42 Pieces of Movie Trivia: Classic Films Edition

(Yes, I know there are ones missing, but that's because I [probably] plan to use them in another list.)
  1. Clark Gable was lent to MGM for the film It Happened One Night as punishment for his affair with Joan Crawford.
  2. Annie Hall was originally conceived as a period comedy set in Victorian England.
  3. Most of the clothes worn by Diane Keaton in Annie Hall were from her personal wardrobe.
  4. Jackie Coogan, who played the adorable "Kid" alongside Charles Chaplin's famed tramp in 1921's The Kid would later go on to play Uncle Fester in the 1960s television series The Addams Family.
  5. Warner Brothers had such little faith in Bonnie and Clyde that they offered first-time producer Warren Beatty 40% of the gross instead of paying him the minimal fee. After doing this, the film ended up grossing over $50 million.
  6. Warren Beatty's first choice for the role of Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde was Bob Dylan.
    Eventually, though, Beatty decided to take the role himself.
  7. Citizen Kane might be an iconic film today but when released in 1941, it was a huge box-office flop and was quickly sent back to the RKO vaults.
    In fact, it was *so* disliked that it was loudly booed each time it was mentioned during the 1941 Academy Awards.
  8. Orson Welles was 25 years old when he directed, co-wrote, starred in, and produced Citizen Kane.
  9. Rick's Cafe was only one of a few original sets built for Casablanca.
    The rest were recycled from other Warner Brothers productions due to the wartime restrictions placed on building supplies.
  10. Casablanca's famous line "Here's looking at you, kid" was improvised by Humphrey Bogart.
  11. Out of a nation-wide poll that asked fans to choose who they thought should play the role of Gone with the Wind's Scarlet O'Hara, Vivien Leigh received a grand total of two votes.
    It didn't matter, though, because she had already secured the role by the time the poll was conducted.
  12. Laurence Olivier was horrible to Joan Fontaine during the production of Rebecca because he had wanted his then-girlfriend Vivien Leigh to be his co-star.
    Seeing how badly this shook Fontaine up, Alfred Hitchcock decided to use this to his advantage by telling her that everyone on the film hated her.
  13. The set that made up the Kowalski apartment in A Streetcar Named Desire was built to roll so that the walls could be moved inward in order to portray the claustrophobia that Blanche felt as she descended further and further into madness.
  14. During production of Lawrence of Arabia, producer Sam Spiegel was known to feign heart attacks whenever he wasn't happy with the way things were going.
    At one point, he even had himself strapped to a stretcher and flown to the desert location by a Red Cross helicopter. Once there, he had attendants carry him to director David Lean, whom he was reported to have told, "Don't worry about anything David- not the budget, not the schedule, not my health. The picture- the picture is all that counts!"
  15. The famous whistle scene from To Have and Have Not was written by director Howard Hawkes as a screen test for Lauren Bacall.
    Bacall, of course, got the job and Hawkes ended up liking the scene so much that he asked William Faulkner to work it into his screenplay.
  16. Because Katharine Hepburn had no comedic experience before shooting Bringing Up Baby, Howard Hawkes employed several veterans of vaudeville whose sole purpose was to train her.
  17. 20th Century Fox considered replacing Elizabeth Taylor with Audrey Hepburn in Cleopatra after Taylor became seriously ill during filming.
  18. With a budget of $194,800, Elizabeth Taylor's costumes for Cleopatra was the highest ever spent for a single screen actor at the time.
    She wore a total of 65 costumes throughout the four hour film, including a dress made from 24-carat gold cloth.
  19. It Happened One Night (1934), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991) are the only films to date to sweep the big five at the Academy Awards.
    The big five includes Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay.
  20. Lawrence of Arabia was originally supposed to begin production in 1953 with John Wayne in the title role.
    However, a lack of funding caused this version to be abandoned.
  21. Unhappy with the original version of Joanna's speech in the courtroom, Meryl Streep took director Robert Benton up on his suggestion that she rewrite the monologue herself.
    According to Benton, he only cut two lines of her finished draft.
  22. The leg that appears on the movie poster for The Graduate doesn't belong to the film's leading lady, Anne Bancroft, but rather a pre-Dallas fame Linda Gray.
    However, Ms. Bancroft did do her own leg work in the film.
