John Dykstra Birthday June 3

John Dykstra

John Dykstra

John Charles Dykstra, A.S.C. (born June 3, 1947 in Long Beach, California, United States) is a two-time Academy Award-winning special effects supervisor and pioneer in the development of the use of computers in film making.

After studying industrial design at California State University, Long Beach (where he was a member of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity), Dykstra landed a job working with Douglas Trumbull on Silent Running filming model effects.

John Dykstra

John Dykstra and Star Wars

 

When George Lucas was recruiting people for the special effects work on Star Wars, he approached Trumbull who pointed him towards Dykstra. Dykstra led the development at Industrial Light & Magic of the Dykstraflex motion-controlled camera, which was responsible for many of the film’s groundbreaking effects. The system was made possible by the availability of off-the-shelf integrated-circuit RAMs at relatively low cost and secondhand VistaVision cameras.

However, there was tension between Dykstra and Lucas who later complained that too much of the special effects budget was spent on developing the camera systems and that the effects team did not deliver all the shots that he had wanted. These tensions would reportedly culminate with Dykstra’s firing from ILM following Lucas’ return from principal photography in Tunisia. Regardless, following the release of Star Wars Dykstra secured his status in the industry with Academy Awards for best special effects and special technical achievement.

Dykstra had a Production credit for the television series Battlestar Galactica and contributed to the series’ effects.

Dykstra also worked on the effects for Star Trek: The Motion Picture with some of these effects being recycled in subsequent films.

Dykstra’s next major achievement was the effects work on Firefox in 1982. Here, he took on the same challenge that Lucas had set with The Empire Strikes Back of combining miniature effects with actual backgrounds and matte work on white backgrounds using reverse bluescreen. The film secured further awards but was only a modest box office hit.

Dykstra was supervisor for the special effects of Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. He was also Senior Visual Effects Supervisor for Stuart Little. Dykstra was Visual Effects Designer on the first two Spider-Man films, and was rewarded with an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for his efforts on Spider-Man 2.

Trivia

He studied Industrial Design at Long Beach State.

For Star Wars (1977) he designed and built the first computer-controlled motion control system. This system was dubbed the “Dykstraflex.”

Member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) since 1995.

The alternate, European pronunciation of his last name is, “Yik-struh”.

Tower of Evil released May 19, 1972

Tower of Evil 1972

Tower of Evil, also known by the title Beyond the Fog in the United States and Horror of Snape Island and Horror on Snape Island in Canada, is a 1972 British horror film. It is also known by the title of . The film is regarded by horror fans as being ahead of its time, as it crosses old world Gothic themes (dark setting, mythical superstitions, gloomy atmosphere) with many elements of the modern slasher film (elusive killer, bloody murders, sexually active characters as victims). The film was shot at Shepperton Studios in Shepperton, Surrey, England, UK in 1971.

Trivia:

Robin Askwith is dubbed.


John Hamill is dubbed.

 


Dennis Price was only required for one day.

 


The film was re-released in the US under the title “Beyond the Fog”. The reason for the new title was an attempt to capitalize on the success of John Carpenter’s horror film The Fog (1980).

 


Originally released in Britain on double bill with Hammer’s Demons of the Mind (1972).

 


For the films fiery finale stuntman Mark McBride had to be set ablaze while wearing a fire-retardant suit. While the suit protected McBride from the flames he suddenly passed out on the burning set, because the heat nearly suffocated him inside the suit. The shocked crew members rushed in and saved him.

 


Originally the character of Brent wasn’t included in the script. He was wrote in just before shooting when the studio brought in Bryant Haliday to star.

 


Star Jill Haworth was reluctant to appear in the film. In an interview with the actress she stated, “I remember in Horror of Snape Island (Tower of Evil) my character stumbles upon five dead bodies and I had to say with a straight face, ‘Oh the police aren’t going to like this’ and the crew just kept laughing every time I said it.”

 


The film was titled “Der Turm der lebenden Leichen” for its German release. Translated into English the title is “Tower of the Living Corpses”, although the film features no zombies at all. However, when the film was re-released to German theaters at the high point of the zombie craze in Germany during the early 1980s, it was re-titled “Devil’s Tower – Der Schreckensturm der Zombies” (“Terror-tower of the zombies”) and two scenes were re-dubbed, so that the actually catatonic girl from the beginning of the film speaks of zombies whenever the camera does not show her lips.

 


First released in the US on double bill with Tales of the Bizarre (1970).

 


The films Italian title “Perché il dio fenicio continua ad uccidere?” translates to “Why Does the Phoenician God Continue to Kill?”

 

Heath Ledger Birthday April 4, 1979

 

Health Ledger

Health Ledger


Heath Andrew Ledger (4 April 1979 – 22 January 2008) was an Australian television and film actor. After performing roles in Australian television and film during the 1990s, Ledger moved to the United States in 1998 to develop his film career. His work encompassed nineteen films, including 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), The Patriot (2000), Monster’s Ball (2001), A Knight’s Tale (2001), Brokeback Mountain (2005), and The Dark Knight (2008). In addition to his acting, he produced and directed music videos and aspired to be a film director.

Trivia:

He and his older sister, Kate Ledger, are named after the two main romantic characters of the Emily Brontë novel, “Wuthering Heights”.

Concentrated on drama and sports in school. When asked to choose between the two, he picked drama. Attended a private all-boys school called Guildford Grammar.

Auditioned for the part of Max on the TV show “Roswell” (1999). However, the show was originally developed for Fox and since he had already starred in “Roar” (1997), which was unsuccessful for Fox, they did not want to hire him.

Had three sisters: Catherine (Kate) Ledger, married to Nathan Buckey, and half sisters Olivia Ledger (b. 1997) and Ashleigh Bell (b. 1989).

Mother was Sally Ramshaw (daughter of John and Jackie Ramshaw) and father was Kim Ledger (son of Colin and Es Ledger). Stepfather was Roger Bell and stepmother was Emma Brown. His great-grandfather was Sir Frank Ledger, son of Edson Leger.

Named one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in 2001.

Dated Heather Graham. [October 2000 – June 2001]

Was a part of the 1990 Kalamunda Field Hockey team, whose president his father Kim was from 1990 to 1992.

Was a men’s-fashion judge at the Melbourne Cup Carnival in November 2001.

Was originally set to star in Oliver Stone’s Alexander (2004) before Colin Farrell took over the role.

Was considered for the role of Kar in Bulletproof Monk (2003) but eventually turned it down. The role later went to Seann William Scott.

Dated Naomi Watts from August 2002 to May 2004.

He and Naomi Watts broke up for the 2nd time in April 2004.

Was named “the new Matt Damon” in Josie and the Pussycats (2001). They now act side by side in The Brothers Grimm (2005)

Most of his wardrobe was designed by his friend Shem.

