Inside Tinseltown: 45 Revealing Facts About Hollywood

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1The Great Dictator

The Great Dictator

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.”

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

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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.

7. 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."

8. 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.

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

10. 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.

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11Apollo 13

Apollo 13

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.

12. 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.

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

14. 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.

15. 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).

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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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. 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.

21Pre-Code Era

Pre-Code Era

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.

22. Unlike Hollywood told us, removing a bullet from a gunshot wound is one of the worst things to do after getting shot. Doctors often leave the bullet or shrapnel inside the body if they don't pose an immediate threat.

23. Hollywood briefly experimented with an interactive movie format akin to "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. Back to the Future co-writer Bob Gale wrote a film and directed a film called "Mr. Payback" in which audience members were able to choose what happened next. The results were disastrous.

24. "Attack of the Clones" (2002) was the first Hollywood movie shot entirely on HD digital cameras

25. An '&' between two writers for a movie (e.g. "Quentin Tarantino & Woody Allen") means the writers worked together on the script as a team, while an 'and' ("Quentin Tarantino and Woody Allen") means they worked on the same script independently.

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