50 movie trivia facts you (probably) don't know

When it's time to dazzle your pals, or even attempt to help your long-suffering pub quiz team actually win for once, look no further than movie trivia. It's the perfect remedy. You can easily save a movie night by regaling your nearest and dearest with tales of amusing prop malfunctions that made movies better, feats of acting prowess that'd make your nose bleed, and strange behind-the-scenes working relationships that involve piss being thrown in people's faces. Yes, movie trivia is endlessly fascinating and bound to help you score points - either socially or you know, for your pub trivia team. Either way - get reading!

50. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Did you know? Buddy Ebsen, the original Tin Man, had to abandon the role after being hospitalized due to an allergic reaction to the aluminium powder in his makeup. But that's nothing compared to what happened to Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch. She suffered first and second degree burns during the scene when the witch leaves Munchkinland in a blaze of flames. Her green facepaint was copper-based and highly toxic: so had to be painfully removed from her burned flesh with alcohol.

49. Alien: Resurrection (1997)

Did you know? Who needs movie trickery? That killer moment in the fourth Alien flick finds Ripley kicking serious butt on the basketball court. When she throws the ball behind her as she's walking away, it disappears offscreen for a split second, then swishes straight into the net. Sigourney Weaver really does it in one.

48. Good Will Hunting (1997)

Did you know? Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, the cheeky devils they are, originally set up a trap for execs in the first draft of the script. They wrote in an additional scene between Will and his shrink, Sean Maguire, wherein the two engaged in oral sex. The idea being that any exec who actually read it would notice how out of place it was in the story. The only one who spotted it? Harvey Weinstein, who they sold the rights to.

47. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

Did you know? Terrified by the new threat of video piracy, Universal made the home video cassettes for ET with green plastic. The plan was to make sure consumers knew that their hard-earned cash was going toward a genuine copy of the film - not a bootleg version which would have looked like a regular VHS tape. It obviously worked, as the release broke home entertainment records.

46. Rocky (1976)

Did you know? There's a scene when Rocky Balboa points out a mistake in the poster at the match venue, and it was in fact entirely unscripted. Sylvester Stallone was forced to add the line because the art department made a genuine mistake when producing the prop, making the Italian Stallion's boxing trunks completely the wrong colour. Although, it does work to signify how Rocky isn't treated with much respect as an underdog. 

45. Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

Did you know? In order to make Obi-wan look bedraggled and desert-worn, Alec Guinness adopted a special type of method acting. Before shooting a single scene, he donned Kenobi's signature robes, laid on the Tunisian desert floor and rolled around so his costume would acquire that weathered, lived-in look. 

44. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

Did you know? After decades of wondering which Cubs game Ferris, Cameron and Sloane attend, one die-hard sports fan figured it out. How? By analyzing the announcer's voiceover, who was on the field, and the time of year. Ferris catches a foul ball in the top of the eleventh inning from an Atlanta Braves hitter - that extra inning game really did take place at Wrigley Field in Chicago on June 5, 1985.

43. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Did you know? Frank Capra, the director, insisted that George Bailey's workshop include a pet raven for no better reason than the avian star Jimmy was a lucky charm. Capra had cast the bird in all of his films from 1938's You Can't Take It With You onwards, and felt it would have been a bad omen to not include his feathered friend.

42. The Great Escape (1963)

Did you know? The cast of this WWII classic - and Christmas Day TV staple - includes one genuine WWII Prisoner of War. During the conflict Donald Pleasence, who plays RAF Flight Lieutenant Colin Blythe, had been shot down at a raid on Agenville and imprisoned for a year in a Stalag Luft, where he produced and acted in plays. That's one way to bring a whole new level of authenticity to a role. 

41. Die Hard (1988)

Did you know? The Nakatomi building where the '80s actioner unravels wasn't a backlot somewhere. It's actually the Fox Plaza, 20 Century Fox's recently-built headquarters. So, more or less, director John McTiernan and Bruce Willis are getting paid handsomely to destroy their bosses' new home. Only in the movies.