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Movies Trivia

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When Cecil B. De Mille released his silent film The Squaw Man in 1914, it became one of the movie industry's first nationwide box-office successes. It cost only $15,000 to make and earned more than $225,000. It was also the first film that De Mille wrote and directed; prior to The Squaw Man, De Mille worked solely as a screenwriter.

Ronald Reagan's last acting role before entering politics was in the film "The Killers" (1964).

In the 1995 film "Boys on the Side," Matthew McConaughey played a character named Abe Lincoln.

When directing films, Clint Eastwood dislikes overlighting, which he associates with television. He prefers a film noir effect, especially in his thrillers. During a 1993 interview, Eastwood related a story about his suspenseful 1982 film Firefox. There was a shot that was so dark only Eastwood's elbow was visible. The cameraman wanted to do another take. Eastwood asked, "Am I in the frame?" "Yeah." "Can you hear my voice?" "Yeah." "They know who I am. Let's print it and move on."

Sandra Bullock's role in the romantic comedy hit "While You Were Sleeping" (1995) was originally offered to Demi Moore, but Moore's salary demands were out of reach.

In the 72 years of the Academy Awards existence, only three films have swept all five categories in Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Actor and Actress, and Best Writing. They are 1934's "It Happened One Night," 1975's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," and 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs."

Seattle has served as the backdrop or main locality for many films, including "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982), "McQ" (1974), "The Parallax View" (1974), "My Own Private Idaho" (1991), "Say Anything…" (1989), "WarGames" (1983), "Little Buddha" (1993), "It Happened at the World's Fair" (1963), "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle" (1992), "Harry and the Hendersons" (1987), "Give ‘em Hell, Harry!" (1975), "From Dusk Till Dawn" (1996), "The Fabulous Baker Boys" (1989), "Disclosure" (1994), "Cinderella Liberty" (1973), "Black Widow" (1986), "10 Things I Hate About You" (1999), "The Vanishing" (1993), "Twice in a Lifetime" (1985), and the ultimate Seattle romance film, "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993).

In the beach scene near the end of the Beatles' film "Help!" (1965), John Lennon had an appointment and could not be present. Another actor stood in for him.

In the biographical film "Man on the Moon" (1999), the role of young Carol Kaufman, Andy Kaufman's sister, was played by Andy's real-life granddaughter Brittany Colonna.

When released in China, the James Bond film From Russia with Love was retitled 007 Averted the Spy Plot.

When released in Poland, the title of the film Alien (1979) went through a startling change. In English, it translated to The Eighth Passenger of the Nostromo.

Secrecy about who the Oscar winners would be didn't start until 1941. Before then, newspapers were given an advance list of winners to be published at 11p.m. However, in 1940, the Los Angeles Times published the winners in their 8:45 p.m. edition, before the ceremony even started. The very next year sealed, secret envelopes were used for the first time and have been in use ever since.

While The Sixth Sense was ignored by the Oscars, it wasn't by film ticket buyers. As of March 2000, the thriller had grossed $280.3 million, making it the tenth highest grossing film of all time. The Sixth Sense knocked the 1980s The Empire Strikes Back into eleventh place.

Sergio Leone, director of Clint Eastwood's innovative Italian Westerns, turned down offers to direct "The Godfather" (1972) in favor of developing his dream project, which ultimately became "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984).

While editing his murder mystery movie, Woody Allen realized that all the best footage was of its romance subplot, so he reedited Annie Hall (1977) as a romantic comedy.

Several actresses have been nominated in both the Academy Awards' Supporting Actress and Leading Actress categories in the same year. The first was Fay Bainter, in 1938, who won Supporting Actress for her role in “Jezebel” and was also nominated for Leading Actress for “White Banners.” In 1942, Teresa Wright won Supporting Actress for “Mrs. Miniver” while also nominated for Leading Actress for “The Pride of the Yankees.” In 1982, Jessica Lange also won Supporting Actress for “Tootsie” and was nominated for Leading Actress in “Frances.” Sigourney Weaver was nominated in both categories in 1988, “Gorillas in the Mist” for Leading Actress and “Working Girl” for Supporting Actress- she lost both. Holly Hunter won Leading Actress for “The Piano” in 1993, and had a nomination for “The Firm” and Supporting Actress. The same year, Emma Thompson had and lost nominations in both categories as well.

While the actual source of the name Oscar, for the Academy Awards' statuette is under debate, it was Hollywood columnist Sidney Skolsky that first used the nickname, in print, in his column on the sixth Academy Awards in 1934. He was referring to Katharine Hepburn's first win for Best Actress. It wasn't until 1939 that the Academy first officially used the nickname.

Sidney Poitier became the first black actor to win an Oscar for his leading role in "Lilies of the Field."

Will Smith's first big screen role was in the film Where the Day Takes You (1992).

Sidney Schanberg's brilliant novel, "The Death and Life of Dith Pran," was retitled "The Killing Fields" (1984) when it was made into a film.

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