Monday, October 25, 2010


  • In his recent autobiography, Ernest Borgnine reveals that his friend George Lindsay, Goober on "The Andy Griffith Show", turned down the part of "Mr. Spock" on TV's "Star Trek".  Lindsay, by the way, started out as a science teacher.
  • James Whale said his Frankenstein (1931 star, Boris Karloff.  "His face fascinated me.  I made drawings of his head, adding sharp bony ridges where I imagined the skull might have joined".
  • The U.S. Air Force refused to help in the filming of Howard Hawks' The Thing (1951), because the theme of the movie was counter to the Air Force's claim that flying saucers don't exist.  In fact, one crew member (Dewey Martin) reads a quote from Air Force regulations denying flying saucers to the others as they are flying near the UFO crash site.
  • In George Pal's War of the Worlds (1953), the unique Flying Wing aircraft that drops the atom bomb on the advancing Martians was a prototype and remains, to this day, the only aircraft of its model in existence.
  • The title character in King Kong (1933), was actually an aluminum skeleton, covered by molded sponge rubber covered with rabbit fur.  In New York scenes, the Long model was 24 inches tall.  He was smaller at a one inch- to one foot ratio in the earlier jungle sequences.  Certain body parts were constructed on a massive scale when actors were featured in the scene, as when Fay Wray is nestled in the 8 foot cranelike structure that was Kong's paw.  Three men were inside Kong's head to operate it.
  • John Candy was originally supposed to be the young lawyer in Ghostbusters (1984), but Rick Moranis was ultimately hired to play the character, which he helped develop.
  • Bela Lugosi only made $700 dollars for his seven week role in Dracula (1930).  Of course, star making roles such as Lugosi's turn as the blood thirsty count routinely make little for the then unknown actors who make them.  They make their bundle on subsequent movies.
  • The director of Vincent Price's excellent House of Wax (1953), had one eye.  What's ironic is that Andre de Toth produced one of the best known 3D movies of the period, which he was unable to enjoy.
  • The Bates mansion in Psycho (1960), was built to 2/3's scale to heighten the dramatic impact.  It appeared in sequels as well as TV episodes, as on CBS's Murder She Wrote.