Rare Stories From Behind The Scenes Of Classic TV Shows & Films

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When people consume their entertainment, they often do not think about how much work goes into making it. That is where we step in with some rare behind the scenes photos and facts of classic TV shows & films. We would never have guessed that many bizarre stories happened from Hollywood stars to the crew. Making these things seems like a complex, grueling process with moments of fun thrown in for good measure. Reading these passages might take away from the glamor and mystique behind the big and small screen. If anyone is interested in the film and television industry, you have come to the right place. Get ready to check out the work, insanity, and resourcefulness that make movies and TV possible.

Joy Harmon Almost Turned Down Her Role In “Cool Hand Luke”

For “Cool Hand Luke” (1967) fans, they will never forget Harmon’s appearance as the girl who washed the car. Harmon initially almost turned down the role because the filmmakers wanted her to puff a particular green leaf. The filmmakers agreed to her terms, and she did the scene without the blunt.

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On an interview at TCM with George Kennedy, Harmon said that her scene was only supposed to take half a day to shoot, and it ended up taking up to 3 to complete. Kennedy joked that there was “80,000 feet of film with Joy Harmon washing that car” out there. We’d be curious to know how many 1941 DeSotos sold after the movie’s release.

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Lynda Carter Was Broke Before Wonder Woman

We believe Lynda Carter’s most iconic acting role had to be Diana Prince/ Wonder Woman in the television show “Wonder Woman” (1976-1979). Before she starred on that show, Carter’s acting career was limited. She made minor appearances on “Nakia,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Cos,” and some movies.

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When Carter auditioned to play Wonder Woman, she had very little capital. When she received the call she had gotten the part, Carter only had $25 in her bank account. Carter was up against 2000 other women, and lucky for her (and us), she earned the role. We could not imagine the show without her.

Courtesy of Reddit

Jane Fonda Laid On Plexiglas In “Barberella”

Jane Fonda had made a name for herself in the 1960s, acting or starring in films such as “Cat Ballou” (1965), “The Chase” (1966), and “Any Wednesday” (1966). Before she received her iconic role as Barbarella, the producer had other choices: Virna Lisi, Brigitte Bardot, and Sophia Loren.

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Eventually, director Roger Vadim convinced Fonda to do role telling her science-fiction was a growing genre. In the classic opening scene, Fonda gets out of a spacesuit. To create the illusion of zero gravity, the filmmakers shot Fonda on a plate of Plexiglas with a picture of the spaceship underneath. This technique made her appear to be floating. We think this particular FX still holds up today.

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“Batman” (1966) Almost Had A Season 4

The series “Batman” (1966-1968) was canceled by ABC after the third season due to a severe decline in ratings despite some new additions to the show, such as Yvonne Craig’s portrayal of Batgirl. This depiction was the first time the character made a live-action appearance. 

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As a result of the cancellation, the studio decided to dismantle the set. A couple of weeks later, NBC agreed to pick up the show. However, when they learned about the set, they decided not to invest in “Batman” due to the high cost of rebuilding it.

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“Love Boat” Was Filmed On Actual Ships

The Love Boat was actually filmed on a real Princess Cruise ship called the Pacific Princess.  Occasionally the filmmakers used the sister ship The Island Princess as a stand in. Each ship had a different pool. So, keen viewers can easily spot which boat the filmmakers are utilizing in a scene if anyone is into those details.

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In the show, the cast and crew literally traveled to striking locations across the globe. To better utilize the space, they used actual passengers for the extras rather than hire out. We do not think this is would be the grueling place to make a TV show.

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Jim Brown Quit The NFL To Finish “The Dirty Dozen”

Many football fans say Jim Brown was one of the greatest running backs of all NFL history. He played for the Cleveland Browns from 1957 to 1965. He began acting in 1964 before the football season started. Eventually, MGM cast him in the “Dirty Dozen” (1967).

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Production for the film ran long, and Browns owner Art Modell was not happy. He said he would fine Brown $1,500 for every week he missed of camp. Brown chose to retire instead of continuing his football career. Reflecting on the “Dirty Dozen,” Brown said he “never had more fun making a movie. The male cast was incredible.”

