20+ Little-Known Facts About Christmas Movies That Are Even More Surprising Than the Films Themselves
Christmas is often associated with a cozy home, the Christmas tree, gifts from our close people, and watching movies during the holidays. You probably love the films Home Alone, Love Actually, The Holiday, It’s a Wonderful Life, and many others. In this article, we compiled unexpected facts about these movies to give you a new perspective on them.
- The film has a sequel, which is a 15-minute promo video for a charity organization. It was created in 2017 for Red Nose Day, and it was named Red Nose Day Actually. From the video, you can find out about the fates of the characters of Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Rowan Atkinson, and others. Also, top model Kate Moss appeared in the film, portraying the girlfriend of one of the characters of the original film.
- Keira Knightley doesn’t really understand why everyone loves this Christmas movie. When she was asked this question, she said she watched Love Actually only once. She said, “I have no idea. I’ve actually only seen it once, at the premiere. So I’m not the person to ask.”
- The character of Rowan Atkinson was supposed to be an angel, not an eccentric salesperson. They even had a scene, where he vanished after helping Sam go through the security at the airport. But creator Richard Curtis said, “But in the end, the film turned out so sort of multiplicitous that the idea of introducing an extra layer of supernatural beings was too much.”
- The film got such amazing love that it has 3 remakes. In India, it’s A Tribute To Love, in Poland, Letters to St. Nicolas, and in Japan — It All Began When I Met You. The creators of the last one even used the concept of the advertisement from the original.
- Joe Pesci, who played one of the robbers, actually bit Macaulay Culkin’s finger in the scene where Kevin is hanging from the coat hook. “During one of the rehearsals, he bit me, and it broke the skin,” Macaulay told Conan O’Brien. And he’s still got the scar as a memento.
- There was supposed to be a bonus scene that was later deleted. Harry and Marv watch Angels with Filthy Souls on TV in prison. When they hear the movie dialogue Kevin fooled them with, they exchange looks.
- The McCallister home is an actual building located not far from Chicago, where the film is set. It’s at 671 Lincoln Avenue in Winnetka, Illinois. The kitchen, main staircase, and ground-floor landing seen in the film were all shot in this 5-bedroom residence. And the dining scenes and other rooms on the first floor were shot in a studio.
- Snow was not in the film’s budget, but nature helped. On the second day of filming, there was a snowstorm that covered the entire set and allowed the director to get wonderful shots of winter. But they had no choice but to call in the snow machines for the remainder of the film’s production.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
- Every time someone mentions the events from the first movie, they say “last year,” even though it came out in 1992 and the first one came out in 1990. The two movies were released two years apart, yet their storylines are only one year apart. Also, Kevin says that he’s 10 years old in this film, yet he said he was 8 years old in the first one.
- Duncan’s Toy Chest, the toy store shown in the film, is fictitious and was named after executive producer Duncan Henderson. It is based on the flagship F.A.O. Schwarz toy store in Manhattan, New York. The exterior of Duncan’s Toy Chest was actually the Rookery Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- Originally, the Grinch wasn’t green. Like everything else in the book, he was black and white with some red and pink splotches, but producer and director Ron Howard wanted this movie to also be an adaptation of the 1966 TV special.
- The scene where the Grinch is directing his dog, Max, before stealing Christmas, is Jim Carrey making fun of producer and director Ron Howard, imitating his style of directing. Howard found the scene hilarious and decided to include it in this movie.
- When Amanda is drinking hot chocolate with Graham and the girls, she has a milk mustache. Amanda licks it while asking what’s wrong, but in the next frame, it reappears.
- All the exterior scenes were filmed in the UK, and the interior ones were shot on sound stages in LA. Jude Law noticeably has a tan in all his interior scenes because he’d often go to the beach.
- When Iris (Kate Winslet) is looking around Amanda’s home after her arrival, she stumbles upon a rather sizeable collection of Sony Pictures films. One of the films in Amanda’s collection is Enigma (2001), a movie starred by Winslet.
A Christmas Story
- In one of the movie’s iconic scenes, Flick’s tongue gets stuck to the flag pole, but it’s not real. They cut a small hole in the flag pole and had a vacuum hose attached that would suck in his tongue.
- Even though it was released in 1983, the filmmakers wanted it to look like the end of the 30s. They never mention the actual time, but you can guess it from the hints. The Look magazine, in which Ralphie hides the Red Ryder ad, is the December 1937 cover with Shirley Temple and Santa. Ralphie’s Little Orphan Annie Secret Society Decoder Pin bears the date 1940. The parade in front of Higbee’s features characters from MGM’s version of The Wizard of Oz, which was released in 1939.
- The film is set in a fictitious town called Hohman in Indiana. Director Bob Clark reportedly sent scouts to twenty cities before selecting Cleveland for exterior filming. He liked it for Higbee’s downtown, famous for its well-thought Christmas decorations.
- The exterior shots (and some select interior shots of where Ralphie lived) of the house and neighborhood were filmed in the Tremont section of Cleveland’s West Side. In 2004, the house was restored and rebuilt to look like the house from the film. After, it was opened as a museum for the public, named “A Christmas Story House.”
It’s a Wonderful Life
- It’s a Wonderful Life is based on the story The Greatest Gift by American writer Philip Van Doren Stern. He first printed it himself as a 21-page leaflet and sent it to his friends as a Christmas gift in December 1943. In 1944, it was published in Reader’s Scope and Good Housekeeping. And then, the story was adapted for a movie.
- In the films, filmmakers used cornflakes painted in white to create snow. But they were quite loud, so the conversations had to be recorded later. Director Frank Capra wanted to record live sound, so they made a mix of fomite (a fire-fighting chemical), soap, and water. This mixture was then pumped at high pressure through a wind machine to create the silent, falling snow. The RKO Effects Department received an Oscar for this idea.
- The film has two lines of “secret dialog” spoken quietly through a door. They can be heard when amplifying the volume and are also explicitly depicted in the closed-captioning. The lines occur at the end of the scene set in Peter Bailey’s private office with Bailey and his son George, and Potter and his goon present. After George raves to Potter that “you can’t say that about my father,” he is ushered out of the room by his father, and then George is shown standing outside the office door. At that moment, George overhears the following two lines of dialog through the glass pane of the door behind him: POTTER: “What’s the answer?” PETER BAILEY: “Potter, you just humiliated me in front of my son.”
What films do you usually watch during the Christmas holidays?