Was of Irish and Scottish ancestry.

Starred in 3 films which screened at the 2005 Venice Film Festival. They included Brokeback Mountain (2005), The Brothers Grimm (2005) and the out-of-competition Casanova (2005).

Former fiancée Michelle Williams gave birth to daughter Matilda Rose Ledger on 28 October 2005, who weighed in at 6 lb, 5 oz.

Met Michelle Williams on the set of Brokeback Mountain (2005).

Was selected in the State U17 squad in field hockey and was touted as one of the up and coming young stars, but chose to pack it in and try to make a career out of acting.

Jake Gyllenhaal is the godfather of his daughter Matilda Ledger.

Was mentored by, lived with, and was very good friends with Martin Henderson.

Invited to join AMPAS in 2006.

Was the first non-American actor to portray the Joker.

Set to star in Baz Luhrmann’s pre-WWII drama, but backed out to play The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008).

Michelle Williams’ “Dawson’s Creek” (1998) co-star Busy Philipps and his Brokeback Mountain (2005) co-star Jake Gyllenhaal are his daughter’s godparents.

When he was cast as The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008), rumors circulated that his Brokeback Mountain (2005) cast mate Jake Gyllenhaal would be playing district attorney Harvey Dent. Instead, Jake’s sister Maggie Gyllenhaal was cast as assistant D.A. Rachel Dawes.

Dropped out of Australia (2008) to do The Dark Knight (2008).

Heath Ledger Joker

Heath Ledger as The Joker

 

Was one of seven godparents of Elizabeth Hurley’s son Damien.

Called off his engagement to Michelle Williams in September 2007.

Chosen by Empire Magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Movie Stars in the world (#79) 2007.

Resided in Brooklyn, Los Angeles and Sydney.

Was found dead in his apartment at 421 Broome Street in the SoHo neighborhood in New York City at 3:26 p.m. EST by his housekeeper and a massage therapist, finding him face down and unconscious in his bed with sleeping pills on a nearby table. [22 January 2008]

Directed three music videos for Australian artist N’fa and Ben Harper.

Was painfully shy.

First acting role was as “Peter Pan”, at age 10, at a local theater company.

Lived in Roman Way, Islington while filming his last movie ever in London in 2007.

Was very good friends with Russell Crowe.

Was considered for a role in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003).

Actor Daniel Day-Lewis made a dedication to him at the SAG Awards 2008.

Owned a pet kangaroo that was found by his mother as a child.

Favorite food was risotto.

Was good friends with Ben Harper.

He was the co-founder of record label Music Masses Co with singer Ben Harper, and directed Harper’s video for the song ‘Morning Yearning’.

The youngest actor to play the Joker in a Batman movie The Dark Knight (2008), as oppose to Jack Nicholson and Cesar Romero.

In 2006, took a year off from acting to raise his daughter Matilda Ledger while his girlfriend at the time, Michelle Williams, worked.

On February 9, 2008, a memorial service attended by several hundred invited guests was held at Penhros College in Perth, Western Australia followed by a private wake on Cottesloe Beach with his family and friends.

After his death his body was returned to Perth, Western Australia, where his body was cremated at Fremantle Cemetery, with his ashes to be “scattered in a family plot at Karrakatta Cemetery, next to two of his grandparents.

Before appearing with Christian Bale in The Dark Knight (2008), the two of them both played incarnations of Bob Dylan in I’m Not There. (2007). This makes Ledger the second Joker actor to share a role with a Batman actor. Previously, Cesar Romero shared the role of lawman John “Doc” Holliday with Adam West and Val Kilmer.

His favorite Australian bands and musicians were Spiderbait, Powderfinger, and Silverchair.

Was good friends with Joaquin Phoenix.

Said in 1999 that his favorite actors and directors were Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, Bob Fosse, Stanley Kubrick, Katharine Hepburn, ‘Jack Nicholson’, Marcel Cann, Terrence Malick, Mel Gibson, and Meryl Streep. Later, he went on to co-star with Gibson; and play The Joker (previously portrayed by Nicholson) with his character was partly inspired by Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971); and had almost been cast in Malick’s The Tree of Life (2010).

In an interview shortly before his death, he stated that his favorite role so far in his career had been his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008).

Swiss actor and filmmaker Philippe Vonlanthen worked as his Body-double and stand-in on “Roar” (1997). Filming took place in Queensland, Australia.

Played the character of Scott Irwin in the long-running Australian soap opera “Home and Away” (1988) for 10 episodes in 1997. Scott was a local bad boy who took advantage of Sally Fletcher. It is said that the producers wanted to extend his stay with the show but Heath opted not to.

His Golden Globe Award win for The Dark Knight (2008) came eleven days before the first anniversary of his death.

When actress Nell Campbell moved back to her homeland of Australia, she sold her house to Ledger in 2005.

Received his Oscar-nomination for The Dark Knight (2008) on the first anniversary of his death, January 22, 2009.

He is not only the first and only actor to be nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of the Joker, but the first and only actor to secure an acting nomination for a Batman film.

In both his first and final complete roles, he portrayed a clown.

The day after he died, he was supposed to meet with ‘Steven Spielberg’ to explore the idea of playing Tom Hayden in a movie about the Chicago 7.

Has co-starred with a Gyllenhaal sibling in his two most acclaimed roles: as Ennis Del Marr with Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain (2005), and as the Joker with Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Dark Knight (2008).

Was awarded the 2009 Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his work as the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008). This made him the first person to win a posthumous acting Oscar in this category.

His daughter Matilda Ledger will be the recipient of his Oscar for The Dark Knight (2008) when she turns 18. Up until then the statuette will be in custody of his father Kim Ledger, mother Sally Bell and sister Kate Ledger, per Academy rules.

Very first performer to win an Oscar for acting in a comic movie-adaptation.

Was a great admirer of Johnny Depp’s work. Like Depp, Ledger worked hard to avoid being typecast as a teen heartthrob early on, in the hopes of expanding his career options. Both actors enjoyed taking risky, physically unappealing roles that surprised audiences. Depp was one of the three actors who filled in for Ledger’s last unfinished role after his death, in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009).

The second person to win a posthumous acting Oscar. The first was Peter Finch.

Won almost every award in which he was nominated for his performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008) including the quintuple crown (a Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG, Critics’ Choice Award, and Oscar).

Is one of 8 actors to have won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critics’ Choice Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award for the same performance. The others in chronological order are Geoffrey Rush for Shine (1996), Jamie Foxx for Ray (2004/I), Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote (2005), Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland (2006), Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men (2007), Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood (2007), and Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (2009).