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It Took 2 Hours To Paint Shirley Eaton Gold

Shirley Eaton is probably best known for playing Jill Masterson in Goldfinger (1964). It is possible someone might not remember this character’s name, but they’ll never forget the scene where James Bond finds her covered in gold paint. Eaton also promoted the movie by wearing gold paint in photographs.

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Apparently, the make-up application process took two hours to paint Eaton completely gold, while the shooting took only five minutes. Unlike some rumors that Eaton suffered from the paint, the wardrobe lady and the make-up girl helped her scrub it off after the scene wrapped.

Courtesy of Ain’t It Cool News

Exalted Stunt Performer Tracey Eddon Played Carrie Fisher’s Double In Star Wars

‘Tracey Eddon is a stunt performer from Harrow, Middlesex, England. On IMDB, she has over 100 credits. She has performed in some pretty prominent movies, including “Mission Impossible” (1996), “Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 2” (2011), “Doctor Strange” (2016), and “Ready Player One” (2018).

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In the picture, everyone will see she is Carrie Fisher’s stunt double in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” (1983). As a successful stunt performer, she helped her two daughters, Carly and Casey Michaels, get into the profession. Casey was the stunt double of Scarlett Johansson in “Avengers Age of Ultron” (2015).

An Ewok Actor Was In The Addams Family

People know Felix Silla from his role in “The Addams Family” (1964). He played It for the hairy character Cousin. The character is Gomez Addams’s cousin. Only the family understands what he says; Cousin It talks in gibberish for the audience.

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The character was original to the show and did not come from Charles Addams’s original The New Yorker cartoon. Silla went on to be a stuntman in some other mainstream media such as “Battlestar Galactica” (1978), “The Towering Inferno” (1974), and in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” (1983) as the hang gliding Ewok.

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It Took Three Years To Edit “Apocalypse Now”

There is a lot we can draw on when it comes to trivia for “Apocalypse Now” (1979) behind the scenes. For instance, a lot of the dialogue in the film had to be replaced after shooting. The issue arose from the sounds of helicopters tainting the audio. 

If anyone wants to know, a fantastic documentary called “Heart of Darkness” (1993) goes into more critical details about the madness surrounding this movie. It took Francis Ford Coppola almost three years to edit all the footage for the theatrical release. If someone wants to get more technical, he didn’t finish his “Final Cut” until 2019. Wow.

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Elvis Presley Wanted To Be A Dramatic Movie Star

One of Elvis Presley’s entertainment objectives was to become a dramatic actor. He was a big fan of James Dean and Marlon Brando. At one point, he auditioned for “The Rainmaker” (1956). However, Paramount producer Hal Wallis did not get the part that allowed him to make films with other studios.

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His first starring role was in ”Love Me Tender” in 1956. The film was a commercial success despite lukewarm reviews. The critics, however, thought Elvis was a good actor in the movie. He made several more movies but got disappointed he did not receive more dramatic parts. When Presley’s film contracts ended, he returned exclusively to live entertainment.

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The Director Shot Parts Of “Escape From New York” In His Garage

Adrienne Barbeau met John Carpenter on the set of “Someone’s Watching Me” (1978), and they married the following year. When working on “Escape From New York” (1981), Carpenter specifically wrote the character of Maggie with Barbeau in mind, and she ended up playing the part.

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As the movie progressed, Carpenter was worried that the audience would not understand Maggie’s fate in the current edit at the end of the film. So he shot an additional scene with Barbeau in his garage to make it more straightforward. Apparently, it was a 15-year-old J.J. Abrams who gave him that note.

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Kate Jackson and Farrah Fawcett Did Not Audition For “Charlie’s Angels”

Kate Jackson and Farrah Fawcett tried out for “Welcome Back, Kotter” (1975) as Julie Kotter. Marcia Strassman ultimately got the part. Fortunately for everyone, that gave them time to work on “Charlie’s Angels” (1976). The filmmakers did not even audition Jackson or Fawcett.

