11. Margaret O’Brien was 6 years old during the making of Meet Me In St. Louis, and apparently her mother got her to cry for scenes by telling her that her rival actor on the MGM lot (June Allyson) was much better at crying than she was.
Meet Me In St. Louis (1944) starred Judy Garland and was directed by her husband, Vincente Minelli. In his book, he wrote that he got young O’Brien to cry by telling her that her dog died, but if that sounds too cruel to be true, it’s not. O’Brien said that neither her mother nor Garland would allow anything harsh like that.
Here’s how they really got her to cry: “The way they got me to cry is that June Allyson and I were in competition as the best criers on the MGM lot. So when I was having trouble crying, my mother would come over to me and say, ‘I’ll have the makeup man put the false tears down your face, but June is such a great, great actress – she always cries real tears. And then I started crying, because I couldn’t let June win the competition.’”
12. Iconic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life was filmed in the summer of 1946 when the weather was quite warm. The production even had to be shut down a few times due to the heat.
In some scenes, you can literally see the actors sweating.
13. Disney reportedly had a strict policy against hiring ex-cons, but they made an exception for The Santa Clause‘s Tim Allen, who was arrested in 1978 for possession of nearly 1.5 pounds of cocaine.
Maybe he was smuggling the coke in that sweet mustache.
14. You may not recognize him, but the ticket agent in Four Christmases is played by Peter Billingsley, who famously portrayed Ralphie in A Christmas Story.
Billingsley also played Ming Ming the Elf in Elf.
15. Before Jim Carrey was cast as The Grinch, Eddie Murphy and Jack Nicholson were both considered for the role.
The Grinch ended up being a huge hit for Carrey.
16. Jim Carrey had to undergo torture-endurance training from the CIA in order to tolerate 8.5 hours a day it took to put on his Grinch make-up.
On The Graham Norton Show, Carrey said it was like “being buried alive every day.”
17. Director Frank Capra helped make an altogether new type of artificial snow for It’s a Wonderful Life. The method that was used at the time was cornflakes painted white, and that ended up making too much noise for the movie.
The new technique made it so that Capra could film the picture and audio at the same time, rather than having to dub the sound in later. Russell Shearman—the head of special effects for RKO Studio—and his team won an Oscar in Technical Achievement for the fake snow.
18. One single minute of footage of The Nightmare Before Christmas took about a week to shoot. All in all, it took over 3 years to make the whole movie.
The movie involved the talents of over 120 different artists, who put together 19 miniature sets.
19. Love, Actually was originally supposed to include a whole separate storyline about the school’s headmistress and her partner, who had a terminal illness.
Richard Curtis, the movie’s writer and director, explained in the DVD extras that the scenes from that storyline had to be cut, but you can check one of them out here.
20. The prop department on Home Alone made a fake tarantula to put on Daniel Stern’s face, but the director decided to use a real one.
In a Facebook post, Stern recalled an animal trainer on set telling him, “Just don’t make any sudden, threatening moves and you’ll be fine.” Stern responded, “But I’m going to be screaming in Barry’s (the tarantula’s) face. Do you think he’ll feel threatened by that?!” The trainer assured Stern, “Barry doesn’t have ears. He can’t hear. Relax.”