Ana Obregón Birthday March 18

Ana Obregon

Ana Obregón

Ana Obregón (born March 18, 1958 in Madrid, Spain as Ana Victoria García Obregón) is a Spanish actress, celebrity and socialite.

She obtained a Bachelor of Sciences in Biology (specialized in Zoology) from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid .

Obregón has appeared in films from countries including Spain, France, United States and Italy but she is best known for her high-profile personal life and her career as a television actress most notably for her performances in the Spanish television series A las once en casa and Ana y los siete.

She is best known to American audiences for her role as Bo Derek’s sidekick in 1984’s Bolero. She also appeared in an episode of Who’s the Boss, playing Ana, Tony Miceli’s Italian cousin. She also Co-starred in the 1983 3-D action adventure film Treasure of the four crowns with Tony Anthony.

Trivia:

Attended “Actor’s Studio” in New York.

Graduated in Biology.

Son, Juan Alejandro Alfonso Conte Lequio di Assaba y García, born June 23rd, 1992 in Rúber Internacional Clinic, Madrid. Father is ex-boyfriend Alessandro Lecquio (full name: Alessandro Vittorio Eugenio Count Lequio di Assaba), a cousin of Brooke Shields. He has another son with wife/model Antonia Dell’Atte.

Sister of Celia, Amalia García Obregón, Juan Antonio and Javier.

Daughter of Antonio García Fernández (b. 1926) and wife Ana María Obregón Navarro.

Andy Warhols Frankenstein

Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein is a 1973 horror film directed by Paul Morrissey and produced by Andy Warhol, Andrew Braunsberg, Louis Peraino, and Carlo Ponti. Starring Udo Kier, Joe Dallesandro, Monique van Vooren and Arno Juerging, and filmed in the famous Cinecittà by a crew of Italian master filmmakers, Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein is suffused with the crumbling glamour of old Italian films, paying homage to (while simultaneously parodying) the earnest and stark visual and psychological beauty of the horror films on which it is based. Morrissey’s sense of ironic detachment gives the film a gruesomely comic modernity and beauty all its own.

In the United States, the film was marketed as Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein, and was presented in the Space-Vision 3-D process in premiere engagements. It was rated X by the MPAA, due to its explicit sexuality and violence. A 3-D version also played in Australia in 1986, along with Blood for Dracula, an obvious pairing. In the seventies a 3-D version played in Stockholm, Sweden. In subsequent US DVD releases, the film was retitled Flesh for Frankenstein, while the original title was used in other regions.

The film was later cut to 93 minutes for an R-rating, thereby increasing its ability to be screened in more theaters. The U.S. DVD releases have utilized the full uncut version, which is now unrated. The film had its television premiere in the United Kingdom on November 17, 2009 and was broadcast in 3D as part of Channel 4’s 3D Week.

Trivia:

  • Originally filmed in 3D, although most presentations found today are in 2D.
  • While some Italian prints give second unit director Antonio Margheriti credit as co-director, Udo Kier has stated that Margheriti had nothing to do with directing the movie.
  • Both this film and Dracula cerca sangue di vergine… e morì di sete!!! (1974) shared many of the same sets and the same principal cast (Joe Dallesandro, Udo Kier, and Arno Juerging).

Behemoth the Sea Monster


Behemoth, the Sea Monster (1959) is an American-British science-fiction film co-production, which is an unacknowledged remake of Ray Bradbury’s The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), also co-scripted and directed by Eugène Lourié. Released in the United States as The Giant Behemoth, the film starred Gene Evans and André Morell. It was distributed by Allied Artists Pictures.

Trivia:

The puppet of the behemoth is owned by Dennis Muren.

Dracula released February 14, 1931

Dracula

Dracula is a 1931 United States horror film directed by Tod Browning and starring Béla Lugosi as the title character. The film was produced by Universal and is based on the stage play of the same name by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, which in turn is based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.

Trivia:

• Universal Studios commissioned a new musical score from composer Philip Glass. It premiered at The Brooklyn Academy of Music on 26 October 1999.
• When Universal purchased the rights to the 1927 Broadway play, Lon Chaney was considered for the title role. However, Chaney died on August 26, 1930, and the role went to Bela Lugosi.
• A Spanish-language version, Drácula (1931), was filmed at night on the same set at the same time, with Spanish-speaking actors.
• Cinematographer Karl Freund achieved the effect of Dracula’s hypnotic stare by aiming two pencil-spot-lights into actor Bela Lugosi’s eyes.
• The Royal Albert Hall sequence of the movie was filmed on the same stage where The Phantom of the Opera (1925) starring Lon Chaney had been filmed.
• The large, expansive sets built for the Transylvania castle and Carfax Abbey sequences remained standing after filming was completed, and were used by Universal Pictures for many other movies for over a decade.
• Among the other actors mentioned as possible candidates for the role of Count Dracula were John Wray, Paul Muni, Conrad Veidt, Chester Morris, and William Courtenay.
• Bela Lugosi was so desperate to repeat his stage success and play the Count Dracula role for the film version, that he agreed to a contract paying him $500 per week for a seven week shooting schedule, an insultingly small amount even during the days of the Depression.
• The spider webs in Dracula’s castle were created by shooting rubber cement from a rotary gun.
• Bela Lugosi played the role of Dracula on Broadway in 1927 before touring the country with the show. The American performance of the British stage actor Hamilton Deane’s adaptation of the book was a smashing success. Soon after the play began touring Universal started to express interest in the script.
• Due to studio demands to cut costs, the film was shot in sequence.
• Similar to the prologue in Frankenstein (1931), the original release featured an epilogue with Edward Van Sloan talking to the audience about what they have just seen. This was removed for the 1936 re-release and is now assumed to be lost.
• After the death of Lon Chaney, one of the first actors considered for the title role was Ian Keith.
• While it is rumored that Bela Lugosi, could not speak English very well, and had to learn his lines phonetically, this is not true. Lugosi was speaking English as well as he ever would by the time this was filmed.
• There was no real musical soundtrack in the film because it was believed that, with sound being such a recent innovation in films, the audience would not accept hearing music in a scene if there was no explanation for it being there (e.g., the orchestra playing off camera when Dracula meets Mina at the theatre).
• Several famous elements often associated with Dracula are not visible in this film. At no point does Dracula display fangs. Also, the famous vampire bite mark on the neck is never shown either (though it is visible in the Spanish version).
• Although it was his most famous role, Bela Lugosi played Dracula only once more on screen, in the comedy Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). However, he played Dracula-like characters in movies such as The Return of the Vampire (1944) and Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959).
• This Universal production became the most famous and successful film to pair David Manners with Helen Chandler. The pair had made two films at Warner Brothers/First National and one at Fox.
• The peasants inside the inn are praying The Lord’s Prayer in Hungarian.
• Bette Davis (who had a contract at Universal at the time) was considered to play the part of Mina Harker. However, Universal head Carl Laemmle Jr. didn’t think too highly of her sex appeal.
• The opening music to this film is from Act 2 of Swan Lake.
• In the scene where Dracula and Renfield are traveling to London by boat, the footage shown is borrowed from a Universal silent film called The Storm Breaker (1925). Silent films were projected at a different frames-per-second speed from that later adopted for sound films, accounting for the jerky movements and quicker-than-normal action of these shots.
• In the first scene, the young woman reading from the tourist book was played by Carla Laemmle, niece of Carl Laemmle, founder and head of Universal Pictures.
• When Carl Laemmle moved Universal to California in 1914, a version of “Dracula” was one of the first projects being considered. It was over fifteen years before this version was produced.
• The movie’s line “Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.” was voted as the #83 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
• When Bela Lugosi died in 1956, he was buried wearing the black silk cape he wore for this film.
• Universal’s original plan was to make a big-budget adaptation of “Dracula” that would strictly adhere to the Bram Stoker novel. However, after the stock market crash of 1929 and the beginning of the Great Depression, Universal chose not to risk an investment on such a sprawling film. Instead, it adapted the much less expensive Hamilton Deane stage play.
• Universal acquired the film rights to “Dracula” from Bram Stoker’s widow and the play’s writer Hamilton Deane for $40,000.
• Before he was cast as Count Dracula, Bela Lugosi acted as an unpaid intermediary for Universal Pictures in negotiating with the widow of author Bram Stoker in an attempt to persuade her to lower her asking price for the filming rights to the Dracula property. After two months of negotiations, Mrs. Stoker reportedly lowered her price from $200,000 to $60,000. This, however, further demonstrated to Universal how desperate Lugosi was to repeat his stage success as Count Dracula and secure the film role for himself.
• Apparently morose over the loss of friend and collaborator Lon Chaney and in the midst of severe alcoholism, the normally meticulous Tod Browning was said to have been sullen and unprofessional during the shoot. Among his actions were to leave set, leaving cinematographer Karl Freund to direct scenes. He would also recklessly tear pages out of the script if he felt them to be redundant.
• The original Broadway production of “Dracula” starring Bela Lugosi opened at the Fulton Theater on October 5, 1927 and ran for 261 performances. Also in the original cast was Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing. These were the only two actors from the original 1927 Broadway production to repeat their roles in the film.
• Although he lived for 67 years after the film was released, David Manners (John Harker) claimed he never watched it.
• Edward Van Sloan and Dwight Frye also appeared in the horror classic Frankenstein (1931). They are the only 2 actors to have appeared in both films.
• Bela Lugosi never blinks even once throughout the film.