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They liked Jackson on the television drama “The Rookies,” (1972) and she initially got the role of Kelly Garrett but switched to Sabrina Duncan fairly early on. On the other hand, Fawcett got cast as Jill Munroe because producer Aaron Spelling was impressed with her performance on “Logan’s Run” (1976). On the other hand, Jaclyn Smith auditioned for her role of Kelly Garrett against hundreds of other actresses.

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Chevy Chase Helped With “The Saturday Night” Live Format

Chevy Chase already made a name for himself before he was on “Saturday Night Live” with things like “The National Lampoon Radio Hour.” However, SNL helped launch him into stardom (he was an original cast member). Initially, Chase was only a writer for the show but became a cast member during rehearsals just before the showed aired.

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Chase earned two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award for his writing and acting on the SNL. One significant contribution to the series was the “Weekend Update” segment. Chase was the original anchor and came up with an introduction and conclusion catchphrases that became well known to viewers. He says his version of “Weekend Update” laid the groundwork for future news satire like “The Daily Show.”

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The Partridge Family’s House Has Appeared In Others Shows And Movies

The filmmakers used a manufactured home on a Warner Brothers backlot in Burbank to achieve the Partridge Family’s house. The inside of the home was a studio set. Weirdly enough, the exterior house also appeared on “Bewitched” (1964). These two shows were not set in the same universe for the record.

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On “Bewitched,” the home actually belonged to Mrs. Kravitz. For eagle eye viewers, you can see the exterior set on the show “Life Goes On” (1989) and the movie “Pleasantville” (1998). It is harder to spot on other things because the house has gone through several colors and remodel. However, the step and roof have always remained intact.

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Bill Bixby And Lou Ferrigno Had An Acting Method On And Off “The Incredible Hulk” Set

On “The Incredible Hulk” (1977-1982), Bill Bixby never watched Lou Ferrigno act on set or vice versa. The reasoning behind this is David Banner did not have any memories of the Hulk’s actions after he transforms into him. So, they did not want that to come off in their performances.

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To make the illusion that David and Hulk were the same, Bixby rarely got photographed with Ferrigno because he didn’t want to ruin it for fans and children that they were separate people. During the show’s run, tabloids tried to get a photograph of them together but continuously failed.

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The Making Of “Myra Breckinridge” Was A Disaster

Producer David Giler learned on the set of “Myra Breckinridge” (1970) that Director Michael Sarne took six to seven hours to “think” in a corner. This behavior resulted in the cast and crew sitting all day, and it wasted the studio’s money, making the film go over budget.

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On the acting side, Farrah Fawcett, Raquel Welch, and Mae West did not like each other. Fawcett said she was almost in tears behind the scenes of this movie. West also would not work until after 5:00 pm and had control of all wardrobe situations, which frustrated Welch. The film was both a financial and commercial flop.

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Suzanne Somers Was Fired From “Three’s Company”

After five successful seasons of “Three’s Company” (1976-1984), Suzanne Somers wanted a significant salary increase and part ownership of the show. To give everyone an idea, she wanted $150,000 per episode, and before, she was making $30,000 per episode. This demand came from the advice of Somers husband, Alan Hamel.

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ABC and the producers quickly shut down that idea. After the rejection, Somers stopped coming to work. She claims the reason was a broken rib, not the negotiations, but who knows. John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt grew frequently frustrated with Somers and refused to work with her. The producers decided to cut down her part to minute-long epilogues at the end of each episode. Soon after, Somers publicly denounced the show’s treatment of her, and the producers and ABC ultimately fired her.

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It Took Multiple People To Bring One Of “The Wicker Man’s” Most Characters To Life

The 1973 version of “The Wicker Man” was supposed to take place in Scottish territory. Ironically, none of the leads were Scottish. For instance, Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward were English, Diane Cilento was Australian, and Britt Ekland was Swedish.

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Speaking of Ekland, she is a model, singer, and actress. She appeared in many films throughout the 1960s and 1970s. She is very famous for her role in “Wicker Man” as Willow MacGregor. The character is a seductress, and Annie Ross dubbed her voice and singing to bring the character to life. Ekland also had a body double for certain dance scenes.

