Nowadays, producers and filmmakers have trained us to watch for easter eggs, little jokes, and references snuck into the film that otherwise serves no purpose than a winking. And while we collectively talk about these sneaky surprises and easter eggs like well-informed cinephiles, the truth is that your favorite movie is likely hiding a far more bottomless trove of secrets.
Here we are to reveal the truth behind these (and more!) silver-screen secrets. So read on for the best movie facts and prepare to clean house at the next Hollywood trivia night. And for more wild points out of Hollywood, learn the 08 Crazy Celebrity Facts You Won’t Believe Are True.
1 James Cameron Drew That Charcoal of Naked Kate Winslet
The director, James Cameron, drew the charcoal drawing of a topless Kate Winslet in the movie Titanic. When you want something done right, sometimes you need to do it yourself.
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2 Alien‘s Androids Are Alphabetized
During the Alien franchise swaps in different androids for (almost) every installment, they have an exciting consistency: they go in alphabetical order. Ash, Bishop, Call, and, most recently, David (played by Michael Fassbender in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant).
3 Oscar Winners Used to Be Announced Before the Ceremony
Initially, the Academy Awards organization provided newspapers with the names in advance. With the agreement that they would publish the names at 11 p.m. But during the heated 1940 competition, The Los Angeles Times broke this rule. Announcing that Gone With the Wind had won before the statue had been handed out. This led to a rule change that stands today.
4 The Disappearance of Toy Story 2.
A command entered in the “master machine” where the animation for Toy Story 2 was stored deleted 90 percent of the Pixar team’s work on it. As Mental Floss describes, “A plan was quickly hatched to restore the data from a regular backup, which meant that half a day of work would be lost. But the backup system had failed. As a result, Pixar did not have a copy of the Toy Story 2 files on its servers.” Fortunately, the film’s technical director had a copy as she was working from home, and the movie is back.
5 There Were 10,297 Balloons in Up
The animators who created the pack of balloons in Up created every single one. The film’s effects artist, Jon Reisch, told Tech Radar, “The entire canopy is filled with balloons. We didn’t just simulate the outer shell.” And they even got a specific count of precisely the number of balloons: 10,297.
6 The Same Serial Killer inspired three Major Horror Franchises.
It takes one particularly terrifying creep to inspire Hollywood Horror characters like Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates, and Leatherface, but that’s the legacy of horrifying serial killer Ed Gein. When he was caught and his house of horrors in Plainfield, Wisconsin, was discovered, police found masks and lampshades made from human skin, among other atrocities. His astonishing depravity proved a source of creative inspiration.
7 The Most Profitable Film of All Time Is Paranormal Activity
Thanks to its microscopic budget and significant success at the box office, the 2007 film Paranormal Activity scored a return on investment of 19,758 percent, absolutely blowing away the next most profitable film (the 2015 horror film The Gallows, with an ROI of 6,843 percent). It cost just $60,000 to make and another $400,000 to market, yet ultimately brought in more than $89 million.
8 The Bridge Explosion in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Had to Be Shot Twice
The big scene is when Blondie and Tuco blow up the bridge leading to the cemetery. Where the gold is hidden had to be shot twice. Due to a misunderstanding, the dynamite around the bridge detonated before the cameras were ready to catch it. Requiring the bridge to be rebuilt and the whole thing to shoot again.