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Name 10 Facts about this Movie


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6.  Due to a musicians union strike, the movie's musical score was comprised of pre-recorded pieces from the MGM music library . Most of this music was originally composed by André Previn for MGM’s “Tension” (1949).

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7. All the lead actors from the original stage production who failed to be cast in the film version nevertheless had significant movie careers.  Ben Gazzara explicitly turned down the film, which would have been only his second (his prominent role in Anatomy of a Murder came only a year later).  Barbara Bel Geddes (Tony-nominated for her stage performance) had already been Oscar-nominated a decade earlier for I Remember Mama .  Mildred Dunnock, already Oscar-nominated for Death of A Salesman (1951), was nominated again for the film version of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth (1962). Pat Hingle went on to a long film and television career as a character actor (e.g., in Splendor in the GrassNorma Rae, and Batman).

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8.   Other versions of Cat include:  A 1984 tv movie with Jessica Lange, Tommy Lee Jones, Rip Torn, and Kim Stanley; a 1976 tv movie with Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, Laurence Olivier, and Maureen Stapleton

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9.  Director Richard Brooks had originally imagined Tony Franciosa and Ava Gardner in the lead roles (although Gardner was a decade older than Taylor).  Both imdb and the Wikipedia entry for Ben Gazzara claim that M-G-M had initially wanted James Dean for the role of Brick.  (The original production of the play opened on 3/24/55 and Dean died six months later).  Montgomery Clift, Robert Mitchum, and Elvis Presley all reportedly turned down the role, although whether this was because of the character's implied homosexuality in each case is not clear.  Lana Turner and Grace Kelly were also considered for the role of Maggie (although the latter obviously proved unfeasible once Kelly became a Princess).

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10.  Originally to shoot in black and white, was filmed in color in part to capture the vibrant eye color of co-stars:   Paul Newman's blue and Elizabeth Taylor's violet.

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4. Steve McQueen reportedly did all his own motorcycle stunts in the film, except the iconic leap over the barbed-wire fence, which was performed by stuntman Bud Ekins--whom McQueen was always careful to rightly credit in interviews.

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5.  Charles Bronson used to work as a coal miner before becoming an actor.  He advised John Sturges about how to get the dirt out of the tunnel while digging. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

8.   Spoiler alert:   Of the 76 Allied prisoners who escaped, 23 were reincarcerated, 50 were shot and three made it all the way to freedom.

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9.  Steve  McQueen's  third  motion  picture  with  James  Coburn   (  The  Magnificent  Seven  1960  and  Hell  is  For  Heroes  1962)

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4) In one scene, an American solider is executed by firing squad while a recording of Frank Sinatra singing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" is played on the soundtrack

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5.  Foreman is best-known as the (famously blacklisted) screenwriter of High Noon and The  Bridge on the River Kwai. The Victors (which he also wrote and produced) is the only film he ever directed.

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