Old Hollywood Movie Secrets
Old Hollywood wasn’t exactly like you thought it to be. To some, it was considered a nasty but creative space. Old Hollywood, to some degree, imposed strict rules on their actors and actresses and, obviously, things back then worked differently compared to the Hollywood of today.
The resources back then were very limited, and studios and staff had to resort to whatever solutions they can find. Some solutions would be considered unacceptable today, but they had to be done in order to create great films.
The glamorous stars of old Hollywood deserve a lot of credit for all the sacrifices they made to create works of art. Here are some secrets of famous old Hollywood movies that you might find cool or weird.
1.Gene Kelly constantly insulted Debbie Reynolds’ dancing in “Singin’ in the Rain”
Debbie Reynolds was constantly criticized by Gene Kelly for her dancing. Kelly would often come to rehearsals to insult Reynolds even though she been training for only a few months and even worked so hard that her feet bled.
The criticism got to the point where Reynolds hid under the piano in the studio and started crying. Fred Astair found her and consoled the actress.
2.An Accident on the Set of “The Wizard of Oz” Caused Margaret Hamilton to Suffer Burns
While shooting a scene as the Wicked Witch in the film The Wizard of Oz, Margaret Hamilton suffered second-degree burns on her face and third-degree burns on her hands. The trap door didn’t drop fast enough, which led to the actress getting burned. The actress spent more than a month trying to recover in the hospital.
The actress decided not to bring in lawyers and sue the producers because she knew how it would affect her career. She demanded that they no longer include fireworks while filming instead.
3.Child Actors Who Misbehaved on Set Were Punished
Shirley Temple, a well-known child actress of Old Hollywood admitted that when kids misbehaved on set they were sent to the black box. The black box was a sound booth in the studio and the kids would be forced to sit on ice. It was kind of traumatizing if you were just a kid who was acting for fun.
4.Sidney Poitier Forwent His Salary to Make “Lilies of the Field” Because It Had A Very Small Budget
The movie Lilies of the Field received a lot of recognition after it was released. Production only took 14 days and many sacrifices were done for the film. Producer-director Ralph Nelson used his house as collateral while Sidney Poitier decided to not receive any salary and get a percentage of the box office returns instead.
The investments of Nelson and Poitier didn’t go to waste as the movie was a big hit. Poitier even won Best Actor at the Oscars, making him the first black male and second black person to receive an award.
5.Lon Chaney Did His Own Makeup For A Lot of His Roles
Lon Chaney was known for his roles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera. Not only was he a great actor who starred in over 150 films, but he was also known to be one of the best makeup artists in the industry.
6.Frank Capra Helped in Creating A New Type of Artificial Snow in “It’s A Wonderful Life”
In the movie It’s A Wonderful Life, writer-director Frank Capra thought that the snowflakes they used which were painted cornflakes were too noisy when walked on. The writer-director found a new technique. The team won a special Technical Achievement Award at the Oscars to credit them for their innovation.
7.Doris Day Broke Two Of Her Ribs in “Move Over Darling”
James Garner had to carry Doris Day in a scene in Move Over Darling. The actor was so big and strong that he accidentally broke two of the actresses’ ribs in the process. The actress had to be wrapped in adhesive tape while filming. The two of them have remained good friends since then and have made the incident an inside joke.
8.Toto the Dog in “The Wizard of Oz” Was Paid More Than The Actors Who Played The Munchkins
On The Wizard of Oz, Toto the dog received $125 per week while the Munchkins were only paid $50 per week. Seems like it would have been a great idea to be a dog at the time.
9.Real Birds Were Used in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”
The original plan was to use fake birds but due to mechanical issues, they had to use real birds. This must have been a traumatic experience for Tippi Hedren who had birds tied and thrown at her. In case she got hurt in the process, they must have prepared her health insurance.