Did You Know...? Movie Facts

Cheetah the Chimp...Going on 80

Did you know these facts...

Here's a dozen nuggets of information for any people who may be interested...

*The first words ever spoken on screen in a sound film were "Wait a minute. You ain't heard nothing yet!" These words were spoken by Al Jolson in The jazz Singer.

*The original title for Return of the Jedi was "Revenge of the Jedi". Promotional posters were put up and even sold with the original title until George Lucas suddenly decided to change the title at the 11th hour. He said that his Jedi stand for justice, not revenge, so the posters all had to be recalled. Some stolen posters are still out there and they sell for a lot of money if you have one.

*The menacing giant octopus that attacked San Fransico in It Came from Beneath the Sea only had 6 tentacles. Special effects master Ray Harryhausen hadn't completed the octopus model when filming began. The director covered this up by keeping the octopus partly under water at all times.

*The chimpanzee used to play Cheetah the chimp in the old Johnny Weissmuller "Tarzan" films hated actress Maureen O'Sullivan (who played Jane.) The chimp (whose real name is "Jiggs') apparantly adored Weissmuller and got angry during the love scenes with O'Sullivan. The chimp tried to attack her more than once and had to be kept seperated or it would have injured her.

*Another amazing fact about Cheetah is that he is still alive. Cheetah is 79 years old. He was born in 1932 and is now in the Guiness Book of World Records as the oldest living chimp on record. Most chimps live between 35-45 years. It's rare for them to live passed 50. Cheetah is decades passed that age, and living contentedly in the Sun Coast Primate foundation in Palm Springs, Florida. His 80th birthday is coming soon.

*Kermit the frog was created to be a generic lizard. It wasn't until years later that Jim Henson decided he was a frog. (Kermit was Henson's favorite muppet, which is why he became the lead character in The Muppet Show and Muppet films.)

*Debbie Reynolds couldn't dance at all when she started filming Singing in the Rain. Director/Star Gene Kelly had wanted dancer Cyd Charisse as his co-star but the studio forced Reynolds on him. Kelly was impatient with Reynolds during filming because she couldn't get the steps right and he made her cry more than once. It was Fred Astaire--who found her crying on the stairway one evening after filming--who offered to mentor her in dance. Astaire was a more patient teacher than Kelly, and Reynolds learned the steps under his guidance. Kelly was so impressed by her improvement that he was nicer to her for the rest of the filming.

*When Fay Wray was hired to do King Kong, the producer promised her that her co-star would be "the tallest, darkest, strongest leading man you've ever worked with!"

*And speaking of King Kong, special effects expert Willis O'Brien (who did the effects fo the original King Kong) was in a career slump years later and wanted to bring Kong back to the screen. He peddled a screenplay to Universal Studios called King Kong Vs. Frankenstein (utliizing two of their most popular monsters.) Universal wasn't interested. O'Brien sold the film to Japanese studio Toho Films, who rejiggered the script extensively, dropped Frankenstein and turned it into King Kong vs. Godzilla.

*While we're on the subject of big Gorilla's, the producers of the film Mighty Joe Young had hoped to create a franchise for the ape character and were planning a cross-over film with the Lex Barker Tarzan series called Mighty Joe Young meets Tarzan. The disappointing box office for Mighty Joe Young ended any thoughts of a franchise.

*The Marx Brothers' final film Love Happy was originally meant to be a solo vehicle for Harpo Marx. However Chico (who was perpetually broke) needed money and convinced Harpo to talk the producers into adding him to the cast. Later, when the film went over budget, the studio wouldn't give an extra cent to the project unless Groucho agreed to appear. They hoped that advertising it as a Marx Brothers film would help the box office. (Groucho does appear but in only in a few scenes.)

*In The House of Dracula, Lon Chaney Junior's character Larry Talbot only transforms into the Wolfman once, because there was a shortage of Yak hair. The film was made during WW2 and supplies from Asia were hard to get. The studio ran out of the imported Yak hair they used for the Wolfman make-up and only had enough for one day's filming. (It couldn't be re-used.) The Wolfman's one scene was shot in a single day and that was the last of the yak hair.


And there you have it. Twelve trivial bits of information.



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Comments 35 comments

AlabamaGirl86 profile image

AlabamaGirl86 5 years ago

Great pieces of information RobWrite I enjoyed this hub very much great job.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Always good to hear. Thanks Alabamagirl.

Rob


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

I am blown away to find out that Cheetah is STILL alive!!

WOW!!!

Fun stuff!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

I CM; I was stunned by that one, too. I first became aware of her longevity when her 75th birthday was on the TV news. She's still hanging in four years later.

Robert


gunsock profile image

gunsock 5 years ago from South Coast of England

I'm a movie buff and I didn't know any of this. Many thanks!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi gunsock; glad to inform and enlighten.

Rob


Alaster Packer 5 years ago

Thanks for the Harryhausen trivia. He created so very many wonderful stop animation figures which I feel are better in there own way then much of today's CGI. Taos is a fave.Amazing that Cheetah has out-lived all his adult co-stars. Fred Astaire was a hard taskmaster perfectionist but quite the gentleman and will there ever be another like him. Most interesting trivia on Chaney and the Yak hair. Thanks Rob you make reading fun. Nameste.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Alastar; I was a big fan of Harryhausen, too, and I'll always have a soft spot for the painstaking model-work he did in the Stop-motion days. It had to be a lot harder than pushing buttons on a computer.

