GoreMaster 100 Films Archives

willy wonka and the chocolate factory

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 film adaptation of the 1964 Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It stars Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, and was directed by Mel Stuart. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score.

Trivia:

The combination to the first door in the chocolate factory is 99-44/100% pure, which was an ad slogan for Ivory Soap.


Voted number 8 in channel 4’s (UK) “Greatest Family Films”.


The Tinker quotes from the poem “The Fairies” by William Allingham.


Among Wonka’s lines are the following quotations: “Is it my soul that calls me by my name?” from William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”; “All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by” from the John Masefield poem “Sea Fever”; “A thing of beauty is a joy forever” from John Keats’s “Endymion: A Poetic Romance” and “Round the world and home again, that’s the sailor’s way!” from William Allingham’s “Homeward Bound”. “We are the music-makers…” is from Arthur O’Shaughnessy’s “Ode”, which also gave us the phrase “movers and shakers”. “Where is fancy bred…” and “So shines a good deed…” are from William Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice”. The lines to the song “Sweet lovers love the spring time… ” are from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker” is from “Reflections on Ice Breaking” by Ogden Nash. “The suspense is terrible, I hope it will last” is a quote from Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest”. These literary quotations were not in Roald Dahl’s original script. They were added for one reason or another by David Seltzer when he re-wrote the screenplay.


Peter Ostrum, who plays Charlie Bucket, made no other films. He later became a veterinarian. In fact, of all the Wonka kids, Julie Dawn Cole is the only one still acting.


Both Denise Nickerson (Violet Beauregard) and Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt) had a crush on Peter Ostrum (Charlie Bucket). During filming, the girls would alternate days over which one would spend time with Ostrum. Bob Roe was also an object of attraction for the two. On the day they didn’t get to spend with Peter, they would spend it with Bob Roe. Bob Roe was the son of first assistant director ‘Jack Roe’.


Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt) hated chocolate.


According to the DVD commentary, Julie Dawn Cole kept several props from the movie (when instructed not to) including the Golden Ticket, an Everlasting Gobstopper, and a Willy Wonka candy wrapper.


The length of Veruca Salt’s hair becomes progressively shorter throughout the movie as the filmmakers kept burning off Julie Dawn Cole’s split ends.


The scene of Veruca’s “demise”, was filmed on Veruca actress Julie Dawn Cole’s 13th birthday, on 26 October 1970. In the DVD commentary, she said ‘no one wished her a happy birthday’ and Denise Nickerson starts singing.


After the company finished filming in Munich, Germany, the studio and locations were then taken over by the Cabaret (1972) people. On the DVD alt-track, one of the kids remarks, “We moved out and Liza [Liza Minnelli] moved in”.


In the scene where Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) drinks from a flower-shaped cup and then eats the cup, the cup itself was made of wax. Gene Wilder had to chew the wax pieces until the end of the take, at which point he spat them out.


The reactions of the actors in some scenes are spontaneous. For example, when the children first enter the main factory and see the gardens, their reactions are real, it was really their first view of that particular set.


A number of the objects and plants in the main factory really were edible, including the giant lollipops.


The film was originally financed by the Quaker Oats Company. They hoped to tie it to a new candy bar they intended to bring on the market. When the film was released, the company began marketing its “Wonka” chocolate bars. Unfortunately, an error in the chocolate formula caused the bars to melt too easily, even while on the shelf, and so they were taken off the market. Quaker sold the brand to St. Louis based Sunline, Inc. (which later became part of Nestlé via Rowntree) not long after this; Sunline was able to make the brand a success, and Wonka-branded candy (most of which isn’t chocolate-based) is still available in the USA.


The opening credits sequence was filmed at a real chocolate factory in Switzerland.


The scene where Augustus Gloop was interviewed for being the first Golden Ticket finder was shot at a real German restaurant. Most of the cast members went there for lunch during the time the movie was being filmed.


The little scene with Charlie and his mom before the “Cheer Up, Charlie” song was filmed at 1:00 in the morning.


Most of the small walk-on parts in this movie were played by German people.


Before Wonka does his little somersault, he sticks his cane into a brick made of Styrofoam.


The bees that were used in the gum machine were actually wasps. Paris Themmen, a notorious troublemaker on the set, apparently let them out of their bell jar and was stung on the face.


The final Oompaloompa song took a total of 50 takes.


Joel Grey was first choice for the role of Willy Wonka but was not considered physically imposing enough. The role was then offered to Ron Moody who declined it. Roald Dahl’s original choice to play Willy Wonka was Spike Milligan. Jon Pertwee had to turn down the role because he was in the tight schedule of “Doctor Who” (1963) at the time. All six members of Monty Python (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin) had all expressed great interest in playing the role, but they were deemed not big enough names for an international audience. Cleese, Idle and Palin would be seriously considered for the same role in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).


Jim Backus was the original choice for Mr Salt but he was considered too recognizable a figure.


After reading the script, Gene Wilder said he would make the film under one condition: that he would be allowed to do a somersault in the scene when he first meets the children. When asked why, Gene Wilder replied that having Willy Wonka start out limping and end up somersaulting would set the tone for that character. He wanted to portray him as someone whose actions were completely unpredictable. His request to do the somersault was granted.


During the “Wonka Wash” car scene, the foam used to spurt out was compiled from basic fire extinguishers, but what was unknown to the cast and crew was that the foam itself was potent skin irritant, so after shooting the scene, the actors were left in considerable discomfort when their skin puffed up and required several days to receive medical treatment and recovery.


Peter Ostrum went through puberty during the film. His voice is high during the duet of “I’ve Got A Golden Ticket”, and is much deeper later in the film, such as during the bubble scene.


The song Wonka sings on the boat ride (“There’s no earthly way of knowing… “) are the only song lyrics taken directly from Roald Dahl’s book. All other songs were written specifically for the film.


The exterior of the chocolate factory was Munich’s gas works.


The child named Winkelman is played by director Mel Stuart’s son Peter Stuart. Also, a girl in the classroom is played by [error], the director’s daughter. She was ten years old in 1970 and she suggested her dad undertake the project after reading the book. When she read the book, she suggested to her father that he approach “Uncle Dave” (producer David L. Wolper) with the idea of turning the book into a movie.


Jean Stapleton was the first choice to play Mrs. TeeVee (Mike’s mother) but turned down the part in favor of doing a TV series pilot instead. That series was, of course, “All in the Family” (1971).


Roald Dahl was reportedly so angry with the treatment of his book (mainly stemming from the massive rewrite by David Seltzer) that he refused permission for the book’s sequel, “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator”, to be filmed. Seltzer had an idea for a new sequel, but legal issues meant that it never got off the ground. Reportedly, Dahl was so unhappy that he refused to ever watch the completed film in its entirety. Once, while staying in a hotel, he accidentally tuned into a television airing of the movie, but reportedly changed the channel immediately when he realized what he was watching.


Most of the chocolate bars were actually made of wood.


Sammy Davis Jr. expressed an interest in playing Bill, the candy store owner, but the film-makers deemed it as too kitschy and declined. Nevertheless, the candy store song, “The Candyman”, became a staple of Davis’ stage show for many years.


This movie was shot in Munich, Germany, but the producers had to go outside of Germany to recruit enough little people to play the Oompa Loompas (one of the many tragic legacies of the Nazi era). Many of the people cast as Oompa Loompas (German or otherwise) did not speak English fluently, if at all. This is why some appear to not know the words to songs during the musical numbers.


Mike Teavee’s father’s line, “Not ’till you’re twelve, son” took over forty takes to film.


The picture held up by the Paraguayan newscaster announcing the finder of the last golden ticket is of Nazi henchman Martin Bormann.


Jack Albertson (Grandpa Joe) appeared with Roald Dahl’s wife Patricia Neal in the movie, The Subject Was Roses (1968). He won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for that film, defeating his co-star on this film, Gene Wilder, then nominated for The Producers (1968).


Ernst Ziegler, who played Grandpa George, was nearly blind, and so was instructed to look for a red light to guide him when his character was meant to be looking in a certain direction.


The face in the psychedelic tunnel movie is that of Walon Green, friend of director Mel Stuart and screenwriter of The Wild Bunch (1969). According to Stuart’s memoirs, Green is the only person who would agree to let a centipede crawl on his face for the sake of a children’s film.


The closing of the film was not scripted when filming began, so the director (Mel Stuart) had to call David Seltzer and ask him to think of something. Seltzer came up with the “happily ever after” bit in five minutes.


The musical code for entering the Chocolate Factory played by Wonka is the introduction of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro”. Mrs. Teevee mistakes it for “Rachmaninoff.”


Veruca Salt’s name is a slight variation on verruca – a wart. Seems appropriate, considering the character’s personality. In the book, when learning the children’s names, Willy Wonka mentions that verruca is a wart on the bottom of a foot.


The scene of Violet Beareguarde’s demise where she swells up into a blueberry was done in two takes. Take one was pumping air into an inflatable suit and take two involved stuffing Denise into a two piece Styrofoam cut out. When rolling Denise around in her blueberry suit, the Oompa Loompas had a hard time controlling the rolling actress and would send her crashing into the wall several times.


Even thought the film didn’t do as well in it’s theater run, surprisingly when it went to home video it got more attention. Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory was one of the more popular movies for rentals by the time the rental fad took off in the 80s.


Since this was before the days of CGI, one of the visual effects that was needed to be accomplished was Violet turning blue. At the time, the development of color layering was in process. According to the book, Violet’s face and hair turns blue. The director worked with it but was only able to turn her face blue. Further development of the color layering was perfected by the time the first Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) was released and was ready for use to make the light-saber concept look good.


The song Wonka sings on the Wonkamobile is “Ach so fromm”/”M’aparri” from Martha by Flotow.


The country where the film takes place is a mystery. Various measures were taken: The cars do not have US license plates. The title of the newspaper is generic and does not reveal the name of the city. The identity of the coin that Charlie finds in the gutter is not revealed. After selling him a candy bar, the dealer does not state the exact balance due, as is customarily done in any transaction (but would disclose the unit of currency); he merely clears his throat. Mr. Wilkinson/Slugworth bribes Charlie with “Ten thousand of these”, referring to units of currency, but does not use the name of the currency. Charlie never appears on television; the countries were all revealed during T.V. interviews. On the day they arrive at the Wonka factory, Charlie and Grandpa Joe are the only individuals not holding a flag of their native country. In the aerial scene at the end, cars are seen driving on the right. The film does not take place in the United Kingdom.


Before entering the Inventing Room, Willy Wonka gives an introductory speech in German, with an accent, but otherwise phonetically and grammatically correct. It goes “Meine Herrschaften, schenken Sie mir Ihre Aufmerksamkeit. Sie kommen jetzt in den interessantesten und gleichzeitig geheimsten Raum meiner Fabrik. Meine Damen und Herren: der ‘Inventing Room'”. He even pronounces the german R correctly, and says ‘Inventing Room’ with a proper german accent. The speech translates: “Ladies and gentlemen, please give me your attention. You now come into the most interesting room of my factory, the most secret room at the same time. Ladies and gentlemen: the ‘Inventing Room’.”


The scene of Mike’s demise was difficult to film. When seen far away while in the TV, it was accomplished through blue screen. While seen in the TV from close up, Paris Themmen (Mike) was standing on a platform on a huge television set. The shot where Mrs. Teavee picks him up was a doll, and the single shot where we see a closeup of Mike dangling from his mom’s fingers was accomplished by having Paris dangle from the fingers of a papier maché hand.


In the scene where Wonka angrily reads to Charlie the contract out loud, he reads two lines in Latin: “Fax mentis incendium gloriae” and “Memo bis punitor delicatum”. The first line roughly translates to “The torch of glory kindles the mind”. The second line, as it is heard in the movie, is actually gibberish. The closest Latin equivalent would be “Memor bis punitor delictum”, which translates to “I am mindful [that] the crime is punished twice (or in two ways).”


During the “Pure Imagination” song, Willy Wonka whips his cane around here and there to stop the crowd in place during various points of the song. According to Paris Themmen (Mike Teevee) in the DVD commentary, during one of the takes as Gene Wilder whipped his cane around, he accidentally whacked Thennem in the head.


For the 30th Anniversary DVD release of the movie, the DVD commentary is done by all five of the (now grown-up) children: Peter Ostrum, Michael Bollner, Julie Dawn Cole, Denise Nickerson, and Paris Themmen.


There’s been some debate as to the correct spelling of Mike Teevee’s last name. In the movie’s closing credits as well as in all of the promotional media for the movie’s US release, Mike’s last name is spelled “Teevee”. In the book, it is spelled “Teavee” and finally in the movie itself, during the scene where all the children sign the large contract, Mike is seen signing his name as “Mike T.V.”. In the DVD commentary, Paris Themmen said that during the contract-signing scene, he was told by director Mel Stuart to sign his name as “Mike T.V.” because it would allow the scene to be filmed quicker.


