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  • War Movie Trivia

    This thread is dedicated to trivia about some of our favorite war movies. Feel free to share any interesting things you know about your favorites. The picture will be my favorite picture from the movie.

    #1 - Apocalypse Now

    1. There are no credits at the beginning so for legal purposes. “Apocalypse Now” is chalked on a wall in the temple complex.
    2. The only full shot of Brando (standing in the doorway of the temple) is of a double. A much taller double.
    3. Brando was hired for $3 million and insisted on being available for only three weeks, 5 days a week. He almost did not show up and when he did he had lied about being familiar with the book. He spent the first few days gabbing with Coppola in his trailer.
    4. Brando hated working with Hopper. At one point in the film, he throws something at him and called him a “mutt”. That was improv.
    5. Mrs. Coppola had witnessed a water buffalo sacrifice and urged her husband to incorporate it. That is a real animal that is being hacked to death. Coppola refused to do a second take.
    6. Sheen was given last rites after his heart attack.
    7. Coppola lost 100 pounds during the shoot.
    8. Main scenes that were cut (and restored for “Apocalypse Now Redux”):
    - meeting up with the Playmates and exchanging fuel for sex
    - the French plantation – the PBR stops at a French plantation in an obvious attempt to bring the odyssey back in time to the 1950s (to show how perfectionism can border on lunacy, Coppola insisted the wines served at the dinner scene be chilled at a specific temperature! And then he didn’t even use the scene.)
    9. Milius was a hawk and wanted one theme to be that the U.S. did not put in enough effort to win the war. He was upset that the film ended up being anti-war.
    10. The Huey that air-lifted the PBR could not have performed that task.
    11. Hopper refused to learn his lines, bathe, or change his clothes.
    12. In the 35mm theatrical run, Coppola ran the exploding of the temple behind the credits. In the 70 mm limited release, that footage was not used.
    13. Coppola hired the Ifugao tribe to come live on the temple set and live their lives.


  • #2
    THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE

    mentalloss
    1. United Artists did not want to make the film because of the political controversy. Frank Sinatra went to Pres. Kennedy who was a big fan of the novel. Kennedy contacted the studio head and got him to change his mind.
    2. Angela Lansbury was only three years older than her “son” Laurence Harvey.
    3. The movie came out in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
    4. When Marco visits Raymond in his hotel room towards the end of the film, Sinatra is filmed out of focus. Critics lauded this cinematography for showing Raymond’s distorted perspective. Actually, the assistant cameraman screwed up the shot and director Frankenheimer was upset and wanted to reshoot it, but he could not get Sinatra to duplicate the performance.
    5. Sinatra wanted Lucille Ball for the Angela Lansbury role.
    6. Sinatra broke a finger in the fight scene with Henry Silva. Later, when he was up for Dirty Harry, he could not grip the pistol properly and had to drop out.
    7. When Laurence Harvey jumped in the lake in Central Park it was so cold that ice had to be broken.
    8. The myth that the movie was pulled after the assassination of Kennedy was not true. It was shown, but rarely because there was not a lot of interest in the film.
    imdb
    9. In the novel, the relationship between Raymond and his mother is more incestuous and she even seduces him. The movie could only go as far as a kiss on the lips. (Surprisingly, the 2004 remake does not even have the kiss.)
    Wikipedia
    10. Mrs. Iselin is #21 on AFI’s list of 100 Heroes and Villains.


    Comment


    • #3
      THE BRIDGES AT TOKO-RI
      imdb, wikipedia, TCM
      1. William Holden learned how to taxi a jet on the carrier deck for close-ups.
      2. The US Navy cooperated with 19 ships, including the USS Oriskany ( and when it was no longer available, the USS Kearsarge). The Oriskany was later sunk as an artificial reef off Pensacola, Florida and is a popular diving site.
      3. James Michener wrote the novel after spending time on the USS Essex during the Korean War. Neil Armstrong was a pilot at the time. The incident involving the bombing of bridges and the rescue of a downed pilot was based on actual events. However, the downed pilot and his attempted rescuer were actually captured and survived the war.
      4. Holden’s brother was a navy pilot in WWII who was killed in action.
      5. In the book, the jet is the F2H Banshee, not the F9F Panther. The Panther was probably substituted because it was more photogenic.
      6. Holden insisted the novel’s ending be retained. He did not want the typical Hollywood happy ending. This worked well because although the movie came at the end of a wave of WWII/Korean War formulaic offerings, it stood out.
      7. The movie won the Oscar for Best Special Effects and was nominated for Best Editing.
      8. Holden and Grace Kelly conducted an affair during the shoot.This was not uncommon for him, even though he was married.When Kelly invited her to her home, her father shook his fist at Holden and evidenced his displeasure with the affair.Holden left the house upset.The affair did not continue after the movie was finished.
      9. Mickey Rooney got the role partly due to his friendship with Michener.One day, Rooney was needed for an unscheduled scene, but could not be found.He turned up later as co-pilot of a jet having bribed the pilot to fly him to Tokyo for the horse races.

