Disney Trivia

When Walt Disney decided to make the Snow White story into a movie, everyone, including his wife and brother thought he was being just plain foolish.  Animators warned him that cartoons were supposed to be short; there was no way an audience would be interested in 90 minutes of animation.
Disney persevered.

Disney hired a huge staff: 32 animators, 102 assistants, 167 ‘in-betweeners’ (ass’t animators), 20 layout artists, 25 artists doing watercolor backgrounds, 65 effects animators, and 158 inkers and painters.  There were 2,000,000 illustrations made using more than 1,500 shades of paint.

Then there were writers investing a lot of time developing the personalities of all the characters – especially the seven dwards.  In the original proposal, Dopey, the last dwarf to be developed, was supposed to talk; he became a mute because  no suitable voice actor could be found.

Walt Disney himself made sure that everything was done right, no matter how long it took or how much it cost.

Disney’s folly transformed into Disney’s success almost immediately.  It was released on December 21, 1937, and went on to make more money than any other film in 1938; more than 20 million Americans went to see it.  Since its release (after you adjust for inflation), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has made more than $697 million dollars in the United States alone.  As of 2005, It was the 10th highest-earning motion picture of all time.  More than 50 years later the U.S. government would honor Disney’s Snow White by placing it into the National Film Registry.  Walt Disney’s vision paid off, and animated features are now blockbusters in their own right.

Audrey Hepburn

At age 58, Audrey Hepburn began her work with UNICEF as an ambassador and trainer.  Her annual salary was one dollar per year.


* Did You Know Luke Skywalker in Star Wars (1977) was originally  written as a girl.

* Actress Minnie Driver’s real first name is Amelia.

* The lead in Beverly Hills Cop (1984) was originally written for Sylvester Stallone.

* Molly Ringwald was offered the role of Vivian in Pretty Woman, but turned it down.

* The lions in Out of Africa weren’t natives.  They were shipped from California… because Kenya forbids using native wild animals in films.

The Wooden Spoon

I remember ‘THE Wooden Spoon’, do you?  Kirsten Dunst’s production company is called Wooden Spoon Productions… Because her grandmother always carried one to keep the grandkids in line.

Tombstones of the Famous

Jack Lemmon: In

Billy Wilder: I’m A Writer But Then Nobody’s Perfect

Ernie Kovacs: Nothing in Moderation

Mary Pickford: America’s Sweetheart

Ed Wynn:  Dear God, Thanks

Frank Sinatra: The Best Is Yet To Come

Billy Barty: In loving memory of Billy Barty, who always thought big

Sammy Davis Jr.: The Entertainer: He Did It All

Brono: (the  chimp from Bedtime for Bonzo) He  made us laugh

Fred Astaire: I will always love you my darling.  Thank You

Gracie Allen and George Burns: Together Again

Sammy Cahn: Sleep With a Smile

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest ~ Trivia

When Marlon Brando turned down the part, director Milos Forman had breakfast with Burt Reynolds and told him he was one of the two actors being considered for the part of Randall P. McMurphy.   Reynolds was thrilled, and said ‘If the other guy isn’t Jack Nicholson, I’ve got the part.’  Forman stopped dead in his tracks.  Reynolds knew he wasn’t going to get the part.  Well, the rest is  h i s t o r y!  Nicholson got the role, and won the Oscar for best actor.

Why Not ? !

There are no opening credits or titles in Apocalypse Now (1979).

Premiere’s 10 Greatest Movie Stars

Premiere magazine editors compiled a list of the ’50 Greatest Movie Stars.’  It is not without controversy.  Here’s who made the top 10.

1. Cary Grant
2. Marilyn Monroe
3. Tom Cruise
4. John Wayne
5. Ingrid Bergman
6. Paul Newman
7. Julia Roberts
8. Greta Garbo
9. James Stewart
10. Henry Fonda

Spider-Man Trivia

Several Spider-Man (2002) costumes were created at a cost of up to $100,000 each.  Four were stolen in 2001.  Despite a $25,000 reward, they were never returned.

‘Must See’ flicks of the WESTERN GENRE

Like a Good Western?  Here is a list of the Top,  featuring some of the greatest stars in the Hollywood Corral!

1948 – Fort Apache, starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda, is the first of director John Ford’s superb ‘cavalry  trilogy’, which also includes ‘She Wore a Yellow Ribbon’ (1948) and Rio Grande (1950). Fort Apache is a variation of the Custer Story, and in a cast dominated by males, a grown-up Shirley Temple is delightful as the colonel’s daughter.

1952 – High Noon, Cary Cooper plays the iconic sheriff of a town about to be sieged  by outlaws.  High Noon won four Oscars, including a Best Actor award for Coop.

1953 – Shane, stars Alan Ladd and Van Heflin in a story of cattle barons vs. homesteaders representing the key Western theme of civilization vs. the wilderness.  Jack Palance was nominated for an Academy Award for his chilling portrayal of a hired killer.

1956 – The Searchers, director John Ford explores the theme of racism in its story of a young girl who is kidnapped by Native Americans.  At first, Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) hopes to rescue her, but he later wants to kill her instead.  A complex film with a dark view of civilization.  Wayne is magnificent in his role, and costar  Ward Bond is powerful as a Texas Ranger who doubles as a frontier preacher.

1960 – The Magnificent Seven, The action nonstop, and the cast charismatic in this Western based on Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.  The era’s best young actors make up the seven, with each representing a facet of the masculine character.  Yul Brynner, James Coburn, Steve McQueen, and Charles Bronson in their prime.

1969 – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Humor, history, romance, and a great chase, not to mention Paul Newman and Robert Redford.  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of the most charming Westerns ever made.

1990 – Dances with Wolves, Kevin Costner directed and starred as a frontier army officer who interacts with a tribe of Native Americans.  One of cinema’s finest portrayals of Native Americans to date.  Dances with Wolves inverts the traditional Western’s idea of who represents civilization and who represents the wilderness.  The film won seven Oscars, including Best Picture.

1992 – Unforgiven, Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman star as retired gunfighters who strap on their holsters one last time to avenge the death of a prostitute.  Their quest pits them against a brutal lawman, played by Gene Hackman. Directed by Eastwood, Unforgiven won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Hackman).

1993 – Tombstone, (updated version of Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, 1957) the mythic overtones of the West’s most famous story take center stage.  Kurt Russell is actor enough to play a mythic Wyatt Earp, but Val Kilmer with his unexpected poignant interpretation of tragic Doc Holliday, who chased death as a way to kill the pain of life, steals the show.  A story  that offers a message about the personal price of a life of violence.

2003 – Open Range, Kevin Costner directed this beautifully shot, character-driven story of open range drovers about to be made obsolete in a changing West.  Robert Duvall, is captivating as an aging trail boss, while cowboy / gunfighter Costner strikes up an unlikely romance with Annette Bening.  The climactic shootout, one of the best ever filmed in a Western.


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