Augustus Gloop is from Dusselheim, Germany, Violet Beauregarde is from Miles City, Montana, and Mike Teevee is from Marble Falls, Arizona. Of these cities, the only one that isn’t fictional is Miles City, Montana. Charlie Bucket’s and Veruca Salt’s hometowns are never mentioned throughout the movie, but it is likely Veruca and her family reside in the U.K. (Mr. Salt tells the workers he will give the one who finds a golden ticket a one-pound bonus and there is a sign inside the factory reading “SALT’S: THE PEANUTS OF THE QUEEN!”)


The scene where the technician tries to impress the three businessmen with the large computer to (unsuccessfully) give the results of the (then 3) remaining golden tickets was the last scene filmed for the movie. It was filmed at such a last minute that there was a ton of luggage scattered around the set as the cast and crew were already in the process of packing up to wrap up the movie.


Whenever a scene was filmed inside the Buckets’ house, Ernst Ziegler (Grandpa George) would take off his shoes and tuck them under the set bed before crawling in to film the scenes. When it came time to film the portion of the “I’ve got a Golden Ticket” song that involved Grandpa Joe and Charlie both looking under the bed, the Director wanted to move Ziegler’s shoes out of the way to film the scene, but Ziegler protested vehemently, as he was afraid they would take his shoes away, and he valued those shoes very much so, as they were his only remaining possession from before World War II. Eventually the Director was able to convince Ziegler to allow them to move his shoes to film the scene.

The Thing

The Thing is a 1982 science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film’s title refers to its primary antagonist: a parasitic extraterrestrial lifeform that assimilates other organisms and in turn imitates them. It infiltrates an Antarctic research team, taking the appearance of the researchers that it kills, and paranoia occurs within the group.

Ostensibly a remake of the 1951 Howard Hawks-Christian Nyby film The Thing from Another World, Carpenter’s film is a more faithful adaptation of the novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr. which inspired the 1951 film. Carpenter considers The Thing to be the first part of his Apocalypse Trilogy, followed by Prince of Darkness and In the Mouth of Madness. Although the films are unrelated, each feature a potentially apocalyptic scenario; should “The Thing” ever reach civilization, it would be only a matter of time before it takes over the Earth.

The theatrical performance of the film was poor. This has been attributed to many factors, including Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which was released at the time and features a more optimistic view of alien visitation. However, The Thing has gone on to gain a cult following with the release on home video. It was subsequently novelized in 1982, adapted into a comic book miniseries published by Dark Horse Comics, and was followed by a video game sequel in 2002, with a film prequel currently in the works.

Trivia:

The film was originally banned when released in Finland.


The original movie, The Thing from Another World (1951), took place at the North Pole. This version takes place at the South Pole.


Donald Pleasence was the original choice for the character of Blair. Pleasence was unable to perform the role due to a scheduling conflict.


At the beginning of the film the Norwegian with the rifle is the second unit director and associate producer as well as Kurt Russell’s (then) brother-in-law, Larry J. Franco. According to John Carpenter, on the commentary track, Franco is not speaking Norwegian but making up the dialog. “Schmergsdorf” as Carpenter puts it. The subtitles, however, give the impression he is speaking Norwegian. The words spoken are actually understandable for Norwegians. Albeit broken Norwegian, the line goes: “Se til helvete og kom dere vekk. Det er ikke en bikkje, det er en slags ting! Det imiterer en bikkje, det er ikke virkelig! KOM DERE VEKK IDIOTER!!” This translates to: “Get the hell outta there. That’s not a dog, it’s some sort of thing! It’s imitating a dog, it isn’t real! GET AWAY YOU IDIOTS!!”


The Norwegian dog in the film was named Jed. He was a half wolf/half husky breed. Jed was an excellent animal actor, never looking at the camera, the dolly or the crew members. Jed, however, is NOT the dog seen in the beginning chase scene, where the Norwegian is trying shoot him. Per Carpenter’s commentary, this was another dog painted to look like Jed.


To give the illusion of icy Antarctic conditions, interior sets on the Los Angeles sound stages were refrigerated down to 40 F while it was well over 100 F outside.


In the close up shot of the United States National Science Institute Station 4 sign, a ‘Smokey the Bear’ sign can be seen.


The opening title exactly duplicates the original Howard Hawks film. To create the effect of the title, an animation cell with “The Thing” written on it was placed behind a fish tank filled with smoke that was covered with a plastic garbage bag. The garbage bag was ignited, creating the effect of the title burning onto the screen.


Based on the classic short story “Who Goes There?” by pioneering science fiction editor John W. Campbell Jr., he is not credited in the DVD version until the end credits.


This film is considered a benchmark in the field of special makeup effects. These effects were created by Rob Bottin, who was only 22 when he started the project.


The flesh-flower that attacks Childs is actually an incredibly detailed effect. Its petals are 12 dog tongues complete with rows of canine teeth. Effects designer Rob Bottin dubbed it the “pissed-off cabbage”.


The female voice on MacReady’s computer was performed (uncredited) by the wife of director John Carpenter, actress Adrienne Barbeau.


While discussing the character of MacReady, director John Carpenter and actor Kurt Russell discussed having MacReady be a former Vietnam chopper pilot who had felt displaced by his service in Vietnam. This ultimately did not make it into the finished film.


In August 2003 a couple of hard-core fans, Todd Cameron and Steve Crawford, ventured to the remote filming location in Stewart, British Columbia and, after 21 years, found remains of Outpost #31 and the Norwegian helicopter. The rotor blade from the chopper now belongs to Todd and rests in his collection of memorabilia from the film.


John Carpenter and Kurt Russell both admit that after all of these years they still do not know who has been replaced by the creature and when.


John Carpenter comments that one of the bush pilots used on the film offered to crash one of the helicopters for money. The scene when MacReady and Dr. Copper go to visit the Norwegian camp via helicopter, the bush pilot actually turned the controls over to Kurt Russell once the chopper was off the ground. If you watch the shot you see the ‘copter actually wobble, that’s Russell taking the controls.


In the shot of MacReady holding the dish of Palmer’s blood right before he tests it, the hand that holds the dish is fake.


The sound effect of the Antarctic wind was actually recorded in the desert outside Palm Springs.


There are no female characters in the film. The only female presence in the movie is in the voice of MacReady’s chess computer and the contestants seen on the game show that Palmer watches. A scene containing a blow-up doll was filmed and then left on the cutting room floor. According to John Carpenter, only one crew member was female but she was pregnant and this forced her to leave the shoot; she was replaced by a male.


This is the first of John Carpenter’s films which he did not score himself. The film’s original choice of composer was Jerry Goldsmith, but he passed and Ennio Morricone composed a very low-key Carpenter-like score filled with brooding, menacing bass chords.


The tentacles that Clark sees in the dog cage are whips being maneuvered by Rob Bottin.


Much of the creature work in the scene inside the dog cage was done by Stan Winston and his crew as Rob Bottin was suffering from exhaustion at the time due to his immensely heavy workload.


There is a character name “Mac” and another named “Windows”; since the film was made in 1982, this is purely coincidental.


One of the few Universal films that does not begin with the Universal logo.


The Thing (1982) came out in the early days of home video with stereo sound. It also came during the time videophiles began to learn how to decode the matrixed surround track encoded on Dolby Stereo films by use of a left minus right decoder with delay applied. The Thing was one of the main films that were recommended to test out the setups due to the aggressively directional surround stereo mix, especially in the opening helicopter chase. The Thing was among the first movies to advertise that it had a “matrixed surround track” on its packaging for the stereo soundtrack versions.


Vintage “making of” special contains scenes that never made it to the theatrical or TV versions, such as the tentacles from the “Dog Thing” starting to attack the dog, seen later partially digested in the final cut.


Poster artist Drew Struzan created the poster for this film basically overnight and without having seen any publicity photos.


According to John Carpenter in an interview, that he takes all of his failure movies pretty hard. However, he said that out of all those movies, this movie he took the hardest. Not only because the movie was a failure upon release but because both critics and the audience (to Carpenter’s shock) panned the movie for its gory violence and bleak content.


Nick Nolte turned down the role of MacReady, as did Jeff Bridges.


John Carpenter has stated that of all his films, this is his personal favorite.


In the scene where Palmer offers to pilot the helicopter and turns to leave, the back of his biker jacket reads “BARBARIANS / CALIFORNIA” with crossed battle axes and shield logo.

The Omen released June 25, 1976

The Omen

The Omen is a 1976 suspense/horror film directed by Richard Donner. The film stars Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Harvey Stephens, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick Troughton, Martin Benson and Leo McKern. It is the first film in The Omen series and was scripted by David Seltzer, who also wrote the novel.

The film followed a cycle of demonic child movies including Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist. The cycle continued with such films as Holocaust 2000.

A remake, The Omen 666, was released on June 6, 2006. This date was chosen as a reference to the Number of the Beast (666).

Trivia:

Charlton Heston, Roy Scheider, Dick Van Dyke, and William Holden turned down the lead role. Gregory Peck, accepted the lead. William Holden starred in the sequel Damien: Omen II (1978).


To make the baboons attack the car in the Windsor Zoo park scene, an official from the zoo was in the back seat of the car with a baby baboon, but the baboons had no response at all. They then took the head of the baboons, and the baboons outside went crazy. Lee Remick’s terror as the baboons attack the car was real.


When the fishbowl falls to the ground, (dead) sardines painted orange were used in place of actual goldfish, which director Richard Donner refused to kill for the sake of making a movie.


Having changed its title from “The Antichrist” to “The Birthmark,” the film seemed to fall victim to a sinister curse. Star Gregory Peck and screenwriter David Seltzer took separate planes to the UK…yet BOTH planes were struck by lightning. While producer Harvey Bernhard was in Rome, lightning just missed him. Rottweilers hired for the film attacked their trainers. A hotel at which director Richard Donner was staying got bombed by the IRA; he was also struck by a car. After Peck canceled another flight, to Israel, the plane he would have chartered crashed…killing all on board. On day one of the shoot, several principal members of the crew survived a head-on car crash. The jinx appeared to persist well into post-production… when special effects artist John Richardson was injured and his girlfriend beheaded in an accident on the set of A Bridge Too Far (1977).


Richard Donner and Harvey Bernhard asked Alan Ladd Jr. then the head of Twentieth Century Fox for extra money during the film’s post-production period to hire composer Jerry Goldsmith, whose music they strongly felt was right for the movie after seeing him perform a live concert at the Hollywood Bowl earlier that year. Ladd was finally talked into giving Donner and Bernhard around $25,000 to hire Goldsmith, who would deliver his first and only Academy Award win for his score in 1977. Donner credits the success of the film to Goldsmith’s score which made the film scarier than it would have been without him.


As part of its pre-release publicity campaign, and to point out the significance of “the three sixes” as The Sign of Satan, the movie was sneak-previewed nationwide in the USA on 6 June 1976. While audiences inside the theatres were being scared witless by the film, theatre employees were out front, busily putting up specially made posters declaring: “Today is the SIXTH day of the SIXTH month of Nineteen-Seventy-SIX!” Hokey though it was, the gimmick worked quite well, as many a theatre patron literally “freaked-out” upon seeing those posters as they left the previews.


According to at least one biography of Gregory Peck, he took this role at a huge cut in salary (a mere $250,000) but was also guaranteed 10% of the film’s box office gross. When it went on to gross more than $60 million in the U.S. alone, The Omen (1976) became the highest-paid performance of Peck’s career.


According to director Richard Donner, he talked the noted cinematographer Gilbert Taylor into coming out of retirement to shoot this film.


Mike Hodges was offered the chance to direct the movie. He refused, but actually went on to direct three weeks of Damien: Omen II (1978) before he was fired over creative differences.


Rottweilers experienced a surge in popularity in the US after the release of this film.


Richard Donner decided that Harvey Stephens’ naturally blond hair should be dyed black to give him a more sinister look in his role as Damien.


More than twice the film’s original $2.8 million budget was spent on the film’s advertising and promotion.


Father Brennan’s quotation about the “eternal sea” is completely non-Biblical, and was written for the movie.


‘Guglielomo Spoletini’ and Alf Joint are dubbed by Robert Rietty.


Terry Walsh who was stunt double for David Warner was badly injured while filming the dog attack scene despite being properly prepared for the stunt.


Harvey Stephens, as Damien, was largely chosen for this role from the way he attacked Richard Donner during auditions. Donner asked all the little boys to “come at him” as if they were attacking Katherine Thorn during the church wedding scene. Stephens screamed and clawed at Donner’s face, and kicked him in the groin during his act. Donner whipped the kid off him, ordered the kid’s blond hair dyed black and cast him as Damien.


