There is a lot of work that goes into making a film. Even though they are not always as successful as the studios had hoped, there is no doubt that every film that comes out has cool tidbits of information from behind the scenes that can really add to the overall enjoyment of the final product.
The films that we are about to talk about below may very well be among some of your personal favorites. There are some great comedies, films you grew up with like Jurassic Park, iconic blockbusters like Star Wars and The Dark Knight, and many more that help make up this list. We're not only talking about how successful and popular these films are, but also presenting some great pieces of trivia that we guarantee will blow you away.
These range from "almost" casting choices that would leave you scratching your head, to some moments that I guarantee you probably didn't know were improvised, including perhaps your favorite Marvel film! You may have loved the look of The Joker in The Dark Knight, but do you know how much of an influence Heath had on the character? Well, you're about to! You may love one of the directors I'm about to talk about, but you may not after you learn that he essentially tortured one of his lead actresses for months in order to get a better performance!
Whether your favorite movie appears on this list or not, hopefully these 20 movie trivia facts are just as intriguing to you as they are to us. Have a huge movie fan that you know? Be sure to share this on Facebook to show off just how in-depth your knowledge is!
20 Fight Club
Why It’s A Great Film: Fight Club stars Edward Norton and Brad Pitt and is one of the most uniquely written stories out there, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk. It’ll captivate your attention and leave you wanting more, with some solid levels of testosterone. Just maybe realize that it’s still not a great idea to go and start a Fight Club.
19 The Shining
Why It’s A Great Film: If you’re looking for something to keep you up at night, look no further than The Shining. It may be from 1980, but Stanley Kubrick is one of the greatest directors of all time and I bet you won’t be able to get Jack Nicholson’s performance out of your head anytime soon.
18 Star Wars
Why It’s A Great Film: I don’t think I need to spend too much time here trying to convince you why Star Wars is a great film. It helped create several iconic characters and moments in cinematic history, including several that revolve around the character of Darth Vader.
The Trivia: While Vader may be an iconic character, the person who acted out Vader and recorded the original lines was not James Earl Jones, but an actor by the name of David Prowse. Prowse stated in an interview that when they went to look at the footage that all the lines would have to have been re-dubbed.
“But they forgot to get me to do the dubbing before they went back to America and it was too expensive to fly me out there for the half-dozen or so lines I had, so they got James Earl Jones, who did a wonderful job.”
Prowse has had several fallings out with director George Lucas over the years and is currently banned from attending Star Wars conventions. He was also not contacted in any way about the new films, but frankly, he didn’t seem to care!
“My wife won’t have anything to do with Darth Vader and says Star Wars has been an intrusion into our life.”
17 Saving Private Ryan
Why It’s A Great Film: Saving Private Ryan came out in 1998 and stars Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, and Matt Damon. If the film doesn't capture your attention right from the get-go with the storming of the beach, I don't know what's wrong with you! The film grossed $481.8 million worldwide and was nominated for 11 Academy Awards.
The Trivia: The main actors were made to go through a week-long fitness camp in order to best prepare for their role as soldiers. This included vigorous physical activity, awful meal plans and essentially was just not a very good time, especially for established actors. Fans of the movie will know that Matt Damon is not part of the main group for the first portion of the film, and as a result, he was exempt from the training. This was done so that the other actors would "generate genuine resentment towards him and his character."
Why It’s A Great Film: Well if you are going to define a successful film by the amount of awards it wins and the money it makes, then I don’t think it’s possible to not include Titanic on the list. Not to mention it was monumental in the overall career success of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The film ended up grossing $2.18 billion.
15 Willy Wonka
Why It’s A Great Film: Willy Wonka is one of the most recognizable stories of all time. What child did not dream about potentially earning a trip to a chocolate factory?! Gene Wilder’s performance as Wonka was over-the-top, terrifying and captivating all at the same time.
Why It’s A Great Film: Anchorman may not be the biggest blockbuster of all time, but there is no doubt that it was one of the best comedies. The film was created by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay and also helped bring along the careers of Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and David Koechner.
13 The Terminator
Why It’s A Great Film: The Terminator franchise may have run itself into the ground by now, but there is no doubting that the first few films are some of the best out there. They helped introduce the world to Arnold and feature enough action to satisfy any macho man. The original film has been selected by the Library of Congress for preservation, deeming it worthy of being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”
The Trivia: You may love the film because of Arnold, but can you imagine if instead it was O.J. Simpson in the lead role? It almost happened! When he was asked about it, James Cameron stated
“This was when everybody loved him, and ironically that was part of the problem—he was this likable, goofy, kind of innocent guy. Plus, frankly, I wasn’t interested in an African-American man chasing around a white girl with a knife.”
12 The Avengers
Why Is It A Great Film: Whether or not it was your favourite film from the Marvel franchise, there is no doubting the overall success of The Avengers film. It grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide and its sequel grossed $1.4 billion. Talk about the pressure being on to make a good film!
The Trivia: There are several scenes during the first movie in which Robert Downey Jr. is eating food. This was apparently done because Robert had been hiding food all over the set and they were unable to track it all down. Considering saving the world is an exhausting thing, I suppose it makes sense they allowed Robert to keep eating during the scenes.
