Gone With Wind : At nearly four hours long, this is the longest running of all movies to win the Best Picture Academy Award.
- Vivien Leigh later said that she hated kissing Clark Gable because of his bad breath, probably caused by his false teeth, a result of excessive smoking.
- Three of the four principal actors–Leslie Howard, Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable–died at relatively young ages. Olivia de Havilland outlived them all by at least 40 years and is the only one who remains alive (as of 2014). Ironically, her character is the only one who dies in the film.
Casablanca: “Here’s looking at you, kid” was improvised by Humphrey Bogart in the Parisian scenes and worked so well that it was used later on again in the film.
- Humphrey Bogart’s wife Mayo Methot continually accused him of having an affair with Ingrid Bergman, often confronting him in his dressing room before a shot. Bogart would come onto the set in a rage. In fact, despite the undeniable on-screen chemistry between Bogart and Bergman, they hardly spoke.
Rebel Without a Cause : T-shirt sales soared after James Dean wore one in this film.
- The opening scene in the movie with Jim Stark and the toy monkey was improvised by James Dean after the production had been shooting for nearly 24 hours straight. He asked Nicholas Ray to roll the camera, that he wanted to do something. Ray obliged and the improvisation went on to become the famous opening scene.
- The film was originally going to contain a kiss between James Dean and Sal Mineo.
Singin’ in the Rain : Gene Kelly insulted Debbie Reynolds for not being able to dance. Fred Astaire, who was hanging around the studio, found her crying under a piano and helped her with her dancing.
- The “Singing in the Rain” number took all day to set up –and Gene Kelly was very ill (some say with a fever over 101).the director was ready to send him home. He ad-libbed most of it and it only took one take - which is what you see on film.
Wizard of Oz : Judy Garland had to wear a painful corset-style device around her torso so that she would appear younger and flat-chested.
- A recent study claimed that this is the most watched movie in film history, largely due to the number of television screenings each year as well as the various video/DVD releases, which have enabled children of every generation to see it.
- The ruby slippers were silver (like in the book) until MGM chief Louis B. Mayer realized that the Technicolor production would benefit from the slippers being colored.
Breakfast At Tiffanys : Although not visible on camera, hundreds of onlookers watched Audrey Hepburn’s window-shopping scene at the start of the film. This made her nervous and she kept making mistakes. It wasn’t until a crew member nearly got electrocuted behind the camera that she pulled herself together and finished the scene.
- Holly’s whistle when she hails a cab for Paul was actually dubbed in. Audrey Hepburn attempted to learn how to whistle with two fingers, but could never produce the desired sound.
- Hepburn was very self-conscious of her performance while Capote was on set as she felt inadequate as the Holly he had envisioned.
A Streetcar Named Desire : Fitted t-shirts could not be bought at the time, so Marlon Brando’s apparel had to be washed several times and then the back stitched up, to appear tightly over the actor’s chest.
- There was some bad blood between Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando at the beginning of the shoot, but these conflicts had nothing to do with acting style. Brando was simply annoyed at Leigh’s typically British manners and stuffiness. The two acting giants eventually became friends as the shoot progressed.
The short, sad story of The Wizard of Oz’s first Tin Man
Buddy Ebsen was all set to star as The Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz but he reacted poorly with the aluminum dust in the makeup to the extent that he was rushed to the hospital and eventually bowed out of the classic film.
Ebsen detailed the trauma in “The Other Side of Oz”, his autobiography:
“One night in bed I woke up screaming. My arms were cramping from my fingers upward and curling simultaneously so that I could not use one arm to uncurl the other. My wife tried to pull my arm straight with some success, just as my toes began to curl; then my feet and legs bent backward at the knees. I panicked. What was happening to me? Next came the worst. The cramps in my arms advanced into my chest to the muscles that controlled my breathing. If this continued, I wouldn’t even be able to take a breath. I was sure I was dying."
Fortunately Ebsen survived and went on to many other roles including Doc Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Uncle Jed in The Beverly Hillbillies. What also survived was Ebsen singing in The Wizard of Oz soundtrack as part of the quartet in "We’re Off To See The Wizard”.
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No, I mean Wizard Pictionary. It's like pictionary, but you act it out with your body! Because wizard pictures move! I keep forgetting you were raised by Muggles, Hermione. Seriously, you missed out on so much.
That is definitely charades. And we had electricity.
I bet you never even had Wizard Pies. They're these flat little pastries that you put on your fireplace, and when they're done heating up, they fly up out of the fireplace and into your hand. Then you get a second-degree burn. Classic wizard kid breakfast! I'm getting all nostalgic just thinking about it.
That is literally just a worse version of a Pop-Tart.