It’s Christmas once more and what better way to get into the festive fun than with some trivia you may not know about your favourite Christmas movies.
Below you’ll find 30 parcels of knowledge waiting for you to unwrap and impress all your friends and family at Christmas.
Enjoy, share and have a very Merry Christmas.
1. As Uncle Billy is leaving George’s house drunk in It’s A Wonderful Life, it sounds as if he stumbles over some trash cans. In fact, a crew member dropped some equipment but both actors continued with the scene and director Frank Capra decided to use it in the final cut. He gave the clumsy stagehand a $10 bonus for “improving the sound.”
2. Patrick Stewart did the original introduction for The Nightmare Before Christmas, which can be heard on the film’s soundtrack.
3. The original screenplay for Elf first appeared in 1993 and Jim Carrey was attached to star as the lead.
4. Billy Bob Thornton has admitted since that he was genuinely drunk during the filming of Bad Santa. Source.
5. The original concept for White Christmas was to reunite Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby, as they had been so successful in Holiday Inn. Astaire refused, as he had “retired” at the time, so the part was reworked for Donald O’Connor. O’Connor pulled out due to a bout with pneumonia, and the part was reworked at the last minute for Danny Kaye.
6. In Home Alone, Kevin watches a movie called “Angels with Filthy Souls.” In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, he watches that film’s sequel, “Angels with Even Filthier Souls.” It’s the little things.
7. In The Santa Clause, when Scott and Charlie are leaving the North Pole in the sleigh and pass by the moon, it has a distinct Mickey Mouse logo on it.
8. In Edward Scissorhands, Johnny Depp only speaks 169 words.
9. Miracle on 34th Street (1947) was actually released in May as studio head Darryl F. Zanuck felt that more people went to the movies during the summer thus success was more likely. Visionary.
10. For the ‘drunk’ dance performed by Fred Astaire in Holiday Inn, the actor had two drinks before the first take and one before each succeeding take. The seventh and last take was used in the film.
11. The Muppets Christmas Carol was the first major Muppet project after the death of creator Jim Henson. Henson had performed Kermit and the role was now being handed down to Steve Whitmire. The night before he had to go record Kermit’s songs for the movie, he had a dream where he met Henson in a hotel lobby and told him how unsure he was. In the dream, Henson reassured Whitmire that the feeling would pass. After waking up, Whitmire was confident and able to do the part.
12. The prosthetic makeup Jim Carrey wore for How The Grinch Stole Christmas took three hours to apply. Carrey felt so horribly confined and uncomfortable in the latex skin he needed counselling from a Navy SEAL who taught him torture-resistance techniques.
13. When executives first saw A Charlie Brown Christmas, they were horrified at the idea of an animated Christmas special with such a blatant message. They also strongly objected to the fact that the show had no canned laughter.
14. An elaborate fantasy sequence – in which Ralphie joins Flash Gordon to fight Ming the Merciless – was filmed for A Christmas Story but dropped from the final cut.
15. Don Ameche’s strong religious convictions made him uncomfortable with swearing. This proved a problem for the scene at the end of Trading Places where he had to shout out “Fuck him!” to a group of Wall Street executives. When he did the scene, it was done in one take as Ameche refused to do a second one.
16. In March 2001, a U.S. District Court jury in Birmingham, Michigan, ruled that 20th Century Fox stole the script idea for Jingle All the Way from Detroit High School biology teacher, Brian Webster. The studio was ordered to pay $19 million, later reduced to $1.5 million. Webster submitted the script, then named “Could This Be Christmas?”, to the studio in 1994 and never received payment or credit. However, Fox appealed and the verdict was reversed, since Webster’s script was submitted after the studio had already purchased a treatment of what would become the film’s script. The court acknowledged that it is not difficult to believe that two writers can independently create a plot using similar inspiration/experience. Source.
17. The Hungarian title for Die Hard is “Give your life expensive”, the title of the sequel is “Your life is more expensive”, and the third part is “The life is always expensive”.
18. During one night shoot on Gremlins, the problems with the Gremlin puppets were so severe that the entire cast fell asleep on the set during the delay.
19. In National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the Griswolds’ neighbour’s house is the same house Murtaugh and his family lived in all the Lethal Weapon movies. The houses on this street are based at the Warner Bros. Studios back lot.
20. In Monty Python’s Life of Brian, the six lead cast members played 40 different characters.
21. At the end of Scrooged, when everybody is singing ‘Put A Little Love In Your Heart’, Frank (Bill Murray) says “Feed me, Seymour!” as a reference to his cameo in Little Shop of Horrors.
22. Following Bruce Willis’ ab-libbed one-liner success in Die Hard, the producers allowed Willis free reign in the sequel, Die Hard 2, stating he could ad-lib as much as he saw fit.
23. Kris Marshall returned his paycheck for the scene in Love Actually where the three American girls undress him. He said he had such a great time having three girls undress him for 21 takes that he was willing to do it for free – and thus returned his check for that day.
24. George Clooney was originally attached to star in Jack Frost but when he left to do Batman & Robin, ex-Batman Michael Keaton was recast in the lead role. This caused no end of trouble for the design team as they had designed their snowman animatronic specifically to Clooney’s facial features and acting style.
25. Keir Dullea only worked for a week on Black Christmas (1974), never meeting Margot Kidder and barely meeting John Saxon, but the film is edited in such a way that he appears to be present throughout.
26. Home Alone‘s Joe Pesci kept forgetting that he was filming a family movie during his character’s on-screen outbursts, so director Chris Columbus advised him to say “fridge” instead of “fuck”.
27. Daniel Stern, who played Marv in the first two films, was approached to reprise his role in Home Alone 4. Stern quickly declined, calling it “an insult, total garbage.”
28. Tim Burton had hoped to direct The Nightmare Before Christmas, but placed Henry Selick in the director’s chair instead as Burton was busy working on Batman Returns and had Ed Wood in pre-production. Selick estimates that Burton was present 8 to 10 days total during production.
29. During the filming of Christmas With The Kranks, it was reported that the cast and crew had ingested over 10 pounds of fake snow.
30. It’s A Wonderful Life was a box office flop upon release in 1946, with its popularity gradually increasing throughout the decades.