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M-Net Movies Bucket List Countdown Trivia #77 to #63

The M-Net Movies Bucket List pop-up channel (109) is well under way as the channel counts down 100 popular and iconic Hollywood movies to see before you die.  Along with the M-Net Movies Bucket List countdown are an added extra treat- The M-Net Movies Bucket List Bonus Features comprise additional classics which can’t be ignored but which will appeal to niche audiences. Among these titles are vintage silver screen darlings that were ground-breaking at their time.

Get to learn more about some of these iconic films along with fascinating trivia of all your favourite films.

06th November 2017

#77

Notting Hill at 18:19

Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts play the game of love in this romcom classic. A bookshop owner’s world is changed when a movie star walks into his shop and they begin a relationship.

During the birthday dinner scene, Anna Scott is asked how much she made on her last film, and her reply is $15 million. This is the amount she (Julia Roberts) was paid for her role in Notting Hill (1999).

The final cut was 3.5 hours long, 90 minutes edited out for release.

#76

Juno at 20:22

Ellen Page delivered a breakthrough performance that made this film a cult classic. Facing an unplanned pregnancy a young woman makes a peculiar decision about her unborn child.

J.K. Simmons said that he was so impressed with the script that he would have been happy just to play the teacher who has no spoken dialogue – anything to appear in the film.

It was the highest-grossing film of all five Best Picture Oscar nominees (2008).

Jason Reitman used the different seasons to frame the story in because he thought they mirrored the three trimesters of Juno’s pregnancy.

#75

Boogie Nights at 22:00

Mark Wahlberg and an award-winning cast enter the complicated world of pornography in this riveting, controversial drama that looks at a young man’s adventures in the industry.

Leonardo DiCaprio was originally offered the role of Dirk Diggler. He liked the screenplay, but turned it down because he had already signed on to do Titanic (1997). DiCaprio suggested Mark Wahlberg for the role.

Burt Reynolds hated the idea of doing a movie promoting the porn industry, and turned the Jack Horner role down seven times. He also felt like he was selling out, and letting his old fans down. After angrily telling Paul Thomas Anderson the last time offered, he wasn’t interested, and to leave him alone, Anderson told him if he could carry that attitude with him to the role, he would be nominated for an Oscar. He subsequently chose to do the film, and was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Heather Graham filmed her nude scene on her first day on the set.

07th November 2017

#74

Big Lebowski, The at 18:00

This Coen Brothers-directed cult classic stars Jeff Bridges as an ordinary “dude” drawn into a web of deceit after a case of mistaken identity. It’s dark humour at its best.

A lot of the Dude’s clothes in the movie were Jeff Bridges’s own clothes, including his Jellies sandals, which he still owns and uses till date.

The Dude says “man” 147 times in the movie, nearly 1.5 times a minute.

John Goodman has stated that he’s never had more fun acting in a movie than this one.

#73

SNATCH at 20:00

It’s Guy Ritchie at his best in this all-star crime comedy. The lives of corrupt boxing promoters, gangsters and robbers intersect as they all try to recover a stolen diamond.

Brad Pitt, who was a big fan of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), approached director Guy Ritchie and asked for a role in this film. When Ritchie found Pitt couldn’t master a London accent, he gave him the role of Mickey the Gypsy.

Nearly every death in the movie takes place off-screen.

During the opening credits, the Hasidic-clad diamond thieves are discussing the Virgin Mary. This is a reference to Reservoir Dogs (1992), where during the opening scene the thieves are discussing the Madonna song “Like a Virgin.

#72

Full Metal Jacket at 21:45

An intensely dark wartime drama that delves into the fragile military mindset of a group of recruits who slowly become desensitised to the violence around them.

Denzel Washington was considered for the role of Eightball and has said that it is a role that he regrets missing out on.

This was Stanley Kubrick’s first film edited by computer rather than linearly spliced film.

During filming, a family of rabbits were accidentally killed. Stanley Kubrick, an animal lover, was so upset that he cancelled the rest of the day’s work.