Walt Disney Birthday December 5, 1901

Walter EliasWaltDisney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966) was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon and philanthropist. Disney is famous for his influence in the field of entertainment during the twentieth century. As the co-founder (with his brother Roy O. Disney) of Walt Disney Productions, Disney became one of the best-known motion picture producers in the world. The corporation he co-founded, now known as The Walt Disney Company, today has annual revenues of approximately U.S. $35 billion.

Disney is particularly noted for being a film producer and a popular showman, as well as an innovator in animation and theme park design. He and his staff created a number of the world’s most famous fictional characters including Mickey Mouse. He received fifty-nine Academy Award nominations and won twenty-six Oscars, including a record four in one year,  giving him more awards and nominations than any other individual. He also won seven Emmy Awards. He is the namesake for Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in the United States, Japan, France, and China.

Disney died of lung cancer on December 15, 1966, a few years prior to the opening of his Walt Disney World Resort dream project in Florida.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIrq3RFUQPU]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce4BF_CbXIs]

Trivia:

Wife Lillian Disney passed away. [16 December 1997]

Death caused by circulatory failure due to complications from lung cancer

Disney’s death spawned two rumors that became urban legends. The first is that he had his body cryogenically frozen. The second held that he was buried somewhere on the grounds of Disneyland. Both rumors are completely untrue. Disney was cremated and his ashes interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

Active anti-communist

As a teenager, Walt Disney was a member of the Order of DeMolay, a youth organization affiliated with Free Masons.

Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, USA. Facing the Freedom Mausoleum, to your left hand side are two small private gardens. His is the one farthest back. Plaque is on the wall behind the trees (to your left standing at the gate).

Holds the record of winning the most Academy Awards with 22 wins in competitive categories. Additionally, he won three honorary Oscars and an Irving Thalberg Memorial Award.

Identified as the founder of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority in film clips shown in the queue area of Rocket Rods (formerly, the CircleVision 360 Theater) at Disneyland

Became interested in personalizing animals’ characters after carelessly killing a small owl as a young boy. He felt deeply remorseful and guilty and vowed never again to kill a living creature.

Father of Diane Disney (born December 18, 1933).

Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2000 for the multiplane camera.

Worked as a paperboy as a youth.

Briefly worked for Walter Lantz as an animator.

In the animated short Mickey’s Rival (1936), a character named Mortimer Mouse was modeled after him.

Chose Anaheim, California for the location of Disneyland after demographics experts convinced him it would become a major population center within 10 years. They were right.

His death was not publicly announced until after his funeral, which was attended only by close family members.

Reportedly, his famous trademark signature was designed for him by one of his animators.

Was a frequent target of satire by animator Jay Ward.

Reports surfaced that shortly after his death, Disney Company executive board members were shown a short film that Disney had made before his death, where he addressed the board members by name, telling each of them what was expected of them. The film ended with Disney saying, “I’ll be seeing you.”

Mickey Mouse’s birthday is November 18, 1928, the date when Steamboat Willie (1928) was released.

Donald Duck’s birthday is June 9, 1934, the date when The Wise Little Hen (1934) was released.

The name Donald Duck is frequently written in on voting ballots in Scandanavian countries as a protest vote.

Inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians in 1993.

Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, an Army draft notice, addressed to Mr. Donald Duck, was delivered to the Disney studios.

Tribute in the Memory of Film section at the Flanders International Film Festival in Ghent, Belgium. [2001]

The Disney family came from Kilkenny, Ireland. The D’Isney family settled in County Kilkenny to escape religious persecution and later traveled to America.

Daughter Sharon Disney was adopted.

Grandfather of Christopher Disney Miller, Joanna Miller, Tamara Scheer, Jennifer Miller-Goff, Walter Elias Disney Miller, Ronald Miller, Victoria Brown.

Brother of Herbert Disney, Raymond Disney, Roy O. Disney and Ruth Disney.

Son of Elias Disney and Flora Disney.

Was dyslexic.

After adapting Ludwig van Beethoven’s 6th Symphony for the soundtrack of Fantasia (1940), he exclaimed, “My God, this Beethoven will go a long way!”

