Divine by Antonio Lopez, New York, 1978
FILM 1203: PALO ALTO
TRIVIA: Gia Coppola's directorial debut.
In April’s bedroom wall, there’s a poster for the movie, The Virgin Suicides, directed by Gia Coppola’s aunt, Sofia Coppola.
FILM 1202: ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA
TRIVIA: Sergio Leone had refused the offer to direct The Godfather (1972), an opportunity he deeply regretted. This may have partly inspired him to try a gangster film; Leone has also notably used the flashback technique pioneered in The Godfather: Part II (1974)
When filming was completed, the footage ran to a total of 8-10 hours. Director Sergio Leone and editor Nino Baragli trimmed the footage to around 6 hours, with the plan of releasing the film as two three-hour movies. The producers refused this idea and Leone had to further cut the film down to 3 hours 49 minutes.
Robert De Niro suggested that James Woods wear a set of perfect, bright white teeth to demonstrate Secretary Bailey’s wealth and vanity. The producers balked at the cost, so De Niro paid for them himself.
This was Jennifer Connelly's first feature film role.
This was Sergio Leone's final film.
The phone rings a total of 24 times near the beginning of the movie.
Sergio Leone based the film’s visual style on the paintings of artists Reginald Marsh, Edward Hopper, and Norman Rockwell and Edgar Degas (for Deborah’s dancing scenes) and the photographs of Jacob Riis (for the 1922 sequences).
By 1980, Sergio Leone spoke of casting Paul Newman as old Noodles and Tom Berenger as young Noodles; the role of Max going to Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel or John Malkovich; Liza Minnelli would be Deborah and Brooke Shields as young Deborah; and Claudia Cardinale would be Carol.
During the baby-switching scene, the music heard is “La gazza ladra” (“The Thieving Magpie”), a musical overture by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini.
“A little bit of Monica in my life,
A little bit of Erica by my side,
A little bit of Rita is all I need,
A little bit of Tina is what I see,
A little bit of Sandra in the sun,
A little bit of Mary all night long,
A little bit of Jessica, here I am…”
If you don’t know this reference, you’re definitely too young for me.
You know you sang it in your head.
FILM 1201: MRS. DOUBTFIRE
TRIVIA: According to one biography, Robin Williams decided to test out the believability of his Mrs. Doubtfire character during filming by going, as Mrs. Doubtfire, into an adult bookstore and making a purchase. He was able to do so without being recognized.
During the scene when Mrs. Sellner comes to inspect Daniel’s apartment and Daniel/Mrs. Doubtfire is serving her tea, the icing on his/her face is melting off. This was not intentional. The heat from the set lights melted the icing on his face and Robin Williams improvised the bulk of that scene.
In real life Robin Williams divorced his wife in order to marry his nanny. In this film he divorces his wife and becomes her nanny.
Known for his trademark spontaneity of improvisation, Robin Williams was given free range by director Chris Columbus to do what he needed. However, his improvisation can occasionally spark off numerous references to other works that prove to be legal headaches for movie studios. The scene where Daniel speaks with his wife and refers to her clothes as “this lovely Dances with Wolves (1990) motif”, required legal clearance for the studio to put it in the film. Associate producer Paula DuPré Pesmen later kept track of every reference Williams made while improvising.
In the pilot for Charmed (1998) toward the end of the show, Shannen Doherty picks up a newspaper from the sidewalk. The newspaper headline reads “Firemen Doubt Fire was Accidental”, the same newspaper prop used by Robin Williams’s character giving him the idea for the name “Mrs. Doubtfire”.
The prosthetic mask used by Robin Williams in the film was actually a prop. The real makeup was made up of eight separate pieces.
When Anne Fine was approached to make a movie out of her novel, her original choice for the lead role was Warren Beatty. Because of Beatty’s reputation as a great womanizer she thought it would be hysterical to see him dress up and pretend to be a woman.
Tim Allen was offered the roles of both Mrs Doubtfire/Daniel Hillard and Stu Denmeyer, but Allen rejected both.
Daniel Hillard’s career as a voice actor is unusual, being that he is based in San Fransisco (not known as a key hub of voice-over work) and we see him providing full voices for finished animation (extremely rare in American VO traditions). This could be considered a mistake, but it could also be assumed that Daniel is replacing a voice track that is for some reason faulty, and must do the entire track over in an automated dialogue replacement session. This could be why the voice director points out how much money the session is costing the studio.