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The Gopher Was Essential To “Caddyshack’s” Structure

“Caddyshack” (1980) used the gopher to tie everything together. Orion Pictures and the producers felt that the movie seemed like a series of scenes rather than a structured narrative. The last-minute addition of the gopher would make the pacing flow better from segment to segment.

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Harold Ramis originally wanted a live gopher, but Rusty Lemorande, a puppeteer, convinced them to go with a puppet because they would have more control. The filmmakers hired Disney theme park creature designer Jeff Burk to make the puppet based on Lemorande’s sketches. They later filmed the gopher parts on a sound stage.

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Gene Wilder Got Role Of Willy Wonka Right After His Audition

In a making-of Willy Wonka segment, director Mel Stuart revealed he knew right away that Gene Wilder was the right choice for the part. When Wilder auditioned for “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” (1971), Stuart said Wilder didn’t even have to say a word; he had the role.

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After the audition, Stuart ran down the hall and grabbed Wilder’s arm, saying, “You’re doing this picture.” Apparently, Producer David L. Wolper was frustrated because they hadn’t worked out a negotiation fee. After reading the script, Wilder said he would take the role if he were allowed to pretend to limp and then somersault. Stuart said the reason Wilder wanted to do that was for the audience not to know if he was lying or telling the truth.

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Jacqueline Bisset Did Not Enjoy Working On “Casino Royale”

Jacqueline Bisset did not have a good time filming 1967’s “Casino Royale” (no, not that one). In a scene involving Peter Sellers where she was supposed to flirtatious, there was an accident involving a prop.  It scared her so much she dropped that champagne bottle.   

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After the accident, she got worried every time she did a scene with Peter Sellers. Oh, and if anyone hasen’t seen the 60s “Casino Royale”, it is more of parody than an adaption of Ian Fleming’s novel. In the story James Bond leaves retirement to stop the organization SMERSH. The weird thing with this movie has six people using the alias of “James Bond”.

Courtesy of LA Times

Sally Field Made Her Television Debut On “Gidget”

Sally Field made her television debut with “Gidget” (1965-1966). The idea behind the show was to illustrate surf culture in Malibu in the 1950s. Fields is the fourth actress to play the character. She was not expecting to get the role since she only auditioned for the part for fun.

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On “Gidget,” Field said she had an off-screen father/daughter-like relationship with Don Porter, and Porter was a mentor who helped explain how things worked on a TV set. Fields also became good friends with Lynette Winter, who played Gidget’s best friend, Larue. After ABC canceled “Gidget,” they developed a new show with Fields in mind called “The Flying Nun.”

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Yvonne Craig Chose A Wig Over Dying Her Hair When She Played Batgirl

Filmmakers shot a promotional short for the 1966 “Batman” series with Yvonne Craig as Barbara Gordon/ Batgirl girl fighting villain Killer Moth. ABC executives were impressed and picked up the show for a Season 3, hoping to attract more female viewers with the character.

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Craig did most of the stunts herself as Batgirl, though she did have a stunt double. She is also a successful biker and rode a motorcycle on the show. In the role, Craig wore a red wig when she was in her Batgirl persona. In the comics, Gordon is a natural redhead. The reasoning behind this choice was Craig did not want to dye her hair and not wear a wig as Gordon. 

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“The Dick Van Dyke Show” Almost Passed On Mary Tyler Moore 

On “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (1961-1966), the series would have Sally Rogers as the lead female character with Laura in a minor role, but the character grew extremely popular thanks to Mary Tyler Moore’s performance. Initially, Dick Van Dyke did not want to cast Moore.

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He thought she was too young to play his wife but had a change of heart once he saw how well their chemistry and humor were on television. Moore also claimed she was older than she actually was to help get the part. She was around 24 when the show aired.

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The Role OF Herman Munster Was Physically Demanding

To create the bulk of Herman Munster, the filmmakers used rubber padding under actor Fred Gwynne’s outer suit. During filming, Gwynne would always drink a ton of lemonade due to the sweating. As a result, of the heat from padding and sweat, he lost a lot of weight.

