Nine Famous Hollywood Myths Debunked

Nine Myths Debunked

Rumors and urban legends are a common thing in modern society. They can turn up anywhere, including in tinsel town. Hollywood has, in fact, given way to some of the most persistent and bizarre rumors you’re likely to hear.

I present you now with nine popular, and oft-repeated urban legends of Hollywood.


Myth # 1: A Munchkin’s suicide was caught on film in “the Wizard of Oz”. One of the longest standing and persistent rumors from tinsel town is the notorious Munchkin suicide story. For decades, many have insisted that one of the Munchkin actors committed suicide during the filming of the Wizard of Oz and his death was caught on camera, unnoticed by the director, editors and everyone else, and still remains there to be seen today.

The origin of this myth comes from the scene where Dorothy and the Scarecrow first meet the Tin Woodsman. The Tin Man sings “If I only had a heart,” then the wicked witch shows up to warn him and the Scarecrow not to “help the little lady along”, but they decide to stick with her regardless. Arm-in-arm, they skip down the yellow-brick road singing, “We’re off to see the wizard”. As they skip away from the camera, in the far left-hand side of the screen, you can see something moving in the shadows, among the fake trees.

From far away and viewed quickly, it looks like a small figure, moving around strangely, and then spreading his/her arms Christ-like, and finally falling to the side, out of sight.

This hard-to-see figure has long fueled rumors of a depressed little person (one of the Munchkin actors) killing himself. Some of the rumors have it that he was love-lorn and killed himself over a female Munchkin actress. Other rumors have it that he frustrated by the typecasting of roles his small stature limited him to.

The truth, however, is much brighter than the dark suicide story. Looking at the scene in slow motion and with enhanced clarity (thanks modern technology) we see that it is not a man but a large bird! As viewers of the Wizard of Oz know, many large, exotic-looking birds are seen wandering around the landscape of Oz throughout the picture. The studio flew in dozens of large, exotic birds, like peacocks, to make Oz seem more visually interesting. It is one of these large birds, spreading its wings in the background, which is caught on camera. (Don’t ask me the species.)

Seriously, the idea that the director and the hundreds of other people involved in filming a movie wouldn’t have noticed an on-camera suicide is pretty crazy.

Myth # 2: A Ghost child is seen in the background of “Three Men and a Baby”. This is another of those depressing urban legends that spring up from nowhere. The rumor comes from the scene in Three Men and a Baby, when the character of Jack Holden (Ted Danson) is talking to his mom Celeste Holmes, and they are walking through the house Jack and the other two ‘men’ of the title share. As momma stops to play with the baby, in the background, a small, out-of-focus figure can be glimpsed standing near the window, between the curtains on the left side screen. On film, it looks like it could be a child or a very small person.

From this scene came the rumor of the Ghost Child. The myth goes that a Child was killed in the house where the scene was filmed. Some rumors have it that it was a suicide, while others say it was murder! Supposedly, the ghost child had been haunting the house for years.

Guess what? It wasn’t a real house they used for the film. It was a sound stage. No one ever lived there, and there was no suicide or murder on the site. So what was the blurry image in the background?

Actually, it was a card-board cutout of the Holden character (Danson) himself, left standing by the window. The cut-out was part of a subplot that was mostly edited from the movie, regarding a dog food commercial where the cut-out of Holden would be used. A better look at the same cut-out can be seen later in the film, when the baby’s mother comes to reclaim her child. Danson can be seen standing next to it.

Myth # 3: Actress Shirley Eaton died while filming “Goldfinger”. I wonder how Shirley Eaton feels about this one? In the film Goldfinger, Eaton’s character Jill Masterson is killed by the evil Goldfinger, who covers her body completely with gold paint, so that she dies of ‘skin suffocation’. Ever since that scene, rumors have flown that Shirley Eaton actually died making the film, from the same ‘skin suffocation’ that killed her character.

Of course, there is really no such thing as ‘skin suffocation’. (It was believed at the time that people partially breathed through their skin.) It’s true that if your body was completely covered for a period of time you could die from being unable to perspire, but not from suffocation. And don’t worry about Shirley Eaton. She is a Grandmother of three, living today in England.

