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    23 Random Classic '80s Movies Facts That I Find Unbelievably Interesting

    Ghostbusters set in the future?! And in space?! Yup, could've been.

    1. In Back to the Future, the iconic storyline/scene of the lightning hitting the clock tower was actually added in order to save money, and it was NOT the original way Marty McFly got back to 1985.

    Universal Pictures

    Originally, Marty was supposed to travel back to 1985 by driving into a nuclear test site in Nevada and harnessing the power of a nuclear explosion during a bomb test.

    The idea was dropped after the producers realized that just that scene alone would cost over $1 million to film.

    2. The "To be continued..." title card wasn't in the theatrical release of Back to the Future — it was added to the home video release after the actors had signed on to do two more sequels.

    Universal Pictures

    3. Dolly Parton agreed to do 9 to 5 on the condition that she could write the theme song for it.

    20thCentFox / © 20thCentFox / Courtesy of Everett Collection

    Dolly had never acted in a movie before, and it was Jane Fonda who wanted her for the role (and who approached her about it).

    4. Paula Abdul created all the choreography for the wedding scene at the beginning of Coming to America.

    View this video on YouTube

    According to Paula, she got the job because the film's director, John Landis, wanted the person who choreographed Janet Jackson.

    5. In Sixteen Candles, Michael Schoeffling (who played Jake Ryan) was much older than his costars. He was 23 years old, while Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall were both 15 during filming.

    Rights Managed / Universal Pictures / Ronald Grant Archive / Mary Evans

    Also, IRL, it was Molly and Anthony who dated.

    Rights Managed / Universal Pictures / Ronald Grant Archive / Mary Evans

    The two briefly dated after they starred in The Breakfast Club together.

    6. E.T. and Elliott are the only things that aren't real in the iconic moon scene in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

    Universal Pictures

    Yup, that's a real moon shot! Steven Spielberg wanted to use as few special effects as possible in the movie, so he had his visual-effects team scout out a location that would have a low moon over the trees. It took them a few days (using charts, maps, etc.), but they found a spot in the forest. Also, E.T. and Elliott were actually puppets that were filmed separately and then superimposed over the scene.

    7. Meg Ryan turned down the role of Shelby in Steel Magnolias because she had just been offered the lead in When Harry Met Sally.

    Everett Collection

    Meg didn't want to be part of an ensemble cast when she had just been offered a lead role. Ultimately, of course, the part went to Julia Roberts, who knocked it out of the park.

    8. Dan Aykroyd originally wrote Ghostbusters as a movie that would have starred John Belushi and him as ghost hunters in space (and it also took place in the future).

    Columbia Pictures / © Columbia Pictures / Courtesy of Everett Collection

    The film's director and friend of Dan's, Ivan Reitman, told him the film would work better if it took place in the present day and in a big city. The only concept that didn't change from the original treatment of the film was the marshmallow man.

    9. In 1984, Red Dawn became the first movie ever to be rated PG-13.

    MGM / © MGM / Courtesy of Everett Collection

    Before then, movies were rated G, PG, or R. But after films like Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom — which weren't child-friendly enough to be PG or graphic enough to be R — received PG ratings, the Motion Picture Association of America was inspired to create a new rating.

    10. Before Eddie Murphy took over the role, Sylvester Stallone was originally supposed to play Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop. But Sylvester didn't like the humor in the script, so he rewrote it to be more action-packed. The studio and producers didn't like his version of the movie, so they moved on.

    Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty

    11. The song "You're the Best," which was featured in the montage of fight scenes during the All-Valley Karate Tournament in Karate Kid, was actually written for Rocky III.

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    The song, which was sung by Joe Esposito, was originally written by Bill Conti and Allee Willis for Rocky III, but "You're the Best" was replaced at the last minute with "Eye of the Tiger."

    12. Disney had to pay a huge licensing fee to MGM in order to use the ruby slippers in Return to Oz.

    Buena Vista Pictures / © Buena Vista Pictures / Courtesy of Everett Collection

    While Return to Oz was not really a direct sequel to MGM's The Wizard of Oz, the filmmakers did want to use the iconic ruby slippers in the film. MGM had actually created the ruby slippers for the 1939 film (in the book they were silver), reportedly because they looked better in Technicolor. Using the ruby slippers without permission in the movie would therefore have infringed on MGM's copyright.