The last feature film of Anthony Nicholls.


In the scene where Gregory Peck goes to see his wife’s psychiatrist, at the beginning of the scene notice the inverted cross on the table.


One of the films included in “The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (and how they got that way)” by Harry Medved and Randy Lowell.


Gregory Peck was given the role of Ambassador Robert Thorn after Charlton Heston turned it down in order to make Midway (1976).


The site used for the Megiddo archaeological dig is a real dig, just not in Megiddo. It is located in the Old City of Jerusalem, on the southern end of the Temple Mount.


Because Harvey Stephens was so young, Richard Donner found that the best way to direct him was to provoke genuine reactions before the camera. For example, when Damien is angry at being taken to church, Donner got his peeved facial expression by shouting to Stephens off camera “What are you looking at you little bugger? I’ll clobber you.”

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Jaws released June 20, 1975

Jaws 1975


Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley’s novel of the same name. The police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a giant great white shark by closing the beach, only to be overruled by the town council, which wants the beach to remain open to draw a profit from tourists during the summer season. After several attacks, the police chief enlists the help of a marine biologist and a professional shark hunter. Roy Scheider stars as police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as marine biologist Matt Hooper, Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint, Murray Hamilton as the Mayor of Amity Island, and Lorraine Gary as Brody’s wife, Ellen.

Jaws is regarded as a watershed film in motion picture history, the father of the summer blockbuster film and one of the first “high concept” films.Due to the film’s success in advance screenings, studio executives decided to distribute it in a much wider release than ever before. The Omen followed suit in the summer of 1976 and then Star Wars one year later in 1977, cementing the notion for movie studios to distribute their big-release action and adventure pictures (commonly referred to as tentpole pictures) during the summer. Jaws is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. It was number 48 on American Film Institute’s 100 Years… 100 Movies, a list of the greatest American films of all time, dropping down to number 56 on the 10 Year Anniversary list. It ranked second on a similar list for thrillers, 100 Years… 100 Thrills. The film was followed by three sequels, none with the participation of Spielberg or Benchley. A video game titled Jaws Unleashed was produced in 2006.

Trivia:

Steven Spielberg wanted Sterling Hayden for the role of Quint. Hayden, however, was in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service for unpaid tax. All Hayden’s income from acting was subject to a levy by the IRS, so there was an attempt to circumvent that: Hayden was also a writer, so one idea was to pay him union scale for his acting, and buy a story from him (his literary income wasn’t subject to levy) for a large sum. It was concluded that the IRS would see through this scheme, so Robert Shaw was cast instead.


Director Trademark: [Steven Spielberg] [music] .


During pre-production, director Steven Spielberg, accompanied by friends Martin Scorsese, George Lucas and John Milius, visited the effects shop where “Bruce” the shark was being constructed. Lucas stuck his head in the shark’s mouth to see how it worked and, as a joke, Milius and Spielberg sneaked to the controls and made the jaw clamp shut on Lucas’ head. Unfortunately, and rather prophetically, considering the later technical difficulties the production would suffer, the shark malfunctioned, and Lucas got stuck in the mouth of the shark. When Spielberg and Milius were finally able to free him, the three men ran out of the workshop, afraid they’d done major damage to the creature.


Director Trademark: [Steven Spielberg] [stars] .


A scene filmed, but not included in the final release, was during the second beach attack. Brody’s son, swimming in the “shallow area” is frozen in terror as the shark approaches him; the man saves his life by pushing the boy out of the way at the last minute and putting himself in the path of the shark. There is a shot of the bloody, dying man’s upper body being dragged briefly along in the shark’s jaws before being pulled underwater. Steven Spielberg shot the scene, but decided it was far too gruesome and didn’t include it. The DVD release shows the scene being shot, blood and all, during the The Making of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ (1995) (V) documentary, but it is not included in the “Deleted Footage” or “Outtakes” sections of the DVD.


According to Steven Spielberg in the DVD ‘making of’ documentary, his original idea for introducing Quint was to have him in the local movie theater watching Moby Dick (1956) starring Gregory Peck. Quint was to be sitting at the back of the theater and laughing so loudly at the absurd special effects of the whale that he drove the other viewers to exit the theater, leaving Quint by himself. Spielberg says that the only thing that stopped him from doing that scene was Gregory Peck. Peck held part of the rights to that movie and when Spielberg approached him for permission, Peck turned him down. Not because he thought it was a bad idea to use the film that way, but because Peck didn’t like his performance in Moby Dick (1956) and didn’t want the film seen again.


Cameo: [Steven Spielberg] voice on Quint’s marine radio, when Mrs. Brody tries to contact her husband on the “Orca”.


Director Trademark: [Steven Spielberg] [father] Ms. Kinter is a single mother.


Charlton Heston was considered for the role of Chief Brody. Jeff Bridges, Timothy Bottoms, Jon Voight and Jan-Michael Vincent were considered for the role of Hooper.


Victoria Principal was considered for the role of Ellen Brody.


Richard Dreyfuss originally turned down the role of Hooper but had worries after the initial screening of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974) and asked for his part back.


Lee Marvin was considered for the role of Quint by Steven Spielberg, despite his reservations about using big-name actors. Marvin thanked him but replied that he’d rather go fishing.


In addition to the well-known nickname of “Bruce”, Steven Spielberg also called the shark “the great white turd” when he really got frustrated with the troublesome animatronic fish.


In a biography, Steven Spielberg revealed how Robert Duvall helped to encourage him into making the movie. In return, Spielberg offered the role of Brody to Duvall but he turned it down, fearing that it may make him too famous as a result.


Charlton Heston was so annoyed with being rejected for the role of Brody that he later made disparaging comments about Steven Spielberg and vowed never to work with him. He later turned down Spielberg’s offer of the role of General Stilwell in 1941 (1979).


Author Peter Benchley’s choices for whom to cast in the film were Robert Redford, Paul Newman and Steve McQueen.


Steven Spielberg originally wanted Joe Spinell and Frank Pesce to be the two guys on the dock fishing for the shark at night (Pesce as the guy who falls in the water and Spinell shouting to him). Unfortunately, Pesce couldn’t make it to Martha’s Vineyard.


Quint’s tale of the USS Indianapolis was conceived by playwright Howard Sackler, lengthened by screenwriter John Milius and rewritten by Robert Shaw following a disagreement between screenwriters Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb. Shaw presented his text, and Benchley and Gottlieb agreed that this was exactly what was needed.


The live shark footage was shot at Seal Rocks (Neptune Islands), South Australia. A real white pointer was cut up and “extended” for the close-up shots.


When the shark attacks Hooper’s cage, there’s live footage of a real Great White with a rope hanging from its mouth. This shark’s mouth is clearly much smaller than the shark’s mouth when it attacks the boat moments later. These scenes were filmed by noted shark photographers Ron Taylor and Valerie Taylor with the help of shark expert Rodney Fox specifically for the movie. Because the Great White sharks they filmed would be smaller than the mechanical shark in the movie, they constructed a smaller version of Hooper’s shark cage. Inside the cage they alternately used a small mannequin or a little person. One of the sharks they attracted got caught in the cage’s cables and tore it apart trying to escape. The footage was so good that they changed the script to reflect the destroyed cage and Hooper escaping by hiding on the ocean floor. However, the small person used in the scene refused to go back in the miniature cage, which was damaged in the incident.


Quint’s boathouse set was built in Martha’s Vineyard on an abandoned lot. The city council made the production crew sign an agreement to demolish it after filming and replace everything exactly as it had been – right down to the litter.


Preview audiences screamed when the head of a shark victim appears in the hole in the bottom of the boat. Director Steven Spielberg re-shot the scene in editor Verna Fields swimming pool because he wanted them to “scream louder”.


Author Peter Benchley was thrown off the set after objecting to the climax.


Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, was used as Amity Island primarily because even 12 miles out to sea, the sandy bottom was only 30 feet down, allowing the mechanical shark to function. Residents were paid $64 to scream and run across the beach as extras.


The first shark killed on the docks, which is supposed to be the “man-eater” in the movie, is actually a real shark killed in Florida because there wasn’t a big enough one in Martha’s Vineyard.


Brody’s dog in the movie was actually Steven Spielberg’s real dog.


The mechanical shark spent most of the movie broken-down, and was unavailable for certain shots. This led Steven Spielberg to use the camera as the “shark”, and film from the shark’s point of view. Many think this added to the “chilling/haunting” quality in the final release saying that it would have made it too “cheesy” had they shown the shark as much as originally planned.


The original scene with Alex Kintner’s death was so scary that it was cut to ensure a PG rating. The scene called for a doll of Alex to be floating among the bathers, then the shark would jump out of the water.


When Roy Scheider was trapped in the sinking Orca, it took 75 takes to get the shot right. Scheider did not trust the special effects team to rescue him in case of an emergency so he hid axes and hatchets around the cabin just in case.


There were two 300-pound weights attached to Susan Backlinie that were being tugged by two groups of crewmen on shore. One group would pull right, and the other would pull left. It took three days to film that sequence.


After the shark was built, it was never tested in the water, and when it was put in the water at Martha’s Vineyard, it sank straight to the ocean floor. It took a team of divers to retrieve it.


The lighthouse in the film near the beach is an actual lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard where the filming took place. Because of the billboard in the scene, the lighthouse had to be “moved” with special effects in post-production.


Steven Spielberg named the shark “Bruce” after his lawyer.


After the surprise success of the film, Hollywood insiders ascribed the film’s effectiveness mostly to veteran editor Verna Fields rather than the little-known, 28-year-old Steven Spielberg. Although he undoubtedly learned much from Fields, Spielberg wished to prove his worth in following films and never worked with Fields again. It should be said that from Jaws (1975) until Fields death, Spielberg only made three films: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), 1941 (1979) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).


Steven Spielberg played first clarinet for the beach scene.


In the actual Jersey Beach shark attacks of 1916 (which Hooper mentions in the film), the sequence of attacks is similar to that of the film: a swimmer in the surf; a dog; a boy; and the leg of a man in a tidal slough.


The “oceanographic institution on the mainland” that Matt Hooper comes from refers to the real-life Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Bob Ballard who rediscovered the RMS Titanic worked from Woods Hole.


The mechanical shark used in the film was nicknamed “Bruce” by its handlers, and the “full body” version tours around museums, while “Bruce II” resides at the Universal Theme Parks and “bites at” tourists on the tour ride.


Robert Shaw was also in trouble with the IRS and had to flee the country once his scenes were completed.


Some scenes that have been declared “missing” from the video were not in the original theatrical release. When the movie was first televised, the network needed fillers after editing it for TV, so they used extra footage from the film’s production.


This was the first movie to reach the coveted $100 million mark in “theatrical rentals”, which is about 45% of the “box office gross”. It was the highest-grossing of all-time in the U.S. until Star Wars (1977).


When it was initially released in the summer 1975, over 67 million Americans went to see the movie, making it the first summer “blockbuster”.


Robert Shaw could not stand Richard Dreyfuss and they argued all the time, which resulted in some good tension between Hooper and Quint.


The average summer tourist population of Martha’s Vineyard before the film was released was approximately 5,000 people. After it came out, the population ballooned to 15,000.


Cameo: [Peter Benchley] reporter on the beach.


Peter Benchley has mentioned that if he had known about the actual behavior of sharks, he would have never written the book.


On the Anniversary edition of this picture on DVD, it is revealed on the documentary of the making of the film, The Making of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ (1995) (V), that Lee Marvin was Steven Spielberg’s first choice for Quint. When he refused, Sterling Hayden was his next choice.


Murray Hamilton was the only star who was Steven Spielberg’s first choice and was the only actor considered for the role of Mayor of Amity.


To create the sound of a drowning woman during post-production, Susan Backlinie was positioned, head upturned, in front of a microphone, while water from above was poured down into her throat.


Producers Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown avoided casting big-name stars because they thought they might distract audiences from the story’s tension.


Steven Spielberg shot roughly 25% of the film from water level to provide the viewers the perspective as if they were treading water.


Amity Island is actually Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Whereas Amity Island was also its own town, Martha’s Vineyard has six different towns on it.


The original U.K. video release of the 25th Anniversary version was wrongly labeled as a P.G. rating, when it should have been a 12 rating, due to Roy Scheider saying the “F” word in the documentary. The mislabeled videos have been withdrawn.


When composer John Williams originally played the score for Steven Spielberg, Spielberg laughed and said, “That’s funny, John, really. But what did you really have in mind for the theme of Jaws (1975)?” Spielberg later stated that without Williams’s score, the movie would only have been half as successful.


