CraigZablo.com

Previews & Reviews that are Z's Views

15 Fun Facts About “City Slickers”


Roger Cormier and Mental_Floss present 15 Fun Facts About City Slickers. Here are three of my favorites…

1. JACK PALANCE WAS BILLY CRYSTAL’S ORIGINAL CHOICE TO PLAY CURLY.

When Crystal first came up with the seed of the idea for City Slickers, he immediately thought of Jack Palance as the crusty bad guy with the heart of gold. He thought of him because the first movie he had ever seen was the 1953 movie Shane, where Palance played the bad guy. The actor left a lasting impression on Crystal, who was seven years old at the time of his first movie-going experience. Because his father produced jazz concerts, Billy saw Shane seated on Billie Holiday’s lap.

5. CHARLES BRONSON WAS ANGRY OVER BEING ASKED TO PLAY CURLY.

Jack Palance initially turned down the role of Curly, as he was committed to another project. So Crystal offered the part to Charles Bronson, who was not pleased. He cursed Crystal out because “I’m dead on page 64!” Palance, of course, ended up taking the role (and the rest is history).

6. PALANCE GOT INTO AN ARGUMENT WITH THE DIRECTOR ON THE FIRST DAY OF SHOOTING.

The veteran actor yelled at Ron Underwood over his first direction, but everything went smoothly after that. When Crystal asked what had happened, Palance explained that he always gets nervous on his first day of shooting. Sure enough, Tim Burton told a similar story about Palance snapping at him on his first day of shooting on Batman over how he was told to walk out of a bathroom, with Burton admitting that the incident scared him “to death—I literally saw white and left my body.”

Celebrity Phobias

A phobia is defined as…

…a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed, often being recognized as irrational.

Common phobias are a fear of public speaking, spiders, snakes, heights, dogs, thunder or lightening, flying and so on.

Eddie Deezen takes a look a celebrity phobias in his piece, “Hey, What Are You Afraid Of” at Neatorama.

14 Deep Facts About “The Hunt for Red October”


Eric D Snider and Mental_Floss present 14 Deep Facts About The Hunt for Red October. Here are three of my favorites…

1. Even though the novel had been a bestseller, nobody wanted to make the movie.

Tom Clancy’s book is a complicated story with a lot of technical jargon, which made Hollywood executives antsy. It also made the movie hard to summarize. “In Hollywood, because of time constraints, very few people in a position to say yes to a project like this read the book,” admitted producer Mace Neufeld. “They generally read the reader’s report. [And] this book doesn’t condense well into two or three pages.” Neufeld got the project off the ground by getting a Paramount executive to read the novel—not just the book report—and see for himself how cinematic it could be.

3. Sean Connery was a last-minute replacement.

The film had been under production for two weeks when word came that Klaus Maria Brandauer (Out of Africa), the Austrian actor who’d been signed to play the rogue Soviet sub commander Marko Ramius, couldn’t do it after all because of a prior commitment. Connery took the part instead, needing only one day for rehearsal. Coincidentally, he and Brandauer had acted together in 1983’s Never Say Never Again and would reunite again for 1990’s The Russia House, which was shot shortly after The Hunt for Red October.

9. Alec Baldwin wanted to return for the sequels but was edged out when Paramount learned they could get Harrison Ford.

It’s complicated, and there are at least two sides to every story, but here’s the gist: While negotiations with Baldwin were still ongoing, Paramount allegedly offered the part to Ford, who was a bigger box office draw and to whom the studio owed money anyway because of a previous project that had fallen through. Baldwin had been dithering over the specifics of his deal, and now a Paramount executive used that indecision to force his hand: either commit right now to an open-ended contract for Patriot Games and whatever came next, or the offer would be withdrawn. Not wanting to give up a chance to appear in A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway, Baldwin left Jack Ryan behind.

