The Quick Report

Facts About Iconic Movies You Never Knew

Get ready to impress your movie-loving friends with some behind-the-scenes movie trivia from some of the biggest films in movie history. You’re sure to be shocked by these little-known facts from 10 iconic movies.

10. Candyman: The Bees Were Real

Tristar Pictures

In the 1992 horror film Candyman, bees come out of Candyman’s mouth and chest. The bees are real, and supposedly, were specifically bred for the film. They were only 12 hours old so their stingers wouldn’t be powerful enough to do any serious damage. Actor Tony Todd was paid $1,000 for each sting he received. He was stung 23 times.

9. Psycho: Janet Leigh Wouldn’t Shower Afterward

Janet Leigh in Psycho shower scene
Paramount Pictures

The shower scene from 1960’s Psycho is one of the most terrifying in movie history. Actress Janet Leigh, who played the on-screen shower victim Marion Crane, has said that after she saw the infamous scene, she avoided showers whenever possible. “I take baths, only baths… I’m always facing the door, watching, no matter where the showerhead is.”

8. Die Hard: Rickman Got the Drop

Die Hard
20th Century Fox

For the scene in Die Hard where Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) dies, the script called for the character to look shocked as he fell from the window. Rickman was told that he would be dropped after he counted down to zero. But instead, Rickman was dropped when he said “one.” The result was a genuine facial expression of surprise and bewilderment.

7. Titanic: Leonardo DiCaprio’s Flub Was a Keeper

Paramount Pictures

In one of the most iconic scenes of the film Titanic, Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) has Rose (Kate Winslet) pose for an au naturale sketch. The script called for Jack to tell Rose to lie on the “couch.” DiCaprio flubbed the line and said “bed” and Winslet rolled with it. Director James Cameron liked the result and kept it in the film.

6. The Lion King: Nathan Lane’s Ad-Lib Led to a Musical Number

The Lion King
Disney Pictures

In 1994’s The Lion King, actor Nathan Lane ad-libbed Timon saying, “What do you want me to do, dress in drag and do the hula?” The line inspired the creative team to create a whole song and dance routine in which Timon dons a grass skirt and a lei and does exactly that.

5. Return of the Jedi: Nien Nunb Is Speaking a Real Language

Return of the Jedi
Lucasfilm Ltd.

In 1983’s Return of the Jedi, the “alien language” that Nien Nunb (voiced by Kipsang Rotich) speaks to Lando is actually a real language. The language is called Kikuyu (or Gikuyu). It is a Bantu language spoken by the Gikuyu in parts of Kenya. Kikuyu is mainly spoken in the area between Nyeri, Nairobi and Nakuru.

4. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: The Doctors Were Real

E.T.: The Extraterrestrial
Universal Pictures

There is a tearjerking scene in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial where doctors are trying to save ET. Director Stephen Spielberg decided to forgo using actors and enlist real doctors to play the scene. Spielberg said he “felt that actors talking about technical medical matters didn’t seem natural.”

3. Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Eric Idle Bit a Prop so He Wouldn’t Break

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
EMI Films

In one scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Eric Idle can be seen biting his scythe. It wasn’t in the script. John Cleese chose to pause for an amazingly long time when answering Sir Bedivere’s question, “Why do witches burn?” Idle found himself about to giggle so he bit the scythe to prevent himself from laughing. 

Read More: 10 Terrible Movies That Had Amazing Casts

2. Scream: Skeet Ulrich’s Look of Pain Wasn’t Acting 

Dimension Films

Near the end of 1996’s Scream, there’s a scene where Billy (Skeet Ulrich) is in pain. Ulrich wasn’t acting. Sydney attacks Billy with an umbrella. But the umbrella missed the protective vest Ulrich was wearing. He was struck right on an old wound from having open-heart surgery when he was a kid. The pain was very real.

Read More: Lights, Camera, Confusion: The Weirdest Casting Choices in Film

1. The Silence of the Lambs: Hopkins Mocked Jodie Foster’s Real Accent

Silence of the Lambs
Orion Pictures

There’s a scene in The Silence of the Lambs when Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) mocks the accent of Clarice (Jodie Foster). Foster said Hopkins improvised the part where he started imitating her accent. Not her character’s accent, but her real one. “And suddenly… it upset me so much!” Foster said. “It, like, struck a really bad chord in me.”

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