An iconic image of silent film: a space ship approaches the face in the moon and crashes into its… mouth? In 1908 a competitor made a nearly identical shot-for-shot remake of Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon.
Leia and Luke crash land on Mimban, are arrested by stormtroopers, fall in with a pair of drunk aliens, escape, float on giant lily-pads, then chop off Darth Vader’s arm. This is the official 1978 novel sequel to Star Wars.
Samuel Beckett wrote one of the shortest performed plays in the world on the back of a postcard. The first staging still managed to mess it up.
Want to be on the radio? Try saying this first: “The seething sea ceased to see, then thus sufficeth thus.”
A woman walks down a street at night. The scene is silent but for her footsteps. Suddenly there’s a hiss and scream like a wild cat… but it’s only a bus. This is Cat People, the first sound film to use a jump scare.
Pierre Boulle won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Bridge on the River Kwai. He did not write the screenplay, did not accept the award in person, and in fact did not even speak English.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was written by a German author under the pseudonym B. Traven. Who was he? We don’t know.
Oliver Reed, the famed actor and alcoholic, drank 8 pints of beer, 12 shots of rum, half a bottle of whiskey, and some shots of cognac, arm-wrestled five sailors, and then died of a heart attack.
Mike returns home from the Vietnam War with PTSD. He joins an underground fight club and wrestles with his own inner demons. Also: Mike is an adorable penguin, and this is one of the weirdest anime films to come out of 1980s Japan.
Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books have a long history in the Soviet Union and Russia, from illegal translations in the 1960s to a film in the 1980s to an unauthorised retelling sympathetic to the orcs in the 1990s.
The legendary voice actor Mel Blanc appeared in only two Disney films in his entire career, and in one of them he was mute.
Ever see someone get hit over the head with a bottle in an old film? They could probably eat the glass afterwards.
French magician Ivan Chabert was famous in the 19th century CE for his feats with heat: sitting in an oven, putting melted lead in his mouth, and bathing his feet in molten metal.
Georges Méliès accidentally created 3D film in 1903, nineteen years before the première of the first deliberate one.
In 1941 Disney animators went on strike in an attempt to unionise. Walt Disney fought back with speeches, fists, firings, and Dumbo.