Myth # 4: The word SEX can be seen in the background of “the Lion King”. This one is actually a little closer to the mark than most Hollywood myths, but it’s still untrue. The story goes that in one scene of the Lion King, as Simba lays down to sleep, and you see a dust cloud swirl in the sky in the background, and the clouds form the word “Sex” for a brief moment, if you freeze-frame at the proper moment.

Well, close but not quite. A gag was put into the film by the animators, and the letters SFX (meaning Special Effects) are momentarily visible. Some eagle-eyed viewers have spotted the letters and thought it read “S-E-X”. So this myth has some logic to it, but it’s still just a myth.

Myth # 5: There is an alternate ending to “King Kong vs. Godzilla”. This is one of the few movie myths that I personally used to believe before I realized it was all hooey! As any monster movie fan can tell you, at the conclusion of the campy Japanese Kaiju Eiga (“Giant Monster”) cult classic, King Kong vs. Godzilla, the big American ape emerges victorious. After Kong and Godzilla fall into the sea during their titanic struggle, only Kong rises, roaring triumphantly and swimming off for home, having bested the big reptile from Japan.

This ending has infuriated fans of the Big-G for 50 years. In fact, it’s made generations of Godzilla-philes so mad that the rumor of an alternate ending has persisted for decades. The myth goes that Kong only wins in the English-dubbed version (the one they show in the US and England) but in the Japanese version, it is Godzilla who rises from the sea, having vanquished his simian opponent.

Not true! (Much to my surprise, I might add.) The long-held belief in an alternate ending is totally fictitious, having been spread by word-of-mouth. To this day, despite no footage of the supposed alternate ending ever being seen by anyone, fans of Godzilla still insist that somewhere there is an alternate ending where Godzilla reigns supreme. And some of them will get very angry if you say different!

Myth # 6: Charles Manson created a movie genre called “Snuff films” where people really die on film. This is another of those creepy myths (Why are so many of them so gruesome?) This rumor comes from Ed Sanders 1971 book “The Family”. It alleges that the Manson family filmed some of their early murders and produced them as films to sell for profit. The term “snuff” is (or was) used as slang for killing, hence the term, “snuff film”. Then came a low-budget exploitation film called Snuff in 1976, which proclaimed itself to be composed of actual footage of real murders being committed. This film cemented the belief in the “snuff film” genre. Many people today believe that such a genre has existed for decades.

Well, don’t worry. Not one “snuff film” has ever been found to substantiate the claim of such a genre. Sanders offered no proof in his book. And the film Snuff was a fraud. It used the same gimmick the Blair Witch Project would later use to advertise itself as a true story. But it was just a work of fiction, and the on-screen deaths are clearly phony.

Myth # 7: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is based on a True Story. Horror film fans have held onto this sacred cow of the cinema for years, refusing to believe the naysayers. Many slasher-film fanatics believe that the deformed and deranged family from the 1974 cult favorite The Texas Chainsaw Massacre actually existed and did the deeds depicted in the film. But sadly for them, the facts don’t hold water.

For decades, many people--including criminologists and film historians—have tried to find any semblance of truth behind the supposed chainsaw killings depicted in the film, but no facts have ever been discovered to lend credence to the rumor. Toby Hooper and the people behind the Texas Chainsaw Massacre simply realized that they could increase their sales by marketing the film as being “based on true events”.

Myth # 8: There is an up-skirt shot of Jessica Rabbit’s private regions in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” What kind of a perverted mind thinks of these things, anyway? There’s a scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? where Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) and Jessica Rabbit are driving along in Benny the talking cab, but they are intercepted by evil Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) who uses “the dip” to make the cab crash. Eddie and Jessica are sent sailing through the air and land with a thump on the side of the road.

The pervy rumor, which has become all-too-commonly believed, is that if you freeze the scene at the right moment, just as Jessica comes down, you can see her fully animated private parts from under her skirt.

No surprise here—it’s not true! Disney Studios and Amblin Entertainment would never allow an animated vagina on screen, no matter how briefly. I don’t care where you freeze-frame the scene; you will not see an up-skirt shot of Jessica. What horny loser started that rumor?

