March 5, 2015

I like reality. It tastes like bread.
Jean Anouilh

"I'll tell you how you did it if you're interested."
— Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk), "Columbo: An Exercise in Fatality (1974)"

"I think it would be a good idea."
- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), when asked what he thought of Western civilization

Ben-Hur (1959) (part 8 of 17)
  • Director William Wyler took on the project because he wanted to do a Cecil B. DeMille type picture.
  • By the time filming had finished, MGM's London laboratories had processed over 1,250,000 feet of 65mm Eastman Color film, at the cost of $1 a foot.
  • For some sequences in the chariot race, some of the chariots had three horses instead of four. This enabled the camera car to move in closer.
  • When the screenplay credit went to arbitration, the WGA accorded sole credit to screenwriter Karl Tunberg, despite Gore Vidal's rewrite and Christopher Fry's nearly year-long presence on set re-writing the script..
  • MGM offered Universal-International $750,000 for the loan-out of their contractee Rock Hudson. Hudson seriously considered accepting the part until his agent explained to him that the film's gay subtext was too much of a risk to his career.
  • Upon reading Karl Tunberg's original script, William Wyler had written in the margins "awful...horrible". Consequently, he brought in Gore Vidal - who was on contract with MGM at the time and hated being so - to rewrite the screenplay. Vidal also thought that Tunberg's script was dreadful and initially didn't even want to take on the project. He changed his mind when Wyler promised to get him out of the remaining two years of his contract. Christopher Fry then polished Tunberg and Vidal's work on the screenplay and wrote a new ending. Neither Fry or Vidal received screen credit for their work on the film, something which infuriated Wyler so much that he leaked the story to the press.

  • When many work together for a goal, Great things may be accomplished. It is said a lion cub was killed By a single colony of ants.
    Saskya Pandita

  • The Douglas DC-3 passenger airplane was the first to make a profit carrying people.
  • There are 52 cards in a standard deck and there are 52 weeks in a year. There are 4 suits in a deck of cards and 4 seasons in a year. If you add the values of all the cards in a deck (jack=11 queen=12, etc.) you get a total of 365 the same as the number of days in a year.
  • The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear. Any cup-shaped object placed over the ear produces the same effect.

  • What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?

    Benjamin Franklin
    “Good counsel failing men can give, for why He that's aground knows where the shoal doth lie”

    “Yesterday, December seventh, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. We will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God.”

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