  23. While the watch used in To Kill A Mockingbird was a prop, Harper Lee did give Gregory Peck her father's watch after filming wrapped because of much he reminded her of him.
    In fact, he so reminded her of Mr. Amasa Lee that she cried the first time she saw him in character.
  24. Orson Welles desired the role of Vito Corleone in The Godfather so badly that he went so far as to offer to lose weight in order to obtain it. But while director Francis Ford Coppola was a fan of the actor's work, he didn't believe that Welles could be convincing as the aging Mob boss and cast Marlon Brando instead.
    Welles would later state that he would have given up his soul for that role.
  25. Francis Ford Coppola would hold improvisational rehearsal sessions that basically consisted of The Godfather's main cast sitting down and sharing a family meal as their respective characters in the hopes that the cast would establish the organic family connections seen in the film.
  26. The candles in the candelabra that Plato carries while he, Jim, and Judy explore the empty mansion in Rebel Without A Cause were powered by a wire that was run through Sal Mineo's jacket.
  27. Giant was the highest grossing film at Warner Brothers until 1978's Superman.
  28. James Dean's refusal to attend the premiere party of East of Eden almost cost him his role in Rebel Without A Cause.
  29. Elia Kazan was so concerned by James Dean's rowdy lifestyle that he arranged for him to share an apartment with his East of Eden co-star Richard Davalos. However, when that didn't work out, Kazan ended up putting Dean up in a dressing room on the Warner's lot and moved into the one next door in order to keep an eye on him.
  30. One reason why Roman Holiday was shot in black and white was to keep the characters from being upstaged by the breathtaking locations of Rome.
    The other is because black and white film was cheaper than colored.
  31. Because Audrey Hepburn had no formal training as a singer, Henry Mancini specifically wrote "Moon River" so that it could be sung using a one octave range.
  32. Though it's since become one of the most iconic openings in film, Audrey Hepburn struggled terribly with the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany's.
    Aside from not liking the Danish pastries that the scene required her to eat, Hepburn kept messing up her takes because the crowd that had assembled to watch filming made her nervous. It was only when a crew member nearly got electrocuted that Hepburn was finally able to push past her feelings and film the scene as it appears in the movie today.
  33. Cary Grant initially turned down the role of Peter Joshua in Charade because he felt he was too old to be pursuing Audrey Hepburn's much younger Regina Lambert.
    It was only after Peter Stone shifted all of the romantically aggressive lines to Hepburn, making her character the pursuer, that he finally signed on to the film.
  34. Billy Wilder revealed in a 1999 interview with Cameron Crowe that the crew fought over who would get to work the day they shot the famous dress-blowing scene in The Seven Year Itch.
  35. But although it's one of the most famous images in pop culture, the full-length image of Marilyn Monroe's dress being blown up as she stands over the subway grate doesn't actually appear in the finished version of The Seven Year Itch. The actual shot shows only her legs and is intercut with reaction shots.
  36. The modeling that Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable, and Marilyn Monroe do in How To Marry A Millionaire is the same type of modeling that Bacall did as a teenager while auditioning for roles on Broadway.
  37. Rita Hayworth accidentally broke two of Glenn Ford's teeth while filming the scene in Gilda where she slaps Johnny across the face after Tom brings her back to Argentina.
    Ever the professional, Ford held his place until after the take was finished.
  38. When Billy Wilder was asked by his crew how he planned to shoot the burial of Norma's monkey in Sunset Boulevard, he responded with "You know, the usual monkey-funeral sequence."
  39. Cameron Crowe shadowed Billy Wilder during his later years and claims that a typical day in his office would consist of Wilder answering numerous phone calls from people wanting to remake Sunset Boulevard. He would then inform them that he didn't own the rights and hang up.
  40. Despite a four hour runtime, the four principal cast members of Gone with the Wind only share one scene together.
    It's the scene where Rhett brings the men home to their worried wives after they attack the shanty town.
  41. The burning of Atlanta was the first scene shot for Gone with the Wind.
    The buildings set ablaze were all old film sets that needed to be cleared from the studio lot with the most recognizable of these being the "Great Wall" set from King Kong. Once the ashes were cleared, the set for Tara was built.
  42. Funny Face's Kay Thompson is the very same Kay Thompson who wrote the Eloise books.
    Alan Reed, who played Sally Tomatoes in Breakfast at Tiffany's, was also the voice of Fred Flintstone.