CraigZablo.com

Previews & Reviews that are Z's Views

18 Things You Might Not Know About “Silence of the Lambs”

Mental_Floss presents 18 Things You Might Not Have Known About Silence of the Lambs.

Here are three of my favorites…

1. IT’S THE THIRD FILM TO EVER WIN ALL OF THE “BIG FIVE” OSCARS—BEST PICTURE, ACTOR, ACTRESS, DIRECTOR, AND SCREENPLAY.

The other two were It Happened One Night in 1934, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975.

2. GENE SISKEL GAVE IT A THUMBS DOWN.

Siskel infamously didn’t see what all the fuss was about, dismissing the movie as a “star-studded freak show” on TV and writing that Lambs was “a case of much ado about nothing.” The Oscars, and Ebert, disagreed.

7. SEAN CONNERY WAS THE FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY LECTER.

Connery read the script and found it “revolting.” Daniel Day-Lewis and Derek Jacobi were also considered.

15 Quirks of U.S. Presidents You Didn’t Learn in School

Mental Floss presents: 15 Quirks of U.S. Presidents You Didn’t Learn in School.

From their list here are three of my favorites…

3. CHESTER A. ARTHUR’S RUMMAGE SALE

You couldn’t call Chester A. Arthur the sentimental type. The 21st president was happy to hand over wagonloads of White House furniture—the former belongings of his long line of esteemed predecessors dating all the way back to John Adams’s term—to the highest bidder. Rumor has it he only snagged $8,000 for the priceless haul.

6. MARTIN VAN BUREN’S LOADED ARGUMENTS

Seemingly of Monroe’s school of thought, Martin Van Buren was known to bring a pair of loaded pistols to Senatorial assemblies, just in case an argument became too heated.

7. BENJAMIN HARRISON’S LIGHT TRAUMA

Benjamin Harrison, whose presidency was the first to oversee a White House wired with electricity, might be commended for embracing scientific progress … if it weren’t for the desperate fear of light switches that kept him from ever actually utilizing this new technology.

25 Things You Might Not Know About “National Lampoon’s Vacation”

MoviePhone presents National Lampoon’s Vacation: 25 Things You Didn’t Know About the Classic Road Trip Comedy.

Here are my three favorites…

1. In Hughes’ original story “Vacation ’58,” initially published in National Lampoon magazine in 1979, it’s Disneyland that’s closed and Walt Disney who gets taken hostage by the irate dad. The story’s memorable first line: “If Dad hadn’t shot Walt Disney in the leg, it would have been our best vacation ever!” Warner Bros. snapped up the movie rights almost immediately.

10. Chase claims that no one ever spots the gag early in the film, when Ellen and Clark are doing the dishes and the dishes don’t actually get washed. Ellen scrapes the food off of them, and Clark dries them and puts them back in the cabinet.

25. A reboot has been in the works that would star Ed Helms (“The Hangover”) as the grown Rusty, taking his own wife (Christina Applegate) and family on vacation to Walley World, with Chase and D’Angelo to return as his parents. So far, however, the project has yet to make it off the drawing board.

18 Things You Might Not Know About “Frasier”

Kara Kovalchik presents 18 Things You Might Not Know About Frasier.

Regular readers know the drill: using just Kovalchiks list, here are my three favorite facts…

7. THE FIRST CUT OF THE PILOT WAS SIX MINUTES TOO LONG.

After seven passes, it still came in sixty seconds more than it should and the creative team decided they couldn’t cut any more. NBC agreed and said they would find the extra time—not by cutting a commercial, but by taking 15 seconds from the other 4 shows on that night.

17. KELSEY GRAMMER PLAYED FRASIER FOR A VERY, VERY LONG TIME …

Counting the time he spent on Cheers, Kelsey Grammer played the character of Frasier Crane in prime time for 20 consecutive years, a record TV-land hadn’t seen since James Arness played Marshall Dillon on Gunsmoke for the same length of time. Grammer’s publicist invited Arness to join Kelsey on The Today Show in 2004, but according to Grammer, Arness rejected the idea with a brief expletive that rhymes with “duck shoe.”