The scene where the head pops out from under the boat was not originally scripted. Director Steven Spielberg says he “got greedy” after he saw the preview audience’s reaction to the scene where the shark jumps out behind Brody’s head and wanted “one more scare.”


Quint’s boat is named “Orca”. In real life, the Orca whale (usually known as “killer whale”) is a known enemy of the shark.


With the schedule ballooning from 52 to 155 days, Steven Spielberg had to juggle Universal’s impossible deadlines, an unfinished script, chaotic conditions off Martha’s Vineyard and a belligerent actor in Robert Shaw. On the last day of shooting, Spielberg wore his most expensive clothes to deter a dunking from the mutinous crew. As soon as the shot was captured, he jumped in a speedboat and sped shoreward yelling, “I shall not return.”


The producers have said that had they read the book more than once, they would have known ahead of time that there would be problems filming the movie, and thus wouldn’t have made it.


There is a much-repeated story that a lot of the pain on Susan Backlinie’s face (Chrissie Watkins, the first victim) is real, since as well as moving her about in the water, the frame she was strapped into was breaking her ribs. In a radio interview, she denied being injured.


Roy Scheider stated in an interview that in the scene where Lee Fierro (Mrs. Kintner) smacks him in the face, she was actually hitting him. Apparently, the actress could not fake a slap and so the multiple takes were some of the “most painful” of his (Scheider’s) acting career.


According to writer Carl Gottlieb, the line “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” was not scripted but improvised by Roy Scheider.


The “forward tracking, zoom out” shot used when Brody realizes Alex Kintner has been eaten has been called “the Jaws shot” by some video teachers who instruct students on using this move. However, this shot is merely a reverse of the “forward zoom and reverse tracking” shot invented by Irmin Roberts for the disorienting height shots in Vertigo (1958). A similar shot appears to have been used for the dream sequences in Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451 (1966), in which Montag runs down an apparently endless corridor, passing doors on both sides but seems to never get closer to the end.


When Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss first realize the size of the shark, Shaw’s character then goes inside and assembles a harpoon gun. The voice over the CB Radio that calls the “Orca” is Steven Spielberg’s.


Composer John Williams conducted the orchestra during the 1976 Academy Awards, so when it was announced that he won the Oscar for Best Score, he had to run up to the podium to accept his Oscar and then run back to continue conducting the orchestra.


According to the boat handlers who worked on the film, Quint’s boat, “Orca”, was a studio fabrication based upon a boat purchased locally. After the special effects team finished with it, it was so top-heavy as to be unseaworthy. Ballast would correct that, but the only large quantity of lead that could be located locally was owned by a local dentist who was going to use it to shield his X-Ray room. So that was rented from him at an exorbitant fee. The fake Orca, designed to sink, was actually more seaworthy than the real thing.


The tax problem Robert Shaw was facing was that if he spent more than a certain amount of time in the U.S. he would face a tax liability. To circumvent that, Shaw was flown to Canada on his days off.


An accident during filming caused the Orca to begin sinking. Steven Spielberg began screaming over a bullhorn for the nearby safety boats to rescue the actors. John R. Carter, already up to his knees in water on the sinking Orca, held his Nagra (tape recorder) up over his head and screamed, “F**k the actors, save the sound department!” During the accident, the film camera was submerged, so its film, still submerged in sea water, was flown to a New York film lab where technicians were able to save the film. The accident is described starting at 01:30:07 in “The Making of Jaws” on the 30th Anniversary edition DVD.


During the filming of the scene where Brody shoots at the “fish”, the gun jammed at least four times before the shot worked.


Steven Spielberg’s biggest fear other than the appearance/performance of the mechanical shark was that cameras would catch sight of land.


According to The Making of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ (1995) (V) documentary, the shooting star that appears during the night scene where Brody loads his revolver was real, not an optical effect.


The first actor to be signed on was Lorraine Gary as Ellen Brody. Steven Spielberg hired her after seeing her in “Kojak: The Marcus-Nelson Murders (#1.0)” (1973), because he thought she was so naturalistic.


In 2004, Empire magazine voted this as the 10th best film of all time.


Voted #3 in Total Film’s 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time list (November 2005).


During the display in which Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw compare battle scars, Roy Scheider lifts up his shirt to reveal an appendix incision. This is not a prosthetic, but Scheider’s own scar.


Producers Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown optioned the film rights to the novel for $175,000 in a deal which also included a first-draft screenplay from author Peter Benchley. This draft, extremely faithful to the novel, would later be rejected by Steven Spielberg. The subsequent two drafts from Benchley would also be rejected.


Three mechanical “Bruces” were made, each with specialized functions. One shark was open on the right side, one was open on the left side, and the third was fully skinned. Each shark cost approximately $250,000.


When Universal saw the finished film and were more than happy with the result, they began an advertising campaign on television costing an unprecedented $700,000.


The film was simultaneously shown in 490 theaters on its opening weekend, the first time for Hollywood, setting the standard for subsequent films. The film was originally booked in about 1000 theaters, but MCA executive Lew Wasserman wanted that cut back, saying he wanted lines at the box office.


This was voted the sixth scariest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly.


Tommy Johnson was the tuba player whose ominous sounds announced the sharks’ arrival.


In the socialist Hungary, the movie was only released in 1985. It became the second biggest grossing film that year: 1.5 million tickets were sold (Hungary’s population was around 10 million at that time!) The biggest hit that year was Bomber (1982) starring Bud Spencer.


There’s a scene on the beach where Brody tells a guy “That’s some bad hat, Harry.” The same line is used by “Bad Hat Harry Productions” at the very end of the TV show “House M.D.” (2004). There’s even an animated shark that swims by.


Although he goes uncredited, the baseball announcer we hear over the radio during one of the beach scenes is sports announcer, Charlie Jones. He was mostly known for football. All of the players he announces here are fictional.


On the DVD documentary, Steven Spielberg states that his original idea for introducing the shark was going to be a scene that took place at the dock at night: The harbor master would be watching TV, and through the window behind him the audience would see a row of boats rising and falling as the shark swam underneath them. Spielberg believed that the swell of the boats would help indicate the huge size of the shark; however, the logistics involved (for example, getting all the boats to go up and down at the correct intervals) proved too difficult to coordinate properly. Additionally, the constantly malfunctioning shark would not allow the scene to be filmed. Much to Spielberg’s disappointment, the scene had to be shelved.


Several decades later, Lee Fierro, who plays Mrs. Kitner, walked into a seafood restaurant and noticed that the menu had an “Alex Kitner Sandwich”. She commented that she had played his mother so many years ago. The owner of the restaurant ran out to meet her – none other than Jeffrey Voorhees, who had played her son. They hadn’t seen each other since the original movie shoot.


Though respected as an actor, Robert Shaw’s trouble with alcohol was a frequent source of tension during filming. In later interviews, Roy Scheider described his co-star as “a perfect gentleman whenever he was sober. All he needed was one drink and then he turned into a competitive son-of-a-bitch.” According to Carl Gottlieb’s book “The Jaws Log,” Shaw was having a drink between takes, at which point he announced “I wish I could quit drinking.” Much to the surprise and horror of the crew, Richard Dreyfuss simply grabbed Shaw’s glass and tossed it into the ocean. When it came time to shoot the infamous USS Indianapolis Scene, Shaw attempted to do the monologue while intoxicated as it called for the men to be drinking late at night. Nothing in the take could be used. A remorseful Shaw called Steven Spielberg late that night and asked if he could have another try. The next day of shooting, Shaw’s electrifying performance was done in one take.


Voted #5 On Empire’s 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time (September 2008)


Most of the film was shot handheld as that was the best way to countermand the ocean’s swell.


The Orca was originally called The Warlock.


The color red is never used in any clothes or any backgrounds as Spielberg wanted it to be only seen as blood.


This was the first time that Martha’s Vineyard was used as a location for a feature film.


Howard Sackler was asked to contribute to the screenplay because of his experience as a scuba diver. Sackler’s only proviso was that he not receive screen credit as he felt that he didn’t work long enough on the film.


Pre-production had been cut short in the hopes of taking advantage of the unseasonably good weather in Martha’s Vineyard. However, when the production landed at the Vineyard, the weather took a turn for the worse. Consequently, shooting had to begin without a finalized script, meaning Steven Spielberg and Carl Gottlieb had to work on the screenplay after they’d finished filming for the day.


As most of the seaside resorts in 1975 experienced a downturn in visitors, some of the establishments would resort to innovative ways to lure in customers. One recorded example was a seafood restaurant in Cape Cod which proudly displayed the sign “Eat Fish – Get Even”.


Richard Dreyfuss initially passed on the part of Hooper, saying that Jaws (1975) was a film he’d love to watch but not to make.


Richard Dreyfuss was tested and cast at the suggestion of George Lucas who had just worked with him on American Graffiti (1973).


Jaws (1975) opened on only 409 screens. Within 78 days it had become the highest grossing film of all time but even then it was still showing in less than 1000 screens.


Filmed under the threat of an impending actors’ strike.


Following the release of the film, interest in shark fishing soared.


A real shark became entangled in a line that had been lain down over the underwater cage. This footage was subsequently used in the film.


Some of the incidents that befell the troubled production included writer Carl Gottlieb and Steven Spielberg nearly getting killed in seafaring accidents.


As the shoot ballooned from 55 days to 159, with the budget likewise spiraling, the film earned the nickname amongst the crew of “Flaws”.


Jaws (1975) single-handedly caused a downturn in the package holiday trade.


Steven Spielberg almost accidentally came across the property when he spotted the galley proofs for ‘Peter Benchley (I)’s book sitting on producer David Brown’s desk.


Voted #5 on Empire magazine’s 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time (September 2008).


After filming was completed Steven Spielberg said “My next picture will be on dry land. There won’t even be a bathroom scene”. He was true to his word. His next film was Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).


The music by John Williams was ranked at #6 by the American Film Institute for their list of the 25 greatest film scores.

Was voted the 48th greatest film by the American Film Institute on their list of the 100 greatest movies in 1998. Ten years later, it dropped eight ranks to #56.

The shark was ranked the eighteenth greatest villain on the AFI’s list of 100 Heroes and Villains.

Was ranked the second greatest thriller on the AFI’s list of 100 Thrills.

As Brody and Hooper are on the boat during a night scene a meteor appears clearly behind them.

The movie _Mission of the Shark (1991)_ is about Quint’s story about the Indianapolis.

The gray and cloudy sky in water scenes is artificial. It is an image on a giant wall placed in the Universal studios. In front of the wall is a huge artificial lake, the “Falls Lake”, which – together with the wall – was a backdrop for more than 20 movies already, including “Jaws”.

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Them! premiered June 16, 1954

Them

Them! is a 1954 American black and white science fiction film about man’s encounter with a nest of gigantic irradiated ants. It is based on an original story treatment by George Worthing Yates, was developed into a screenplay by Ted Sherdeman and Russell Hughes for Warner Bros. Pictures Inc., which was produced by David Weisbart and directed by Gordon Douglas for the company. It starred James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon and James Arness.

One of the first of the “nuclear monster” movies, and the first “big bug” film, Them! was nominated for an Oscar for Special Effects and won a Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing. It is significant that the film starts off as a simple suspense story, with police investigating mysterious disappearances and deaths, all from no explainable cause. The giant ants are not even seen until almost a third of the way into the film.

Them! 1954

Trivia:

When this movie was first released in Sweden, it was strangely named “Spindlarna” (which translates as ‘The Spiders’)


Was originally supposed to be filmed in color. Two days before shooting began, a nervous studio cut the budget, and the film had to be made in black and white. However, in the opening credits, the title is shown in bright red against a black-and-white background.


It was also supposed to be in 3-D. Some elements of the 3-D effects, such as the ants having extreme close-ups and the flame throwers shooting straight into the camera, were used in the film.


This was Warner Bros.’ highest grossing film of 1954.


The flamethrowers used in the movie were standard World War 2 weapons and were loaned by the US Army. The actors handling the weapons were WW2 combat veterans who had actually used them in battle.


The B-25 Mitchell bomber transporting the doctors Medford was actually the personal transport for a 2-star General.


Relating to the “S.S. Viking” incident, there was no cruiser named “U.S.S. Milwaukee” in commission in the United States Navy at the time this film was made. The last ship so named was an Omaha-class light cruiser (CL-5) which was commissioned in 1923 and scrapped in 1949 after service in World War II in both the U.S. and Soviet navies. The next ship named “Milwaukee” would be a Wichita-class replenishment oiler (AOR-2) that would be in service from 1969 until her decommissioning in 1994. Her name was stricken from the Navy’s list in 1997, and at the time of this writing (2007), she is awaiting final disposal at the James River Reserve Fleet, Fort Eustis, VA.