11 The Departed
Why It’s A Great Film: I’m not going to be able to get through this list and not include a film by, in my opinion, the greatest film director of all time: Martin Scorsese. His masterpiece could very well be The Departed which finally won him an award for Best Director (among others). The film is also brilliantly acted some great acted, including Nicholson and DiCaprio who helped create an unscripted moment of cinematic history.
Why It’s A Great Film: The original Ghostbusters is a fantastic film and while it did not make as much money as some on this list, nobody can deny that it’s one of the most iconic films of all time. At the very least it gave us a great theme song to shake our booty to! We just have to do our best to ignore the spin-off that is coming out in the very near future.
9 The Lord Of The Rings
Why It’s A Great Film: The Lord of the Rings is one of the most successful film franchises of all time. A real-life adaption of JRR Tolkien's novel, the movies helped captivate people’s attention over the span of 3 films and brought in over a billion dollars. The prequel The Hobbit was not as well received, but still help make LOTR one of the most important movie franchises out there.
8 Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Why It’s A Great Film: Like many films on this list, Indiana Jones is part of a series that has helped change cinema forever. The original film, Raiders of the Lost Ark came out in 1981 and helped further cement the career of Harrison Ford. Directed by Steven Spielberg, you can expect a high-quality film that was well deserving of being the top-grossing film of that year.
The Trivia: There is a great moment in the film in which Indiana Jones is up against an enemy who is wielding a sword. You may be expecting a big fancy duel, at least until Indy pulls out his gun and promptly shoots the man dead. Apparently there was an elaborate fight scene that was scripted, but Ford was battling dysentery at the time and reportedly went to Spielberg stating “Let’s just shoot the sucker.”
7 Pulp Fiction
Why It’s A Great Film: Pulp Fiction is one of the greatest films of all time and it is too bad it did not win Best Picture at the 1994 Academy Awards (damn you, Forrest Gump!). The film shows an intertwining of different stories and is acted impeccably by Samuel Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman and many other recognizable faces. While it only won one Academy Award, it was still huge in helping further along the career of Quentin Tarantino who took home the award for Best Original Screenplay.
6 Star Wars
The Trivia: You didn’t think you’d be able to get out of this list with only one piece of Star Wars trivia, did you? While I won’t spend time telling you why the film is amazing, you may be amazed to learn that the original name for Luke Skywalker was actually Luke Starkiller. It was not until a few months into production that they decided to switch the name to Skywalker. When asked about it, Lucas stated “That I did because I felt a lot of people were confusing him with someone like Charles Manson. It had very unpleasant connotations.”
5 The Dark Knight
Why It’s A Great Film: There are many fantastic Batman films out there, but I think many would agree that The Dark Knight is the best one. Starring an unforgettable (albeit tragic) performance by Heath Ledger, the movie earned a little over $1 billion at the box office. Unfortunately, as I am sure you know, Heath Ledger passed away before the release of the film.
4 Jurassic Park
Why It’s A Great Film: At the time of its release, there were few things in film as impressive and terrifying as seeing the T-Rex on screen in the first Jurassic Park. While not everyone made it out of the series alive, the series itself is still alive and kicking; with the most recent one coming out in 2015. When the film first came out, it grossed over $900 million, which made it the highest-grossing film of all time (though times change!), so at least you can understand why sequels had to happen.
The Trivia: You may have thought the T-Rex was terrifying on screen, but you didn’t have to deal with it behind the scenes! One of the producers, Kathleen Kennedy, opened up in an interview about some of the issues that were occurring.
“The T-rex went into the heebie-jeebies sometimes. Scared the crap out of us. We'd be, like, eating lunch, and all of a sudden a T-rex would come alive. At first, we didn't know what was happening, and then we realized it was the rain. You'd hear people start screaming."
3 Harry Potter
Why It’s A Great Film: There are a lot of big franchises on this list, but for many readers, it’s Harry Potter that they grew up with. The books are fantastic, and a huge amount of credit goes out to the cast and crew that helped bring the books to life. The series brought in over a billion, and many of the main cast, such as Emma Watson, are just getting started. Anytime you can put together 8 films and have it span the amount of time that the Potter series did, you deserve a lot of credit.
2 Iron Man
Why It’s A Great Film: The cinematic world would not be anything close to what it is today if not for the success of the first Iron Man. It helped restart the career of Robert Downey Jr. and paved the way for the entire Marvel Universe to start unfolding. While Jeff Bridges was only in this film, he was able to share a great piece of movie trivia.
The Trivia: Bridges talked about how during filming, there was not exactly a script to go off of (because who needs that, right?).
Instead, he said
“They had an outline. We would show up for big scenes every day and we wouldn’t know what we were going to say. We would have to go into our trailer and work on this scene and call up writers on the phone, ‘You got any ideas?'”
1 The Dark Knight (Again!)
Like Star Wars, The Dark Knight is so incredible that I don’t think anyone is going to come after me for including a second piece of fantastic trivia for the film. It was reported after Ledger’s passing, that the actor had hidden himself away in a motel room for six weeks where he tried to dig deeper into the psychology behind the character. Eventually, he said his inspiration came from a combination of Sid Vicious with the mannerisms of Alex Delarge (who is the psychotic lead in A Clockwork Orange).
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