Myth # 9: A Stuntman was killed on film in “Ben Hur". Here’s another of those grim myths. With so many dangerous stunts having been done during the legendary chariot race in Ben Hurr, it would not be too surprising to hear that a stuntman was killed, but it is strange to believe that the death was left in the final version of the film. Yet that rumor has persisted for a long, long time.

The myth is that the gruesome death of Steven Boyd’s character Messala during the chariot race, which was choreographed by legendary stuntman Yakima Canutt, really resulted in the death of the stuntman and that director William Wyler decided to use the footage.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that a director would not use real footage of a stuntman being killed in the final cut of his movie. Also, no stuntmen actually died while filming Ben Hurr. The convincing death of Messala, who gets run over during the race, was achieved with the use of a very realistic-looking dummy—not a real stuntman.


**


So there you have it…Nine infamous movie myths that you don’t have to fall for if anyone ever tells you that any of these silly stories are actually true.


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Comments 69 comments

Ebower profile image

Ebower 5 years ago from Georgia

Thanks for debuking these myths for me. My favorite was learning that no one committed suicide in 'The Wizard of Oz'. This is interesting and very detailed; I voted it up and awesome!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Ebower; The munchkin myth was my favorite, too. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

Rob


LVidoni5 profile image

LVidoni5 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Haha... I know it's ridiculous and now I feel foolish, but I always believed the suicide myth until now. I'll have to spread the word. Entertaining hub!.. I actually looked for the Lion King one, and thought I saw it. I'm sure it was SFX though.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi LVidoni5; A lot of people believe it. So you're in good company. I never spotted the "Lion King" one myself, so good job catching that one.

Thanks for reading;

Rob


KristenGrace profile image

KristenGrace 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

Wow. Great idea for a hub! I had heard some of these before (like the munchkin and Three Men and a Baby ones) but some were definitely new to me! Thanks for sharing all these.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Kristin; Glad you liked the hub. I love bringing new information--however trivial--to my hub friends.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England

Another fascinating read Rob. I never knew about some of these. I used to watch out for each showing of King Kong vs Godzilla hoping I can catch the version where Godzilla boots rubber-faced Kong into the sea, but alas they all had the same ending.

Btw that's the first time I've ever seen my favourite movie and Lew Wallace famous novel - Ben-Hur - spelt that way. :)

Voted Up and Interesting.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Steve; I always believed the "King Kong vs. Godzilla" one, too. I was disappointed to learn it was all a lie. Oh well.

Thanks for reading.

Rob


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Great research Rob, I remember when Three Men and a Lady came out on video, people were checking out the Ghost Child scene....the director Leonard Nimoy kept having to explain the whole card board cut up of Danson. As for Disney animators they have been included "in jokes" for years. An interesting and informative hub....that I happily voted up, interesting and awesome.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi cogerson; Good to hear from you, as always. I bet Nimoy gets fed up having to explain the 'ghost' over and over.

thanks for reading,

Rob


ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

Good hub. I too believed the Kong vr Godzilla story. How hard would it have been to film an alternative ending? As for Ben-Hur stunt men have been killed in accidents making movies but it is not likely any filmed death's would have been left in.

One rumor from Oz concerns the wild orgies the Little People had after hours. The truth is there was a couple who were quite amourious but they were newlyweds.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi ruffridyer; I was very disappointed when I found out that the oft-discussed alternate ending of 'KK vs G' didn't exist. I had always hoped to see Godzilla's victory someday.

I've heard those stories of horny, wild little munchkins, too. As you say, they were exaggerated out of proportion.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


MystMoonstruck profile image

MystMoonstruck 5 years ago from Illinois

There were deaths in the filming of "Ben-Hur"~in the original film, "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ" (1925). I imagine that this must be where the stories about the remake come from. There IS a basis for this rumor.

From IMDb:

1) Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, was disappointed with the chariot scene, as he felt it was too tame. He offered a prize of $100 (worth about 10 times that today) to the winner. This led to a much more competitive race that ended with a horrific crash that can be seen in the film. That crash, and another that resulted in a fatality, led to changes in rules of filming safety on film sets.

