15 fun movie facts
1. The Muppet Movie (1979) was cut by New Zealand Censors on grounds of gratuitous violence. Sweden banned E.T. (1982) for children under 11 because it claimed the film showed parents being hostile to their children
2. The American Humane Association (AHA) objected to the scene in the Shawshank Redemption (1994) where the character Brooks feeds his crow a maggot. The AHA stated it was cruel to the maggot, and it required that the crow be fed a maggot that had died from natural causes
3. In The Godfather (1972), John Marley’s (Jack Wolz) scream of horror in the horse head scene was real, as he was not told that a real horse head, which was obtained from a dog food company, was going to be used
4. For The Twilight Saga: New Moon, each actor portraying one of the wolf pack was required to have documentation proving Native American descent
5. To Have and Have Not (1945) is the only instance when a Nobel prize-winning author (Ernest Hemingway) was adapted for the screen by another Nobel-winning author (William Faulkner).
6. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) called for a boycott of the 1947 Disney film Song of the South, an adaptation of the Uncle Remus stories that showed happy slaves on a plantation. Though the film inspired the Disneyland ride “Splash Mountain,” the film has never been released in its entirety on home video in the U.S.
7. David O. Selznick was fined $5,000 for the line “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” in Gone with the Wind (1939). The Catholic Legion of Decency gave the movie a B rating, citing that the film was “morally objectionable in part for all
8. The first picture to sweep all five major Academy Awards—winning for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay (adaptation)—was Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night (1934) starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. The second movie to do the same was One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975).
9. The laser swords in Star Wars (1977) were actually fiberglass rods coated with a highly reflective material. Light was reflected onto the rods by mirrors in front of the camera lens and color was later enhanced by animation
10. There were 124 midgets hired to play munchkins in The Wizard of Oz (1939). One midget fell into a studio toilet and was trapped there until somebody finally found him
11. The largest number of fatalities ever in a production of a film occurred during the shooting of the 1931 film Viking. Twenty-seven people died, including the director and cinematographer, when a ship they were shooting from exploded in the ice off the coast of Newfoundland
12. The largest cast of living creatures in a Hollywood film were the 22 million bees employed by Irwin Allen in The Swarm (1978)
13. The scene in which Judy Garland sings “Over the Rainbow” in The Wizard of Oz (1939) was almost cut from the movie. Assistant producer Arthur Freed is credited with convincing MGM exec Louis B. Mayer to keep the scene
14. According to BodyCounts.com (which counts only onscreen killings, not characters killed in planet explosions), the movies with the largest body counts are The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) 836, Kingdom of Heaven (2005) 619, 300 (2007) 600, Troy (2004) 572, and The Last Samurai (2003) 558
15. Some of the most infamous Hollywood film “curses,” in which cast members and crew are beset by tragic coincidences, are usually associated with horror movies such as Rosemary’s Baby, The Poltergeist, The Exorcist, and The Omen