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.
Clip shows are an easy way to make a new episode cheaply from existing footage. One series made a clip show out of their second ever episode.
Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton were two of the biggest stars of silent film. They didn’t appear in a film together until 1952, and that film didn’t win an Academy Award until 1973.
There are a lot of pseudo-Hollywoods making films: Bollywood, Dhallywood, Mollywood, and Wellywood. My favourites are the hyper-violent action films of Uganda’s Wakaliwood.
The Wilhelm scream is a sound effect that has been used in hundreds of films, including Disney, Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars films. But who was Wilhelm? And why was he screaming?
Sergio Leone famously filmed Westerns in Italy and Spain, creating the genre known as the Spaghetti Western. But Soviet bloc countries had their own version too: the Red Westerns.