The sound that the giant ants from “THEM!” make as they approach their prey is a recorded chorus of bird-voiced treefrogs (Hyla avivoca) of the southeastern United States. Occasionally a grey treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) can be heard on the soundtrack as well, as these species can often be heard together at the same wetland.


Walt Disney screened the movie because he was interested in casting James Arness as Davy Crockett. However, he was so impressed by Fess Parker as the “Crazy Texan Pilot” that he chose him for the part.


In 1998, Joan Weldon revealed that during the shoot of Them! (1954), the temperature reached 110°F and both she and Edmund Gwenn were wearing wool clothing. It was even more insufferable for Gwenn, who struggled with advanced arthritis. Although unnoticeable to audiences, he was in pain and was helped off set by his valet.


Unique script that begins as a standard police murder mystery and ends as a science fiction classic.


The camera Dr. Pat Medford is using in the helicopter is a Stereo Realist, which is a 35mm format stereoscopic (3-D) still camera. This is both perfectly natural and ironic since the film itself was originally planned as a 3-D release.

Rosemary’s Baby released June 12, 1968

Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary’s Baby is a 1968 American horror/thriller film written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on the bestselling 1967 novel of the same name by Ira Levin. The film received mostly positive reviews and earned numerous nominations and awards. The film has led to numerous references in film, television, music and other media. The American Film Institute ranked the film 9th in their 100 Years…100 Thrills list.


Trivia:

The Dakota Building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side was renamed The Bramford for the film.


It was on the set of this film that Mia Farrow received divorce papers from then-husband Frank Sinatra.


There was a popular belief that Alfred Hitchcock was originally offered the chance to direct this movie. This has been deemed false. The director was never approached.


There is a popular rumor that Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey gave technical advice and portrayed Satan in the impregnation scene. This is false – LaVey had no involvement with the film.


Oscar-nominated editor Sam O’Steen would later direct the sequel, Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby (1976) (TV).


Directed by Roman Polanski, whose pregnant wife actress Sharon Tate was murdered in 1969 by Charles Manson and his followers, who titled their death spree “Helter Skelter” after the 1968 song by The Beatles, one of whose members, John Lennon, would one day live (and in 1980 be murdered) in the Manhattan apartment building called The Dakota – where Rosemary’s Baby had been filmed.


There is a heatedly disputed rumor that Sharon Tate appears unbilled at the party Rosemary gives for her “young” friends.


Mia Farrow does the vocals on the title-sequence lullaby.


This was Roman Polanski’s very first adaptation, and it is very faithful to the novel. Pieces of dialog, color schemes and clothes are taken verbatim.


William Castle acquired the movie rights to the novel. Robert Evans of Paramount agreed to green-light the project if Castle did not direct. This was due to Castle’s fame and reputation as a director of low budget horror films. Castle was allowed to make a prominent cameo appearance.


According to Mia Farrow, the scenes where Rosemary walks in front of traffic were spontaneous and genuine. Roman Polanski is reported to have told her that “nobody will hit a pregnant woman.”


This film, along with Repulsion (1965) and Le locataire (1976), forms a loose trilogy by Roman Polanski about the horrors of apartment/city dwelling.


This was Roman Polanski’s first American film. His first American film was going to be Downhill Racer (1969), but Robert Evans of Paramount decided that “Rosemary’s Baby” would be more suited to Polanski.


Casting for this film presented its own problems: Polanski at first saw Rosemary as an “All-American Girl” and sought Tuesday Weld for the lead, but she passed on the role. Jane Fonda was then approached, but turned down the offer so she could make Barbarella (1968) in Europe with then- husband Roger Vadim. According to his memoirs, Polanski for a while had the idea of having his future wife Sharon Tate on the part of Rosemary, yet he desisted, thinking it would have been unethical. Other actresses considered for the part were Julie Christie, Elizabeth Hartman and Joanna Pettet. Robert Evans suggested Mia Farrow based on her TV work and her media appeal (at the time she was Mrs. Frank Sinatra). Both men wanted Robert Redford for the role of Guy Woodhouse, but negotiations broke down when Paramount’s lawyers blundered by serving the actor with a subpoena over a contractual dispute regarding his pulling out of Silvio Narizzano’s film Blue (1968). Other actors considered were Richard Chamberlain, Jack Nicholson and James Fox. Laurence Harvey begged to do it, Warren Beatty turned it down claiming “Hey! Can’t I play Rosemary?”, before the part was offered to John Cassavetes. For Minnie and Roman Castevet, William Castle suggested Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, the famous Broadway acting duo. He even tried to convince Polanski to let him play the part of Dr. Sapirstein, a role eventually filled by Ralph Bellamy.


According to John Parker’s recent biography of Jack Nicholson, Robert Evans suggested Nicholson to Polanski but, after their meeting, the director stated that “for all his talent, his slightly sinister appearance ruled him out”.


Mia Farrow actually ate raw liver for a scene in the movie.


Roman Polanski was so faithful to the novel that he asked Ira Levin the date of the issue of the New Yorker in which Guy Woodhouse sees a shirt he wants. Levin confessed that he had made up the detail.


The last movie of special effects creator Farciot Edouart.


The devil costume that Anton LaVey was falsely rumored to have worn in the impregnation scene was later re-used in the film Asylum of Satan (1975). A small woman had difficulty fitting into the tiny suit.


Cameo: [William Castle] man near phone booth.


Cameo: [Tony Curtis] voice on phone of the actor who is struck blind by a witch’s curse so that Rosemary’s husband can get an acting job.


Rosemary (Mia Farrow) says to Terry Gionoffrio (Angela Dorian), “I thought you were Victoria Vetri, the actress,” to which Terry responds, “Everyone says that, but I don’t see the resemblance.” Victoria Vetri is Angela Dorian’s real name.


A scene was shot, but not used, of the characters attending an off-Broadway play. Mia Farrow’s and Emmaline Henry’s attend a performance of “The Fantasticks” and meet Joan Crawford and Van Johnson as themselves. Along with several other insignificant scenes, this was deleted to reduce the film’s running time.


Production chief Robert Evans has admitted that he simply used an offer to direct Downhill Racer (1969) to lure Roman Polanski from Europe. It was his intention to have Polanski direct this film all along.


The script called for Rosemary (Mia Farrow) to explain to Guy (John Cassavetes), that she’d “been to Vidal Sassoon” for her dramatic new haircut. Thus, Vidal Sassoon was in fact flown to the set to arrange Mia Farrow’s hair into the now iconic pixie cut she sports during the second half of the film. For the first part, she wears a blonde wig designed by famed stylist Sydney Guilaroff.


Entertainment Weekly voted this the tenth scariest film of all time.


The book that Rosemary reads in the cab is the Book of Ceremonial Magic, by A.E. Waite, Chapter IV: The Rituals Of Black Magic: Section 4: The Grimoire of Honorius. The italic section has been entered into the natural flow of the text; the previous paragraph has been shortened to make space for it.


The movie’s poster was as #21 of “The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever” by Premiere.


When Rosemary receives the book “All of Them Witches,” she is told that ‘the name is an anagram.’ At first she tries to rearrange the letters of the book’s title, but then realizes that the clue referred to a name within the book. However, the title actually is an anagram for ‘Hell a Cometh Swift.’


In a scene where Rosemary is getting her blood drawn, Rosemary tells the doctor that she just saw the off- Broadway show “The Fantasticks.” In that play, the parental figures arrange a “rape” of the ingenue, by a dark devilish character (named El Gallo), so a young man can save her, hoping that the young girl fall in love with the young man, marry him and procreate.


Rosemary’s baby was born in June 1966 (6/66).


Before the filming of the scene of Rosemary calling Donald Baumgart (the actor in the story who mysteriously goes blind), Mia Farrow did not know who would be speaking the lines. It was Tony Curtis, and in the scene Farrow shows slight confusion, finding the voice familiar but not able to place it. This confusion was exactly the effect director Roman Polanski hoped to capture by having Curtis read the lines.


Ira Levin felt Rosemary’s Baby is “the single most faithful adaptation of a novel ever to come out of Hollywood.” William Castle speculated the reasons for this were because it was the first time Roman Polanski had ever adapted another writer’s work. Unaware he had the freedom to improvise on the book.

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Jurassic Park released June 11, 1993

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the novel of the same name by Michael Crichton. The film centers on the fictional Isla Nublar (Spanish for “Cloudy Island”), in Costa Rica, where billionaire philanthropist John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) and a team of genetic scientists from his company have created an amusement park of cloned dinosaurs.

Before Crichton’s book was even published studios such as Warner Bros., Columbia TriStar, 20th Century Fox, and Universal had already began bidding to aquire the picture rights. Spielberg, with the backing of Universal Studios, acquired the rights to the novel before its publication in 1990, and Crichton himself was hired by Universal Studios for an additional five hundred thousand dollars to adapt the novel into a proper screenplay. David Koepp wrote the final draft, which left out much of the novel’s exposition and violence, and made numerous changes to the characters.

Jurassic Park is regarded as a landmark in the use of computer-generated imagery, and received positive reviews from critics, who praised the effects, though reactions to other elements of the picture, such as character development, were mixed. During its release, the film grossed more than $914 million worldwide, becoming the most successful film released up to that time (surpassing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and surpassed 4 years later by Titanic), and it is currently the 15th highest grossing feature film (taking inflation into account, it is the 18th-highest-grossing film in North America). It is the most successful film from both NBC Universal and Steven Spielberg.

Trivia:

William Hurt was offered the role of Dr. Grant, but turned it down without reading the book or the script.


Harrison Ford turned down the role of Dr. Alan Grant.


Richard Attenborough’s first acting role in 15 years.


Michael Crichton’s agents circulated the book to six studios and directors. Warner Brothers wanted it for Tim Burton to direct while Columbia was planning it for Richard Donner. Fox was also interested and was intending the project for Joe Dante, while Universal wanted ‘Steven Spielberg’ to direct. Crichton was reluctant to submit to a bidding war, He instructed his agents to put a set price on the film rights and he could decide who was more likely to actually get the film made. After interviewing all the prospective directors, he agreed to sell the rights to Universal and Steven Spielberg, who was already his first choice.


In Michael Crichton’s novel, John Hammond proudly says that the narrator on the prerecorded park tour is Richard Kiley. Later, Kiley was hired to play himself in that role for the movie; possibly the only instance of a celebrity appearing in a book, and then later cast as him or herself in the film version.


The glass of water sitting on the dash of the Ford Explorer was made to ripple using a guitar string that was attached to the underside of the dash beneath the glass.


Director Steven Spielberg was worried that computer graphics meant Nintendo type cartoon quality. He originally only wanted the herd of gallimimus dinosaurs to be computer-generated, but upon seeing ILM’s demo animation of a T-rex chasing a herd of galamides across his ranch, he decided to shoot nearly all the dinosaur scenes using this method. The animation was first plotted on an Amiga Toaster, and rendered for the film by Silicon Graphics’ Indigo workstations.


Generally speaking, any shot of a full dinosaur was computer-generated, but shots of parts of dinosaurs were of animatronics.


The full-sized animatron of the tyrannosaurus rex weighed about 13,000 to 15,000 pounds. During the shooting of the initial T-rex attack scene that took place in a downpour and was shot on a soundstage, the latex that covered the T-rex puppet absorbed great amounts of water, making it much heavier and harder to control. Technicians worked throughout the night with blow driers trying to dry the latex out. Eventually, they suspended a platform above the T-rex, out of camera range, to keep the water off it during filming.


A baby triceratops was built for a scene where one of the kids rides it. Special effects technicians worked on this effect for a year but the scene was cut at the last minute as Steven Spielberg thought it would ruin the pacing of the film.


The park software is written in Pascal; a program is clearly visible in one of the monitor close-ups on the UNIX system. The graphical interface recognized as a UNIX system was the experimental Silicon Graphics 3D File System Navigator. The version number of the Silicon Graphics UNIX Operating System is 4.0.5 and is visible in one of the close-ups in the operating system’s shell window (command program).


In the egg-hatching scene, a new-born baby triceratops was originally supposed to come out of the egg, but it was changed to a velociraptor.


There were so many wires and rigging to control the velociraptor animatrons in the kitchen stalking scene that the child actors had to literally step over and around them while the scene was being filmed. The kitchen set was greatly expanded from the original design to accommodate the velociraptors. Some reports say that all of the dinosaurs in the kitchen scene were computer-generated.


Many errors were corrected digitally: some stunt people were made to look like the actors, and in one scene an entire Ford Explorer was digitally generated.


The first film to use DTS digital surround sound.


To study the movement of the Gallimimus herd, the film’s digital artists were ordered to run along a stretch of road with some obstacles, their hands next to their chest.


At one point Lex is hanging from a floorboard between stories. She looks up for a moment. The stunt double looked up accidentally while filming and Ariana Richards’ face had to be superimposed in post production.


