10 Overlooked Facts From Your Favorite Movies
Many movies seem much simpler on the surface than they really are. Often times there are small things that can completely change your perception of a movie, and if you’re not paying attention you might miss them. The following is a list of ten things highlighted as small facts that can completely change the way you look at a movie.
Many people hate the movie 300, and while it may not be a cinematic masterpiece, most people hate it for the wrong reasons. People love to point out the historical inaccuracies which exist in the movie. Among the fantastical elements that wouldn’t have actually existed are the bombs, elephants, giant monsters, and the fangs on the immortals. However while these critical viewers were busy focusing on what wrong about the movie, they missed a vital part that explains all of the inaccuracies. The story of 300 is told by a Spartan, named Aristodemus, who was sent away by Leonidas before the final battle. Aristodemus tells the other Spartans the story just before the battle of Plataea, where a united Greek force annihilated the Persian army. The whole story is propaganda to make the Spartans seem like heroes and the Persians like evil monsters. The implication is that much of it is exaggerated for dramatic effect so the soldiers would fight harder. So if you want to hate 300 for the awful spray-on abs or the overuse of CGI, go right ahead, but you shouldn’t hate it for the historical inaccuracies that are so prevalent because it’s not supposed to be real.
It is common for people who saw the movie Inception think that Cobb struggles with knowing whether he is awake or not. However, this isn’t the case. Viewers believe this misconception because they think that his token is the spinning top, which isn’t the case. Cobb clearly states that the spinning top was his wife’s token. This changes the whole point of the movie because it’s no longer about Cobb struggling to know whether he was awake or not. Instead, it’s about his inability to forgive himself for his wife’s death. This also changes the most talked about part of the movie, the ending. Most people think that the ending poses the question of whether Cobb is awake or not, but with the fact that the spinning top isn’t his token in mind, it becomes clear that the meaning is something else. The ending actually represents Cobb finally allowing himself to let go of his wife and move on with his life.
8. District 9
Many people who have seen or heard of the movie District 9 believe that it is supposed to be a representation of the Apartheid. And honestly, that’s not a bad guess, and in some ways it does represent that. However it represents much more than just the Apartheid. District 9 isn’t just a parallel to the Apartheid; it’s about the general sentiment towards immigrants as a whole. The proof for this theory comes from the short film, Alive in Joburg, which was directed by Neill Blomkamp, the same director of District 9. Both films start out with interviews, the only difference is that the interviews are real in Alive in Joburg. Blomkamp asked residents of Johannesburg what they thought of immigrants from Zimbabwe, and received extremely harsh responses. This inspired him to make a movie that highlighted the social segregation that still exists today. Unfortunately, most viewers misinterpreted the meaning of the movie, and thought of it as something that could only happen in the past, when in actuality social segregation still runs rampant today.
7. The Shining
The Shining is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic horror movies ever made, which makes the following revelation even more shocking. Six-year-old Danny Lloyd, who played Danny, didn’t know that he was acting in a horror movie. The next time you watch the movie, see the events through his truly innocent eyes, and you’ll realize how corrupted adult’s minds are. Danny simply thought that it was going to be a movie about a family in a hotel. He wasn’t shown much footage, and what he was shown had been edited so that none of the scary parts were in it. This is even stranger when you consider that the movie was directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick, who is notorious for not caring about the safety and comfort of his actors. But for some reason Kubrick felt that little Danny shouldn’t have to see the awful things that he was capturing on camera, which Danny must be thankful for.
6. Saving Private Ryan
In the very beginning of the movie, while the American soldiers are storming the beach and clearing out the trenches, two enemy soldiers emerge with their hands up, screaming something in a foreign language. It seems like they are German soldiers trying to surrender, but the American soldier shoots both of them anyway. After the American kills them he says that they were saying, “Look! I washed for supper!” What most people don’t know about this scene is that they were actually speaking Czech, and the man said, “Please don’t shoot me! I am not German, I am Czech, I didn’t kill anyone! I am Czech!” This means that he was a Czech prisoner taken by the Germans and forced to fight for them. While the movie already depicts war as a dark, destructive force, this scene reveals the true perils of war that aren’t included in other parts of the movie.