2) The first attempt to film the chariot race was on a set in Rome, but there were problems with shadows and the racetrack surface. Then one of the chariots' wheels came apart and the stuntman driving it was thrown in the air and killed.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi MystMoonstruck; Thanks again for another interesting bit of trivia. (Did you know there was a 1907 version of Ben Hur? It was 15 minutes long.)

The part of the rumor I wonder about is how people came to believe that footage of a stuntman being killed would be in the final cut. I recall that when "the Crow" came out, people were trying to spot the on-screen death of Brandon Lee. What made them think that his actual death would be in the movie? People can be so morbid sometimes!

Thanks for the useful comments and information;

Rob


Marlin 55 profile image

Marlin 55 5 years ago from USA

Great article! There is a touch of truth to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The movie is based on this actual person by the name of Ed Guinne, he lived in Wisconsin in the 1950's. Two other movies as well, Silence of the Lambs, and Psycho.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Marlin. Good to hear from you. As you say, many horror films have taken certain aspects of Ed Gein's ghastly murders as an inspiration for their stories, most notably the three you mentioned. But the real facts are so different that Hooper's gimmick of calling it "based on a true story" doesn't hold up. There was no psycho family or Leathered-faced chainsaw murderer. There was no chainsaw involved at all, in fact. Norman Bates and Buffalo Bill are actually much closer to the real Geins than Leatherface and his brood.

Thanks for stopping by to comment,

Rob


Marlin 55 profile image

Marlin 55 5 years ago from USA

Thank you Rog and it looks like I spelled Ed's last name wrong. I should have known that you already had the real scoop on these stories.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

I find the myths as fascinating as your debunking! What an awesome Hub.


MystMoonstruck profile image

MystMoonstruck 5 years ago from Illinois

In a couple of movies I know of, the stunt leading up to the death is shown, but the actual moment isn't.

The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982) From IMDd: Stuntman Jack Tyree was killed when he jumped off a cliff and missed his airbags. // From what I recall of reports, the stuntman agreed to do the sorcerer's headlong fall into a ravine, a fall that other stuntpeople did not want to do and warned him about. We see the sorcerer falling but not the moment of impact.

Comes a Horseman (1978) From IMDb: Stunt man Jim Sheppard was killed when a horse that was dragging him veered from its course and caused him to hit his head on a fence post. // Again, it shows the dragging but not the impact; they cut away at the last moment and show reaction shots to the villain being dragged away.

So, it wouldn't be at all surprising during the Silent Era for them to include the tragedy, especially because the general public back then would know nothing about this. I also found this creepy about the Twenties film: From IMDb: A staged fire on one of the ships got out of control. Armor-clad extras had to jump in the water. There is conflicting information as to whether any of them were killed. / Another source reports that at least four men did not show up for work later. Whether they quit or were drowned is uncertain.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Simone; They are interesting, aren't they?

Thanks for stopping by,

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi again MystMoonstruck; Thanks again for the information and the interesting comments.

Generally, I don't take what's on IMDb as gospel. Some eager but ill-informed film fans don't do the research they should before posting information. I've found many, many mistakes on IMDb. Much of it is true but some isn't. (Not to say your information is false. I'm just making a general comment.)

But I always appreciate your taking the time to comment. It's good to hear your views. I like reading your responses.

Thanks again for reading and commenting,

Rob


MystMoonstruck profile image

MystMoonstruck 5 years ago from Illinois

Information about these two doesn't come only from IMDb. Robert Osborne spoke about the "Comes a Horseman" tragedy, noting how they cut away just at the point the horse changes direction, which ended up slamming the stuntman into a post. The death in "The Sword and the Sorcerer" was reported in "Fangoria" and other publications. I recall that people were displeased that they simply didn't rewrite the bad guy's demise and not use that headward fall in the movie.

I do love it every time I read someone debunking the hanging in "TWOO". At Yahoo!Answers Movies, we've been battling that rumor for several years, and I think we're winning believers to the correct side.

Have you heard the claim about the UFO in "Jaws"? Most people think they're talking about the shooting stars, but there are insistent claims that a UFO can be spotted at one point. I've watched the movie many times, including 10 times in the theater. I saw the shooting stars the first time around but never heard about the other; I certainly haven't noticed anything unusual.

Now, if we can convince people that "The Wizard of Oz" was NOT the first film in color...