Fred Sorenson was the pilot who flew the crew off Kauai when the hurricane hit during production. He played Jock, the pilot who flew Indiana Jones away in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), also directed by Steven Spielberg.


In this film, Steven Spielberg directs the man who beat him to the Best Director Oscar in 1983 (Richard Attenborough, whose film Gandhi (1982) also beat Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) as Best Picture).


The computer in the back of the computer room with the many (65536) red LEDs is actually a real computer: The Connection Machine CM-5 made by Thinking Machines. It contained many SPARC 2 RISC processors and the LEDs were added to make the machine more aesthetically pleasing than their previous models. Unfortunately, it was not actually a very good supercomputer and the company failed not long afterward. The comment about networking eight connection machines is pretty superfluous as they were meant to be used like this. The bigger problem was writing programs that efficiently mapped onto the data parallel architecture.


According to Daan Sandee (Thinking Machines Corp), the CM-5 super computer used in the control room was one of only two ever built to that size (1024 nodes). The other machine was at Los Alamos. The machine used in the movie was sold as smaller segments after the scenes were complete. Mirrors were used to make it seem like more CM-5’s were present.


Steven Spielberg was so confident with this film that he started making his next film (Schindler’s List (1993)), placing post-production in the hands of George Lucas.


Scenes of the T-Rex attacking Grant and the kids while they ride down a river and through a running waterfall were cut before filming.


Steven Spielberg wanted the velociraptors to be about 10 feet tall, which was taller than they were known to be. During filming, paleontologists uncovered 10-foot-tall specimens of raptors called Utahraptors.


Tim makes references about Robert Bakker and his dinosaur book. Bakker was a technical advisor on Jurassic Park (1993).


Dr. Malcolm’s quip that Sattler’s and Grant’s jobs are extinct is quoted from what puppeteer Phil Tippett said to Steven Spielberg when he decided to use CGI and not Go-Motion. Spielberg stuck it into the film.


Juliette Binoche was offered the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler, but turned it down to make Three Colors: Blue (1993).


The raptors in the kitchen scene was filmed on Joseph Mazzello’s birthday. Due to a misunderstanding, Joseph ran into one of the raptors on one of the takes and was injured.


On 11 September 1992, Hurricane Iniki hit the island of Kauai, delaying production of the film. Much of the crew helped in the clean up.


The scene where the T-Rex comes out of the bushes and eats the gallimimus was actually shot on the island of Oahu at Kualoa Ranch. This was the only outdoor scene not filmed on Kauai, due to Hurricane Iniki.


Ariana Richards was upset by the fact that an action figure of her character was not produced. (Kenner only made dolls of Grant, Sattler, Muldoon, Nedry, Tim, and eventually Malcolm.)


After making this movie, Ariana Richards developed a great interest in dinosaurs, and assisted Jack Horner (paleontologist advisor for the film and the inspiration for the Dr. Grant character) on an actual dinosaur dig in Montana the following summer.


All the merchandise (T-Shirts, stuffed dinosaurs, lunch boxes, flasks, etc.) shown in the film were, in some part, actually created to be sold with the movie.


Before Steven Spielberg decided to use animatronic dinosaurs and computer-generated effects, he wanted to use stop motion animation for the dinosaur effects and had Phil Tippett put together a short demo of the kitchen scene using claymation dinosaurs (Barbie dolls were substituted for the actual actors).


After Joseph Mazzello was turned down for a role in Steven Spielberg’s Hook (1991) for being too young, Spielberg told Mazzello that he was still impressed with his audition and would try to cast him in a future project. Mazzello was then cast as Tim in this movie. His casting led Spielberg to reverse the ages of the children, as he decided that casting a girl younger than Mazzello would be too young to be placed in danger. Lex was therefore made the older child, and the computer expert as well. In Crichton’s original novel, Tim is older, and is both the dinosaur and computer enthusiast.


The blip sound on the Silicon Graphics computers and the blip on the Apple Macintosh Quadra 700 is a blip sound from a Motorola-brand cell phone.


The helicopter used in the movie was later involved in an accident in Hawaii in March 2001. In the accident, the chopper dropped ten feet to the ground, bounced back up and then tipped on its right side.


Briefly held the box office record until it was beaten by Titanic (1997).


Newspaper clippings on the fridge in Grant’s trailer read “Space Aliens Stole My Face” and “Dinosaurs On Mars!”


The gun that game warden Muldoon uses is an Italian Franchi SPAS 12, a commonly used gun in films due to its aesthetic modern appearance.


In the original script, the T-Rex skeleton in the lobby was hooked up to pulleys like a giant marionette. In the ending, Grant was going to man the controls and act as puppeteer, using the skeleton’s head and feet to crush the raptors.


Both the film and the book generated so much interest in dinosaurs that the study of paleontology has had a record increase in students, and interest in general has skyrocketed, and has been at an all-time high ever since.


The novel was published in 1990. However, pre-production of the film began in 1989, using only Michael Crichton’s manuscript. It was widely believed that the book would be such a hit that it would make an outstanding movie. It turns out that assumption was correct.


The original idea for Jurassic Park (1993), came from Michael Crichton’s attempt in 1983 to write a screenplay about a Pterodactyl being cloned from an egg. The screenplay and movie never came to fruition. Originally, Crichton’s novel was rejected by his “people”, a group of about 5 or 6 personal acquaintances who always read his drafts before he sends them off. After several rejections, Crichton finally figured out what was wrong: he had originally intended for the story to be through the eyes of a child who was at the park when the dinosaurs escaped, which his peers felt was too ridiculous, and could not identify with the character. Michael Crichton re-wrote the story as it is today, and it became a huge hit. (The story also incorporates the “amusement park run amok” element of Michael Crichton’s Westworld (1973).)


In the scene where the survivors are crawling through vent spaces, the computer monitors are shining on the raptor after them. This is usually mistaken as being the shadows from the air vents. It’s the letters GATC, the four letters used to denote the components of DNA.


Malia Scotch Marmo did some rewrites on the final script but remains uncredited.


Brian Cox was interviewed for Muldoon


Director Trademark: [Steven Spielberg] [music]


Director Trademark: [Steven Spielberg] [stars]


Director Trademark: [Steven Spielberg] [father] Grant hates the idea of being a father.


Cameo: [Gerald R. Molen] film’s producer played Dr. Gerry Harding, the character who was out on the field with the sick triceratops.


A large photo of J. Robert Oppenheimer (one of the scientists who created the atomic bomb) is displayed on Dennis Nedry’s workstation.


Ariana Richards’ audition consisted of standing in front of a camera and screaming wildly. Director Steven Spielberg “wanted to see how she could show fear.”


For the part where the T-Rex catches a Galliminus and shakes it in his mouth, the sound was taken from a dog shaking a toy in its mouth.


‘Robin Wright’ (V)’ was offered the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler.


Sean Connery was offered the role of John Hammond.


Steven Spielberg considered Richard Dreyfuss for the role of Dr. Alan Grant.


Principal photography finished 12 days ahead of schedule and on budget.


The release strategy was planned 15 months before the studio had the chance to see a frame of the movie.


In the shots of the gift shop, clearly visible is a book entitled “The Making of Jurassic Park” by Don Shay and Jody Duncan. This title was published but tells the behind the scenes story of how the film was made. Jody Duncan also wrote the “Making Of” book for The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997).


Steven Spielberg considered hiring Bob Gurr to do the full size dinosaurs because he was impressed with his apes in the “Kongfrontation” ride at Universal Studios.


When the T-Rex comes through the glass roof of the Explorer in the first attack, the glass was not meant to break, producing the noticeably genuine screams from the children.


Later in the movie, as one of the jeeps pulls up, right before they get out, the camera zooms in on the jeep door. The Jurassic Park (1993) logo is on the door, but it is covered in mud so that the only words that can be read is “ur ass Park”, perhaps a subtle joke about many of the characters getting hurt or killed in the movie.


Universal paid Michael Crichton $2 million for the rights to his novel before it was even published.


Steven Spielberg was in the very early stages of pre-production for the film “ER” (based on a Michael Crichton novel), when he heard about the “Jurassic Park” book. He subsequently dumped what he was doing to make the film. Afterwards, he returned to “ER” and helped develop it into a hit TV series (“ER” (1994)).


To give the 1993 Ford Explorer XLTs the appearance that they were driverless and were running on an electric track, the SUVs were driven by remote from the rear cargo area of the vehicle. The driver was hidden under the Ford Explorer’s cargo canvas, which was always pulled closed during filming. To see where to steer the SUV, the driver watched a small TV that was fed outside images via two cameras. One camera was mounted on the dash in front of the steering wheel, and the other was mounted on the lower center portion of the front bumper, above a black box. Both cameras can be clearly seen in the movie several times.


Anna Chlumsky auditioned for the role of Lex.


In the book, the sick animal is a Stegosaurus, said by Ian Malcolm to be sick because the Jurassic era air had more oxygen than the Holocene, part of the chaos theory.


Director Trademark: [Steven Spielberg] [Signs] Using a sign with directions or instructions as a joke. In this case, the T-Rex’s jaws filling the side-view mirror of the car, with the mirror reading, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”


The company name “InGen” is the Norwegian, Danish and Swedish word for “nobody”.


Director Steven Spielberg and author Michael Crichton first met over two decades earlier, when Spielberg gave Crichton a tour of Universal Studios during the production of The Andromeda Strain (1971).


Was followed by two sequels. There were plans for a fourth film, but they were immediately scrapped in late 2008, after the death of Michael Crichton.


As the movie was released in Costa Rica, local theater owners scratched/blurred the San Jose tag during the scene when Nedry waits for his contact in what supposedly was the country’s capital, because the local audiences reacted negatively to inaccuracies in the scene’s geography.


There are only 15 minutes of actual dinosaur footage in the film: 9 minutes are Stan Winston’s animatronics, 6 minutes of it is ILM’s CGI.


The real species called Velociraptor was much smaller (about turkey-sized) than the animals in the film and were believed to have been feathered. They were part of bipedal, bird-like predators of the family Dromaeosauridae, some of which were even larger than the “velociraptors” in the film.


Much of the behavior seen in the film is based on modern wild animals, since little is known of the actual behavior of dinosaurs.


The picture that can be seen taped to programmer Dennis Nedry’s computer monitor is of J. Robert Oppenheimer. The picture is partly obscured by a post-it with an atomic bomb mushroom cloud drawn on it.


Years after this film wrapped, it was discovered due to fossil impressions of velociraptor skin that they were feathered, implying that Grant was indeed right that they evolved into birds.


Richard Attenborough plays Joseph Mazzello’s grandfather. He subsequently cast Mazzello in his next film, Shadowlands (1993).


Grant and Sattler unearth a velociraptor skeleton in Montana early in the film, and later encounter live velociraptors that are about the size of a full grown human. In reality, velociraptors were only about half the size of the animals seen in the film, and their remains have mainly been found in Asia, never in Montana. The species identified as velociraptor in the film is actually more consistent with Deinonychus. When Michael Crichton was doing his research, scientific thinking was that Velociraptor and Deinonychus were variations on the same species.


Hammond (Richard Attenborough) creates the dinosaurs from DNA trapped in amber. He also carries around a cane capped with a mosquito in amber. Attenborough’s brother is naturalist David Attenborough, who has his own collection of animals trapped in amber. This was the focus of “The Natural World: The Amber Time Machine” (1988).


Steven Spielberg delayed the beginning of filming by several weeks to get the cast he wanted. First he allowed Richard Attenborough to finish post-production on his own film Chaplin (1992) before committing to the film. He also waited until Sam Neill could finish filming Family Pictures (1993). Neill ended up only having a weekend off between finishing that film and starting this one.


Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) dresses entirely in black in both this film and its sequel. In the book, he tells Ellie Sattler that he only ever dresses in black and gray, so that he never has to waste time thinking about what to wear. Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) gives the same reason for his monotonous fashion sense in The Fly (1986).


Alan Grant is modeled after Paleontologist Jack Horner who, like Grant, digs and teaches in Montana, and was also a technical advisor on this film.


The scene where Grant, Tim and Lex meet the heard of Gallimimuses was scheduled to be the last scene shot on location in Kauai. When Hurricane Iniki hit, filming for this scene had to be postponed. Production returned to California and then, a few weeks later, Sam Neill, Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards had to travel back to Hawaii, but this time to the island of Oahu, to shoot the scene.


The guest’s encounter with the sick Triceratops ends without any clear explanation as to why the animal is sick. Michael Crichton’s original novel and the screenplay, however, includes an explanation: the Stegosaur/Triceratops lacked suitable teeth for grinding food and so, like birds, would swallow rocks and use them as gizzard stones. In the digestive tract, these rocks would grind the food to aid in digestion. After six weeks, the rocks would become too smooth to be useful, and the animal would regurgitate them. When finding and eating new rocks to use, the animal would also swallow West Indian Lilac berries. The fact that the berries and stones are regurgitated explains why Ellie never finds traces of them in the animal’s excrement.


