Hello to everyone who has been following this blog for many years - I'm still blogging, I'm just moving over to https://www.claireheffer.com/blog - please continue to follow and let me take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been kind enough to visit over the years. May the lists continue...

Thursday 8 November 2018



TRIVIA: During the filming of the underwater scenes (where the ferry capsizes), director Steven Spielberg played a prank on Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning by playing the dramatic music from Jaws (1975) (also one of Spielberg's films) through the massive underwater speakers on the sound stage.

The tripod design for the alien machines is based on H.G. Wells' original description from his book, including the heat rays at the ends of arms. The "red weed" is also from the novel, as is the alien "need" for humans.

When the aliens are investigating the junk in the basement, one of them plays with a bicycle wheel. This is a reference to the original book; the main character observes that, with all the advanced technology the aliens possess, they do not use any wheels, and wonders if the alien life form had skipped the invention of the wheel.

Due to Steven Spielberg's last minute post-production work, he had to drop out of a scheduled appearance with Tom Cruise to promote the film on The Oprah Winfrey Show(1986). This was the episode of Cruise's highly publicized "couch jumping" incident.

An actual out-of-use Boeing 747 was bought to be used as the crashed plane.

Before David Koepp was hired, Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise asked J.J. Abrams to write the script. But, he had to turn it down, as he was working on the pilot for Lost(2004) at the time.

In 2005, the plane crash set was featured in Universal Studios Hollywood's public Studio Tour. The wreckage was located only a few feet from the infamous Psycho (1960) house and Bates Motel sets.

The opening voiceover monologue paraphrases and updates the first paragraph from H.G. Wells' novel. For example, "nineteenth century" is changed to "twenty-first century".

Tom Cruise's sixth consecutive film to break the 100 million dollar barrier domestically since 2000, and his thirteenth movie to break that barrier in total.

After her actions in the film, Dakota Fanning's character was voted 'most useless thing to have in an apocalypse' by MTV

Ray drives a rare 1966 Shelby Mustang GT-350H, black with gold stripes. 1,001 were produced in total, with around 800 being produced in the black and gold color scheme. Also known as the "Rent-A-Racer", it was available for rent at Hertz for seventeen dollars per day, and seventeen cents per mile. An original example sold at auction in 2006 for 180,900 dollars, and since a crane driver would be unlikely to own such a valuable car, it's probably one of the many replicas which have subsequently been made, worth a fraction of that.

DIRECTOR TRADEMARKSteven Spielberg: [fathers] The main character is a divorced father whose children are angry at him, mirroring Spielberg's experience with his absentee father.

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