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Gwynne also did his own stunts on the “The Munsters” (1964). Onset, however, he demolished a headset after falling on his back. The filmmakers choreographed the fall, but the studio felt it was best to get a stunt double and gave the position to Bill Foster.

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Cindy Williams Initially Turned Down Her Role In “Laverne And Shirley”

Laverne and Shirley made their debut on an episode of “Happy Days” (1974-1984) called “A Date With Fonzie.” The chemistry between the two actresses was immediately apparent, and ABC did not take long to offer Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams a spinoff show appropriately titled “Laverne & Shirley” (1976-1983).

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Cindy initially turned down the offer, and the studio recast her with Liberty Williams. While Liberty did okay in the part during screen tests, it did not capture the same magic as before. Producer Gary Marshall asked Cindy once again to take the role of Shirley Wilhelmina, and she finally agreed.

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Jennifer O’Neill’s Agent Had To Convince The Director Of “Summer of ‘42” To Give Her An Audition

For the movie “Summer of ‘42” (1971), Director Robert Mulligan did not want an actress younger than 30 to play Dorothy. Jennifer O’Neill’s agent convinced Mulligan to give her an audition despite O’Neill only being 22. She quickly received the part.

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The movie is about a one-sided romance where a young Herman Raucher has fixated on a woman whose husband is off fighting in WWII. They kept three male actors apart from O’Neill, so the unfamiliarity with her character felt more natural. O’Neill said despite acting in many more movies and working for CoverGirl, people still know her best from “Summer of ‘42”.

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MGM Considered Shirley Temple To Play Dorothy In “The Wizard of Oz”

Judy Garland was always MGM’s top choice to play Dorothy Gale in the “The Wizard of Oz” (1939). They, however, had other actresses in mind, including Shirley Temple. There are several stories about why she did not receive the role.

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Some include that MGM would make a deal with 20th Century Fox to exchange actors for different movies, but the deal fell through. Another rumor is MGM thought Temple’s singing was limited. Temple did not get the part in either case, though she always wished she had. In 1960, on the “Shirley Temple Show” (1958-1961), she adapted the “Marvelous Land of Oz” where she played multiple parts.

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Filmmakers Made A Replica Mannequin of Anne Francis For A “The Twilight Zone” Episode

Anne Francis had a role on a 1960 episode of “The Twilight Zone” called “The After Hours.” In the episode, she turns into a mannequin at the end, and the resemblance is quite eerie. Filmmakers made A plaster mold from Francis’ actual face to get the life-like effects.

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The filmmakers then painted it very carefully and made it look like the actress was motionless. If anyone is having trouble telling the mannequin apart from Anne Francis, look at the hands. This episode of the Twilight Zone was later remade for “The Twilight Zone, 1985”.

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The Makeup Process Behind Max Headroom Took Over Four Hours

If anyone has not seen any Max Headroom content, the fictional character is a TV presenter created by “artificial intelligence.” His voice occasionally changes pitches, and he stutters, but Max also displays cleverness and intelligence. Actor Matt Frewer portrays the character.

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Frewer wore a makeup prosthesis that took four-and-a-half hours to apply to bring the character to life. Filmmakers shot him on a blue screen with a moving geometric background. Editors removed frames from the footage occasionally to create Max’s stuttering ticks. The purpose of all this work was to make Max Headroom look like he was a computer-generated image.

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Susan Somers Was Frustrated By Car Owner While Filming American Graffiti

In the movie “American Graffiti” (1973), Suzanne Somers plays the character credited as “The Blonde.” The audience gets introduced to her driving a white Ford Thunderbird. Whenever the crew had to shoot anything with the T-Bird, the car’s actual owner was not too far away.

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On set, the man would continuously wipe down or clean the car. He also instructed Somers on how to hand the vehicle, which drove her crazy. In any case, the movie was a success, but when the exact same Thunderbird from the film appeared in the San Francisco newspaper ads for a low price of $3,000, it did not sell.

