Belushi passed out on my couch….”

  15. Some amazing stories this week. a great selection. Learned quite a bit. Love the tidbits of Belushi, Hoffman, and Top Gun the most!

    Thanks again for a great Tuesday tidbits!

  16. Hah, great call on that Lawrence pic. Really good stuff overall, man. Can’t believe that about Hoffman!

  17. Like the new banner. Fun movie facts, especially the Van Damme one, so Schwarzenegger previously had worked with him :)

    • Thanks Nostra! Yeah, apparently Van Damme was the original creature. I’m unsure as to any footage that was kept in but you could say that Arnie worked with him for 2 days before Van Damme quit. ;-)

  18. That Jack Nicholson sure is a fascinating character :) Never read about windshield story before, I wonder if the producer deserved it.

    • Nicholson’s a legend! I’m not sure if it was a producers car that he took a golf club to but it might have been. It’s been a long time since I read about the incident. Thanks Sati.

  19. I knew the predator one of a dvd extra haha, that would have been weird :D

  20. Fascinating trivia, as always :)

  21. Great stuff. I never knew van Damme was the Predator, albeit briefly! Also love the Dustin Hoffman fact, that’s superb.

    • Thanks man! Yeah Van Damme as the Predator. He was right to back out as his career would probably be very different. How many times do you hear Kevin Peter Hall’s name anymore?

  22. I didn’t know about the Jack Nicholson golf club incident. The dude must be seriously nuts. :) Interesting historical tidbit on The Usual Suspects.

    • Yeah, I remember reading about that Nicholson incident a good while ago. I think Jack has always been a little nuts. He’s brilliant though.
      The usual suspects one was fairly new to me too. I only came across that when doing some trivia homework. Thanks Steph!

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