Total Pageviews

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Writer's Life 5/16 - Hollywood Myths

My thanks to the gregarious Carmine, who purchased Billionths of a Lifetime today on Bay Parkway. He also had a bit of trivia to impart. Dooley Wilson, who famously croons As Time Goes By in Casablanca (1942), may not have played the piano during the iconic scene. A writer claims the musicianship was done off stage while Wilson mimicked playing. Who knows? And it doesn't matter either way. That's the magic of cinema. Googling it led me to other Hollywood myths. Here are ten from, comments edited and pared by yours truly:

10. Marilyn Monroe Was A Size 16: Whenever someone wants to remind our weight-obsessed culture that curves can be beautiful, he/she might mention that the most revered sex symbol of the western hemisphere wore a size 16. She allegedly was as wide as several of today’s starlets standing side by side. It couldn’t be less true. Several of Monroe’s famous costumes were recently auctioned off and spectators were shocked by how tiny the mannequins were. Monroe actually didn’t fit any standard size. Her waist was disproportionately smaller than her bust and hips.
9. The Ghost Boy In Three Men And A Baby: Following the 1987 release of the film, thousands of viewers reported seeing what appeared to be the ghost of a little boy in the background of one scene, and quickly started making stuff up to explain it. Rumors circulated that the son of the couple whose New York apartment was rented for the filming had been killed there. It was even insisted that the parents had appeared on 60 Minutes or 20/20 to tell the tale. First of all, the movie wasn’t even filmed in a New York; it was a Toronto sound stage. The filmmakers swiftly provided an explanation for the startling sight—it was a cardboard cutout of Ted Dansen that someone had misplaced. Even though it was quickly debunked, the rumor persists.
8. Back To The Future Predicts The Future: When the Miami Marlins won the World Series in 1997, rumors circulated that it was predicted in the sequel to the popular flick. People claimed that Biff perused a sports almanac and quipped, “Florida wins the 1997 World Series, yeah right.” Many claimed it was a broadcast displayed on a holographic billboard shown in the future. Biff never makes any such remark. What the billboard actually said was that the Chicago Cubs would defeat an unspecified Miami team represented by an alligator, not a marlin.
7. A Famous Actor Was The Gerber Baby: Since the adoption of the mascot in 1931, people have been speculating about the identity of the iconic image, which was kept secret by the company for more than 40 years. The name that comes up most often is Humphrey Bogart. A poll conducted by the company found many people still believed its either Bogie, Liz Taylor or Senator Bob Dole, even though it was revealed in 1978 to be mystery novelist Ann Turner Cook.
6. Steven Spielberg Got His Start After Sneaking Into Universal Studios: Over the years, Spielberg has told the story of how, as a young unknown, he sneaked into Universal Studios and moved into an empty office. He fit right in with his suit and briefcase, casually chatting with employees as if he had every right to be there. The bluff was so successful that they started actually giving him work, and the rest is history. According to people working at Universal at the time, it never happened. His career began when he was legitimately hired as an unpaid intern by a family friend. It’s true that he had to sneak onto movie sets to talk to people and make connections, but he was authorized to work. His story has changed a lot through the years. He’s claimed to have been anywhere from 17 to 21 when it happened, so even he isn’t sure what's what.
5: Richard Gere And The Gerbil: Gere has been plagued by rumors since the early 90's that claim he had sexual relations with a gerbil. He supposedly checked into a hospital to have the furry friend removed, but nobody seems able to track down such a report. According to Sylvester Stallone, Gere blames him for starting the rumor after a falling out, but Sly denies it.
4. The Goldfinger Death: According to the rumor, the actress who played the woman killed by being covered in gold paint really did die the same way.  All breathing is done with the lungs. Blocking pores isn’t wise and can lead to a slow poisoning if the paint contains toxins, but it won’t cause instant death. The actress, Shirley Eaton, is alive and well.
3. Brandon Lee’s Final Moments Captured On Film: The promising career of Bruce Lee’s son came to an abrupt and tragic end while shooting 1993’s The Crow. In the scene in which his character is murdered, a series of events led to a stunt gun being loaded with real bullets, and Lee was really shot and killed. Fans claimed the gruesome moment remained in the film for all to see, but it’s not true. The scene was re-shot with a double, and it was decided that Draven would be murdered by knife—presumably by filmmakers not wanting to tempt fate.
2. The Haunting Of The Amityville Horror Really Happened: The idea that it was a true story was a huge selling point for the book—and later, the movie, When it was released, the lawyer defending the original murderer went ballistic. The Lutz family originally agreed to write the book with him and, according to him, they made up the entire story together. The Lutzes eventually ditched him for a better deal. Apparently they hadn’t fled the house in terror but because of an inability to pay for it.
1. Jayne Mansfield Was Decapitated: The beheading is one of the most gruesome pop culture references. Everyone knows she died in a car accident, and some even claim it was her signature scarf that pulled her head off when it got stuck. That's not what happened. Mansfield was wearing a wig. It flew off and was mistaken by witnesses for her head. An employee of the funeral home informs that her head was very much attached when he attended to her.

My thanks to the other kind folks who bought wares today.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

No comments:

Post a Comment