    13. It was Quincy Jones who suggested that Oprah Winfrey play the role of Sofia in The Color Purple.

    Everett Collection / Courtesy of Everett Collection

    Quincy, who was the executive producer of the movie, discovered the then-unknown Oprah after catching her on a local TV show she was hosting, A.M. Chicago, while on a trip to Chicago.

    14. George Lucas absolutely HATED and went "apeshit" over Harrison Ford's iconic "I know" ad-lib in The Empire Strikes Back.


    Originally the line was written for Han to reply with, "I love you, too." But both the film's director, Irvin Kershner, and Harrison thought the line was out of character for Han ⁠— so Irvin asked Harrison to come up with a natural response for Han, which resulted in the now-classic line. But when George saw it, he thought it was horrible. However, George agreed to have two test screenings — one with "I know" in it and one with the original "I love you, too" line...and, of course, we know which one won out.

    15. Jareth (David Bowie) having his bulge showing through his pants in Labyrinth was an intentional costume design choice; they wanted to make him to look like a rock star/pop star.

    Tristar Pictures / © TriStar Pictures / Courtesy of Everett Collection

    16. In the original ending of Pretty in Pink, Andie (Molly Ringwald) and Duckie (Jon Cryer) ended up together. Test audiences hated it, so the ending was reshot with Andie winding up with Blane (Andrew McCarthy).

    Paramount / © Paramount / Courtesy of Everett Collection

    17. When Giorgio Moroder created the demo for "Call Me" (the theme song to American Gigolo), he originally intended for it to be sung by Stevie Nicks. But Stevie had to turn it down because she had just signed a new record contract that would have prohibited her from working with Giorgio.

    Robin Platzer / The Life Images Collection via Getty Images, Chrysalis

    Of course, Giorgio then took it to Debbie Harry and Blondie, who ended up having the biggest song of the year with it.

    18. Robin was supposed to appear briefly in Batman, but the character was eliminated when the principal photography started.

    Warner Bros. / © Warner Bros. / Courtesy of Everett Collection, Picture Alliance / Picture Alliance via Getty Images

    In fact, Warner Bros. was actually interested in having Kiefer Sutherland play the role, but he turned it down.

    19. Even though Michael Keaton is the star of Batman, it is actually Jack Nicholson who got the top billing.

    Warner Bros. / © Warner Bros. / Everett Collection / Courtesy of Everett Collection

    20. Tom Cruise improvised all the dancing in the classic "dancing in his underwear" scene in Risky Business.

    Warner Bros.

    21. It was actually freezing when they shot the lake scene in Dirty Dancing — 'cause it was fall — and they had to take frequent breaks during filming in order for Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey not to get sick.

    Vestron Pictures / © Vestron Pictures / Courtesy of Everett Collection

    Dirty Dancing was filmed at a real resort, so it meant they had to shoot it in the fall (offseason, when the resort would be closed). In fact, the leaves and grass in the background of this scene were tinted green in order to make it look like summer.

    22. In The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to change the iconic line "I'll be back" to "I will be back" because he was having trouble pronouncing "I'll." But the film's writer-director, James Cameron, refused to let him change the line.

    Orion Pictures

    James did promise Arnold that they would use the best take of him saying the line.

    23. And finally, the urban legend about the ghost of a boy appearing in Three Men and a Baby actually started after the film was released on home video.


    The story goes that in the background of one of the scenes, you can see the ghost of a 9-year-old boy who killed himself in the apartment where Three Men and a Baby was filmed. But the "ghost" is actually a cardboard cutout of Ted Danson's character (which can be seen earlier in the film). Also, the apartment was a set built on a soundstage.

    There are a few theories as to how this rumor started — like how it was the studio trying to drive up VHS rentals. It could just be that the low resolution of VHS tapes, and the fact that TVs were smaller in the '80s and '90s, just made it hard to determine what the figure was.

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