Movie Film Trivia

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emuboy

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As a child actress in the 2000s, Dakota Fanning starred in many roles in a variety of films. In some of them, Dakota's younger sister Elle Fanning, similar in looks to Dakota, played a younger version of Dakota's character in flashbacks or a relative. One example was in Charlotte's Web, where Dakota played the lead role of Fern and Elle had a small role as Fern's granddaughter in a scene set many years later at the end of the film.

Now adults, Dakota and Elle Fanning are still actresses and still look very similar facially, but there is no way they could share the same role. Why is this? Because younger sister Elle stands at a lofty 5 feet 10, much taller than older sister Dakota who is 5 feet 3 in height.
 

emuboy

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There's been quite a few movies over the years that have been production nightmares. One that would be a strong contender for the worst of all time was a 1996 film called 'The Island of Doctor Moreau' which was actually filmed in Queensland. A nightmare from pre-production through every stage of development and which when finally released was a commercial and critical failure, the problems of 'The Island of Doctor Moreau' were way more bizarre than most other stories of movies where there was disharmony on set, casting changes, budget problems, production falling behind and logistical issues. I'd be here until midnight if I was to list them all, but there's Youtube videos about this, and things were so bad that a movie about the making of 'The Island of Doctor Moreau' would probably be more interesting than the film itself.

The star in the titular role was the late Marlon Brando, who to put it tactfully was unimpressed by many things about the production and made his feelings known. One thing a reasonable person might think Brando might have been peeved about was the bizarre clothes that Doctor Moreau wore - weird mu-mu like dresses and strange hats as well as being accompanied by a mute midget dressed identically in every scene - and that this was an affront to the veteran actor's dignity, especially if he only found out about it after signing the contract and flying to Australia. Strangely though, Brando apparently loved the bizarre clothes of his character and wanted him to dress even more strangely such as a weird white outfit with white makeup and an ice-bucket on his head. He also loved the midget, and insisted that more scenes be written to include this character. This meant rewrites and meaningless random scenes that did not progress the plot and looked out of place, adding length to what was already an overly long film.
 

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STFU Donnie

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American actor Dan Hedaya is best known for playing the gruff father of Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) in the classic 1995 teen comedy 'Clueless'. In 1999, he starred in another teen comedy 'Dick' with Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst. This film was about two naive teenage girls in the 1970s who on a school trip to the White House accidentally blunder their way into the Oval Office where they meet President Richard Nixon and become involved in the Watergate Scandal. Hedaya played Richard Nixon in the film, but sadly over 20 years this very original and amusing teen comedy is largely forgotten.

Interestingly, just three years earlier in 1996 Hedaya had played an advisor to President Nixon in the failed biopic 'Nixon', starring Anthony Hopkins in the titular role.
One of my all-time favourite character actors, I first saw him as a corrupt cop in Hill Street Blues. He's always excellent and always memorable.

dan-hedaya-photo_99407_3017.jpg
 

emuboy

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American actor James Tolkan turns 90 this year, and his best known role is in the 'Back to the Future' movies, where he played Principal Strickland, who in both 1955 and 1985 would frequently call young male students who incurred his wrath 'slackers'. Those identified as slackers by Mr. Strickland include Marty McFly, Dave McFly, George McFly, Biff Tannen and some hoodlums in the skewed 1985 timeline.

In the 1991 film Problem Child 2, the 'slackers' catch phrase was referenced when Tolkan plays a strict teacher who starts the school year by having his sixth grade class with write out a long list of rules, one of which is 'No Slackers'. This is perhaps aimed towards Murph, a stupid fat bully who deliberately fails sixth grade every year so he can stay in elementary school and not have to go to high school.

Another interesting connection between Tolkan and slackers comes from the 1979 film 'The Amityville Horror' where he plays the coroner, and along with the police is at the infamous Dutch Colonial House after the DeFeo murders have taken place, the bodies of the mother, father, two sons and two daughters taken out in body bags after eldest son Ronald DeFeo Junior shot them to death with a high-powered rifle in the early hours of the morning. In real life, there was a lot of tension between Ronald DeFeo Junior and his father Ronald Senior leading up to the killings, much of which centered around Ronald Junior not pulling his weight around the house or at work (a job his father had got him), dropping out of school without any qualifications and spending much of his time drinking and doing drugs - a classic example of a slacker. I wonder if the coroner in the film used the word 'slacker' to describe the perpetrator of the murders in his report?
 

STFU Donnie

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American actor James Tolkan turns 90 this year, and his best known role is in the 'Back to the Future' movies, where he played Principal Strickland, who in both 1955 and 1985 would frequently call young male students who incurred his wrath 'slackers'. Those identified as slackers by Mr. Strickland include Marty McFly, Dave McFly, George McFly, Biff Tannen and some hoodlums in the skewed 1985 timeline.

In the 1991 film Problem Child 2, the 'slackers' catch phrase was referenced when Tolkan plays a strict teacher who starts the school year by having his sixth grade class with write out a long list of rules, one of which is 'No Slackers'. This is perhaps aimed towards Murph, a stupid fat bully who deliberately fails sixth grade every year so he can stay in elementary school and not have to go to high school.

Another interesting connection between Tolkan and slackers comes from the 1979 film 'The Amityville Horror' where he plays the coroner, and along with the police is at the infamous Dutch Colonial House after the DeFeo murders have taken place, the bodies of the mother, father, two sons and two daughters taken out in body bags after eldest son Ronald DeFeo Junior shot them to death with a high-powered rifle in the early hours of the morning. In real life, there was a lot of tension between Ronald DeFeo Junior and his father Ronald Senior leading up to the killings, much of which centered around Ronald Junior not pulling his weight around the house or at work (a job his father had got him), dropping out of school without any qualifications and spending much of his time drinking and doing drugs - a classic example of a slacker. I wonder if the coroner in the film used the word 'slacker' to describe the perpetrator of the murders in his report?
Did he call Maverick a slacker in Top Gun? He most certainly would have thought it.
 

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