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The Movie “Strange Brew” Originated From a Comedy Album’s High Sales

Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas released Bob and Doug McKenzie’s comedy album in 1981, and it was called “The Great White North” and sold a million copies. The duo thought they could ride their accomplishment and make a full-length movie, which became “Strange Brew” (1983).   

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Steve De Jarnatt wrote the first draft and based it on Hamlet. Moranis and Thomas thought it was too close to the famous play and wanted to deviate in some areas. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer picked up the script, but it was not due to the story, but rather “The Great White North” sales. 

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The Casting Team Behind “Alien” (1979) Discovered The Man Who Played The Creature In A Bar

For the movie “Alien” (1979), screenwriter Dan O’Bannon wrote the screenplay around the idea of bringing to life one of artist H.R. Giger’s monsters. When filmmakers got Giger aboard the production, he did the creature design. With the costume of the adult alien, the filmmakers used latex along with a head created separately by Carlo Rambaldi with 900 moving parts, including hinges cables.

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A casting team discovered 26-year-old Bolaji Badejo in a bar one night. He was a 6 foot 10-inch Nigerian student with a slim frame. The team got him in touch with Ridley Scott, who believed that the actor’s shape would create the illusion that no human was in the costume. The filmmakers got a full-body plaster cast of Badejo to help form the costume.

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On “I Dream Of Jeanie,” Barbara Eden Chose Her Costume Colors

After ABC’s success with ”Bewitched” (1964), NBC producer Sidney Sheldon wanted a similar show. Inspired by “The Brass Bottle” (1964) Sheldon came up with an idea for sitcom with a female genie. He originally did not want a blonde in the starring role, but after several failed auditions, he talked to Barbara Eden’s agent and cast her for “I Dream Of Jeanie” (1965-1970).

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We are sure the fact that Eden was also in “The Brass Bottle” was just a coincidence. Anyway, on the show Eden picked the pink/maroon color for the character’s harem outfit plus the purple trim of the bottle.  If someone remembers anything about the show, it is definitely the outfits.

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Bob Crane Married “Hogan’s Heroes” Co-star

Cynthia Lynn played Helga in the first season of “Hogan’s Heroes”. The character was Colonel Wilhelm Klink, secretary. Despite contract issues, Lynn left the show after one season on friendly terms. Sigrid Valdis was her replacement moving forward. Valdis played Hilda.

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In real life Bob Crane, who played Colonel Hogan, began dating Valdis and later married her.” Hogan’s Heroes” co-star Richard Dawson was Crane’s best man at the wedding. After the birth of their son, Valdis stepped down from her acting career.

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It Was Common For The Crew To Redress Sets On The Original “Star Trek” Series

In “Star Trek” (1966-1969), the sets used on the original series had removable wall panels. The purpose was so the crew could easily position the camera and allow people working on the show to redress or repurpose the sets effortlessly.

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Spock’s quarters, for instance, is the same set used for Captain Kirk. The crew just switched some things around. As for the art direction of the set designs, especially on the USS Enterprise, the filmmakers took inspiration from the 1964-65 New York City World’s Fair displays and pavilions.

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The Sad Hill Cemetery In Spain Did Not Exist Until The Release Of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

The Sad Hill Cemetery in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966) does not exist. The Spanish Army built the set with 5,000 graves at Mirandilla Valley in Burgos, Spain. After the movie wrapped, the filmmakers left it as they made it.

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A group of fans decided to restore the location in 2015. Another interesting tidbit about the cemetery scene is a Mexican piece called El Degüello inspired the trumpet theme in the standoff at the end. The music Sergio Leone requested was for Ennio Morricone to compose something that felt like “the corpses were laughing from inside their tombs” at the end.

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Some Famous Talent Came From “Banana Splits Adventure Hour”

“Banana Splits Adventure Hour “(1968) was one of Hanna-Barbera Productions that featured a band of four anamorphic animals. The production brought the characters to life via costumes. The children’s series was a variety show with live-action and animated segments. Many people do not know that a surprising amount of talent came from “Banana Splits.”

