movies

#movies

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<I>Rasputin And The Empress</i>
Rasputin And The Empress
During the production of Rasputin and the Empress, MGM, seeking to avoid a lawsuit, fictionalized the role of Prince Yusupov in the film, giving his character a fabricated name: Prince Chegodieff.  Yusupov, hardly fooled by the transparent ruse, sued the studio in a London court and was awarded a sizable judgment. Shortly thereafter, the studio was sued again and another sizable judgment awarded to another plaintiff. The second plaintiff? The real Prince Chegodieff. 
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For his role (as a character who has been brought up in the jungle) in Michel Gondry's Human Nature, Rhys Ifans spent much of his time in the nude. "I was whizzing about the set, naked on a scooter and I veered too far from unit base," he recalled. "Suddenly there were all these schoolchildren on a nature trek. The teachers were herding them down the hill away from the long-haired naked man and I'm shouting, 'It's all right, it's all right, I'm an actor!'" ["That doesn't really work in LA, where there are loads of guys shouting 'I'm an actor' all the time," Ifans remarked. "People just think 'Oh God, another looper.'"]
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Peter Sellers (left) in <i>The Pink Panther</i>
Peter Sellers (left) in The Pink Panther
Late one night, after retiring to bed exhausted from a disappointing day wrestling with a troublesome scene in one of the Pink Panther movies, director Blake Edwards was roused by a call from the film's star, Peter Sellers. "I just talked to God!" he exclaimed. "And He told me how to do it!" The next day, although he was skeptical, Edwards humored Sellers and the result was an unmitigated disaster. "Peter," Edwards sighed, "next time you talk to God, tell Him to stay out of show business."
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Winston Churchill in 1941. Photo by Yousuf Karsh (<a href=https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/>CC0</a>)
Winston Churchill in 1941. Photo by Yousuf Karsh (CC0)
Winston Churchill had a poodle named Rufus who was so beloved that he ate in the dining room with the rest of the family. "A cloth was laid for him on the Persian carpet beside the head of the household, and no one else ate until the butler had served Rufus's meal," William Manchester reports in The Last Lion. "One evening at Chequers the film was Oliver Twist. Rufus, as usual, had the best seat in the house, on his master's lap. At the point when Bill Sikes was about to drown his dog to put the police off his track, Churchill covered Rufus's eyes with his hand. He said, 'Don't look now, dear. I'll tell you about it afterwards.'" ...
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Promotional photo of film director Marshall Neilan. Credit: Wikipedia user Evans, L.A. (Public domain)
Promotional photo of film director Marshall Neilan. Credit: Wikipedia user Evans, L.A. (Public domain)
Director Marshall Neilan cultivated a first-rate rivalry with MGM chief Louis B. Mayer. Before a large MGM preview one day, attended by an array of executives and stars, Neilan altered the soundtrack so that when Leo, MGM's legendary trademark lion, appeared on the screen at the beginning of the picture, rather than giving its usual roar, all that came out was a kitten's meow.
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Debra Winger & John Malkovich in <I>The Sheltering Sky</i>
Debra Winger & John Malkovich in The Sheltering Sky
Director Bernardo Bertolucci once recalled John Malkovich's 'anti-Method' method of acting: On the set of The Sheltering Sky, far from agonizing over his roles, Malkovich would sit quietly between takes—doing needlepoint.
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The high point of Jean Negulesco's The Mudlark (1950), was a rousing parliamentary address delivered by Alec Guinness (playing British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli), punctuated by a long and dramatic pause midway through. Twentieth Century-Fox chief Darryl F. Zanuck regarded this as one of the most effective moments of silence in the history of film and, given that it was not called for in the script, he later asked Guinness what had made him think of it. "I didn't," Guinness frankly replied. "In the middle of my speech, I forgot my lines and dried up."
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Sir Michael Caine, 28th EFA Awards 2015, Berlin. Credit: TonkBerlin (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>)
Sir Michael Caine, 28th EFA Awards 2015, Berlin. Credit: TonkBerlin (CC BY-SA 4.0)
While shooting a film in a jungle in the Philippines, Michael Caine was warned about a rather poisonous snake. Why, Caine asked, was it called the 1-2-3 snake? Because, he was told, "once bitten, you can take 1-2-3 steps—and you're dead." The snake's distinguishing feature? "It looked like a twig!" Caine recalled. Fortunately, the natives could smell them—so each morning Caine and company would check to make sure their native guides hadn't caught colds.
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Elizabeth Berkley in <i>Showgirls</i>
Elizabeth Berkley in Showgirls
During a long flight shortly after her appearance in Showgirls in 1995, Elizabeth Berkley found herself sitting beside a strange man. Despite watching all of Showgirls on his in-seat video screen, he failed to notice that the film's star was sitting right beside him. For Berkley, the incident was a relief. "Ever since those reviews for Showgirls," she later remarked, "it's like I was that woman in The Scarlet Letter. Except that instead of having to wear the letter 'A' for adulteress, I was condemned to wear an 'S' for showgirl."
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Poster for the 1917 film The Honor System (<a href=https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/>CC0</a>)
Poster for the 1917 film The Honor System (CC0)
In a bid to promote Raoul Walsh's 1917 prison drama The Honor System, producers arranged for a practical demonstration of the Honor System in action, with a prisoner being released for a single day on his honor to return.  The prisoner promptly disappeared and was never seen again.