Pictured on a 6¢ US commemorative postage stamp issued in his honor, 11 September 1968.

In 1981, Walt Disney Productions (now The Walt Disney Company) purchased the rights to the Disney name from Retlaw Enterprises, the Disney family’s company. Retlaw is Walter spelled backwards.

His grandfather lived in Ontario, Canada. From there he moved to the United States.

Was a major contributor to the success of the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, primarily via his creative use of audio-animatronics (lifelike, internally animated figures). Among other things, he designed the Carousel of Progress for the General Electric exhibit, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln for the State of Illinois exhibit, and, most enduringly, It’s a Small World for Pepsi Cola. One of the most popular attractions at the Fair, featuring animated figures of children from all over the world, the latter has since successfully established itself as a perennial crowd-pleaser at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. All three exhibits were transformed into attractions at Disneyland. Only the Carousel of Progress is not still open. It was closed to be turned into America Sings in Tomorrowland.

It is Hollywood legend that, lying on his deathbed at St. Jospeh’s Hospital in Burbank (across the street from the Disney Studios) his last words were about how shabby the studio’s water tower looked. Visible from a nearby freeway, towering above the backlot, it is adorned with the image of his most beloved creation, Mickey Mouse. In adherance with what they believed were their founder’s last wishes, studio executives have made sure the water tower was regularly repainted since he died in 1966.

He was a chain smoker. He avoided smoking when he was in public view, especially where he might be seen by children. His smokers’ cough often heralded his arrival in a particular wing of the studio, allowing off-task employees time to get on task.

In his autobiography, one-time Disney storyboard artist Bill Peet essentially described Walt Disney as a chain-smoking “work-a-holic” who was prone to strong mood swings.

He often called composer Robert B. Sherman into his office to play the piano for him. His favorite song was Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins (1964).

He got his idea and inspiration for Disneyland, when he visited the “Tivoli”-park in Denmark.

Was initiated into DeMolay at the Mother Chapter in Kansas City Missouri, in 1920.

Received the DeMolay Legion of Honor in 1931.

On November 13, 1986, he was a member of the first group to be inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame.

His father, Elias Disney, was a professional carpenter by trade who, among other things, worked on the construction of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, the prototype for all World’s Fairs to follow. When Walt and his brother Roy O. Disney were boys, their father would tell them of the many wonders of the Fair, such as the first ferris wheel, thus inspiring the dreams that would make them both successful as adults.

Was awarded an honorary Oscar “For the creation of Mickey Mouse” by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences at the fifth Awards ceremony held on November 10, 1932, at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. It was only the second honorary Oscar yet awarded by the Academy. The recipient of the first honorary Oscar, Charles Chaplin, was supposed to present the award to Disney, but he stayed home that night.

He also founded the motion picture distribution company Buena Vista Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of his empire. His empire now includes Hollywood Pictures Company and its specialty films unit; Caravan Pictures; Touchstone Pictures; Miramax Films Corporation and its specialty films unit, Dimension Films; American Broadcasting Company (ABC), ABC Family Channel, and ESPN.

According to former Disney animators, the whispered code that Walt Disney was nearby was “Man is in the forest,” a sly reference to the film Bambi (1942).

Profiled in in J.A. Aberdeen’s “Hollywood Renegades: The Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers.”.

Although he has been called politically conservative, actually voted mainly for Democrats until the 1940 presidential election. This was a main reason why he was asked by HUAC to testify, and was always particularly anti-communist, because his worst nightmare was being called one.

In 1964, Disney was one of several Americans chosen by President Lyndon Johnson to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The award ceremony was held at the White House on 14 September 1964. The urban myth that Disney wore a “Vote for Goldwater” button during the ceremony to endorse Johnson’s opponent in the upcoming election, Republican Barry Goldwater, is completely false and has been debunked many times.

He was one of the founding members of the right-wing Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals in February 1944, along with Robert Taylor, Adolphe Menjou, Sam Wood, Norman Taurog, Gary Cooper, Clarence Brown and Clark Gable.

Wanted to name Mickey Mouse “Mortimer Mouse” when he drew him. He showed the picture to his wife and his wife did not like the idea and told him to name him “Mickey Mouse”. Some historians believe that Mickey’s name was inspired from a toy mouse by Performo Toy Company named “Micky” (spelled without an “e”), which was extremely popular and had already been selling at the time when Disney was developing his Mickey Mouse.

Was first nominated for an Oscar (as producer) in 1932, the year he also got the honorary award for creating Mickey Mouse. From that year until 1965 (the year before his death), Disney received one or more Academy Award nominations every year except 1933 and 1941.

Supported Ronald Reagan’s run for governor of California in 1966.

The last animated movie he ever put his personal touch on was The Jungle Book (1967).

Disney had been in bad health for a few months, before he finally entered St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank, California, on 2 November 1966, complaining of pain in his neck and back. An X-ray revealed a tumor on his left lung and surgery was advised. Disney, however checked out to finish some studio business and re-entered the hospital on 6 November. Surgery was performed the next day and his left lung was found to be entirely cancerous and was removed.

He refused to allow Alfred Hitchcock to film at Disneyland in the early 1960s, because Hitchcock had made “that disgusting movie Psycho (1960).”.

Served in a Red Cross unit with Ray Kroc, future founder of the McDonald’s fast food chain.

Disney is credited as Retlaw Yensid for Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N. (1966)’s original story. The pseudonym is Walter Disney reversed. The Disney family’s company was named Retlaw Enterprises, Disney’s first full name reversed.

Theme parks Disneyland and Disneyworld are respectively located in Orange County (Anaheim, California) and Orange County (Orlando, Florida).

Disney’s record-breaking streaks of consecutive Oscar wins include: 1934-1940 (7) and 1951-1956 (6).

Has a record of 59 Oscar-nominations.

Walt’s ancestors were named d’Isigny, and came from Isigny-sur-Mer in Normandy, France. In 1066, two soldiers, Hughes d’Isigny and his son Robert, fought with William the Conqueror during the conquest of England. After the conquest, Hughes d’Isigny and his son decided to stay in England. Their name was, over the generations, transformed into “Disney”. In the XVII century, a branch of the Disney family emigrated to Ireland. In 1834, Arundel Elias Disney and his brother Robert emigrated from Kilkenny County, Ireland, to Northern America with their families. They left Liverpool and arrived to New York on October 3rd. Once in America, the two brothers parted. Robert established himself in a farm in the Midwest, whereas Arundel decided to reach Goderich Township, Ontario, a few steps from Canada.

Became friends with Charles Chaplin during their respective days at United Arists in the 1930s; Disney credited Chaplin for helping him correctly pace his feature films.

