Clowns avoid blue face paint — they consider it bad luck.
Slovenian names of Disney characters:
- Mickey Mouse: Miki Miška
- Minnie Mouse: Mini Miška
- Donald Duck: Jaka Racman
- Daisy Duck: Jakica Racman
- Scrooge McDuck: Stric Skopušnik
- Huey, Dewey and Louie: Pak, Žak in Mak
- Goofy: Pepe
- Pluto: Pluton
- Chip ‘n Dale: Cik in Cak
“When in doubt, make a western.” — John Ford
“Can’t sing. Can’t act. Slightly balding. Can dance a little.” — Paramount Pictures screen test report on Fred Astaire
Highest-grossing films worldwide, to date:
- Titanic (1997)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
- Jurassic Park (1993)
- Shrek 2 (2004)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
- Finding Nemo (2003)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
At first that looks like a triumph of modern marketing — all of these films were made in the last 12 years. But here are the top ten when receipts are adjusted for inflation:
- Gone With the Wind (1939)
- Star Wars (1977)
- The Sound of Music (1965)
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
- The Ten Commandments (1956)
- Titanic (1997)
- Jaws (1975)
- Doctor Zhivago (1965)
- The Exorcist (1973)
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Titanic has made $1.8 billion worldwide to date, and it’s only number 6 on the all-time list. Gone With the Wind has made $3.8 billion, more than twice as much.
Only nine people have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony award:
- Mel Brooks
- John Gielgud
- Marvin Hamlisch
- Helen Hayes
- Audrey Hepburn
- Rita Moreno
- Mike Nichols
- Jonathan Tunick
- Richard Rodgers
If you count honorary awards, then Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli also qualify. If you count “daytime Emmys,” then so does Whoopi Goldberg.
From Hand Shadows to Be Thrown Upon the Wall, by Henry Bursill (1859).
Great reviews of bad movies:
- Freddy Got Fingered (2001): “This movie doesn’t scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels. … The day may come when Freddy Got Fingered is seen as a milestone of neo-surrealism. The day may never come when it is seen as funny.”
- Frogs for Snakes (1999): “I was reminded of Mad Dog Time (1996), another movie in which well-known actors engaged in laughable dialogue while shooting one another. Of that one, I wrote: ‘Mad Dog Time is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time.’ Now comes Frogs for Snakes, the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of Mad Dog Time.”
- Batman & Robin (1997): “For those of you who were scared away by the abysmal reviews of Batman & Robin, let me lay to rest some of the prejudices you might have about the film. It’s not the worst movie ever. No, indeed. It’s the worst thing ever. Yes, it’s the single worst thing that we as human beings have ever produced in recorded history.”
Of North (1994), Roger Ebert wrote: “I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it … one of the worst movies ever made.”
- Sylvester Stallone: 5’7″
- Tom Cruise: 5’7″
- Al Pacino: 5’7″
- Richard Dreyfus: 5’5″
- Dustin Hoffman: 5’5″
- Danny DeVito: 5’0″
- Linda Hunt: 4’9″
Stature doesn’t equal talent. Asked for advice on acting, John Wayne (6’4″) said, “Talk low, talk slow, and don’t talk too much.”
Some of the busiest people in show business don’t exist:
- The name George Spelvin is traditionally used in American theater programs when an actor’s name would otherwise appear twice.
- In the London theater, Walter Plinge gets the credit when a part has not been cast.
- On BBC television dramas in the 1970s, David Agnew was credited when contractual reasons prevented a writer’s name from being used.
- When a Hollywood director no longer wants credit for a film, the name Alan Smithee is used.
That last one is such an open secret — “Smithee” even directed a Whitney Houston video — that the Directors Guild finally abandoned it in favor of random pseudonyms, starting with the 2000 James Spader bomb Supernova, directed by “Thomas Lee” (Walter Hill).