Go behind the scenes and learn what went on during the making of the 1980 Comedy
movie starring Kurt Russell
, Jack Warden, Gerritt Graham et al.
When the 57 Chevy flips into Luke's car lot, keep your eyes peeled for a large black object, which gets knocked over from the impact. It was a disguised camera for the operator to get coverage of the stunt. Stunt driver Terry Leonard, a few seconds before the flip, radioed to the camera operator to get off the camera ASAP. A few seconds later and the camera operator would've been seriously injured. Robert Zemeckis states that it was the first time he sent a camera back to Panavision in a shoebox.
The stunt co-ordinator felt the impact of the 1974 Mercury Montego jumping the train and hitting the pavement was too much for a stunt driver to take. So, a dummy was put in the driver's seat, the car was pushed toward a ramp at high speed and let go.
This movie was made years before CGI was readily usable, so the scene where Gerritt Graham is almost hit by the incoming car is actually Gerritt Graham and he was nearly hit by the car in the scene after he pulls over in shock to find out his car was red.
The name Roy L. Fuchs was an in-joke for the phrase "Royally F*cked!"
who was executive producer of the movie was shocked about the lines about crooked politicians and wouldn't believe that the President would like it. Bob Gale
and Robert Zimeckis joked that they were both from two of the most corrupt cities in the United States and they didn't know any better.
Steven Spielberg originally thought up the idea about used car salesmen in Las Vegas, Nevada, starring George Hamilton. Robert Zemeckis
and Bob Gale then developed the script for Universal, when they passed on it they took it to Columbia Pictures, who were the co-production company of the film, "1941" (1979), which they had written, where the head of the studio Frank Price immediately loved the script and quickly greenlighted the film. Steven Spielberg who was directing "1941" at the time would go on to executive produce this film.
The late, great, John Candy
was originally cast in the film playing Joe Flaherty's role, but ultimately dropped out because his agent erroneously double-booked him while he was filming "1941." After seeing the movie, Candy said it's a good thing that he didn't do the movie because he would not be able to keep a straight face in the courthouse scene where Grandpa Munster, Al Lewis, played the judge.
Jack Warden was originally cast just to play one of the brothers, but Robert Zimeckis and Bob Gale convinced him to play both roles. Warden agreed to do the role because it allowed him to do two of the three things that every actor dreams of doing: play two roles, play drunk and play dead.
In the scene in which Gerrit Graham's character starts shooting at Roy L.Fuch's cars for the commercial, real ammunition was used to shoot the windshields and the headlights.
Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale have said that there were attempts to sabotage the filming, claiming that there were props stolen from the set and that reports were made to executives at Columbia Pictures saying that Zemeckis and Co. were out of control.
The scene where Rudy's commercial in the parking lot of the football game was re-shot because Columbia Pictures executives were appalled by the "Dicknose" Glasses that Gerritt Graham had worn in the scene. Snippets of it could be seen in the final cut of the film when Kurt Russell
holds the glasses at the camera for an instant, as his scenes were not re-shot.
The film was shot in only 28 days, which was unheard of for a major studio film at that time.
George Hamilton and Bill Murray
were originally considered for the role of Rudy before it went to Kurt Russell.
Rudy constantly litters during the movie, this was a conscious choice by Kurt Russell and director Robert Zimeckis.
The scene where Toby the dog urinates on Jim the mechanic's sleeping head was achieved by training the dog to stand with his leg up and run off. The film was then run backwards in editing to make it look like the dog runs up. Robert Zemeckis says that the dog was one of the best, yet meanest, actors that he ever worked with.
Jack Warden advised Gerritt Graham to say his lines fast and not slow so that the editors couldn't get in and trim his takes.
The scene where Roy L. and Sam (Joe Flaherty) see Rudy, Jeff, and Jim burying Luke's car behind the lot was an eventful one. Gerrit Graham
wanted more lines in the scene, so Robert Zemeckis told him to just repeat whatever anyone said during the scene. Kurt Russell was frustrated by Graham, but kept it to himself. Jack Warden got angry and started cursing during the scene in anger. The scene turned out to be so funny to Zemeckis that he left it in the movie, but the executives happened to see the dailies for that day of shooting and sent him notes to keep down the profanity used in the movie.
The kids who fall over the back of the station wagon were the children of one of the stuntmen in the movie.
Contributed by: Heather Dumas
This was a real car dealership - Darner Chrysler, Mesa AZ 85201. It is still there. "New Deal Used Cars", the auto dealer on the other side of the road was built on a vacant lot owned by Darner and torn down right after filming. As part of the deal Kurt Russell participated in ads for Darner's real auto business.
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When movies are made, scenes are often
left on the cutting room floor.
Sometimes, there will be several versions
of a movie floating about on cable, tv or video etc. Other times, a Director may
release a special cut of the movie.