In his memoir, Matthew Modine claims that Stanley Kubrick didn’t want him to leave the set to be present at his wife’s delivery, and he threatened to injure himself in order to get to the hospital before Kubrick relented and allowed him to leave.

08th November 2017

#71

Chariots Of Fire at 17:50

Desire, courage and triumph push this inspiring sports bio-pic about two British athletes from different religious backgrounds and their journeys to compete in the 1924 Olympics.

About six years after the film’s release, Trinity College reenacted the quad dash with British Olympic athletes Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe taking part. Nigel Havers agreed to act as starter. At lunch after the event, the Dean confessed it had been a great mistake not to cooperate with the making of the film.

The Church service shown at the beginning and end of the film, is based on the actual funeral service of Harold Abrahams, who (as only hinted at in the movie) converted to Christianity later in his life.

#70

Bridesmaids at 20:00

A wedding gets turned on its head in this outrageously funny comedy. A rivalry between a maid of honour and a bridesmaid for the bride’s affection leads to all sorts of chaos.

The cast spent about two weeks improvising with each other, some of which was incorporated into the movie.

Melissa McCarthy (Megan) and Ben Falcone (Air Marshall Jon) are husband and wife in real life.

This was the highest grossing R-rated female comedy of all time in the domestic box office, edging out Sex and the City (2008).

It was originally intended that Chris O’Dowd’s cop would be American, but everyone was so enamored with O’Dowd’s native Irish accent that it was decided that he keep it.

#69

Reservoir Dogs at 22:00

It’s pure, raw Quentin Tarantino magic in this crime thriller. When a simple jewellery heist goes horribly wrong the criminals involved begin to suspect each other.

The film’s budget was so low that many of the actors simply used their own clothing as wardrobe; most notably Chris Penn’s track jacket. The signature black suits were provided for free by the designer, based on her love for the American crime film genre. Steve Buscemi wore his own black jeans instead of suit pants.

During filming, a paramedic was kept on the set to make sure that Mr. Orange’s (Tim Roth) amount of blood loss was kept consistent and realistic to that of a real gunshot victim.

Tim Roth refused to read for the film. He did insist on going out drinking with Quentin Tarantino and Harvey Keitel. He agreed to read for them when they were all drunk.

09th November 2017

#68

Ghostbusters at 18:00

Bill Murray leads an all-star cast in this classic 80s blockbuster. Three parapsychology professors decide to create a ghost removal service to fight the city’s supernatural threat.

Almost none of the scenes were filmed as scripted and, in fact, almost all of the scenes had at least one or two ad-libs. Most of Bill Murray’s lines are ad-libs.

On the set, Dan Aykroyd referred to the “Slimer” ghost as the ghost of John Belushi.

Had Eddie Murphy accepted the role of Winston, the character was actually meant to appear in more of the film. He was to have joined the team much earlier, and it would have been he who was slimed at the hotel. When Murphy declined the role, the script was re-written to have Winston appear about half-way through the film.

#67

Groundhog Day at 20:00

Bill Murray is brilliant in this fantasy romcom. A freak snowstorm traps a weather man in a town. When he awakes he discovers that he is forced to relive the same day repeatedly.

Bill Murray was bitten by the groundhog twice during shooting. Murray had to have anti rabies injections, because the bites were so severe.

Harold Ramis directed the kids in the snowball fights to hit Bill Murray as hard as they could. Murray responded by throwing snowballs back as hard as he could.

Harold Ramis originally wanted Tom Hanks for the lead role, but decided against it, saying that Hanks was “too nice”.

#66

A Nightmare On Elm Street at 21:40

Wes Craven’s classic horror introduced the world one of films’ most enduring villains, Fred Krueger. Several people try to survive a clawed killer tormenting their dreams.

The little girl skipping rope was the daughter of the couple whose home was used as Tina’s house.

Over five hundred gallons of fake blood were used during filming.

Film debut of Johnny Depp.

According to Wes Craven, Robert Englund was not the first choice for the role of Fred Krueger. Craven had initially wanted a stuntman to play the part, but upon testing several stuntmen, he realized he needed an actor.