      *** I chose the picture because my family once did that when we visited Nagasaki. I was about age 6.

      Comment


      • #4
        MRS. MINIVER
        1. Soon after the movie was finished, Greer Garson married her movie son Richard Nay. The marriage lasted four years.
        2. Winston Churchill claimed the movie was equivalent to a fleet of destroyers.
        3. The Vicar’s speech at the end (called the Wilcoxon speech after the actor – who cowrote it with director William Wyler) was printed in Look and Time magazines. FDR encouraged its broadcasting on Voice of America and the dropping of it in leaflet form over occupied Europe.
        4. Wyler was a Jew born in Germany and knew the stakes. He saw the movie as a pro-intervention piece.
        5. After the movie was completed, Wyler joined the Signal Corps (see the documentary entitled “Five Came Back” on Netflix). Based on what he saw, he later commented that he felt the movie was too wimpy.
        6. It was the first movie with five acting nominations - Garson won for Best Actress and Teresa Wright won for Supporting Actress. Walter Pidgeon was nominated for Actor and May Whitty and Henry Travers for supporting roles. The movie won for Best Picture, Director, and Black and White Cinematography.
        7. Garson did not want to play the lead because she did not want to play a mother. Her contract obligated her to take the part.
        8. This was the second of eight movies that Pidgeon and Garson made together. These included the sequel “The Miniver Story”.
        9. The movie script was constantly being rewritten during filming to reflect the changing fortunes of the Allies. For instance, Mrs. Miniver’s confrontation with the German pilot got increasingly belligerent and ended up including Miniver slapping him.
        10. Joseph Goebbels admired the movie’s effectiveness as propaganda.

        Comment


        • #5
          TO HELL AND BACK
          imdb
          1. In the Medal of Honor scene, Murphy was actually on a M10 tank destroyer, not a M4 Sherman.
          2. Murphy did not want to play himself because he thought it would come off as too egotistical. He wanted his friend Tony Curtis.
          3. The production used 50,000 rounds of ammunition, 300 pounds of TNT, 600 pounds of blasting powder, and 10 cases of dynamite for the battle scenes.
          4. The movie was a huge hit and was Universal Pictures' top film until “Jaws”.
          5. Audie Murphy in “To Hell and Back” was the inspiration for Rambo.
          6. The movie popularized the term “dogface”.
          7. It is still the only biopic that stars a movie star as himself.

          Wikipedia
          8. Murphy wanted to make a sequel called “The Way Back”, but could not get the financing.

          TCM
          9. It was Murphy’s sixteenth film.
          10. Murphy was the technical adviser and was very hands-on in getting everything realistic.
          11. Murphy did not like the finished product and referred to it as a “Western in uniform”. He was angry about the battle scenes being filmed in nice weather when the reality was worse. He did not want the film to close with the Medal of Honor ceremony. (He had left it out of the book.) He generally felt the movie was not gritty enough and did not explain why he suffered from PTSD.
          12. Murphy was tabbed to be the villain in “Dirty Harry” when he died in the plane crash.

          Comment


          • #6
            RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP

            imdb
            1. Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster did not get along during the shoot. Lancaster made jokes about Gable’s age. Gable refused to work past 5 and would leave in the middle of a scene. Since Lancaster was a co-producer and as the film ran overtime and overbudget, this became frustrating. Gable did not want to play a captain that lost his command, he felt it did not fit his image. He sat out two days over this issue and only returned when the script was changed so the captain lost command because of a head injury. (Another example of an actor insisting on something that made the plot worse.)
            2. The actual Akikaze did not play the role of a hunter as depicted in the movie. It was sunk when it purposely intercepted a torpedo aimed at the carrier Junyo it was escorting.
            3. The actors in the sub crew went through training on how to run a sub. The movie has been commended for its accurate depiction of the attack procedure.
            4. The older/younger commander dynamic was used again by director Wise for the first “Star Trek” movie. He used the stationary subs hunting each other in his “Wrath of Khan”.
            5. This was Don Rickles’ first film. He was on a motor torpedo boat tender in WWII. He was in charge of morale. Just kidding.
            6. The movie starts off badly with Richardson’s previous boat being sunk in Bungo Straits early in the war. First, a U.S. sub would not have been that deep into Japanese waters at that time and if it was, there is no way the crew could have been rescued.

