Ten years ago, today, the #1 movie at the box office was 17 Again, a comedy starring Zac Efron, Matthew Perry, Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon, Michelle Trachtenberg, Jim Gaffigan, Margaret Cho & Melora Hardin. Released April 17, it was directed by Burr Steers (Gore Vidal‘s nephew).
At 17 Mike O’Donnell is on top of the world: he’s the star of his high school basketball team, is a shoo-in for a college scholarship, and is dating his soul-mate, Scarlet. But, at what’s supposed to be his big game where a college scout is checking him out, Scarlet reveals that she’s pregnant. Mike decides to leave the game and asks Scarlet to marry him, which she does. During their marriage, Mike can only whine about the life he lost because he married her so, she throws him out. When he also loses his job, he returns to the only place he’s happy at, his old high school. While looking at his high school photo, a janitor asks him if he wishes he could be 17 again and he says yes. One night while driving he sees the janitor on a bridge ready to jump and goes after him. When he returns to his friend Ned’s house, where he has been staying, he sees that he is 17 again. He decides to take this opportunity to get the life he lost.
♦ Visual effects were not used when Zac Efron does the basketball tricks during the cafeteria scene. He really did accomplish them on his own.
♦ This is a remake of the 1986 Disney TV movie “Young Again” starring a very young Keanu Reeves in one of his earliest roles.
♦ In one scene, Mike wakes up and begins describing his “dream” of being in high school again only to find his daughter, Maggie, caring for him. This is an homage to the counterpart scene in Back to the Future (1985), in which Marty McFly wakes up and finds his teen-aged mother caring for him.
Sixty years ago, today, the most popular film at the box office was Sleeping Beauty.
☆ Mary Costa…….Princess Aurora
☆ Bill Shirley…….Prince Phillip
☆ Eleanor Audley…….Maleficent
☆ Verna Felton…….Flora/Queen Leah
☆ Barbara Luddy…….Merryweather
☆ Barbara Jo Allen…….Fauna
☆ Taylor Holmes…….King Stefan
☆ Bill Thompson…….King Hubert
After a beautiful princess, Aurora, is born in to royalty everyone gathers to exchange gifts. Everything is perfectly fine until an unwanted guest appears, Maleficent. Maleficent casts a spell on the young princess and announces that she will die by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel on the evening of her 16th birthday. Fortunately, one of the good fairies, Merryweather, changes the spell so Aurora will fall asleep, and that the only way to wake her from her sleep is true love’s kiss. Finally the day comes.
The Sleeping Beauty story has many variations and has deep, medieval roots. Disney’s movie was based on French author Charles Perrault’s La Belle Au Bois Dormant (German: Dornröschen or Little Briar Rose) or, in English, The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods, written in the late 1600s.
Other Perrault works include Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), Cendrillon (Cinderella), Le Chat Botté (Puss in Boots) and Barbe Bleue (Bluebeard). Perrault’s literary tales predate the Brothers Grimm material by 100+ years but, The Sleeping Beauty, in particular, was based on the Sun, Moon & Talia (Sole, Luna, e Talia) piece by Italian writer Giambattista Basile, published, posthumously, in the early 1600s. This would NOT be a good children’s fairy tale.
♦ Princess Aurora’s long, thin, willowy body shape was inspired by that of Audrey Hepburn.
♦ The prince is named after Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, as well as Prince Philip of Belgium (now King Philip).
♦ This is the only Disney movie with square trees.
♦ Famed Warner Bros. animation director Chuck Jones worked on the film, briefly, when Termite Terrace closed temporarily during the late 1950s. He found the atmosphere at Walt Disney Productions oppressive because everything anyone did there had to be approved by Walt Disney before, during and, after the process of production. He was more than happy when Warner’s animation department re-opened, where he stayed until it closed again in 1964.
Twenty-five years ago, today, the #1 film at the box office was The Three Musketeers, starring:
☆ Charlie Sheen
☆ Kiefer Sutherland
☆ Chris O’Donnell
☆ Oliver Platt
☆ Tim Curry (The original Pennywise)
☆ Rebecca De Mornay
☆ Gabrielle Anwar
☆ Michael Wincott
☆ Paul McGann (Doctor Who #8)
A summary from IMDB:
“A Disney-ized re-telling of Dumas’ classic swashbuckling story of three swordsmen of the disbanded French King’s Guard, plus one young man who dreams to become one of them, who seek to save their King from the scheming of the Cardinal Richelieu. Jokes and stunts are the expected fare in this light-hearted and jaunty adventure.”
It was, apparently, panned by critics but, clearly, did well for Disney. The first song from the soundtrack, All For Love, had some notable success as well. Written by Bryan Adams, John “Mutt” Lange and Michael Kamen and, sung by Adams, Rod Stewart & Sting, it reached #1 in 1994 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart, the Eurochart Hot 100, the Canadian RPM chart and, 11 other countries.
♡ Most Performed Song From A Film (Michael Kamen/1995 Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) Film & TV Awards)
♡ Most Performed Songs From Motion Pictures (Bryan Adams, Robert John Lange & Michael Kamen/1995 American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) Film & Television Music Awards)
♢ Best Editing ~ Sound Effects (Tim Chau/1994 Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) Golden Reel Award)
♢ Best Movie Song (Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart & Sting/1994 MTV Movie & TV Awards)
♢ Worst Supporting Actor (Chris O’Donnell/1994 Golden Raspberry (Razzie) Awards)
Interesting Trivia Bits from the Disney Movie Database.