Some movies seem to be cursed, while others merely predict the future with creepy accuracy. But then you have the films below, which feature grossly unlikely yet hugely ironic coincidences. What do we mean by that? Well ...
If you didn't pay attention in biology class and don't follow sports injuries, the Achilles tendon is the thick tendon at the back of your ankle that connects your heel to your calf. It was named after the hero of Greek mythology, because according to legend, that spot was the only vulnerable part of Achilles' body. He eventually dies from taking a wound there (which of course is why we refer to a fatal weakness as somebody's "Achilles' heel").
Now, some of you who missed that whole story in school are still familiar with it, thanks to the movie Troy, where a well-oiled Brad Pitt played the role of Achilles.
His abs received an executive producer credit.
About three-quarters of the way through the film, Pitt's Achilles faces off against the noble Hector, played by Eric Bana, and kills him while his entire family watches, dragging Hector's corpse around the walls of the city just in case any of them missed it (Achilles was a bit of a dick). However, while filming the scene, the fight did not go nearly as well for Pitt: While performing a difficult jumping strike against Bana directly into his raised shield, Pitt landed awkwardly and injured his leg.
Pitt's most awkward scene not involving his accent.
Or, more specifically, he fucking tore his Achilles tendon.
The only area of Achilles' body that was vulnerable, according to myth, and consequently the only part of the human anatomy that bears his name, was the one area on Brad Pitt's entire body to sustain injury while playing Achilles in a movie. Yes, it turns out the Greek gods are real, and they mock us.
It wasn't a particularly light injury, either. The filming of some scenes in the movie had to be delayed for a couple of months because Pitt could only sort of hobble around, which greatly inhibited his ability to run around trolling the people of Troy. When filming did restart, they celebrated Pitt's recovery by shooting the scene where Legolas lances an arrow through Achilles' eponymous heel, in the precise location of Pitt's injury.
Jennifer Aniston has a voodoo doll exactly like this.
Tropic Thunder is one of those movies that on paper has the potential to be the worst thing ever made ("It has Tom Cruise in a fat suit, Robert Downey Jr. in blackface, Ben Stiller AND Jack Black!"), but somehow it all works. Indisputably, the best part of the movie is Robert Downey Jr.'s character, Kirk Lazarus, who is an actor who only takes movie roles that will get him an Oscar.
In other words, Bizarro-Cage.
In the film, Lazarus is an insufferable Method actor, famous for committing completely to whatever role he's currently undertaking. For Tropic Thunder (the film within the film), Lazarus undergoes pigment-darkening plastic surgery to play a black character, because as we have discussed before, physical transformations are Oscar gold (particularly for attractive women who either put on ugly makeup or have sex with Billy Bob Thornton). Kirk Lazarus' Oscar baiting is made so unbelievably self-indulgent and ridiculous that he is almost a cartoon character, a pretentious ball of buffoonery who doesn't realize how absurd he is. Hollywood, characteristically failing to get the joke, nominated Robert Downey Jr. for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award in 2009 for his performance.
That's right, Robert Downey Jr. was given an Oscar nomination for playing an actor shamelessly trying to win an Oscar. He might have even had a chance at winning, too, if it hadn't been the year that Heath Ledger won every award ever for The Dark Knight.
"... and if he were here, Heath would tell you how honored he is to join such greats like Roberta Goldman and Andrea Grabowski!"
Downey Jr.'s nomination becomes even more impressive when you consider how infrequently comedies get nominated for Academy Awards. In fact, since 2000, there have been 55 nominees for Best Supporting Actor, and only one other was for an actor in a full-fledged comedy (Adaptation). To be fair, none of those movies had posters like this one:
We know some may find this poster offensive, but we couldn't find one where he wasn't smoking.
It may be that the academy was totally on board and was delivering the smartest meta-joke punchline in the history of the world, but Jack Palance's Best Supporting Actor award for City Slickers begs to differ.
Although it was made in the 1950s, Singin' in the Rain is actually set in the 1920s, during the period when silent movies were transitioning into "talkies," i.e., movies with prerecorded sound. In the movie we find out that Lina Lamont, a famous silent film actress, has a speaking and singing voice so terrible, it ranks somewhere between Macy Gray strangling out an orgasm with autoerotic asphyxiation and Macy Gray having that same orgasm while killing RoboCop with a chainsaw.
Instead of giving their top actress the boot, the studio hires an unknown actress named Kathy Selden to dub Lina's voice. Lina refuses to let Kathy get any recognition and keeps her behind the scenes, taking all the singing credit for herself. As you may expect, the studio's ruse is eventually found out, Lina never makes movies again and Kathy becomes a star and happily hooks up with the leading man.
And Carrie Fisher is conceived in a tap-dancing three-way.
Those bastardly movie producers sure got what they deserved, you may be thinking. Who could actually take advantage of some poor struggling actress like that? The answer is the producers of Singin' in the Rain.
"Hey, y'know the whole cautionary tale behind the story we're telling? Let's ignore the shit out of that."
Despite the movie's message of "Do your own goddamn singing," Debbie Reynolds, who plays the heroine Kathy Selden, doesn't actually sing several of her own songs. At least two of them (perhaps more) were really performed by an actress named Betty Noyes. And, just like in the movie, the studio wasn't eager to fess up to the fact that they'd used an unknown singer to dub songs for the famous actress they'd hired to play an unknown singer who dubs songs for a famous actress. As a result, for a long time, Noyes went uncredited.
Pictured here in what's apparently the most pointless headshot of all time.
Unlike the movie character Kathy Selden, Noyes did not skyrocket to fame and fortune, but did lead an illustrious career performing in half a dozen big budget movies ... in which she was almost never credited.
Though hopefully the execution of their ruse was somewhat more subtle than this.