            Wikipedia
            7. The author Edward Beach did not like the movie. He once commented that all the studio did was buy the title.
            8. The movie was basically a combination of “Moby Dick” (with the Akikaze being the white whale) and “Mutiny on the Bounty” (with its command dysfunction).

            TCM
            9. The movie was overshadowed at the box office by “Operation Petticoat”.

            Last edited by warmoviebuff; 29 Jun 18, 10:22.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by warmoviebuff View Post
              MRS. MINIVER
              1. Joseph Goebbels admired the movie’s effectiveness as propaganda.
              He did more than admire, he berated the German film industry in not being able to achieve the same "blitz spirit" in response to the RAF raids and demanded that they study the film
              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by warmoviebuff View Post
                TO HELL AND BACK
                imdb
                1. In the Medal of Honor scene, Murphy was actually on a M10 tank destroyer, not a M4 Sherman.
                2. Murphy did not want to play himself because he thought it would come off as too egotistical. He wanted his friend Tony Curtis.
                3. The production used 50,000 rounds of ammunition, 300 pounds of TNT, 600 pounds of blasting powder, and 10 cases of dynamite for the battle scenes.
                4. The movie was a huge hit and was Universal Pictures' top film until “Jaws”.
                5. Audie Murphy in “To Hell and Back” was the inspiration for Rambo.
                6. The movie popularized the term “dogface”.
                7. It is still the only biopic that stars a movie star as himself.

                Wikipedia
                8. Murphy wanted to make a sequel called “The Way Back”, but could not get the financing.

                TCM
                9. It was Murphy’s sixteenth film.
                10. Murphy was the technical adviser and was very hands-on in getting everything realistic.
                11. Murphy did not like the finished product and referred to it as a “Western in uniform”. He was angry about the battle scenes being filmed in nice weather when the reality was worse. He did not want the film to close with the Medal of Honor ceremony. (He had left it out of the book.) He generally felt the movie was not gritty enough and did not explain why he suffered from PTSD.
                12. Murphy was tabbed to be the villain in “Dirty Harry” when he died in the plane crash.

                I very much liked Murphy's performance in The Red Badge of Courage.
                "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                Samuel Johnson.

                Comment


                • #9
                  THE ALAMO

                  classic movie hub
                  1. Chill Wills took out a tasteless ad in Variety to push for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. The ad claimed the crew were praying more for Wills’ victory than the defenders in the Alamo were praying to survive. There was such a backlash that Wayne had to take out a counter ad. Wills lost to Peter Ustinov from “Spartacus”. (It would have taken more than a brilliant ad to change that outcome.)
                  2. Charleston Heston turned down the role of Bowie partly because his moderate Democratic political philosophy (at the time) clashed with Wayne’s conservatism. Also, he was skeptical about Wayne as a first-time director. He later regretted the decision. Clark Gable turned down the Travis role.
                  3. Wayne and Richard Widmark did not get along. It started when Wayne called him “Dick” to try to bond and Widmark coldly insisted on Richard. After that Wayne emphasized “Richard”. It did not help that Widmark was a liberal Democrat who supported civil rights and gun control and was opposed to black-listing. He also questioned Wayne’s directorial talents.
                  4. Wayne, who felt guilty about avoiding WWII, saw the movie as his way to join the fight against communism. That’s why the movie has a big liberty and democracy theme.
                  5. Wayne wanted to play the small role of Sam Houston so he could concentrate on directing, but the studio insisted he take on a bigger role to boost the box office potential.
                  6. Wayne was all-in for the movie and went into his own pocket to pay for cost overruns. He did not recoup his money until the TV rights were sold years later.
                  7. During filming, a cannon rolled over Laurence Harvey’s foot breaking it. Harvey finished the scene.
                  8. The production used 7,000 extras, 1,500 horses, and 400 cattle.
                  9. The set took two years to construct and became a major tourist attraction. It was used in over 200 Westerns.
                  10. Bowie’s seven-barreled gun was called a Nock Volley Gun and developed for use in the Royal Navy. It had limited use because the kick was more than most men cared to endure.

                  imdb
                  11. The movie was banned in Mexico.
                  12. Wayne intended to shoot the film in Mexico until the Daughters of the Republic of Texas threatened him with tanking the film in Texas theaters.
                  13. After a few weeks of release, the movie was cut by 30 minutes.
                  14. Wayne hired Frankie Avalon because of the successful casting of Ricky Nelson in “Rio Bravo”.