It is mind-blowing that Cheetah is still with us while the rest of the cast isn't. I hope she makes it to her 80th and beyond.

Fred Astaire was indeed a one-of-a-kind. I preferred his dancing to Kelly's.

The Yak hair was another small casualty of WW2.

Thanks for reading.

Rob


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

I enjoyed this very much, too. Cheetah is still alive! Just imagine. I can understand why Cheetah was jealous of Jane. Johnny was a HUNK!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Paradise; Yeah, Johnny was a big sex-symbol of his day. Women used to love him. Cheetah did too.

Thanks for stopping by,

Rob


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Very impressive...I knew actually ne of these twelve movie facts....I think it is amazing that the Cheetah the Chimp is still around. Great story about Debbie Reynolds....I could only image the pressure of trying to learn to dance with dance pros Kelly and Astaire. Nicely done hub Rob.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Cogerson; Cheetah is an incredible little chimp. Imagine being the first chimp (that we know of) to ever reach 79.

Debbie Reynolds sure must have had a lot of pressure on her, so I don't blame her for crying. But could you imagine being able to say you were taught to dance by Gene Kelly and Freed Astaire?

Thanks for stopping by my hub,

Rob


brooklyn00123 profile image

brooklyn00123 5 years ago

This is a very interesting hub.. a lot of random enjoyable information. I enjoyed it a lot.. voted up


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi brooklyn; Glad you enjoyed my little trivia hub.

Rob


Asp52 profile image

Asp52 5 years ago from England

Hey Rob, another great hub from you! Always enjoyable to read about the little facts that get missed in feature films. Thanks for this hub and keep them coming.

Andy


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi; Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading,

Rob


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Absolutely fascinating facts- I love stuff like these! And dude... REVENGE of the Jedi?? That's insane!!!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Simone. I guess Lucas came to think so too, so he changed it. But if anyone has one of those posters, they're worth big bucks.

Thanks for stopping by,

Rob


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 5 years ago from Louisiana, USA

This was a fun hub and some very interesting information. Voted interesting and up. great work.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thanks, I appreciate that. Good to hear from you.

Rob


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 5 years ago from London, UK

Very enlightening. I didn't know any of them but now I am more the wiser. :)

Congrats on your Profile Score being 100.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thanks Lady E; I haven't gotten 100 on anything in a long time.

Thanks for reading;

Rob


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest

Oh yeah I bet those Jedi posters are worth a ton now. Interesting facts here. THe only one I knew was the stuff about Singing in the Rain. I remember Mighty Joe not doing so well- it was a pretty good movie but I didn't like the acting or the combo of the cast.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Izettl; I wish I had one of those posters to sell. As for "Mighty Joe Young", it was mediocre movie that could have been better.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

I had no idea Cheetah was still alive! Did she continue acting after the tarzan movies? She was good entertainment for kids one to seven, then Tarzan dominated for boys eight to twelve, then they{I} started noticing Jane!

King Kong ver Frankenstien made no sense. It would be like Jason ver Chucky. The japenese studio were right to team him up against Godzella.

It came from the bottom of the Sea was actually one of the few oversized monsters that made sense. Kraken's are real animals. In the movie the creature became radioactive due to atomic spill with caused it's normal food supply to flee from it. The creature was starving which is why it attacked human's. I still do not buy the idea that it could break down brick skyscrapers even with it's enormous size.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi ruffridyer; I'm not sure if Cheetah was used in any other movies after the Tarzan series ended. I'll have to look into that. I like your time-line of Cheetah to Tarzan to Jane.

King Kong vs. Frankenstein doesn't seem to make a lot of sense on the surface. I think his idea was to have the Frankenstein monster enlarged somehow. Sounds silly, I agree.

I liked "It Came From Beneath the Sea", but I've always had a soft spot for Harryhausen.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


ian contacts profile image

ian contacts 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

Cheetah should have been sent to the Village as Number 7. He knew too much!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Well, Ian, remember that Number One was wearing an ape mask in the final episode. Hmmm.


princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 4 years ago

Looking back, how amusing is the line "..you ain't heard nothing yet" in the first movie with sound? This hub made for an amusing read. All the facts were very interesting.

Princesswithapen


LoriSoard profile image

LoriSoard 4 years ago from Henryville, Indiana

Really interesting material. I didn't know a lot of this. Great hub.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Princess; That is a very ironic first line for the film industry.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Lori; Glad you found it interesting. I like to inform people about these trivialities.

Thanks for commenting,

Rob


gmmurgirl profile image

gmmurgirl 4 years ago from Pilipinas

Nice trivia about these famous movies. Thanks!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Glad you enjoyed it, gmmurgirl.

Rob


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York

Very cool nuggets of info. I, too, was blown away that Cheetah is still alive! Also, the bit about the yak hair was really pretty cool.

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