Every day, we're awash in the inescapable stench of human misery -- from the guy who won't stop farting on the subway, to grumpy DMV employees who fart right as your pictures getting taken, to all our closest loved ones, who are just hopeless gas machines. But for some odd reason, we expect more from movie studios. After all, these are the people who are supposed to be distracting humanity from its own crappiness. But even these weavers of cinematic dreams aren't above soullessly dickish moves. For example ...
7The Wizard Of Oz Almost Kills The Tin Man (Then Fires Him)
The Wizard Of Oz is the whimsical tale of how awesome poverty can be when your concussed brain creates an elaborate fantasy world for you. But behind the scenes, things were a total shitshow.
The Cowardly Lion's munchkin love triangle didn't help.
We've mentioned before that some of the movie's groundbreaking special effects and makeup came close to offing some of the cast members. For instance, Buddy Ebsen was originally set to play the Tin Man until his silver facepaint almost killed him. Of course, it's not really surprising that 1930s Hollywood hadn't figured out a way to paint a grown man silver without poisoning him, but here's the really fucked-up part: The studio thought he was faking it.
Or at least enjoying how high it was apparently getting him.
Yup, the aluminum dust in his makeup caused his lungs to fail and sent him to a hospital oxygen tent, where he enjoyed his own Dorothy-like trip to a realm of unbridled imagination. ("One night in bed I woke up screaming. My arms were cramping from my fingers upward and curling simultaneously so that I could not use one arm to uncurl the other.")
Understandably, Ebsen had to call in sick to work. This didn't go over well. "They were furious," he recounted, "[Producer] Mervyn LeRoy kept calling me in the hospital and saying, 'He can't be in bed. He's due on set.'" The film's makeup artist also thought there was no way Ebsen could be sick, because he'd used "pure aluminum dust" (which in the 1930s was probably considered as healthy as a salad). Eventually, the producer hired another actor to play the Tin Man because he "got tired of calling the hospital," which is not unlike running your wife over with a car and then divorcing her because you don't want to pay for hospital parking.
6Hollywood Can't Make A 9/11 Movie Without Screwing Over Heroes And Victims
Since Hollywood can't let a real-life tragedy go by without turning it into at least several movies, there have naturally been a lot of films about September 11th. Sure, some of these efforts were stupid Disney Channel crap staring Bill Pullman, or that one where Adam Sandler's kooky mannerisms are revealed to be the result of his family's tragic death. But some movies made honest efforts to respectfully tell the story of 9/11, such as Oliver Stone's World Trade Center.
Perhaps because the only way to get a great performance out of the human pinball that is Nicolas Cage is to bury him under a pile of rubble, the movie worked -- except for one scene. The climax of the film -- which is based on true events during 9/11 -- sees two firefighters being rescued by two marines. The marines are played by Michael Shannon and the guy who played Ethan in Lost (all the non-super-creepy character actors were busy that day).
"Come with us, or take your chances with Crispin Glover."
The problem is that the guy from Lost was supposed to be playing this guy:
It's well-documented that Hollywood has a serious whitewashing problem, but this wasn't some random anime character. This was Sgt. Jason Thomas, a goddamn real-life hero, who got to see a movie in which he rescues the protagonist, only to find himself suddenly transformed into Tom Cruise's cousin.
And this wasn't the only 9/11 movie to botch historical events only a few years past. Take director Paul Greengrass's United 93. In this film, one of the characters is a German businessman who doesn't want to fight back against the hijackers. The only problem? That German businessman was a real guy named Christian Adams. And since no one knows what happened aboard the doomed flight, the filmmakers arbitrarily decided that this dead total stranger was going to be a cowardly turd.
"If you have a better idea as to who to portray as bad guys, we'd like to hear it."
It seems like this decision stemmed from either the fact that A) he was European (and therefore a spineless turd, unlike the strong and brave American passengers) or because B) it's rumored that Adams's wife was the only family member not to give her consent to the movie. This means that the depiction of his tragic death was not only completely distorted, but in the absolute worst-case scenario -- in which we're assuming everybody in the universe is a giant piece of shit -- was a "fuck you" to a grieving widow.