It was while supervising post-production on this film that George Lucas decided that technology was good enough to begin work on the Star Wars prequels. Appropriately, Samuel L. Jackson was able to appear in those films as well.


Jodie Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ally Sheedy, Geena Davis, Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Grey, Kelly McGillis, Jamie Lee Curtis, Julia Roberts, Linda Hamilton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Joan Cusack, and Debra Winger were considered for the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler.


Michael Crichton has said that his views on science and genetic engineering are largely expressed by Ian Malcolm. Steven Spielberg saw many parallels to himself in the character of John Hammond. Fittingly, he cast a fellow filmmaker in the role, who begins his tour of the park by showing a film, in which he also acts. While Malcolm is dressed entirely in black, Hammond wears all white.

The Tenant released June 11, 1976

The Tenant

The Tenant (French: Le Locataire) is a 1976 psychological thriller/horror film directed by Roman Polanski based upon the 1964 novel Le locataire chimérique by Roland Topor. It is also known under the French title Le Locataire. It co-stars actress Isabelle Adjani. It is the last film in Polanski’s “Apartment Trilogy”, following Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby. It was entered into the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.

Trivia:

Along with Repulsion (1965) and Rosemary’s Baby (1968) this film is part of a loose trilogy by Roman Polanski dealing with the horrors faced by apartment/city dwellers.
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Cameo: [Philippe Sarde] the man that stares at Trelkovsky in the movie theatre.
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Although Roman Polanski plays the leading role in the film, he is given no screen credit as an actor.
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Philippe Sarde (the composer) chose the glass harmonica after having seen Polanski, at the restaurant, mimicking with his finger the action of making the glass sing. There was only one person left in the world that could play this instrument, for which Mozart wrote a few pieces.
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One of the ten most terrifying moments in history of cinema in the opinion of the French horror movie magazine Mad Movies.

Alien released May 25, 1979

Alien 1979

Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. The film’s title refers to its primary antagonist: a highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature which stalks and kills the crew of a spaceship.
Alien garnered both critical acclaim and box office success, receiving an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects,Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction for Scott, and Best Supporting Actress for Cartwright, and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, along with numerous other award nominations. It has remained highly praised in subsequent decades, being inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2002 for historical preservation as a film which is “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and being ranked by the American Film Institute in 2008 as the seventh best film in the science fiction genre.


The success of Alien spawned a media franchise of novels, comic books, video games, and toys, as well as three sequel and two prequel films. It also launched Weaver’s acting career by providing her with her first lead role, and the story of her character Ripley’s encounters with the titular Alien creatures became the thematic thread that ran through the sequels Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), and Alien Resurrection (1997).The subsequent prequels Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007) abandoned this theme in favor of a crossover with the Predator franchise.
Trivia:

Originally to be directed by Walter Hill, but he pulled out and gave the job to Ridley Scott.

Veronica Cartwright was originally to play Ripley, but producers opted for Sigourney Weaver.

An early draft of the script had a male Ripley, making this one of at least three films where Sigourney Weaver played a character originally planned to be a man. The second is The TV Set (2006) and the third is Vantage Point (2008).

All of the names of the main characters were changed by Walter Hill and David Giler during the revision of the original script by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett. The script by O’Bannon and Shusett also had a clause indicating that all of the characters are “unisex”, meaning they could be cast with male or female actors. However, Shusett and O’Bannon never thought of casting Ripley as a female character.

Conceptual artist H.R. Giger’s designs were changed several times because of their blatant sexuality.

Much of the dialogue was developed through improvisation.

The front (face) part of the alien costume’s head is made from a cast of a real human skull.

Ridley Scott is reportedly quoted as saying that originally he wanted a much darker ending. He planned on having the alien bite off Ripley’s head in the escape shuttle, sit in her chair, and then start speaking with her voice in a message to Earth. Apparently, 20th Century Fox wasn’t too pleased with such a dark ending.

During production an attempt was made to make the alien character transparent or at least translucent.

Three aliens were made: a model and two suits. One of the suits was for the seven foot tall Masai tribesman Bolaji Badejo, and the other was for a trained stunt man.

The models had to be repainted every evening of the shoot because the slime used on-set removed the acrylic paint from their surfaces.

The rumor that the cast, except for John Hurt, did not know what would happen during the chestburster scene is partly true. The scene had been explained for them, but they did not know specifics. For instance, Veronica Cartwright did not expect to be sprayed with blood.

“Nostromo” is the title of a Joseph Conrad book. The shuttle that Ripley escapes on is called the “Narcissus”, a reference to another Joseph Conrad book. See also Aliens (1986).

The vector graphics that appear on Ripley’s screen showing the undocking sequence for the Nostromo were also used for the aircar launch sequence in Blade Runner (1982).

Extra scenes filmed but not included, due to pacing problems: – Ripley finds Dallas and Brett cocooned. Dallas is covered in maggots and begs Ripley to kill him. She does so with a flame thrower. – Ripley and Lambert discuss whether Ash has sex or not. – Alternative death scene for Brett: Ripley and Parker come across an alive Brett being lifted from the ground.

Many of the non-English versions of the film’s title translate as something similar to “Alien: The 8th Passenger”.

The alien’s habit of laying eggs in the chest (which later burst out) was inspired by spider wasps, which are said to lay their eggs “in the abdomen of spiders.” This image gave Dan O’Bannon nightmares, which he used to create the story. But spider wasps (pompilidae) lay eggs on their prey, not inside them, after which the wasp maggots simply snack on the sting-paralyzed spiders. O’Bannon may instead have been thinking of either ichneumon wasps or braconid wasps. The ichneumon drills a single egg into a wood-boring beetle larva, whereas braconids inject eggs inside certain caterpillars. Both result in fatal hatch-outs more alike to O’Bannon’s alien.

130 alien eggs were made for the egg chamber inside the downed spacecraft.

Conceptual artist H.R. Giger would successfully sue 20th Century Fox 18 years later over his lack of screen credit on Alien: Resurrection (1997).

Ridley Scott’s 2003 director’s cut largely came about when over 100 boxes of footage of his 1979 original were discovered in a London vault.

Many of the interior features of the Nostromo came from airplane graveyards.

For the awakening from hypersleep segment, Veronica Cartwright and Sigourney Weaver had to wear white surgical tape over their nipples so as not to offend certain countries.

To simulate the thrust of engines on the Nostromo, Ridley Scott had crew members shake and wobble the seats the actors were sitting in.

H.R. Giger’s initial designs for the facehugger were held by US Customs who were alarmed at what they saw. Writer Dan O’Bannon had to go to LAX to explain to them that they were designs for a horror movie.

The chestbursting scene was filmed in one take with four cameras.

To get Jones the cat react fearfully to the descending Alien, a German Shepherd was placed in front of him with a screen between the two, so the cat wouldn’t see it at first, and came over. The screen was then suddenly removed to make Jones stop, and start hissing.

Dallas’ pursuit of the alien down the ventilator shafts, and the intercut scenes of the rest of the crew urging him on, was shot in one day.

It was conceptual artist ‘Ron Cobb (I)’ who came up with the idea that the Alien should bleed acid. This came about when Dan O’Bannon couldn’t find a reason why the Nostromo crew just wouldn’t shoot the Alien with a gun.

Ridley Scott did all the hand-held camera-work himself.

The creature is never filmed directly facing the camera due to the humanoid features of its face. Ridley Scott, determined at all costs to dispel any notion of a man in a rubber suit, filmed the beast in varying close-up angles of its ghastly profile, very rarely capturing the beast in its entirety.

Carlo Rambaldi constructed three alien heads based on H.R. Giger’s designs: two mechanical models for use in various close-up work, and an elementary model for medium-to-long shots. Rambaldi was not available to operate his creations on the actual shoot, though he did spend two weeks in the UK as a technical advisor to Ridley Scott and his crew.

According to Ridley Scott, the mechanism that was used to make the alien egg open was so strong, that it could tear off a hand.

Jerry Goldsmith was most aggrieved by the changes that Ridley Scott and his editor Terry Rawlings wrought upon his score. Scott felt that Goldsmith’s first attempt at the score was far too lush and needed to be a bit more minimalist. Even then, Goldsmith was horrified to discover that his amended score had been dropped in places by Rawlings who inserted segments from Goldsmith’s score to Freud (1962) instead. (Rawlings had initially used these as a guide track only, and ended up preferring them to Goldsmith’s revised work.) Goldsmith harbored a grudge against the two right up to his death in 2004.

The character of Ash did not appear in Dan O’Bannon’s original script.

Ash’s blood is colored water. Milk was not used as it would have gotten very smelly very quickly under the hot studio lights. Milk was used though for the close-up of his innards, along with pasta and glass marbles.

Dan O’Bannon first encountered H.R. Giger’s unique style when the two were briefly working on Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ill-fated attempt at making “Dune”.

The screen test that bagged Sigourney Weaver the role of Ripley was her closing off speech aboard the Nostromo’s shuttle at the end of the film.

The genesis of the film arose out of Dan O’Bannon’s dissatisfaction with his first feature, Dark Star (1974) which John Carpenter directed in 1974. Because of that film’s severe low budget, the alien was quite patently a beach ball. For his second attempt, O’Bannon wanted to craft an altogether more convincing specimen. The goofiness of Dark Star (1974) also led him in the direction of an intense horror movie.

The writing partnership between Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett came about when Shusett approached O’Bannon about helping him adapt a Philip K. Dick story that he had acquired the rights to. That was “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” which later became Total Recall (1990). O’Bannon then said that he had an idea that he was stuck on about an alien aboard a spaceship and that he needed some assistance. Shusett agreed to help out and they tackled the alien movie first as they felt it would have been the cheaper of the two to make.

The original title was “Star Beast”.

Walter Hill and David Giler’s contribution to the script was to make Ash a robot.

There is no dialog for the first 6 minutes.

20th Century Fox doubled the budget from $4.2 million to $8.4 million on the strength of seeing Ridley Scott’s storyboards.

Ridley Scott was keen to take on the project as the one that he had been previously working on at Paramount, Tristan + Isolde (2006), was stuck in development hell.

Three Nostromos were built for the production: a 12″ version for long shots, a 48″ version for the landing sequence and a seven ton rig for showing the ship at rest on the planet’s surface.

The producers of the 1950s potboiler It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958) considered suing for plagiarism but didn’t.

The original name for the spaceship was Snark. This was later changed to Leviathan before they finally settled for Nostromo.

The Nostromo’s computer is called Mother. In the third sequel, Alien: Resurrection (1997), the spaceship’s computer is called Father.

Mother’s two 30 second countdowns take 36 and 37 seconds respectively.

According to John Hurt in the DVD Documentary, he was considered at the beginning of casting to play Kane but had already committed to another film that was set to take place in South Africa, so Jon Finch got the role instead. However, two separate incidents occurred which got Hurt the role. First was the fact that he was banned from South Africa because the country mistook him for actor John Herd who strongly opposed the Apartied (Hurt points out that he was opposed to it too, but was lucky enough not to get blacklisted) so he was unable to do the other film. Second, Finch became seriously ill from diabetes and had to pull out. Ridley Scott immediately contacted Hurt, pitched him the script over a weekend and Hurt arrived on the set Monday morning with little to no sleep to begin filming.

The blue laser lights that were used in the alien ship’s egg chamber were borrowed from The Who. The band was testing out the lasers for their stage show in the soundstage next door.

The stylized artwork that Ridley Scott used to create the storyboards that got Fox to double the budget were inspired by the artwork of famed comic book artist Mobius.

The screech of the alien as it bursts from the stomach of John Hurt was actually voiced by animal impersonator Percy Edwards. He was personally requested by director Ridley Scott to do the sound effect and it was recorded in one take.

Veronica Cartwright only found out that she wasn’t playing the part of Ripley when she was first called in to do some costume tests for the character of Lambert.

The Nostromo is supposed to be 800 feet long, while the craft she is towing is a mile and a half long.

The spacesuits worn by Tom Skerritt, John Hurt and Veronica Cartwright were huge, bulky items lined with nylon and with no outlets for breath or condensation. As the actors were working under hot studio lights in conditions in excess of 100 degrees, they spent most of their time passing out. A nurse had to be on hand at all times to keep supplying them with oxygen. It was only after Ridley Scott’s and cinematographer Derek Vanlint’s children were used in the suits for long-shots and they passed out too, that some modifications were made to the costumes.