Personally disliked Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Peter Pan (1953) because of the lack of “heart” and “warmth” in their main characters. Was very sad about the unfavorable reception of Fantasia (1940) as he was proud of the film. Ironically, the first re-issue of Fantasia (1940) after his death was the first time it turned a profit.

Among his favorite desserts were lemon meringue pie and chocolate ice cream soda.

Survived the 1918 flu.

Although he wore a mustache all his life, he forbade his employees to wear them, not wanting to compromise on the “clean-cut image” that the Disney company had.

Before his 35th birthday, his brother Roy encouraged employees to throw the boss a surprise party. Two of the animators thought it would be hilarious to make a short movie of Mickey and Minnie Mouse “consummating their relationship.” When Disney saw the animation at the party, he feigned laughter and playfully asked who made the film. As soon as the two animators came forward, he fired them on the spot and left.

The day that he opened Disneyland in Anaheim, a plumber’s strike broke out and water pressure was restricted to avoid plumbing problems. Disney had to choose between either water fountains or toilets, there wasn’t enough water for both. He chose toilets, causing one reporter to half-jokingly quip, “Walt’s trying to force us to buy Coca-Cola.”.

Halloween II released October 30, 1981

halloween II (1981)

Halloween II is a 1981 horror film and the second installment in the Halloween series. Directed by Rick Rosenthal and written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, it is a direct sequel to the first film; set on the same night of October 31, 1978, in the fictional American Midwest town of Haddonfield, the seemingly indestructible Michael Myers follows his intended victim Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) to a nearby hospital while Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is still in pursuit of his patient.

Stylistically, Halloween II reproduces certain key elements that made the original Halloween a success such as first-person camera perspectives and unexceptional settings. However, it departs significantly from its predecessor by incorporating more graphic violence and gore, making it imitate more closely other films in the emerging slasher film sub-genre. Still, the sequel was a box office success, grossing over $25.5 million in the United States.

Halloween II was intended to be the last chapter of the Halloween series to revolve around Michael Myers and Haddonfield, but after the lackluster reaction to Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), Michael Myers returned seven years later in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988).

Trivia:

  • Dana Carvey made his movie debut in this movie playing an assistant. He can be seen receiving instructions from a blond reporter in front of the Wallace house.
  • The film is set immediately after the first Halloween (1978). Since Jamie Lee Curtis had begun to wear a much shorter hairstyle in the 1980s, she had to wear a wig that matched her original hairstyle for the film.
  • Halloween II was originally written to take place in a high rise apartment building. Later in script meetings, however, the setting was changed to Haddonfield Hospital.
  • This is the only Halloween film to show the morning after the 31st, every other movie ends on Halloween night.
  • John Carpenter turned down an offer to direct, but remained involved with the production by writing the screenplay.
  • Pamela Susan Shoop (Karen) got an ear infection during filming of her death scene as the water in the hot tub was apparently “none too clean”.
  • Believing Rick Rosenthal’s version of the film to be too tame, John Carpenter shot a few gory scenes that were added into the film despite Rosenthal’s objections.
  • The scene where the Boom Box Boy, played by Lance Warlock, runs into Michael in Haddonfield town square was shot on one of three nights of re-shoots done by original Halloween (1978) director John Carpenter.
  • The voice of Alice’s friend (heard over a telephone) is the voice of Nancy Kyes, who played Annie in Halloween (1978), and appears in Halloween II (1981) as the corpse of Annie.
  • The 17-year-old who was hit by the police car and burnt alive, at first believed to be Michael Myers, was supposed to be Ben Tramer, the boy Laurie confesses to have a crush in in the original Halloween.
  • Ben Tramer, who gets killed, is a reference to John Carpenter’s friend Bennett Tramer. They went to USC (University of Southern California) as Tramer wrote episodes for ‘”Saved By the Bell” (1989)’.
  • Dick Warlock wore lifts in order to appear taller.
  • The film that the security guard and the Elrods are watching is Night of the Living Dead (1968).
  • In the scene where Michael tries to attack Laurie as she’s climbing through the window the scalpel that he’s holding was actually just an eraser on a stick.
  • As revealed by the Sheriff’s Deputie’s patch, Haddonfield supposedly exists in Warren County, Illinois. Warren County is actually in Nothwest Illinois. Warren County more likely refers to the county in Kentucky which contains the city of Bowling Green where John Carpenter grew up.
  • Alice’s friend Sally (the girl on the phone in the beginning of the movie) tells her the murders happened on Orange Grove. This is the actual name of the street where this film and Halloween (1978) were filmed. The houses that portray the Wallace and Doyle houses are on Orange Grove just north of Sunset Blvd in Hollywood, California
  • John Carpenter spent time growing up in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and there are several references to Bowling Green and the surrounding area: Smiths Grove and Russelville are towns nearby; Bowling Green is in Warren County, where Haddonfield is set; and Elrod, Chestnut, (31W) Bypass, and Scottsville are all names of local streets in Bowling Green. Additionally, someone in the film makes a reference to the Lost River Drive-In, which was a real drive-in theater in Bowling Green.
  • Was filmed at Morningside Hospital, 8711 South Harvard, Los Angeles which had recently closed and has since been torn down.
  • Anne-Marie Martin came into production as a favor when additional footage was being shot. John Carpenter shot the scene that involved Martin and supporting cast member Pamela Susan Shoop.
  • The only Halloween film to be produced by Universal Studios. After the massive success of the first film, Universal picked up the sequel. When the sequel didn’t fare so well, Universal gave the rights to Trancas International , an affiliate of Universal’s, who produced the films until 1989. In 1996, the rights were sold to Dimension.
  • The mask Michael wears is the exact same mask (a repainted and modified Captain Kirk mask) worn in the original film. It looks different in the sequel because the latex had decayed in the years between films, and Dick Warlock is shorter and stockier than Nick Castle, so the mask fit his head differently. All the subsequent sequels used different masks that looked rather different.
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Halloween released October 25, 1978

halloween Jamie Lee Curtis

Halloween is a 1978 American independent horror film set in the fictional suburban midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois, USA on Halloween. The original draft of the screenplay was titled The Babysitter Murders. John Carpenter directed the film, which stars Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis, Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, and Nick Castle, Tony Moran and Tommy Lee Wallace sharing the role of Michael Myers (listed in the credits as “The Shape”). The film centers on Myers’ escape from a psychiatric hospital, his murdering of teenagers, and Dr. Loomis’ attempts to track and stop him. Halloween is widely regarded as a classic among horror films, and as one of the most influential horror films of its era. In 2006 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ-gGq-v4-4]

Halloween was produced on a budget of $320,000 and grossed $47 million at the box office in the United States, equivalent to over $150 million as of 2008, becoming one of the most profitable independent films. Many critics credit the film as the first in a long line of slasher films inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960). The movie originated many clichés found in low-budget horror films of the 1980s and 1990s. However, the film contains little graphic violence and gore.