5. Mrs. Doubtfire
In many movies there are the good guys and the bad guys. There is a clear distinction between the two, and it is obvious whom you should be pulling for when you’re watching the movie. However, Mrs. Doubtfire doesn’t follow this trend. While Robin Williams’ character, Daniel Hillard, was definitely more likable, there is nothing inherently “bad” about the antagonist, Stu. In fact, Daniel attempts to provoke Stu on several occasions, and Stu refuses to respond with hostility. Daniel breaks the hood ornament off of Stu’s car and commits a “drive-by fruiting,” but Stu never reacts like a normal “bad” guy would. Stu is a generous, patient man who never does anything wrong throughout the movie, and yet people still view him as the bad guy. In actuality, he is just the antagonist because his goals are in opposition to the protagonist’s. It’s very interesting to watch the movie and think about it from Stu’s point of view.
4. Indiana Jones
Considered one of Spielberg’s greatest works, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, follows archaeologist Indiana Jones as he races against enemies, including Nazis, to find the Ark of the Covenant. The only issue with the movie is that Indiana is completely irrelevant to the plot of the movie. His involvement in it changed absolutely nothing. Even after everything Indiana does, the Nazis still end up with the Ark. They decide to open it, and the angels of death kill all of them. So, take Indiana out of this, and what is different? That’s right, nothing. If Indiana isn’t there, the Nazis still get the Ark, they still open it, and they still all die. Nonetheless, it’s a great movie and still enjoyable. Now that we have enough 80s kids questioning all their favorite movies, we’ll move on. And don’t worry; Luke Skywalker totally had a purpose in all of the Star Wars movies.
3. The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight is dedicated to two men, Heath Ledger and Conway Wickliffe. Everyone knows who Heath Ledger is, and society wept when he tragically died. Conway Wickliffe, on the other hand, was a relatively unknown stuntman. He died when a stunt went wrong while filming, but no one ever mentions him. This ties into the movie because in one scene The Joker tells Two Face that he sees the social order as the death of one being a tragedy only if the person is “special” enough, but that people who are “expected” to die don’t get attention from others. The Joker calls this “part of the plan” and “established order.” This is an incredibly interesting parallel and highlights how accurate some of The Joker’s views on the world are. It’s also particularly intriguing because it is Heath Ledger himself saying these words, and then the exact scenario happens to him.
Grease is often thought of as one of the best romance movies ever. The guy and girl overcome their difference to find true love, how romantic. But when you really focus on what’s happening, you’ll see that it has a horrible moral. The moral behind Grease is that in order for true love to prevail, you have to fundamentally change who you are as a person. This is a terrible message, but it’s what the movie preaches. Sandy becomes shallow and manipulative, and somehow viewers are supposed to be happy about it. But then again, the movie redeems itself with the deep lyrics that follow you to the very end. These inspiring words are “We go together like rama lama lama ke ding a de dinga a dong remembered for ever like shoo bop shoo wadda wadda yipitty boom de boom.” Yeah, that song makes about as much sense as the rest of the movie.
1. Independence Day
Independence Day is criticized for many reasons, and while many of those criticisms are valid, one major criticism can be cleared up with some information revealed in a deleted scene. After watching Independence Day, many people complain about the scene where Jeff Goldblum’s character, David Levinson, is able to use a regular old MacBook to hack into the alien ship and disable the virus. Obviously, this makes no sense, and any attentive viewer would be asking, “How the hell did he do that?” The answer is revealed in a scene that was cut out of the final movie. In this scene, it is explained that all of our modern technology was reverse engineered from the crashed fighter. With this in mind, it makes sense how he would be able to hack into the ship. He was familiar with the alien engineering and structure of the programming language. Why they cut this vital scene out of the movie? Who knows, but it sure helps to understand the movie with that information.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
I love your opinion on Grease, it’s so true. What’s funny is Didi Conn (Frenchy) is in my bootcamp class.
Saving Private Ryan fact should be number 1.
Reminds me of the not original The Thing from the 80’s, the Norwegian man chasing the dog at the beginning of the movie climbs out of the helicopter and yells something in Norwegian, before shooting at the dog, and being killed by the confused English-speaking station crew.
What the man yells is “That’s not a dog, it’s a thing!” basically telling them it’s an alien and giving away the plot of the movie. But no one catches it because it isn’t in English and isn’t subtitled.
Had they understood this, none of the events of the movie would have taken place, they would have just killed the dog.