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi again Moonstruck; I see you've done research on this. I'm surprised that this kind of footage was actually used, even if they stopped short of the actual incident. Still, no filmmaker would ever actually use a real-life death on-screen.

I hadn't heard the UFO rumor in "Jaws". Speilberg's trademark "shooting star" appears in most of his early films, including "Jaws", so I guess that started the UFO rumor. I can't imagine what else it could be.

I hope that the munchkin suicide can one day be put to rest but these rumors do tend to hang on like ticks. I guess its more fun to believe in an on-screen suicide than in a big bird spreading it's wings.

Thanks again for another fun and interesting comment.

Rob


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Great write Rob. Couple of these have never heard about. Hey, we can agree on all of them except one. The stunt death Moonstruck brought up about Ben-Hur reminds of that disaster on the Noah's Flood scene in the 1929 movie Noah's Ark[?] produced I believe by Zanuck, where several people drowned. The gallons of water used on it are mind boggling. Well done and extra interesting Rob.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Alastar; I've heard about that film and the fact that three extras drown. I never looked into it enough to varify whether or not it was truth or rumor. Sadly, there have been many films over the years which have had tragedies on the set. One of the saddest was the decapitation of Vic Morrow and two small children on the set of the 1983 "Twilight Zone" film. But none of that footage ever made it on film.

Thanks for reading.

Rob


MystMoonstruck profile image

MystMoonstruck 5 years ago from Illinois

Actually, the UFO in "Jaws" is not in the same part as the shooting stars, or so I've heard and read. Since I heard about it, I've seen the film a couple of times but still haven't spotted it. Then, I also haven't spotted the spaceship/meteor/whatever plummeting into the ocean in "Cloverfield", even by watching those slo mo videos at YouTube. // I just checked out YouTube, and people seem to have gone UFO-happy about this movie, with any object in the sky, day or night, being a UFO. *snicker*

By the way, I'm rather an oldtimer, closing in on six decades, the daughter of a film buff who taught me so much about movies. I've spent my life learning more and have the crowded shelves and cabinets to prove it. I'm a latecomer to the Net. Most of my studies have been books and magazines.


twilightnera profile image

twilightnera 5 years ago

Love this hub! I had never heard about the Godzilla one. Some of them like The Wizard of Oz is so crazy how could it be true?


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi again Moonstruck; I can't imagine where else that "Jaws" UFO could be. I've seen the film a zillion times and I never noticed anything like that.

I did eventually spot the supposed "Cloverfield" UF0 after I rented the film on DVD and rewound it over and over, watching in slow motion. It's barely noticable, on the bottom right-hand side of the screen in the closing moments. Blink and you'll miss it. I'm not sure how that tiny speck coming down into the water in the background connects to the giant monster. Theories abound. One theory is based on the "Night of the Living Dead" plot about a crashed sattelite giving off radiation that woke the monster up. (Doesn't make sense to me, but what then again, what would make sense? It's a giant monster!)

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Twilightnera; glad you liked the hub. It's amazing but generations of people have believed that "Wizard of Oz" rumor. My mother told it to me when I was small. At the time I believed her until I got older and realized that it didn't make any sense at all.

I always believed the Godzilla/Kong one myself until just a few years ago. (I still wish it was true.)

Thanks for reading, and I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

Rob


MystMoonstruck profile image

MystMoonstruck 5 years ago from Illinois

In "Cloverfield", some claim that it's a spacecraft crashing into the ocean. They claim it awakens baby Clovie, sending it on a rampage. They speculate that Mama Clovie could come up from the depths a la "Gorgo". I still wish that it had turned out to be a Cthulhu Mythos film. *sigh*

There are slo mo clips at YouTube, which I've watched many times; but, even on full-screen and with the item circled, I honestly could not see anything. Of course, my old eyes can't detect the details they once could.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England

At the end of Cloverfield there is a shot of the beach and the ocean and if you look carefully you can see something falling out of the sky and hitting the water with a splash, it's in the background and visible if you know where to look.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Maybe in the "Cloverfield" sequel we'll find out what that was.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for telling us the truth at last. Could they have done it to get attention to the film and make it more mysterious?