Critics have suggested that Halloween and its slasher film successors may encourage sadism and misogyny. Others have suggested the film is a social critique of the immorality of young people in 1970s America, pointing out that many of Myers’ victims are sexually promiscuous substance abusers, while the lone heroine is depicted as chaste and innocent (although she is seen smoking a joint). While Carpenter dismisses such analyses, the perceived parallel between the characters’ moral strengths and their likelihood of surviving to the film’s conclusion has nevertheless become a standard slasher movie trope.

Trivia:

  • There are numerous references in John Carpenter’s movies, particularly in this film, that are taken from the area surrounding the town he grew up in – Bowling Green, KY. The performance of the film’s musical score is credited to “The Bowling Green Philharmonic.” There is no Philharmonic in Bowling Green. The “orchestra” is actually Carpenter and assorted musical friends. In one scene the subtitle depicts the location as “Smiths Grove, IL.” Smiths Grove is actually a small town of about 600 people located 15 miles north of Bowling Green on I-65. There are also numerous references in Halloween to street names that are major roads in the greater Bowling Green area.
  • As the movie was actually shot in early spring in southern California (as opposed to Illinois in late October), the crew had to buy paper leaves from a decorator and paint them in the desired autumn colors, then scatter them in the filming locations. To save money, after a scene was filmed, the leaves were collected and reused. However, as Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter note on the DVD audio commentary, the trees are quite full and green and even some palm trees can be seen, despite that in Illinois in October, the leaves would probably be mostly gone and there would be no palm trees.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis’ first feature film.
  • Due to its shoestring budget, the prop department had to use the cheapest mask that they could find in the costume store: a Captain Kirk (William Shatner) mask. They later spray-painted the face white, teased out the hair, and reshaped the eye holes.
  • The kids watch the opening of The Thing from Another World (1951) on TV. Carpenter would later re-make this film himself in 1982 as The Thing (1982).
  • Halloween was shot in 21 days in April of 1978. Made on a budget of $320,000, it became the highest-grossing independent movie ever made at that time.
  • According to screenwriter/producer Debra Hill, the character of Laurie Strode was named after John Carpenter’s first girlfriend.
  • Tommy Doyle’s name was from Rear Window (1954) and Sam Loomis’ name is from Psycho (1960).
  • Inside Laurie’s bedroom there is a poster of a painting by James Ensor (1860-1949). Ensor was a Belgian expressionist painter who used to portray human figures wearing grotesque masks.
  • The film takes place primarily in Haddonfield, Illinois. Haddonfield, NJ is the home town of screenwriter Debra Hill.
  • The performance of Halloween’s musical score is credited to “The Bowling Green Philharmonic”. There is no Philharmonic in Bowling Green. The “orchestra” is actually John Carpenter and assorted musical friends.
  • All of the actors wore their own clothes, since there was no money for a costume department. Jamie Lee Curtis went to J.C. Penney for Laurie Strode’s wardrobe. She spent less than a hundred dollars for the entire set. She shot the film while on hiatus from the sitcom Operation Petticoat (1977) (TV).
  • The character of Michael Myers was named after the European distributor of Carpenter’s previous film, Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) as a kind of weird “thank you” for the film’s overseas success.
  • Tommy’s Halloween costume is an Alphan uniform from “Space: 1999″ (1975).

