Somehow of the other, I spent a considerable amount of time today going through urban legends about the movie industry (actors, movies, controversies, you name it). Who'd have thought there would be so much weird and wonderful information out there? Well, here's some of the stranger bits:
Star Wars and Hidden Fortress
You hear so many weird stories about Star Wars that you don't know what to believe. This one stated that A New Hope was inspired by a Japanese movie from the 1950s called The Hidden Fortress. Apparently Lucas himself has admitted to this as well. So, now we know. In case you are wondering, in the Japanese movie, you have two farmer types helping to transport a princess and some moolah to a safe area. The gold and whatnot that the princess nabs is supposed to rebuild her base. Right!
The Hanging Rumor about Wizard of Oz
So far, I had only heard weird rumors about Micheal Jackson acting as the scarecrow in one of the more original remakes (incidentally that rumor turns out to be true). This particular rumor about a hanging caught me by surprise. A munchkin commits suicide on the set? And it is caught on camera? Wait, I don't remember this! Many folks insist that it happened and thus, it became an urban legend. Paah pshaw! The scene in question is a vague flappy/swaying movement seen amongst some trees in the distance. Turns out it was actually a flapping bird.
Cancer 'cos of The Conqueror?
A lot of folks believed that John Wayne's bout with cancer was due to fallout effect during the on-location shooting of The Conqueror. Any truth to this? Well, apparently that is some truth to that. According to many sources, including this one, a lot of the movie was shot in Snowy Canyon in Utah which may have felt after effects of nuclear tests that were carried out in that area. Seems like 91 out of 220 crew members were diagnosed with different cancers in later years.
Blair Witch Project
Aah, that one. Folks believe that this really happened. I remember when this flick was first released and yes, I know lots of folks who insisted that this really happened. Well, it didn't, so let's move on. This rumor is fueled by the wonderful marketing tactics of the movie makers. Check out this site; you have to read the full details of how they went about it, from the way they built up the back story a few years beforehand to the way they promoted the movie later. And you know the rest – it was box office gold!
The Disney Controversies
You know, I was going for just one scandalous story but turns out there were quite a few. And most of them ranged from absurd to a scary 'Eh, wait, so that was real?!' First there was the scene where you can read the word 'sex' in the clouds. I watched the movie a couple of times and I never thought those squiggly bits could be that. At least not until one of my classmates nudged us knowingly and informed us of that little tidbit. How sad that we all went home that day, replayed the scene and still couldn't see it. Even while tilting our head to both sides. Well, folks point out that it does look suspiciously like 'sex' in the clouds. Turns out, a lot of people believe, others dismiss it and some simply think it means SFX, i.e. the name of a group.
Then there was the other Lion King story. This one was a bit of downer. A few folk asked if Lion King was based on/inspired by a Japanese series. Turns out there are way too many similarities between Lion King and an older Japanese show called Kimba the White Lion, a show based on the work of none other than Astroboy creator Tezuka Osamu. Oooh, that's got to hurt. I am going with someone borrowed an idea unknowingly with this one. Read more about it at Straight Dope.
Then there was the one about Rescuers having a picture of a topless woman. Haha, I thought to myself. This is along the lines of Simba and sex in the sky. Turns out, this rumor was spot on. Someone did slip in one or more snippets depicting a nude-from-the-navel-up woman. Ookay!