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One example is R&B singer Barry White. The show hired him to write songs that the band would play. Another is Richard Donner, a staff director on a “Danger Island” live-action segment. He went on to direct classics like “Superman” (1978), “The Goonies” (1985), and “Lethal Weapon” (1987). Though people might not widely remember the show, in 2019, Warner Brothers resurrected the property and adapted it into a horror movie called “The Banana Splits Movie.”

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Martin Scorsese Had Many Reasons To Shot “Raging Bull” In Black And White”

There are many artistic reasons why Martin Scorsese shot “Raging Bull” (1980) in black and white, including authenticity to the film stock throughout the 1940s and 50s. A bigger purpose was so the film could stand against the competition.

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Around the same time this movie was released, there were other boxing movies like “Rocky II” (1979), “The Prize Fighter” (1979), and “The Main Event” (1979). The black and white picture set it apart. When Scorsese showed 8mm color footage to director Michael Powell, Powell noted that glove colors were inaccurate to the time, which influenced Scorsese to go with the BW style. He also did not want to depict the blood in color.

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People Knew Telly Savalas For His Villain Roles Before He Played Lt. Theo Kojak

For the television series Kojak (1973-1978), rumor had it that the show’s creators wanted Marlon Brando to play the lead character. The role for Lt. Theo Kojak ultimately went to Telly Savalas, who was 51 years old when the show started.

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Before “Kojak,” Savalas had a reputation for playing villains, including the James Bond Villain Blofeld on “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969). Kojak is often seen with a lollipop to cut back on smoking on the show, and this reflected Savalas’s real-life struggle with smoking.  

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The Crew Of “Halloween” (1978) Had Two Mask Options For Michael Myers

When working on “Halloween” (1978), the crew had two mask options for Michael Myers. According to the documentary “Halloween’ Unmasked 2000” (1999), one choice was a rubber mask of Emmet Kelly, and the filmmakers glued curly red hair on it and did a screen test.

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The other mask option was a 1975 mask of William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk. It cost the team a dollar. They removed the eyebrows, painted it white, and painted the hair brown. They also cut the eyes open larger. The crew thought while the Emmett Kelly version looked manic and wild, the Shatner mask had an emotionless quality that made it creepier. They ended up using the Shatner mask for Michael Myers.

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Making Props On Gilligan’s Island Was A Challenge

On “Gilligan’s Island,” passengers get in a shipwreck after a tsunami and are stranded on a tropical island. They try to come up with ways to get off the whole show. As a result, the prop department had to make items that looked like they forged from stuff on an island.

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Most of the team enjoyed it because it was a challenge. Typically on other shows, they reused the same props from storage. With “Gilligan’s Island,” they had to build things like a bamboo car. As for the lagoon set itself, a CBS lot in Studio City, CA housed it, and the location was the same one used in “Creature from the Black Lagoon.”

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The Batmobile Was A Custom 1955 Lincoln Futura

For the 1966 “Batman” series, the filmmakers used a custom 1955 Lincoln Futura for the Batmobile. The same car was used in the movie “It Started with a Kiss” (1959). Designer George Barris said he made five Batmobiles for the show.

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Another fun fact from “Batman” is that the crew used Bronson Cavern in Hollywood Hills to shoot the shot where the Batmobile left the Batcave. The filmmakers wanted to ensure the cave didn’t clip the fenders or fins of the Batmobile since the entrance was about the exact width of the vehicle. They allowed the car to go slowly out of the cave and sped up the footage later in the post for safety and cost. 

George Lucas Got His Head Stuck In A Mechanical Shark On The “Jaws” Set

Universal Pictures built three mechanical sharks that each had different functions for “Jaws” (1975). One shark was fully covered, while the other two had an open right and left side. These sharks cost about $250,000 each. These mechanical sharks were slightly bigger than the ones from the wild.

Courtesy of IMDB

When the crew needed to get actual shark footage when the character Matt Hooper went cage diving, they used a significantly smaller cage and smaller person to make the shark look bigger. With the mechanical sharks, they were prone to malfunctions. Apparently, George Lucas got his head stuck in the mouth when he looked inside while visiting the set.