15 Things You Should Know About “The Last Supper”

Kristy Puchko and Mental_Floss present 15 Things You Should Know About The Last Supper.  Here are three of my favorites…

2. The Last Supper captures a climactic moment.

Everyone knows the painting depicts Jesus’ last meal with his apostles before he was captured and crucified. But more specifically, da Vinci wanted to capture the instant just after Jesus reveals that one of his friends will betray him, complete with reactions of shock and rage from the apostles. In da Vinci’s interpretation, the moment also takes place just before the birth of the Eucharist, with Jesus reaching for the bread and a glass of wine that would be the key symbols of this Christian sacrament.

6. Very few of da Vinci’s original brushstrokes remain.

Although the painting itself was beloved, da Vinci’s tempera-on-stone experiment was a failure. By the early 16th century, the paint had started to flake and decay, and within 50 years, The Last Supper was a ruin of its former glory. Early restoration attempts only made it worse.

Vibrations from Allied bombings during World War II further contributed to the painting’s destruction. Finally, in 1980, a 19-year restoration effort began. The Last Supper was ultimately restored, but it lost much of its original paint along the way.

3. You won’t find it in a museum.

Although The Last Supper is easily one of the world’s most iconic paintings, its permanent home is a convent in Milan, Italy. And moving it would be tricky, to say the least. Da Vinci painted the religious work directly (and fittingly) on the dining hall wall of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie back in 1495.

15 Fun Facts About “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

Roger Cormier and Mental_Floss present 15 Fun Facts About Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Here are three of my favorites…

1. ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL BELIEVES THAT JOHN HUGHES WANTED HIM TO PLAY FERRIS.

Hall told Vanity Fair that his relationship with the director ended rather abruptly following their work together on Weird Science, and after Hall had begun working with other directors. But he believed that Hughes wrote the roles of Duckie in Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller for him. For his part, Hughes said Broderick was the actor he had in mind when writing the screenplay. Casting directors Janet Hirshenson and Jane Jenkins only seriously considered one other actor for the part: John Cusack.

6. LOVE WAS IN THE AIR.

Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey (who played Jeanie, Ferris’ sister) met and got engaged just before the movie’s release. Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward, who played Ferris’ parents, met on the set of the movie and eventually got married and had two children.

7. BEN STEIN WAS INITIALLY SUPPOSED TO DO HIS LECTURE OFF-CAMERA.

The student extras laughed so hard that Hughes decided to put Stein in front of the camera for his speech on supply-side economics. Stein himself picked the topic after Hughes asked him to speak about something he knew a lot about. Before he became a familiar movie and television presence, Stein—who is also a lawyer—was a speechwriter for Presidents Nixon and Ford.

The Return of The Three Stooges

Cake, animation studio Titmouse, Inc. and C3 Entertainment Inc.— owners of The Three Stooges brand have announced that Larry, Curly and Moe will be returning in a new animated series of 52 eleven minute episodes.

While I’m happy that three of our favorite knuckleheads will be exposed to a new generation of fans, wouldn’t it be cool if each new cartoon was paired with one of the original Three Stooges shorts for a thirty minute episode?  The cherry on the top would be to include Shemp in the cartoons paired with original shorts that he co-starred.

Source: Entertainment Weekly.

19 Fun Facts About “Married with Children”

Roger Cormier and Mental_Floss present 19 Fun Facts About Married with Children. Here are three of my favorites…

5. THE SHOW WAS PITCHED WITH SAM KINISON AS AL AND ROSEANNE BARR AS PEGGY.

Both Kinison and Barr’s managers told Moye, Leavitt, and the other producers that their clients were shooting for the movies, not television.

9. THE SHOW BRIEFLY RUINED O’NEILL’S MOVIE CAREER.

O’Neill had to be recast long after the 1991 war film Flight of the Intruder had finished shooting because test audiences kept laughing whenever he appeared on screen, even though he was playing a Navy captain involved in a court-martial.

6. MICHAEL RICHARDS AUDITIONED TO PLAY AL.

Two years before he landed the career-making role of Kramer on Seinfeld, Richards auditioned to play the Bundy family patriarch. Moye estimated that out of the many people who auditioned for the role, “80 percent” played Al like Jackie Gleason as Ralph Cramden and “five percent” went the Jack Nicholson in The Shining route.