I absolutely love watching movies. You probably do too if you're reading this blog!
Here are some fun facts about the silver screen that I thought you'd get a kick out of:
1. Originally, the term “movies” did not mean films, but the people who made them. It was generally used with disdain by early Hollywood locals who disliked the “invading” Easterners.
2. The first film ever made in Hollywood was D.W. Griffith’s 1910 In Old California, a Biograph melodrama about a Spanish maiden (Marion Leonard) who has an illegitimate son with a man who later becomes governor of California. It was shot in two days.
3. When Horace and Daeida Wilcox founded Hollywood in 1887, they hoped it would become a religious community. Prohibitionists, they banned liquor from the town and offered free land to anyone willing to build a church.
4. The “running W” was a trip wire to make horses fall over at the critical moment during filming. The device broke countless horses’ legs and necks. It is now illegal.
5. The most filmed author is William Shakespeare, including straight film versions, modern adaptations (West Side Story , The Lion King , etc.), and Shakespeare parodies.
6. The shortest dialogue script since the introduction of talkies was written for Mel Brook’s Silent Movie (1976), which has only one spoken word throughout: “Non.”
The character most frequently portrayed in horror films is Count Dracula, the creation of the Irish writer Bram Stoker (1847-1912).
8. The first motion picture to depict a non-pornographic sex act was Extase (1933) starring Hedwig Kiesler, known later as Hedy Lamarr (1913-2000). Her character flees from an impotent husband, runs naked through the woods, bathes, and then has sex with a young engineer in a hut.
9. The earliest known American pornographic film is the 1915 A Free Ride, a.k.a. A Grass Sandwich. The film was directed by “A. Wise Guy” and was written by “Will She.”
10. The Western Hero most portrayed on screen has been William Frederick Cody, a.k.a. Buffalo Bill, followed by William Bonny, a.k.a. Billy the Kid.
11. The first African-American to play a leading role in a feature film was Sam Lucas (1850-1916) who was cast in the title role of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1914). The first African-American actor to make a career in films was Noble Johnson (1881-1978).
12. The Hollywood star who played the most leading roles in feature films was John Wayne (1907-1979), who appeared in 153 movies. The star with the most screen credits is John Carradine (1906-1988), who has been in over 230 movies.
13. The American Humane Association (AHA) objected to the scene in the Shawshank Redemption(1994) where the character Brooks feeds his crow a maggot. The AHA stated it was cruel to the maggot, and it required that the crow be fed a maggot that had died from natural causes.
14. In The Godfather (1972), John Marley’s (Jack Wolz) scream of horror in the horse head scene was real, as he was not told that a real horse head, which was obtained from a dog food company, was going to be used.
15. The first movie fashion fad was Hollywood star Mary Pickford’s (1892-1979) curls, which were augmented from the hair of Los Angeles prostitutes, employees of Bit Suzy’s French Whorehouse.
16. The first nude scene in a major motion picture was of swimmer and actress Annette Kellerman (1887-1975) in A Daughter of the Gods (1916).
17. The top five biggest grossing films on opening day in the United States and Canada before inflation are The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), The Dark Knight (2008), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Spider-Man 3 (2007), and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009).
18. The five highest domestic grosses adjusted for inflation are Gone With the Wind (1939), Star Wars (1977), The Sound of Music (1965), E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982), and The Ten Commandments (1956).
19. In 1923, Mark Sennett, Harry Chandler, and the Los Angeles Times put up the “Hollywoodland” (later shortened to “Hollywood”) sign to publicize a real estate development. The sign cost $21,000.
20. For The Twilight Saga: New Moon, each actor portraying one of the wolf pack was required to have documentation proving Native American descent.
21. The director of 2012 (2009), Roland Emmerich, is a fan of rapper 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson. The Jackson Curtis character in the film is 50 Cent’s real name inverted.
22. The Twilight Saga: Twilight movie’s opening weekend totaled to $69.6 million, which was the biggest opening for a film directed by a woman and starring a woman. Nearly 80% of tickets were bought by women.
23. The highest grossing movies never to reach number one on the U.S. charts are My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) $241,438,208, Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) $217,326,336, and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) $196,519,585.
24. The most profitable movies, based on absolute profit in worldwide gross, are Avatar (2010),Titanic (1997), Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Jurassic Park (1993), and Shrek 2(2004).
25. The top five largest worldwide grossing movies of all time before inflation are Avatar (2009),Titanic (1997), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), and The Dark Knight (2008).