32 Pieces of Movie Trivia: Classic Films, Vol. 2

All previous trivia lists can be found here: Every Trivia List I've Done So Far
  1. Despite playing the leads in a romantic comedy, Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert never do kiss in It Happened One Night.
  2. Clark Gable gave his Academy Award for Best Actor for It Happened One Night to a young child who had admired it, telling him that it was winning it that had mattered, not the statue itself.
    The person ended up returning it to Gable's family after the actor's death.
  3. Less than eight feet of film—or about five seconds—was cut from what ultimately became the final release of North by Northwest.
  4. The producers of My Fair Lady got Audrey Hepburn to accept the role of Eliza Doolittle by telling her that if she didn't, they were going to offer it to Elizabeth Taylor.
    Coincidentally the producers of Cleopatra had considered replacing Taylor with Hepburn when Taylor's illness kept causing production delays.
  5. State Fair is the only Rodgers and Hammerstein musical to be written specifically for the screen.
    It also brought them their only Academy Award win for Best Original Song as a songwriting duo for "It Might As Well Be Spring". (Hammerstein had previously won with Jerome Kern for "The Last Time I Saw Paris" from Lady Be Good in 1941.)
  6. Alfred Hitchcock was so dissatisfied with the clothes the studio had designed for Eva Marie Saint to wear in North by Northwest that he took her to Bergdorf Goodman and picked out the clothes himself.
  7. The voice of Holly Golightly's over-eager date in Breakfast at Tiffany's was provided by Mel Blanc (the original voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Barney Rubble, Mr. Spacely, Woody Woodpecker, etc.)
    For the record, Blanc voiced all of the major Warner Bros. cartoon characters during the golden age of animation except for Elmer Fudd, who was voiced by Arthur Q. Bryan. (However, Blanc did take over voice duties for Elmer after Bryan's passing.)
  8. Despite the fact that it became her most popular role, Audrey Hepburn thought she was miscast as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
  9. Audrey Hepburn once stated that the most distasteful thing she ever did for a film was when she threw Cat out of the cab and into the rain during Breakfast at Tiffany's.
  10. Although it's never explained in the film, the reason why Holly wore a shower curtain to her party was because she had been taking a bath and had to improvise a gown on the spur of the moment.
    There was actually a scene shot that depicted this, but it ended up being cut from the final print.
  11. According to the screenplay for Breakfast at Tiffany's, 2E's real name was Emily Eustace.
  12. While shooting Sabrina, Billy Wilder asked Audrey Hepburn to feign sickness one day so he could have some extra time to work on the script.
  13. The scene of Susan's dress being ripped in Bringing Up Baby was inspired by a real life incident that happened to Cary Grant.
    While at the Roxy Theater one night, the zipper of his pants got caught on the back of a lady's dress. Not knowing what else to do, he impulsively followed her.
  14. Julie's scandalous red dress in Jezebel was actually bronze colored because bronze showed up better in black and white films than red did.
  15. The horses at the Emerald City palace in The Wizard of Oz were colored with Jell-O powder.
  16. Buddy Ebsen was originally cast as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, but was forced to drop out after suffering an allergic reaction to the aluminum dust that was used in the makeup.
    Not long after he left the production, the aluminum dust was replaced with an aluminum paste.
  17. Despite the fact that no actual footage of him playing the role of the Tin Man exists, Buddy Ebsen's vocals can still be heard in the The Wizard of Oz each time "We're Off to See the Wizard" plays and in the extended version of "If I Were King of the Forest".
    Jack Haley's vocals were only used for "If I Only Had a Heart", "If I Only Had the Nerve", and the spoken parts of "If I Were King of the Forest".
  18. The "tornado" in The Wizard of Oz was actually a 35 ft long piece of muslin stocking that was spun around miniatures of the Kansas farm and fields in a dusty setting.
  19. The Ferris wheel that Martins and Harry Lime ride in The Third Man was the same Ferris wheel that Sigmund Freud claimed to have used to induce seasickness in his patients while testing cocaine as a treatment.
  20. Despite the fact that it was based on the work of a Nobel Prize winner (Ernest Hemingway) and the screenplay was co-written by another Nobel Prize winner (William Faulkner), most of To Have and Have Not's dialogue was improvised by the actors.
  21. Bette Davis shot all of her scenes for All About Eve in just sixteen days.
  22. The wig that Bette Davis wears in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? had been worn years earlier by co-star Joan Crawford in another film.
    Neither recognized it because it had been re-groomed for the film.
  23. In Laura, the famous portrait of the title character was actually a photograph that had been painted over with oil paint.
  24. The laserdisc edition of King Kong included the first ever audio commentary for a film.
  25. King Kong's famed roar was the combined roar of a lion and tiger run backwards and more slowly.
  26. Several scenes of My Man Godfrey had to be re-shot because Carole Lombard had a habit of inserting swear words into the dialogue while ad-libbing.
  27. My Man Godfrey was the first film to receive nominations in all four acting categories at the Academy Awards.
  28. At seventeen and a half minutes, "The Continental" number from The Gay Divorcee (1933) was the longest musical number in a film until Gene Kelly's eighteen and a half minute ballet in 1951's An American in Paris.
  29. The "nasal spray" used by Jack Lemmon in The Apartment was actually milk because real nasal spray wouldn't have shown up on camera.
  30. Rosalind Russell hired a writer from her brother's advertising agency to create some of her now famous one-liners in His Girl Friday.
    While director Howard Hawks never caught on, co-star Cary Grant used to greet her each morning with a "What have you got today?"
  31. Anne Bancroft didn't know that Dustin Hoffman was going to grab her breast during Benjamin Braddock and Mrs. Robinson's first encounter in the hotel room. It was a move he'd decided to do before the take because it reminded him of the way schoolboys would nonchalantly grab a girl's breast by pretending to put a jacket on.
    When he did it onscreen, it caused director Mike Nichols to burst out laughing which in turn caused Hoffman to start laughing. But rather than stopping the scene, Hoffman simply turned away from the camera, walked over to the wall and started banging his head against it in an effort to get himself to stop laughing. For his part, Mike Nichols loved it and ended up using it in the final print.
  32. Billy Wilder's first choice for the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard wasn't Gloria Swanson, but rather Mary Pickford.
    Wilder and his co-writer Charles Brackett even went to personally pitch the film to Pickford but ended up stopping mid-way through it and apologizing to her due to the horrified reaction they saw on her face.