Friday, 10 November 2017

BONUS – Sense And Sensibility at 16:04

Emma Thompson leads a star cast in this stylish Oscar-winning Jane Austen adaptation. Elinor Dashwood, her mother and sisters are left penniless when the family patriarch dies.

Emma Thompson was asked to write the screenplay by producer Lindsay Doran when she discovered their shared love of Jane Austen when working together on Dead Again (1991).

During filming, the Jane Austen Society telephoned co-producer James Schamus to complain about the casting of Hugh Grant claiming that he was too good-looking to play Edward Ferrars.

Ang Lee originally was considering Kate Winslet only for the smaller part of Lucy Steele even though she really wanted to play Marianne. When Winslet arrived at her audition she pretended that her agent had sent her to read for Marianne, and her reading won her the role.

#65

Back To The Future at 18:20

This sci-fi epic catapulted Michael J. Fox into stardom. A teenager accidentally travels back in time, there he must save his parents relationship or he will cease to exist.

The script was rejected forty times before it was finally green-lit.

Eric_Stoltz was originally cast as Marty McFly for Back to the Future in late 1984, he was replaced after about a month of filming when Michael J. Fox (the director’s first choice for the role) agreed to divide time between the movie and his television sitcom Family Ties.

Writers Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis actually received a fan letter from John DeLorean after the film’s release, thanking them for immortalizing his car.

According to Bob Gale, Johnny Depp auditioned for the role of Marty McFly: “I looked through the notes, and I said, ‘Geez, I don’t even remember that we read Johnny Depp!’ So whatever he did, it wasn’t all that memorable, I guess!”

#64

Dirty Harry at 20:16

‘Do I Feel Lucky? Well do you punk?’. Clint Eastwood becomes the hard as nails cop Harry Callahan. Armed with his 44 Magnum, he tracks down a crazed psychopath terrorising the city.

In 1972, a copycat crime took place in the state of Victoria in Australia, in which two men kidnapped a teacher and six pupils at gunpoint and demanded a 1 million dollar ransom. The state government agreed to pay, but the children managed to escape and the kidnappers were subsequently jailed. One of them was called Eastwood.

After the film was released, actor Andrew Robinson received several death threats, and had to get an unlisted phone number.

The movie’s line “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?” was voted as the #51 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).

Clint Eastwood performed all his own stunts, including the stunt where he jumps onto the roof of the hijacked school bus from a bridge. His face is clearly visible throughout the shot.

#63

Heaven’s Gate at 22:00

Acting giants Kris Kristofferson and Christopher Walken immerse you in this Western epic about the conflict between immigrant workers and the rich cattle barons.

Martin Scorsese has said that the film has many overlooked virtues.

Wondering why they were paying so much money to rent the land, on which they were filming, United Artists went to check the local tax records to find out who the owner was. It turned out that it was Writer and Director Michael Cimino.

Jeff Bridges salvaged the log cabin from the set of this movie, and now uses it as a family getaway in Montana.

Willem Dafoe, in his feature film debut, appears briefly as a cockfighter. According to Dafoe, his role was supposed to be much larger, but during a long lighting set-up, Dafoe laughed out loud at a joke that an extra told him. Michael Cimino was so annoyed, that he fired Dafoe, and he is uncredited in the final film. He would later narrate the documentary of the making of this film, Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven’s Gate (2004).

BONUS – Bringing Up Baby at 00:31

Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant have amazing chemistry in this romcom classic. A bumbling palaeontologist looking for funding is pursued by an eccentric heiress and her pet leopard.

Katharine Hepburn had one very close call with the leopard. She was wearing a skirt that was lined with little metal pieces to make the skirt swing prettily. When Hepburn turned around abruptly, the leopard made a lunge for her back. Only the intervention of the trainer’s whip saved Hepburn. The leopard was not allowed to roam around freely after that, and Hepburn was more careful around it from then on.

This movie fared so badly at the box office that Howard Hawks was fired from his next production at RKO, and Katharine Hepburn bought out her contract to avoid being cast in the film Mother Carey’s Chickens (1938). Coincidentally, Hepburn was labelled “box office poison” on the same day that her contract was dissolved.

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

Catch him on Twitter: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za
And IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/