At the start of production, Ridley Scott had to contend with 9 producers being onset at all times, querying the length of time he was taking over each shot.

The first day that she shot a scene involving Jones the cat, Sigourney Weaver’s skin started reacting badly. Horrified, the young actress immediately thought that she might be allergic to cats, and that it would be easier for the production to recast her instead of trying to find 4 more identical cats. As it transpired, Weaver was reacting to glycerin sprayed on her skin to make her look hot and sweaty.

After the first week of shooting, Dan O’Bannon asked if he could attend the viewing of the dailies, and was somewhat staggered when Gordon Carroll refused him. To get past that ban, O’Bannon viewed the dailies by standing beside the projectionist whilst he screened them for everyone else.

For the chestburster sequence, John Hurt stuck his head, shoulders and arms through a hole in the mess table, linking up with a mechanical torso that was packed with compressed air (to create the forceful exit of the alien) and lots of animal guts. The rest of the cast were not told that real guts were being used so as to provoke genuine reactions of shock and disgust.

‘The Company’ referred to in the film is called Weylan-Yutani. It would become Weyland-Yutani in James Cameron’s sequel, Aliens (1986), 7 years later.

Among some of the ingredients of the alien costume are Plasticine and Rolls Royce motor parts.

While he was working on the visual effects for this film, Brian Johnson was simultaneously working in the same capacity on Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

The space jockey prop was 26 feet tall.

In the wide shots of the Space Jockey prop, Ridley Scott used his two sons to make the prop seem bigger.

For Parker’s death, a fiberglass cast of Yaphet Kotto’s head was made, and then filled with pigs’ brains. The forehead was made of wax so that the alien’s teeth could penetrate it easily. Indeed barbed hooks were fastened to the end of the teeth to make sure it broke the wax surface effectively.

For the alien’s appearance in the shuttle, the set was built around Bolaji Badejo, giving him an effective hiding place. However, extricating himself from the hiding place proved more difficult than anticipated. The alien suit tore several times, and, in one instance, the whole tail came off.

A sex scene between Dallas and Ripley was in the script, but was not filmed.

A scene originally cut, but re-inserted for the Director’s Cut shows Lambert slapping Ripley in retaliation for Ripley’s refusal to let her, Dallas, and Kane back on the ship. According to both Ridley Scott and Veronica Cartwright, every time she went to slap Sigourney Weaver, Sigourney would shy away. After about three or four takes of this, Scott finally told Cartwright “Not to hold back. Really hit her.” Thus the very real shocked reactions of Weaver, Yaphet Kotto, and Harry Dean Stanton.

The dead facehugger that Ash autopsies was made using fresh shellfish, four oysters and a sheep kidney to recreate the internal organs.

The Nostromo was built to then-current NASA specifications for spacecraft. Some of the displays from the Nostromo are reused in Blade Runner (1982).

The decal on the door of the Nostromo is a “checkerboard square”, the symbol on Purina’s pet food label; it designated Alien Chow.

According to a quote from Veronica Cartwright in a film magazine, in the scene where the alien’s tail wraps around her legs, they are actually Harry Dean Stanton’s legs, in a shot originally filmed for another scene entirely.

The embryonic movements of the facehugger, prior to bursting out of its egg, were created by Ridley Scott using both his rubber-gloved hands.

In “The Blue Planet” (2001), David Attenborough said the ‘Alien’ monster was modeled after the Phronima, a creature spotted by submersibles at great depths. However there is little evidence to support this claim – the original Alien design was based on a previous painting by Giger, Necronom IV, which bears little resemblance to the Phronima. Giger’s agent, Bijan Aalam, claims “He never inspired himself by any animals, terrestrial or marine”.

The computer screen displaying Nostromo’s orbit around the planet contains a hidden credit to Dr. Brian Wyvill, one of the programmers for the animation. Within the top frame entitled Deorbital Descent, it is possible to isolate the letters “BLOB”, Dr. Brian Wyvill’s common nickname.

The words “Weyland-Yutani” (the name of The Company) appear at the bottom of one of the computer screens during the landing sequence (in green).

The background sound that is heard in the laboratory where Kane has the facehugger attached, is heard also in Deckard’s room in Blade Runner (1982).

The grid-like flooring on the Nostromo was achieved using upturned milk crates, painted over.

In an interview for Métal Hurlant, Ridley Scott revealed that to make the action more realistic, the flight deck was wired so that flipping a switch in at one console would trigger lights somewhere else. The cast then developed “work routines” for themselves where one would trip a switch, leading another to respond to the changes at his work station and so on.

The original design for the Alien by H.R. Giger had eyes, which were eliminated to make the creature look even more menacing.

Originally, no film companies wanted to make this film, 20th Century-Fox had even passed on it. They stated various reasons, most being that it was too bloody. The only producer who wanted to make the film was Roger Corman, and it was not until Walter Hill came on board that it all changed. 20th Century-Fox agreed to make the film as long as the violence was toned down; even after that they still rejected the first cut for being “too bloody”.

The original cut of the film ran 3 hours and 12 minutes.

Despite releasing a new version of the film titled “Alien: The Director’s Cut”, Ridley Scott wrote in a statement in the film’s packaging that he still feels the original Alien (1979) was his perfect vision of the film. The newer version is titled “The Director’s Cut” for marketing purposes, featuring deleted scenes many fans wanted to see incorporated into the film (such as the scene where Lambert and Ripley discuss whether or not they’ve slept with Ash, suggesting there’s something not quite right about Ash).

Director Ridley Scott and composer Jerry Goldsmith were at odds with each other on the usage of the original music score. As a result, many crucial cues were either rescored, ill-placed, or deleted altogether, and the intended end title replaced with Howard Hanson’s “Symphony No. 2 (Romantic)”. The original intended score was featured as an isolated track on the now out-of-print 20th Anniversary DVD.

The vapor released from the top of the spacesuit helmets (presumably exhausted air from the breathing apparatus) was actually aerosol sprayed from inside the helmets. In one case, the mechanism broke and started spraying inside the helmet.

A closer look at the alien eggs in the scene right before the facehugger reveals that slime on the eggs is dripping from bottom to top. Ridley Scott did this intentionally by shooting with the camera upside down.

20th Century Fox Studios almost did not allow the “space jockey”, or the giant alien pilot, to be in the film. This was because, at the time, props for movies weren’t so large.

According to Ian Holm, Ash’s head contained spaghetti, cheap caviar and onion rings.

Yaphet Kotto (Parker) actually picked fights with Bolaji Badejo who played the Alien, in order to help his onscreen hatred of the creature.

Bolaji Badejo beat Peter Mayhew to the part of the alien.

Copywriter Barbara Gips came up with the famed tagline: “In space, no one can hear you scream.”

The engines of the Narcissus coming to life was created by having water pour out of showers with strong arc lights around it. This gave the illusion that it was plasma.

Bolaji Badejo who plays the Alien in the movie was a graphic artist who was discovered at a pub by one of the casting directors. Being a Masai he was about 7 feet tall with thin arms – just what they needed to fit into the Alien costume. He was sent for Tai Chi and Mime classes to learn how to slow down his movements. A special swing had to be constructed for him to sit down during filming as he could not sit down on a regular chair once he was suited up because of the Alien’s tail.

The slime used on the Alien was K-Y jelly.

Director Trademark: [Ridley Scott] [mothers] The Nostromo’s computer is named “Mother”. The incubation of the alien has also been interpreted as a metaphor for pregnancy.

During the opening sequence, as the camera wanders around the corridors of the Nostromo, we can clearly see a Krups coffee grinder mounted to a wall; this is the same model that became the “Mr. Fusion” in Back to the Future (1985).

Many producers have professional “readers” that read and summarize scripts for them. The reader in this case summarized it as “It’s like Jaws (1975), but in space.”

Roger Dicken, who designed and operated the facehugger and the chestburster, had originally wanted the latter to pull itself out of Kane’s torso with its own little hands, a sequence he felt would have produced a much more horrifying effect than the gratuitous blood and guts in the release print.

A lawsuit by A.E. van Vogt, claiming plagiarism of his 1939 story “Discord in Scarlet” (which he had also incorporated in the 1950 novel “Voyage of the Space Beagle”), was settled out of court.

Potential directors, who either were considered by the studio or wanted to direct, included Robert Aldrich, Peter Yates, Jack Clayton, Dan O’Bannon and Walter Hill.

The inside of the alien eggs as seen by Kane was composed of real organic material. Director Ridley Scott used cattle hearts and stomachs. The tail of the facehugger was sheep intestine.

Bill Paterson turned down a part.

When casting the role of Ripley, Ridley Scott invited several women from the production office to watch screen tests, and thus gain a female perspective. The women were unanimously impressed with then-unknown actress Sigourney Weaver, whose screen presence they compared to Jane Fonda’s.

Ridley Scott cites three films as the shaping influences on his movie: Star Wars (1977) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) for their depiction of outer space, and Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) (1974) for its treatment of horror.

Shredded condoms were used to create tendons of the beast’s ferocious jaws

Entertainment Weekly voted this as the third scariest film of all time.

While the crew is eating, if you freeze the frame, you can clearly see the “Weyland-Yutani” brand on the can Kane is drinking from.

The chestbursting scene was considered the second scariest movie moment of all time on Bravo’s “The 100 Scariest Movie Moments” (2004).

A green monitor visible behind Ripley while the crew discusses Kane’s condition outside the kitchen shows nonsense characters as well as the word “Giler”, obviously a nod to producer David Giler.

Ridley Scott stated that in casting the role of Ripley, it ultimately came down to Sigourney Weaver and Meryl Streep. The two actresses had been schoolmates at Yale.

Ranked #7 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre “Sci-Fi”in June 2008.

During this production, only H.R. Giger and Bolaji Badejo were permitted to view the rushes with Ridley Scott, enabling them to better discuss and refine aspects of the beast’s look and movements.

Ridley Scott’s first exposure to early Alien (1979) drafts were sent to him by Sanford Lieberson, then head of 20th Century Fox’s London headquarters. Lieberson had seen Scott’s The Duellists (1977) and was adequately impressed to consider the neophyte filmmaker.

The literal translations of some of this film’s foreign language titles include Alien: The Eighth Passenger (Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Canada, Denmark and France) and Alien: The Uncanny Nature from a Strange World (West Germany).

In H.R. Giger’s original illustrations the creature has eyes. For the movie, Giger insisted that the creature have no eyes, thus giving the bleak appearance of a cold and emotionless beast.

The Hungarian translation of the title translated back is “The 8th passenger is the Death” and from that on, all 3 other Alien movies had such titles that end with the word “death”. Aliens (1986): “The name of the planet: Death”; Alien³ (1992): “Final solution: Death”; Alien: Resurrection (1997): “Reawakens the Death”. Furthermore, the alien is referred to as “death” in the Hungarian title of AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004): “The Death against The Predator”.

For the scene in which the facehugger attacks, the egg was upside down above the camera, and the operator thrust it down toward the lens like a hand puppet.

The production designers, in an attempt to cut costs while still remaining creative, constructed several of the sets in such a way as to make them usable in more than one scene. A good example of this can be seen in the “Space Jockey” room (the room in which to away team discovers the skeletal remains in the alien ship) and the “egg chamber.” The sets were designed so that the skeleton and the revolving disc on which it sits could be removed and the empty space then redressed with the “eggs,” creating, combined with a matching matte painting, a vast cavern full of potential alien spawn.

Kay Lenz auditioned for the role of Ripley.

As a child, Veronica Cartwright had appeared in The Birds (1963), opposite Doodles Weaver, who was Sigourney Weaver’s uncle.

The first of four Alien movies starring Sigourney Weaver.

When the movie was broadcast in Israel, its title was changed to “The Eighth Passenger” in Hebrew.

The large Space Jockey sculpture was designed and painted by H.R. Giger himself, who was disappointed he couldn’t put any finishing touches on it by the time filming came about for the scene. Also, the Space Jockey prop was burned and destroyed by a vandal the day before it was going to be exhibited at the movie’s premiere in Los Angeles. The unfortunate event was covered by local TV news stations that evening.

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The Brood released May 25, 1979

The Brood

The Brood is a 1979 Canadian horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg, starring Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar and Art Hindle. It was filmed in Toronto and Mississauga, Ontario. In 2004, one of its sequences was voted #78 among the “100 Scariest Movie Moments” by the Bravo Channel. The Brood was named 88th on the “Chicago Film Critics Association’s 100 Scariest Movies of All-Time”. The film was Cronenberg’s first major success.

A novelization was written by Richard Starks.

Trivia:

David Cronenberg wrote the film following the tumultuous divorce and child-custody battle he waged against Margaret Hindson. Cronenberg also said that Samantha Eggar’s character, Nola Carveth, possessed some of the characteristics of his ex-wife.

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