50 Interesting Facts about Hollywood

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1Modern Hollywood

Modern Hollywood was started by a group of independent filmmakers who moved to California in the 1910s to get away from Thomas Edison’s total monopoly on all aspects (scripts, cameras, theaters, actors) of the early, east coast film industry.


2. Hollywood uses a measurement called Q scores to determine the likability of celebrities. The highest-ranking celebrities include Tom Hanks and Morgan Freeman with 48 points, while Kim Kardashian was determined to have to lowest Q score with -71.


3. The 1959 film "The Tingler" was about a parasite that causes tingling sensations in victims. The film producers rigged surplus World War 2 aircraft motors to random theater seats, so viewers would "feel the tingler" when it attacked. Some viewers were also paid to pretend to scream and faint.


4. An early script for the film Gladiator included the gladiators endorsing products in the arena. While historically accurate, it was removed for being unbelievable to audiences.


5. Charlie Chaplin made the Hitler-mocking film, "The Great Dictator", in 1940 using his own money because none of the Hollywood studios were comfortable irking the Germans as they had financial relations with them. The film is said to be one of the greatest works of Charlie Chaplin.


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6Trans-Atlantic Accent

The Trans-Atlantic Accent was cultivated by Hollywood in the 1920s-40s to blend prestigious American and British accents for broader appeal, which is why people sound so different in older tv, films, and radio back then.


7. Having standard showtimes for films was not common until 1960. Previously most films would just play on a loop, and people could enter at any time. Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho required that people watch from the beginning to the end and made showtimes more standard.


8. The so-called 'Sewing Circle' was an underground group of lesbian and bisexual Hollywood actresses and it was alleged to have included Marlene Dietrich, Lili Damita, Dolores del Rio, Claudette Colbert, and many others. The group would meet at each other’s homes for “lunch, conversation, and possibilities.”


9. On January the 1st, 1976, the Hollywood sign was modified to read 'Hollyweed' after some pranksters added $50 of fabric to it.


10. There is a screenplay named 'Atuk' which has never been made into a movie because anyone who has shown interest in playing the lead role has died unexpectedly, including John Candy, Chris Farley, John Belushi and Sam Kinison.


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11Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan waited to make Dunkirk until he had earned the trust of a major studio to let him make it as a pure British film, but with an American budget. He said, "Hollywood studios are interested in films about Americans, and there were no Americans involved."


12. Celebrities have to pay $30,000 for their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They must sign a form stating that they want a star and that they will attend the unveiling of it. Celebrities Julia Roberts, Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington, and Al Pacino still don't have a star.


13. Many American movie villains have British accents, specifically Queen's English because Americans associate that accent with high intellect and low morals.


14. In the 1920s, the Hollywood sign used to be lit by thousands of light bulbs and the guy who changed the burnt ones lived in a little cabin near the sign.


15. During a test preview for Apollo 13, an audience member said he disliked the movie because it had a “typical Hollywood ending” and that the crew would never have survived. The movie was based on real events.


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16Ribbit

Only one species of frog goes "Ribbit", but it has become a national and global cliche because that frog resides in Hollywood and was used for sound effects.


17. TMZ gets its name from the ‘Thirty Mile Zone’ around Hollywood which is considered ‘local’ and is all about union rules and money.


18. Legendary Hollywood producer Hal Roach would employ someone called a "Wildie" who was either an insane person or a drunk to sit in his writers' room and spout crazy ideas whenever they had writer's block.


19. Hollywood Accounting is a creative accounting process used to hide film profits. Some of the highest-grossing films of all time have actually registered 'net loss' and 'no profit' on paper using this process (including Return of the Jedi; Forrest Gump; Lord of the Rings Trilogy; Harry Potter).


20. In 1958, filmmaker William Castle came up with one of the most famous movie marketing stunts of all time. Upon purchasing a ticket to the Movie “Macabre” you were also given a $1,000 life insurance policy. If you died of fright during the film, the film promised to pay out to your heirs.


21Ozymandias

In the Breaking Bad episode “Ozymandias”, the show's producers secured special permission from the Hollywood guilds to delay the credits (which would normally appear after the main title sequence) until 19 minutes into the episode, in order to preserve the impact of the beginning scene.


22. Alice Cooper formed a celebrity "drinking club" in the 1970s called the Hollywood Vampires. You could only join the club if you could out-drink all members, which included Keith Moon, Ringo Starr, Micky Dolenz, Harry Nilsson, John Belushi, and John Lennon.


23. The Temple of Doom led to the creation of the PG-13 rating. Spielberg wrote to the MPAA specifically asking for a rating between PG and R.


24. Warner Bros canceled Home Alone because they didn't want to spend $14.7 million on it. 21st Century Fox continued the production and the film grossed $476 million worldwide.


25. During the Pre-Code Era of Hollywood movies were not systematically censored by an oversight group. Along with featuring stronger female characters, these films examined female subject matters that would not be revisited until decades later in US films.

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