Daemonkin profile image

Daemonkin 5 years ago from Ringgold, Ga

Great hub. One question about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Based off true events doesn't mean that the event depicted are 100% true. The last I checked on that myth, Leatherface was based off the very true story of Ed Gein. While he didn't go around chopping people up with chainsaws, he did kill many women, and, here's the kicker, made a mask out of human skin as part of a woman suit he wore.

He was also the inspiration for Psycho, Buffalo Bill (Silence of the Lambs), and Jason (Friday the 13th).


SEO IT! profile image

SEO IT! 5 years ago from Tucson, AZ

On myth #7 - I was one who was fooled by that. My HS boyfriend was obsessed with that movie (80's). I remember that his copy not only claimed it was based on true events, it warned that people with heart conditions should not watch. So, they made it seem even MORE real and then piled it on some more. Well, the marketing worked. *sigh*


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi H.H.; I don't think there was a plan. These rumors are created over time, except the "Chainsaw Massacre" one, in which case, you're right.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


Greensleeves Hubs profile image

Greensleeves Hubs 5 years ago from Essex, UK

Interesting stuff Robwrite. I must admit I hadn't heard of any of these rumours apart from the Ben-Hur one, but I guess it shouldn't have been any real surprise they proved to be false; myths like this (like conspiracy theories) are always sexier, more violent or more sinister than the reality. Nice to read.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hello Daemkin; the problem with the "Texas chainsaw massacre" claim that "the film you are about to see is true" is that it only took one aspect of a true event (the fact that Geins used humans remains to create things like furniture and masks) but everything else was totally different. No family; no chainsaw; no grunting killer who puts on a dress to serve dinner to his bizarre brood; no gas station proprietor accomplice; no truck driver rescuer; no hitchhiker with a razor; no van full of young soon-to-be-victims; No one escapped only to be recaptured and then escape again. etc., etc.

Every plot point in the film is fictional. Nothing depicted there ever happened, except for the one bit of fact that Toby Hooper latched onto about the Geins killings and added it into the film. That doesn't equal "the film you are about to see is true."

That one grotesque plot point doesn't make it a true story. That would be like saying "Dracula" is a true story because the character of Dracula was based on the true-life prince Vlad Teppes the Impaler.

Sorry, but "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was not based on a true story.

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi SEO It; They really laid it on thick, didn't they? That whole "People with weak hearts" gimmick goes all the way back to the 1932 "Frankenstein" film, where a pre-credit warning was given to the audience that people of weak constitutions might be too horrified to sit through this film. It's a time-honored horror film gimmick. I remember one low-budget film that offered to give away free coffins to anyone who died of fright while watching the film.

Ah, advertising.

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Greensleeves; You're right. Bizarre rumors are always more fun than boring old facts. That's why conspiracy theories have so much life in them. They're more fun than the truth.

Rob


Daemonkin profile image

Daemonkin 5 years ago from Ringgold, Ga

Robwrite, fair enough. I see what you mean now. I thought you were talking about the term "based on true events."

We all know how overused that phrase is, and, hopefully, just what it means, exactly.


bwhite062007 profile image

bwhite062007 5 years ago from East Coast

Cool hub! I must admit, some of these myths I used to believe. That is until you cleared them up for me. : )


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi bwhite; Welcome to Hubpages. I used to believe a couple of them, too. Glad I could clear this stuff up.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Rob


danielleantosz profile image

danielleantosz 5 years ago from Florida

Awesome hub! Very well researched.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thank you, Danielle; I appreciate the kind words.

Rob


daydreamer13 profile image

daydreamer13 5 years ago

This was a fun hub but I must say, I've checked #4 before and if you stop it right it does look like S-E-X even if they meant S-F-X. Anyway, cool hub!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Daydreamer. I'll have to look at that one. I've never noticed it myself. But I'm sure it's SFX.

Thanks for readinf,

rob


meow48 profile image

meow48 5 years ago from usa

loved this hub, thankyou for sharing it with us novices... i will admit to knowing about half of these r/t being an old lady who grew up with black and white films. take care.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi meow; Glad you enjoyed it. I grew up enjoying the old black-and-white films, too. Some amazing stuff cane out of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Rob


meow48 profile image

meow48 5 years ago from usa

i will never forget how excited my dad was when we got a color TV... hee hee.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

I can't remember how old I was when we got a color TV but I was pretty young.