the_shape

  • The opening shot appears to be a single, tracking, point of view shot, but there are actually three cuts. The first when the mask goes on, and the second and third after the murder has taken place and the shape is exiting the room. This was done to make the point of view appear to move faster.
  • The name of the sheriff is “Leigh Brackett”. Leigh Brackett was also the name of the screenwriter of Howard Hawks’ classic Rio Bravo (1959), which was the inspiration for John Carpenter’s previous film, Assault on Precinct 13 (1976).
  • Kyle Richards, who plays Lindsey Wallace, is the sister of Kim Richards, who appeared in John Carpenter’s previous film, Assault on Precinct 13 (1976).
  • Half of the $320,000 budget was spent on the Panavison cameras so the film would have a 2:35:1 scope. Donald Pleasence was paid $20,000 for 5 days work.
  • Carpenter approached Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee to play the Sam Loomis role (that was eventually played by Donald Pleasence) but both turned him down. Lee later said it was it was the biggest mistake he ever made in his career.
  • Morgan Strode’s black Fleetwood (seen in the driveway when he is talking to Laurie early in the movie) belonged to director John Carpenter, while the Phelps Garage truck was owned by the company that catered for the film.
  • Anne Lockhart was John Carpenter’s first choice for the role of Laurie Strode.
  • None of the big studios at the time was interested in distributing the movie, so executive producer Irwin Yablans decided to distribute the film via his own company (Compass International). MCA/Universal produced and distributed the next two sequels in the early ’80s.
  • Aside from dialogue, the script cites Michael Myers by name only twice. In the opening scene, he is called a POV until he is revealed at age 6. From the rest of the script on out he is referred to as a “shape” until Laurie rips his mask off in the final scene (which he never reapplies in the script). “The Shape”, as credited in the film, refers to when his face is masked or obscured.
  • P.J. Soles was dating Dennis Quaid at the time of filming, so John Carpenter and Debra Hill wanted to cast him in the role of Bob. Unfortunately, Quaid was busy working on another project and John Michael Graham was cast in the role instead.
  • John Carpenter provides the voice of Annie’s boyfriend, Paul, whom we hear on the phone talking to Annie.
  • The original script, titled “The Babysitter Murders”, had the events take place over the space of several days. It was a budgetary decision to change the script to have everything happen on the same day (doing this reduced the number of costume changes and locations required) and it was decided that Halloween, the scariest night of the year, was the perfect night for this to happen.
  • When they were shooting the scenes for the start of the film (all the ones seen from Michael’s point of view) they couldn’t get the 6-year old child actor until the last day, so the movie’s producer, Debra Hill, volunteered to be Michael for any scenes where his hands come into view. This is why the nails on young Michael’s hands look so well manicured and varnished.
  • The cinematography for the Halloween sequence in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) was the inspiration for the look of Carpenter’s color scheme.
  • Donald Pleasence did all of his scenes in only 5 days of shooting.
  • When Dr. Loomis is talking to the doctors in the empty classroom, Dr. Loomis is sitting in seat #37.
  • Sheriff Brackett was named after film-noir writer Leigh Brackett.
  • According to Don Post Jr., President of Don Post Studios, the famous California mask making company, the filmmakers originally approached his firm about custom making an original mask for use in the film. The filmmakers explained that they could not afford the numerous costs involved in creating a mask from scratch, but would offer Post points in the movie as payment for his services. Post declined their offer, as he received many such proposals from numerous unknown filmmakers all the time, but suggested that they repaint/refurbish the “Captain Kirk” masks eventually used in the film, which eventually was done, and which netted Mr. Post a profit of less than $100. Post later estimated, after the film became a hit, that if he had accepted the original offer for points in the film in exchange for his creation of an original mask, his profit would have run well over $100,000.
  • Yul Brynner’s robot character from Westworld (1973) was the inspiration for the character of Michael Myers.
  • The song that is playing on the radio when Laurie and Annie are in the car is “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Blue Öyster Cult.
  • This was voted the fifth scariest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
  • The “Myers” house was a locale found in South Pasadena that was largely the decrepit, abandoned place seen in the majority of the film. However, as the house had to look ordinary (and furnished) for the early scenes with the young Michael Myers, almost the whole cast and crew worked together to clean the place, move in furniture, put up wallpaper, and set up running water and electricity, and then take it all out when they were through.
  • Much credit for the concept must go to its producer Irwin Yablans, who had the concept originally for a horror film called “The Babysitter Murders”. Upon further research, Yablans discovered to his surprise that no previous film had been titled “Halloween” and thought it would be a great concept to set these “babysitter murders” on the holiday. With these ideas, Yablans convinced an excited John Carpenter to write and direct a film around them.
  • The wealthy film producer Moustapha Akkad had admittedly little interest in this film and helped make it primarily due to the enthusiasm of John Carpenter and Irwin Yablans. However, when the film turned out to be a huge box-office smash, Akkad saw an opportunity and has since facilitated every ‘Halloween’ sequel.
  • The adult Michael Myers was portrayed by Nick Castle in almost every scene, except for some pick-up shots and the unmasking scene, where he was replaced by Tony Moran. Castle was a school-buddy of John Carpenter and was thought of by Carpenter because he was tall and had what Carpenter considered an interesting walk. Castle admitted he was disappointed to not be the face shown, but understood that Carpenter wanted a more “angelic” face to juxtapose with Myers’ ghastly deeds. Castle has gone on to become a successful director.
  • John Carpenter was quite intimidated by Donald Pleasence, of whom he was a big fan and who was easily the oldest and most experienced person on set. Although Pleasance asked Carpenter difficult questions about his character, Pleasance turned out to be a good-humored, big-hearted individual and the two became great friends.
  • Of the female leads (all the girls are supposed to be in high school), only Jamie Lee Curtis was actually a teenager at the time of shooting.
  • The long tracking shot at the beginning was inspired by the tracking shot in Orson Welles’s Touch of Evil (1958). The shot would have been impossible to achieve on the film’s budget if it wasn’t for the recent invention of the steadicam tracking system.
  • P.J. Soles says the word “totally” eleven times.
  • Before Don Post became involved, Michael was going to wear a clown mask.
  • Laurie remarks that she would rather go out with unseen character “Ben Tramer”. The name came from Bennett Tramer, an old college friend of director John Carpenter. The real Bennett Tramer has also had a career in the motion picture industry as a writer and producer.
  • A young Jamie Lee Curtis was so disappointed with her performance that she became convinced she would be fired after only the first day of filming. When her phone rang that night and it was John Carpenter on the phone, Curtis was certain it was the end of her movie career. Instead, Carpenter called to congratulate her and tell her he was very happy with the way things had gone.
  • The Halloween theme is written in the rare 5/4 time signature. John Carpenter learned this rhythm from his father.
  • The scene where The Shape seems to appear out of the darkness behind Laurie was accomplished by using a simple dimmer switch on the light that slowly illuminated the mask.
  • One of the characters is named “Marion Chambers”. Marion was the first name of the female protagonist of Psycho (1960), and Chambers was the last name of the sheriff in that movie.
  • That Michael Myers could drive a car despite having gotten committed to an asylum at the age of six inspired many guffaws. The first movie novelization came up with a simple but effective explanation: when Doctor Loomis drove Michael to sanity hearings over the years, Michael simply watched very closely and carefully as Doctor Loomis operated the car. Remember, even if Michael sat in the back seat and there was a screen of bulletproof glass partition, Michael could still look over the Doctor’s shoulder without Loomis realizing the significance.
  • According to an additional scene in the extended television version, Michael Myers’ middle name is Audrey.
  • Carpenter wrote the part of Lynda for P.J. Soles after seeing her performance in Brian De Palma’s Carrie (1976).
  • Although Nick Castle plays the part of Michael Myers throughout the film, when his mask is removed by Laurie at the climax, another actor Tony Moran was used.
  • The opening POV sequence took 2 days to film.
  • Carpenter composed the score in 4 days.
  • For its first airing on television, extra scenes had to be added to make it fit the desired time slot. Carpenter filmed these during the production of Halloween II (1981) against his better judgment.
  • Donald Pleasence confessed to John Carpenter that the main reason why he took the part of Loomis was because his daughter Angela loved Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 (1976).
  • Carpenter considered the hiring of Jamie Lee Curtis as the ultimate tribute to Alfred Hitchcock who had given her mother, Janet Leigh, legendary status in Psycho (1960).
  • Carpenter’s intent with the character of Michael Myers was that the audience should never be able to relate to him.
  • Carpenter and co-writer Debra Hill have stated many times over the years that they did not consciously set out to depict virginity as a way of defeating a rampaging killer. The reason why the horny teens all die is simply that they’re so preoccupied with getting laid that they don’t notice that there’s a killer at large. Laurie Strode, on the other hand, spends a lot of time on her own and is therefore more alert.
  • As the film was shot out of sequence, Carpenter created a fear meter so that Jamie Lee Curtis would know what level of terror she should be exhibiting.
  • Debra Hill wrote most of the dialog for the female characters, while Carpenter concentrated on Dr Loomis’s speeches.
  • As the film was made in spring, the crew had huge difficulty in procuring pumpkins.
  • Production designer Tommy Lee Wallace picked the iconic mask in a dime store. It was a mask of Captain Kirk and cost $1.98. Wallace spray painted the eyes to change the appearance (and also to avoid the risk of litigation).
  • From a budget of $325,000 the film went on to gross $47 million at the US box office. In 2008 takings that would be the equivalent of $150 million, making “Halloween” one of the most successful independent films of all time.
  • Prior to the movie, a book was written by Curtis Richards, and reveals more of the story behind Michael’s rage. However, the book is very rare.
  • Nancy Kyes (Annie Brackett) starred in at least three other Carpenter films, one being another of the Halloween franchise; Halloween III: Season of the Witch. The others are The Fog and Assault on Precinct 13.

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