In Return of the Jedi, it is implied that the Ewoks feast on human flesh when they were going to cook the gang on spits. At the end of the movie, there’s certainly more than enough storm trooper filets to go around…
I love this one. In the movie Hook, the airline pilot who starts his address to the passengers by saying “This is your captain,” is voiced by Dustin Hoffman, the actor who portrayed Captain Hook.
What about Castaway. There is no music in Castaway the entire time he is stranded on the island. They did this to heighten the feeling of isolation.
Great list, but my favorite is the entire plot of Home Alone is set into motion when Kevin gets into a fight with his family over spilled milk.
I wonder how many people actually noticed his ticket getting thrown away.
In Ghostbusters Venkman, as far as he knows, is headed for a simple night out with Dana. Why then does he later produce a syringe and Thorazine that he was APPARENTLY CARRYING ON HIS PERSON?!
Only one person died in the the first Rambo (first blood), and it was accidental!
I agree with your take on Grease! Definitely a problematic message.
Okay In the Shawshank Redemption, Red tells Andy that Zihuatanejo is just a “shitty pipe dream.” Andy crawls through a shitty pipe to get to his dream.
Shaun of the Dead spoilers ahead! The entire plot is revealed at the start of the movie.
Wow.I’ve never knew that fact about The Dark Knight. You really do learn a new thing every day.
Leave it up to Inception to mess with your mind even more than you originally thought it had. Great article!
I see your logic with the Grease entry, but surely both Sandy and Danny change. Their resulting realisation is that it really doesn’t matter what you’re like; all that matters is that they go together.
Great article. Not only am I left with interesting facts about these movies, but am even more confused about some of these movies’ plots.
Interesting list! I’ll have to re-watch Inception now, and I never knew a stuntman was killed during the filming of The Dark Knight.
In White Chicks the crack team of plastic surgeons could have simply repaired the small cuts on the sisters faces instead of turning two black men into white women.
Nice list. Though I believe number 1 was purely promotion for Apple. Maybe. Probably not.
Excellent article. I liked that you covered a large variety of films. The fact about The Dark Knight was particularly moving. I also liked that you devoted an equal amount of space to each fact.
In the movie “Waterworld”, Kevin Costner traded a jar of precious and rare “dirt” for a tomato plant… But the tomato plant was planted in a pot full of dirt.
Really awesome artilce. All 10 movies that you shared information about was all information I was unaware of. Also, really like that you pointed out the fact that you can watch movies from other peoples point of view and figure out a whole lot more about them and make sense of why their character is the way they are. I also enjoyed the style of writing you chose to use. It was casual, commical, but still very informational.
Grease is spot on. I always complained about this and then they fly into the sky… I still love grease though ha.
This reminds me that very few things in film making are coincidental. The Saving Private Ryan fact was really interesting as was The Shining’s. Interesting read.
Although I have watched just five out of the listed titles, it was good to know about their hidden aspects. For 300, I didn’t even know that it was criticized for historical inaccuracies in the first place! (By the way, many titles in the article are not italicized.)
I enjoyed this, as a movie lover. I was surprised that there were so many things that I did not already know.
I’ve been forever confusion by Inception until I read this article. Things make a lot more sense now. Thanks!
I have not seen all of these movies but I do enjoy reading about the hidden things in the movies and what was left out. Independence Day now makes a little more sense knowing that a vital scene was deleted.
I liked the movie Mrs. Doubtfire and some of the things you said I didn’t know about it.
Awesome fact about the Dark Knight, its great to see people do notice
Very interesting! Although I had already heard of the 300 fact, I still find it very interesting every time I read it. Great job!
Mrs. Doubtfire has been on the top of my favorite movies list for years now! I am so glad you included it! I must touch upon the statement of people viewing Stu as the bad guy, even though he is a generous and patient man. I believe people view him as the “bad guy” because of the scene when they are at the pool and Stu accuses Daniel of being “a loser”. Personally, I think that was disrespectful to say. Daniel is clearly a wonderful father to his children, or else he wouldn’t be going through all of this aggravation of faking a completely new identity to be with his children. I don’t think it was justified for Stu to criticize a man and his relationship with his children when he rarely even knows him. Therefore, I think that is why people view Stu as being the “bad guy” in the movie. Although, I do completely agree with the writer that Stu is not a hostile guy at all.