And congratulations on making the 50th comment on this hub.

Rob


meow48 profile image

meow48 5 years ago from usa

now that is an unexpected honor. my fans are rather shy, i get thrilled with anyone making the first comment on any of my hubs. hee.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

As long as people are reading your hubs, that's the important thing.


meow48 profile image

meow48 5 years ago from usa

from your mouth to god's ears. take care.


Alladream74 profile image

Alladream74 5 years ago from Oakland, California

All this time i thought the texas chainsaw massacre was based on a true story. Thanks for an interesting read


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Glad you liked it. Thanks for reading.


VendettaVixen profile image

VendettaVixen 4 years ago from Ireland

Thanks for the great info, Rob. I love reading about urban legends, even if they are false.

I always smile when I see a film claim to be "based on a true story," since they could pretty much just give a character the same name as a real person, and it would be "based on actual events." I know plenty do a good job of staying true to what actually happened, but unfortunately, lots don't.

That was a fantastic bit of work. Thanks a bunch, Rob.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi V.V.; That "based on a true story" gimmick is thrown around a lot, to drum up business. Films like "the men who stare at goats", "the 4th Kind", "the Blair Witch Project" and other obviously fictional stories used this gimmick. Its very sneaky.

Rob


Rain Defence profile image

Rain Defence 4 years ago from UK

Myth number 6 is not a myth. There is an infamous video called 'faces of death' which shows people being executed and murdered. there are some animals in it too, including a monkey having its brains eaten while it is still alive. Some of it is filmed footage of human executions and other videos are home video style footage of horrific things. At one point in the video, showing some gang activity somewhere in Africa and filmed from afar, a woman watches her family get hacked to death with machetes one by one before they do her as well. It's the most horrific thing I've ever seen, I don't recommend watching it, but when I was a teen the video did the rounds for some reason and lots of people watched it as it was the sort of thing that people would talk about at school. I'd never watch anything like that nowadays.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Rain; a 'snuff film' is when someone is deliberately killed by the filmmakers for the sake of making a film. Its a different thing than using footage filmed by someone else as a death exploitation film.

Thanks for the comments, though.

Rob


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

..only you Rob could come up with a hub as wonderful and intriguing as this one and it will be shared and posted with enthusiasm to my FB group Let's just talk music or cinema with a direct link back here - and as always thank you for your support as well - coming from such a great writer as yourself - that really means a lot to me - lake erie time ontario canada 12:34pm


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Rob - A most interesting read, written in excellent style. You've done your homework and I can't wait to read more of your hubs. I'm so glad that Epi posted this or I might have missed it. Voted up and across!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Colin; Always a pleasure to hear from you. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for linking it to your movie site. I appreciate it.

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Vocalcoach; I'm glad you found my little hub and enjoyed it. I did a good bit of reasearch on this one so I'm glad people seem to enjoy it.

thanks for stopping by,

Rob


Jade Evans profile image

Jade Evans 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Great hub, fun facts to read. Glad to hear that no munchkins died :)


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Jade; The Munchkins were glad, too.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


timmyelliot 3 years ago

Actually, I think the author is confused about what he wrote.

Sure, "Texas chainsaw massacre," isn't a true story. And Dracula isn't a true story either.

However, both of them are based on true stories.

The author is wrong, when he wrote that it is a "Myth # 7: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is *based* on a True Story" (emphasis is mine)


timmyelliot 3 years ago

By the way, I forgot to add. I really loved this article (except for my issue with #7). I had actually believed some of these myths, particularly the Jessica Rabbit one.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Tim. Thanks for reading. But the Texas Chainsaw Masacre isn't based on any factual event. There was never a cannibal family with chainsaws. None of the events in the film ever happened. The single detail taken from the newspapers (about Ed Geins using body parts for furniture) is the only true-life detail. That doesn't qualify as being based on a true story. Neither does Dracula using the name 'Prince Vlad Dracula'. That would be called Historic Fiction (taking a real historic fact and building a fictional story around it). "Abe Lincoln: Vampire Slayer" is another exampe of Historic Fiction.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Rob

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