                  Wikipedia
                  15. Several days in, Widmark wanted to drop out because he felt he was not right for playing the much larger Bowie.
                  16. Historians James Frank Dobie and Lon Tinkle insisted their names be removed from the credits.
                  17. The movie won the Academy Award for Sound. It was nominated for Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Editing, Music, Picture (losing to “The Apartment”), and Song (“The Green Leaves of Summer”).

                  TCM
                  18. Sammy Davis, Jr. wanted to play the slave, but his controversial marriage to a white woman nixed it.
                  19. It had a crew of 342.
                  20. It was the only film Wayne directed.
                  21. John Ford showed up on set and started giving Wayne advice. Wayne solved the problem by sending Ford off to do some second unit shooting of Mexican cavalry. Most of which did not make it into the film.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by warmoviebuff View Post
                    THE ALAMO


                    10. Bowie’s seven-barreled gun was called a Nock Volley Gun and developed for use in the Royal Navy. It had limited use because the kick was more than most men cared to endure.


                    There has been a lot of rubbish promulgated about Nock's gun

                    Volley guns were particularly favoured as a shipboard weapon. Captain Wilson of the Royal Marines designed a seven barrelled volley gun and some were used by the Royal Navy aboard ship during the American War of Independence. In 1779 the London Gunsmith Henry Nock began the supply of these weapons and they became generally known as Nock's seven barrelled gun (when in truth they should be Captain Wilson's gun).Much erroneous material has been written about Nock's gun the chief of which is that the Royal navy introduced it after Nelson’s death at Trafalgar in 1805 in order to suppress French snipers in the fighting tops. In fact the gun had already been in service for over fifteen years before Trafalgar and, self evidently, had not been much use as a means of dealing with the French marksmen. Indeed by the time of the battle it was being taken out of service as swivel guns firing canister could do its job more effectively. Further confusion is added by the fact that Nock produced a number of different types of seven barrelled gun with different calibres and weights. Not all of these were primarily intended for military use as the lighter guns were meant to be used by hunters shooting at flocks of birds and some of the heavier were used as punt guns by wildfowlers in the Lincolnshire fenlands. The gun was never intended to be fired from the shoulder but from a rest or a swivel mount..

                    The standard of workmanship on the gun in the film is far too poor for it to be one produced by Nock.


                    Nock's seven barrelled gun seems like a pretty powerful weapon but it is eclipsed by the fourteen barrel volley gun. Such weapons were made in the closing years of the eighteenth century and one is currently on display in a museum in Liege. These were effectively twin seven barrelled guns with the two sets of tubes side by side, each with its own flint lock. Each set of barrels could be discharged separately or, if desired, all fourteen at once. One gun of this type was owned by Colonel Thomas Thornton a Yorkshire squire who was famed as the leading all round sportsman, hunter, falconer, fisherman and shot of his day. He also successfully bred racehorses, was a patron of some of the foremost English artists of his time and wrote classic accounts of his sporting tours. Somewhere in all of this he found time to raise and command regiments of militia. The man appears to have been a sort of cross between the British actor Brian Blessed and two famous fictional characters, Fielding's Squire Weston and Pratchett's Archchancellor Ridcully. This mammoth weapon appears to have been used by him in the suppression of a mutiny in Devon in 1795.
                    Last edited by MarkV; 01 Jul 18, 05:34.
                    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      SANDS OF IWO JIMA

                      imdb
                      1. Kirk Douglas was going to get the Stryker role until Wayne made a big push and when the studio heard he was interested they jumped at him. Wayne originally did not want the role because he thought he was too old at 42 and he felt the public was tired of WWII movies.
                      2. When Stryker instructs Pvt. Choynski (Hal Baylor), you are watching a man who got out of serving, instructing a Marine veteran of Saipan and Tinian.
                      3. When Wayne was immortalized at Graumann’s Chinese Theater, sand from Iwo Jima was mixed with the cement.
                      4. The dialogue included the first use of the phrase “lock and load” in a movie.
                      5. The movie used actual footage from Tarawa and Iwo Jima.
                      6. The $1.4 million budget was the largest ever for a Republic Pictures film.
                      7. The movie was required viewing for Marine recruits into the 1980s.
                      8. Several real heroes appeared in the movie including the three surviving flag-raisers – Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, and John Bradley. Note: Recently it was proven that Bradley was not in the famous picture. One wonders what he felt as he reenacted the raising for the movie. If his original credit was a misunderstanding, surely he knew during the production that he had not participated in the photo.

