Christmas is nearly upon us and its time to sit down with loved one and snuggle up to your favourite Christmas films.
(And if thats Die Hard, were right there with you.)
But despite knowing these films and characters inside out, theres a lot of behind the scenes drama we dont know about. So to celebrate some of those smaller moments that have been hidden by history, weve taken a look at 14 things you may not know about some of the nations favourite Christmas films…
1. In the original cut of the 1994 film The Santa Clause (as played by Tim Allen), Santa Clause jokingly says 1-800-SPANK-ME.
There was just one problem – that was an actual phone number for a sex service, so Disney had to try to buy and discontinue the number.
In later releases the scene was missing.
2. The gangster movie playing throughout Home Alone is not a real film and was created by the crew.
3. Although Daniel Stern was originally supposed to have a mechanical tarantula crawling on his face in Home Alone, the crew ended up using a live tarantula.
But to stop the spider from startling and biting him during filming he was not allowed to make one single scream – the screams the audience hear were filled in later.
4. The original Miracle on 34th Street came out in May and was marketed as a simple love story.
5. Hugh Grants dance scene in Love Actually is now an iconic part of the movie but originally Hugh didnt want that scene included because he wanted the prime minister to be stately.
6. Die Hard is synonymous now with Bruce Willis but turns out Bruce was actually the seventh choice for the films makers.
Arnold Schwarzenegger turned it down first, then Sylvester Stallone, then Burt Reynolds, then Richard Gere, then Harrison Ford, then Mel Gibson.
7. Director Jon Favreau decided that his one-year-old son Max would be the inspiration behind Buddy in Elf.
If Max would do something like push all the buttons in an elevator, it would be believable for Buddy to do it as well.
8. The scene in Santaland where Buddy whispers to a mall Santa that hes sitting on a throne of lies had to be shot in one take because there was no time nor money to rebuild the set once it was demolished.
9. The scene in Its A Wonderful Life where the character Uncle Billy gets drunk, George Bailey points him in the right direction home, and Uncle Billy crashes over off screen never really happened.
On screen Uncle Billy staggered away and audiences heard a loud crash.
Although in the film we hear Billys Im all right! Im all right!, it turns out that the noise was the sound of a technician accidentally knocking over a stack of props and actor Thomas Mitchell ad libbed.
Director Frank Capra loved the sound so much that he gave the technician a $10 bonus.
10. Jimmy Stewart was never meant to kiss Miss Davies in Its A Wonderful Life.
On The Making Of Its a Wonderful Life, actor Tom Bosley revealed that during the scene where the residents of Bedford Falls clamour for their money at the bank, director Frank Capra asked the woman playing Miss Davis to surprise Jimmy Stewart with the amount she asked for.
Surrounded by people requesting large sums of money, the woman asked for $17.50 – leading to Jimmys genuine surprise and a decision to kiss her on the cheek.
12. Tom Hanks played five different characters in The Polar Express.
Hero Boy, Father, Conductor, Hobo and Santa Claus.
13. In White Christmas, during Danny Kaye and Bing Crosbys performance of Sisters, fans of the film love the fact that Bing is laughing throughout.
But it turns out that Bing was never meant to laugh and the films makers were going to use what they considered a better and straighter version, until they ran both scenes in front of a test audience who loved the laughing version better.
14. Gonzo, Miss Piggy, and Scooter were originally meant to be play the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come in Muppets Christmas Carol.
In the end Gonzo narrated the movie as Charles Dickens, Miss Piggy was Emily Cratchitt.
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