18. … AND HE’S THE FIRST AMERICAN ACTOR TO BE NOMINATED FOR THE SAME CHARACTER ON THREE DIFFERENT SERIES.

Cheers and Frasier are obvious, but Frasier Crane also made an Emmy-nominated guest appearance on Wings.

Click here for the full list.

Source: Mental_Floss.

 

16 Things You Didn’t Know About Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels hit the market in 1968 and they were instantly on every young boy’s birthday and Christmas wish lists.  Although I preferred Johnny West, GI Joe and other action figures, for a time I was into Hot Wheels (although not as much as some of my other Hot Wheels-obsessed friends).

Aaron Miller at Supercompressor.com presents 16 Things You Didn’t Know About Hot Wheels.

Here are my three favorite Hot Wheels facts…

9. Today, there are more Hot Wheels models than real cars in the world.

Over 4,000,000,000 (yep, four billion) have been produced since the first was cast in 1968.

4. According to Mattel, Hot Wheels got its name from an offhand compliment.

There are a few versions of the story floating around, but the official Mattel line is that when Elliot Handler (the “el” in Mattel) saw (Hot Wheels’ first designer) Harry Bradley’s El Camino in the parking lot, he said “Those are some hot wheels.”

1. Several of Hot Wheels’ most noteworthy creators are legit car designers.

Larry Wood oversaw the design of most of the cars you grew up playing…but before his career at Mattel, he spent much of the 1960s working for Ford.

24 Things You Might Not Know About “Goodfellas”

Adam D’Arpino presents 24 Things You Might Not Know About Goodfellas.

Regular readers know the drill: using just D’Arpino’s list, here are my three favorite facts…

5. The famous “funny how?” scene wasn’t in the script.

Maybe the most famous (and certainly the most quoted) scene in Goodfellas comes at the beginning, when Pesci’s Tommy DeVito jokingly-yet-uncomfortably accosts Henry Hill for calling him “funny.” In addition to being the driving force behind the scene on screen, Pesci is also responsible for coming up with the premise.

While working in a restaurant, a young Pesci apparently told a mobster that he was funny—a compliment met with a less-than-enthusiastic response. Pesci relayed the anecdote to Scorsese, who decided to include it in the film. Scorsese didn’t include the scene in the shooting script so that Pesci and Liotta’s interactions would elicit surprised and genuine reactions from the supporting cast.

8. Only five murders take place on screen.

Despite its reputation as a violent movie, the number of on-screen deaths actually portrayed in Goodfellas is a surprisingly tame five (Spider, Billy Batts, Stacks Edwards, Morrie, and Tommy), or 10 if you include the results of Jimmy Conway’s handiwork following the Lufthansa heist. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that violence, and the threat of violence, is a constant presence throughout the film. Still, compared to a body count of 214 in John Woo’s Bullet in the Head, released in the same year, or 255 in Saving Private Ryan, or even 24 in Scorsese’s Best Picture winner The Departed, Goodfellas isn’t terribly bloody.

13. The real life Henry Hill was just as surprised as you are that he never got whacked.

Henry Hill’s testimony against some of the most ruthless and powerful Lucchese crime family associates led to roughly 50 convictions, his stint in witness protection was short-lived, and as Hill learns from the very beginning, rule number one in the wiseguy world is “never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.” So why was Hill able to live to be a (relatively) old man and die of natural causes, instead of ultimately meeting a violent end like so many of his past associates?

According to Hill, he had absolutely no idea. In 2010, he told the Telegraph, “It’s surreal, totally surreal, to be here. I never thought I’d reach this wonderful age,” and hypothesized he was still standing simply because “there’s nobody from my era alive today.” Following his death in 2012, The Guardian hypothesized that bureaucratic disorganization in the organized crime world or fame might have kept Hill standing.

Click here for the full list.

Source: Mental_Floss.