                      Wikipedia
                      9. The movie was nominated for Best Actor (Wayne, although he felt he was better in “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”), Editing, Sound Recording, and Writing.

                      TCM
                      10. The cast was put through such strenuous training that they were left exhausted, then physically fit. They stopped carousing with Wayne at night.

                      Guts and Glory
                      11. The movie created the image of Wayne as the iconic American soldier.
                      12. The movie is the prime example of how the Marines made use of Hollywood for recruiting more than any of the other branches. The Corps was the easiest to get cooperation from and was the least hands-on when it came to the scripts. It provided a technical adviser and he jumped out of his seat on set when Stryker butt-strokes a private. He insisted the scene be changed, but the higher ups decided not to insist on it.
                      13. The movie actually covers Tarawa more and better than Iwo Jima.



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        THE SEA HAWK

                        Wikipedia
                        1. This was the tenth collaboration between director Michael Curtiz and Errol Flynn. They made a total of twelve although they despised each other.
                        2. The movie was originally intended to be an adaptation of Rafael Sabatini’s novel, but it actually has little to do with the book and is more based on the adventures of Sir Francis Drake.
                        3. Queen Elizabeth’s rousing speech was aimed at the British audience that was in WWII when the movie came out. The line about the world not belonging to one man was a reference to Hitler. However, the studio insisted that dialogue aimed at American intervention be toned down or removed.
                        4. Academy Award nominations for Art Direction, Original Score, Sound Recording, and Special Effects.

                        imdb
                        5. The costumes were reused from the previous year’s “The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex”.
                        6. A huge sound stage was constructed that included a large water tank that held two full-sized sailing ships in twelve feet of water.
                        7. Flora Robson also played Elizabeth in “Fire Over England”.
                        8. One of Churchill’s favorite films.




                        Comment


                        • #13
                          THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING

                          Wikipedia
                          1. In the novella, the narrator was anonymous. The movie makes him Rudyard Kipling.
                          2. John Huston was a huge Kipling fan from childhood when he was bedridden and read all of his works. He wanted to make the movie since the 1950s. Originally he envisioned the two leads to be Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart, and then Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, and then Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole, and then Robert Redford and Paul Newman.
                          3. Huston wanted a native-looking actress to play Roxane and was complaining to Michael Caine at a dinner with Caine’s wife Shakira. They both looked at Shakira, who was from Asia, and had a brainstorm.
                          4. The movie was nominated for Oscars for Art Direction, Writing, Costume Design, and Editing.

                          imdb
                          5. Sean Connery’s favorite role



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO

                            Wikipedia
                            1. This was the ninth of ten films William Demarest made with director Preston Sturges.
                            2. After a failed preview, the producer recut the movie, but the next preview was bad also. Sturges was brought back and he rewrote and reshot scenes for the finished product.

                            imdb
                            3. Sturges praised the film by saying it was “the one with the least wrong with it” of all his movies.
                            4. Sturges reused the sets from “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek”.
                            5. Sturges was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for both “Hail” and “Miracle”. “Wilson” won.




                            Comment


                            • #15
                              THE TRAIN

                              Wikipedia
                              1. Burt Lancaster had original director Arthur Penn fired after three days and replaced with John Frankenheimer. Frankenheimer envisioned the movie as a character study of the men of the Resistance, but Lancaster insisted on it being also about the trains.
                              2. The marshalling yard bombardment scene involved 140 explosions, a ton of TNT, 2,000 gallons of gasoline, and 22 cameras. It took the explosives expert six weeks to set the explosives. The French railway allowed the destruction because they wanted to destroy the yard, but did not have the funding.
                              3. Lancaster sprained his knee stepping in a hole while playing golf. Frankenheimer dealt with it by having Labiche get wounded while crossing the pedestrian bridge.
                              4. It was nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

                              imdb
                              5. Lancaster performed all his stunts.
                              6. The movie is loosely based on a saving a train full of art, but in reality the train was routed around Paris until the Allies took the city.
                              7. Train Magazine chose it as the #1 train movie in its 100 Greatest Train Movies issue.
                              8. No models were used in the filming.
                              9. In the train derailment, the train was going too fast and wiped out almost all of the cameras.
                              10. The Spitfire strafing the train before it entered the tunnel was added after the studio felt the movie needed one more action scene. It almost ended in disaster when the Spitfire came within thirty feet of hitting the helicopter Frankenheimer was filming in. His wife fainted.
                              11. The original ending had Labiche and Von Waldheim shooting it out.



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