 

11 Amazing Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin is one of our most interesting founding fathers.  Did you know…

Franklin was a such a great swimmer that he received a posthumous induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1968!  He also invented swim fins [worn on the hands].

Franklin began masquerading as women at the age of 16 – in letters written to his brother James’ newspaper.  James was not amused when he found out that Silence Dogood’s [“a middle-aged widow with sharp, satirical wit”] letter were actually written by his kid brother.

Ben Franklin never said he wanted a turkey, and not the bald eagle, on our national seal. Franklin did try to cook a turkey using electric current but ended up shocking himself numb.

You’ll learn more about the Franklin facts above and a lot more if you click over to 11 Amazing Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Benjamin Franklin presented by Mental_Floss.

What Song Will Be Played at Your Funeral?

It was determined that the song for my memorial would be We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn

Some of the lyrics from “We’ll Meet Again” that will be about your life: “They’ll be happy to know / That as you saw me go / I was singin’ this song”

When people hear this song at your funeral, they will know you wanted them to celebrate your life and feel at ease about your passing. Your life will have been spent caring for others and being optimistic, so they will follow your lead.

We’ll Meet Again is bit old fashioned but I think the theme is right.  If you want to have some fun, take the quiz and determine the song for you!

Source: PlayBuzz.

10 Facts You May Not Know About Elvis Presley

Eddie Deezen recently presented 10 Facts You May Not Know About Elvis Presley.  Here are my three favs from the list…

5. He wanted to make guest appearances on Laugh-In and Hee Haw.
Elvis was an inveterate TV watcher.He enjoyed watching many popular television shows in the ’60s and ’70s.

He actually thought about making cameo appearances on both Laugh-In and Hee Haw. He thought he could do a brief cameo on Laugh-In when he rode a tricycle, incognito. It never happened.

6. He didn’t know the Beatles by name.
In 1965, the celebrated formal meeting of Elvis and the Beatles took place at Elvis’ house in Bel Air. Since Elvis had no idea which Beatle was which, during the meeting, he addressed each one as “Beatle,” instead of using their first names.

1. He was pals with Clint Eastwood.
Elvis and Clint Eastwood used to see each other around the studio they both worked at in the mid-60’s. According to Clint: “I was always wearing a gun. (Elvis) loved to do fast draws and stuff, so we always did fast draws together.”

“I liked him. He seemed like a good guy. Had a lot of guys hanging around, big entourage.”

 Source: Neatorama.

15 Fun Facts for “Young Frankenstein”


Young Frankenstein, despite turning 40 years old this year, remains one of the funniest movies of all time.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the release of Young Frankenstein, Mental_Floss presents 15 Fun Facts for Young Frankenstein’s 40th Anniversary by Marc Mancini.

Here are my three favorite facts…

2. STAR AND CO-WRITER GENE WILDER CONVINCED BROOKS TO FORGO HIS USUAL CAMEO APPEARANCE

Like Alfred Hitchcock, Brooks usually gave himself a part in his own films, from Blazing Saddles’ loopy governor to the wine-selling Rabbi of Robin Hood: Men in Tights. These characters regularly broke the fourth wall and “winked” at the audience, something Wilder felt would clash with Young Frankenstein’s tone. So, as a condition of his taking on the lead role, Wilder made Brooks agree to remain off-camera.

However, the director did provide some howling

6. SEVERAL PROPS HAD PREVIOUSLY APPEARED IN THE MASTERFUL 1931 FRANKENSTEIN FILM

Taking his feature-length tribute to the next level, Brooks included much of the faux labequipment used in that earlier picture.

 

9. GENE HACKMAN SPECIFICALLY ASKED WILDER FOR A PART INYOUNG FRANKENSTEIN BECAUSE HE “WANTED TO TRY COMEDY”

According to the movie’s Blu-Ray commentary, Hackman—who’d been thrice nominated for an Academy Award (and won one in 1971)—learned about Young Frankenstein through his frequent tennis partner Wilder and requested a role. Ultimately, ‘Harold’—the lonely blind character he briefly portrayed—sparked one of the most memorable sequences in comedic history.